Michael Jackson criticised Elvis and The Beatles in unearthed notes condemning racism in music industry

Discovered notes are believed to have been written by the pop star in 1987

Annabel Nugent
Monday 24 August 2020 08:43
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Michael Jackson took aim at The Beatles and Elvis Presley in a number of handwritten notes that criticised racism in the music industry.

The notes are believed to have been penned by Jackson in 1987, the same year his acclaimed album Bad was released.

In them, he condemned music channel MTV and American magazines for “shunning” black entertainers in favour of their white counterparts, calling out a number of white artists to highlight his point.

Jackson wrote of The Beatles, “Yes these guys were good, but they weren’t better singers or dancers than the blacks.”

He also declared that he would show Bruce Springsteen – commonly referred to by his nickname The Boss – “who’s boss”.

Michael Jackson accepts his Performer of the Century Award during the 29th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on 9 January, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.

“Elvis is NOT King,” wrote Jackson. “I am not prejudiced, it’s just time for the first Black King now.”

Jackson vowed to use his huge influence to end racism beyond the music industry. The star divulged his aims to “end prejudice” when he was writing his 1982 album Thriller.

He wrote, “My goal is to become so ‘big’, so powerful, to become such a hero, to end prejudice. To make these little white kids love me by selling over 200 million albums. Make them look up to me. I will change the world.”

Thriller went on to sell 66 million copies but remains one of the most influential pop albums in recent history.

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In a passage attached to a newspaper clipping about a 1987 Ku Klux Klan march in South Carolina, the singer wrote, “I want what’s fair. I want all races to love as one.”

The notes were allegedly found when police were searching Jackson’s "Neverland" ranch in California after the pop star was accused of child abuse in 2003.

The "Man in the Mirror" singer died aged 50 in 2009 from cardiac arrest.

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