Producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds made the claim during an Instagram live production battle with one-time rival Teddy Riley.
Edmonds recalled Jackson telling him: “‘Babyface, can you believe she wants me to dress like a girl?’”
Edmonds continued: “He was like, ‘I’d never do that.’ He said, ‘She was trying to change it all up. It was crazy’ … He was really mad about it.”
Jackson and Madonna were initially due to collaborate on Jackson’s 1992 hit “In the Closet”, with Jackson approaching the star with the title of the track and hoping she could write lyrics inspired by it.
“I started writing words and getting ideas and stuff and I presented them to him and he didn’t like them,” Madonna said in a 1992 interview. “I think all he wanted was a provocative title, and ultimately he didn’t want the content of the song to… sort of, live up to the title.”
Jackson would go on to release the track as a solo record. Its video saw him cavorting with Naomi Campbell in the desert.
Edmunds and Riley’s good-natured Instagram battles, in which they revisit their dense back catalogue of Nineties hits and share stories from their times in the studio, have become viral sensations in recent days, earning half a million viewers to their respective Instagram Lives.
Michelle Obama, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson are among the stars to have dropped in to the battles to cheer them on.
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