Ten Things That You Never Knew About Michael Jackson
Published Jul 1 2009, 06:00 BST | By Alex Fletcher Michael Jackson
's sudden and shocking death robbed the world of one of its greatest ever popstars last week. His passing means that many mysteries and tabloid rumours surrounding MJ's bizarre behaviour will probably forever remain unanswered. However, there are still plenty of unusual facts about the 'Thriller' singer that you probably hadn't heard about. Keep reading for ten intriguing tidbits we unearthed about the King Of Pop.1.
Michael Jackson's hit single 'Bad' was originally going to be a duet with fellow '80s pop icon Prince. The tabloid press often described the pair as rivals and Jackson apparently wanted to play on that up until the song's release. Prince said later that he turned the offer down because he knew it "would be a hit without [him] on it".2.
When he was in the Jackson 5, little Michael appeared on the US equivalent of Blind Date
- The Dating Game
. The young popstar got to ask the questions and was allowed to pick a date from three "bachelorettes". Sadly, love never blossomed.3.
Jackson's incredible slant/lean in the 'Smooth Criminal' video is one of his most famous dance moves. However, did you know that the singer actually patented the "anti-gravity shoes", which helped him pull off the move? The boots, which he worked on with Michael L. Bush and Dennis Tompkins, had a "specially designed heel slot", which allowed their owner to "lean forwardly beyond his centre of gravity".4.
A lot of stories about "Wacko Jacko" were nonsense made up by the tabloid press. One of the few stories that was may actually have been true related to his fascination with Joe Merrick - The Elephant Man. He reportedly attempted to buy Merrick's remains from the London Hospital Medical College in the late '80s, claiming to be "a dedicated and devoted collector of art and antiques". He later denied the allegations, but admitted he was a fan of Merrick.5.
One of Jackson's many uncompleted projects was an "acting DVD" with the late Marlon Brando. At a court case in 2006, answerphone messages from Jackson revealed that had been hoping to team up with the Godfather
star, whom he described as a "god". It is rumoured that they were going to interview each other on the island of Tahiti for the project.6.
Jackson's big screen credits with 1978's The Wiz
and 1988's Moonwalker
weren't Jacko's finest hours, but he did at one point have plans to resume his movie career. In 1999 it was confirmed that Jackson was going to take the title role in big-budget thriller about hard-drinking writer Edgar Allan Poe. Sadly, the movie never came to fruition.7.
Jackson may never have won an Oscar, but that wasn't going to stop him owning one. The 'Thriller' singer paid $1.4million at an auction in 1999 for the Gone With The Wind
Best Picture gong. A spokesperson said that it had been Jacko's "lifelong desire to own that particular object".8.
Jackson was often criticised by the media for his unusual parenting skills, but one man who did trust the singer was soul music legend Lionel Richie. Alongside producer Quincy Jones, Jackson was made a godfather to Lionel's daughter Nicole.9.
Did you think that Michael's former pet chimp Bubbles was dead? Well, think again! He's spent the last four years at the Centre For Great Apes in Florida. "He's a very sweet and nice chimp, he really is," according to sanctuary director Patti Ragan.10.
He may have been the King Of Pop, but Jackson's last notable live appearance was a bit of a flop. Fans paid up to £500 to see him at the World Music Awards at Earl's Court in 2006 after reports circulated about him performing 'Thriller'. When he only came on for a quick cameo and a couple of lines of 'We Are The World', even Jacko's loyal fanbase responded with some clearly audible boos.