top of page

Rick James and Michael Jackson: An Unlikely Bond of Two Icons

The music industry is often filled with unexpected alliances and surprising friendships, and perhaps one of the most intriguing pairings was that of Rick James and Michael Jackson. While their relationship may not have been widely known, it was filled with moments of humor, camaraderie, and a touch of controversy.

One such instance occurred during the Grammy Awards, where Michael Jackson found himself disappointed after not winning Record of the Year. It was in this moment of disappointment that Rick James, known for his candid nature, offered some unconventional advice to the King of Pop. Rick suggested that Michael needed to shake things up, urging him to carve out his own musical lane to secure future victories at the prestigious awards ceremony.


The bond between Rick and Michael extended beyond mere advice-giving. During the early stages of creating his iconic album "Thriller," Michael invited Rick to Los Angeles to collaborate and seek inspiration. However, Rick's idea of sparking creativity took a rather unconventional turn – he proposed getting high. According to reports from Unique Mecca Audio, a Harlem dealer at the time, there were rumors of Michael indulging in freebasing at Studio 54 in the late '70s. Rick saw this as an opportunity to encourage Michael to embrace a more experimental approach to recording.

However, Michael, ever the perfectionist and mindful of his vocal abilities, expressed concern about the potential impact of substance use on his voice. Despite Rick's persistence, Michael ultimately stood his ground, unwilling to compromise his artistry for the sake of experimentation. Faced with Rick's insistence, Michael made a decisive move – he informed Rick that he was stepping out of the studio and promptly boarded a plane, putting an end to their recording session.


While their encounter may have ended on a somewhat abrupt note, the friendship between Rick James and Michael Jackson remains a fascinating chapter in music history.

Despite their differences in approach and temperament, their bond served as a testament to the unexpected connections that can form within the tumultuous world of music. As two iconic figures in their own right, Rick and Michael's relationship reminds us that even in the midst of fame and fortune, genuine connections can still be forged.

21 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page