Michael Jackson Reportedly Demanded to be Called 'The King of Pop'

March 09, 2013 05:01:46 GMT

The late great entertainer supposedly came up with the moniker himself, asking MTV to call himself with such nickname.

Michael Jackson
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Photo credit: David Livingston/WENN

As instantly as Michael Jackson began to be referred to as "The King of Pop", so did people quickly assumed that the artist got that moniker by his sheer talent and artistry, as he was indeed one of the greatest pop superstars ever. However, MTV drops the bomb that the late great entertainer actually came up with the moniker himself and demanded to be called as such.

This revelation is included in the book "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks. According to them, Jackson sent a memo to MTV back in 1991 requesting that VJs refer to him as The King of Pop. He apparently wanted every network that would be airing his then newly-released "Black and White" video to call him by that nickname.

The book went as far as to reveal that MTV bosses, who owed Jackson a debt of gratitude, required VJs to use the moniker at least twice a week. Some hosts even had to re-tape entire shows just so they could work in the moniker, just in case Jackson asked for clips.

According to Larry Stressel, an Epic Records executive during that time, Jackson had talked to him about wanting to have his own nickname, much like Elvis Presley is dubbed "The King" or Bruce Springsteen is called "The Boss", even hiring personal publicist Bob Jones to issue a press statement declaring Jackson as "The King of Pop". Despite some negative feedback at the time, the label obeyed his request, as no one could contest the fact that Jackson is indeed the greatest pop superstar of all-time.


Post Your Comments

posted by miamibaby33 on Mar 23, 2013
Who cares about who came up with the name??? He was and is and will be the THE KING...and I doubt he came up with it, he was too good for this world MJ forever!!!!!!
posted by Smoothcriminal93 on Mar 16, 2013
Bitch please stop your lies MICHAEL didn't demand to be called the KING OF POP he is the most humble and nicest person I've ever known it was Elizabeth Taylor who called him the "KING OF POP ROCK AND SOUL" because of his extraordinary be honest your lies will not be sold because the people know that MICHAEL JACKSON is not that kind of person..
posted by Susieliketoagitate on Mar 11, 2013
What a gigantic crock of 'you know what'! Michael Jackson was one of the most humble genius artists ever and it was his dear friend Elizabeth Taylor who christened him with the title King of Pop, Rock and Soul. It just fit him. He was, is, and will FOREVER be the King of music, entertainment and our hearts! Get your facts straight tabloid junkies!
posted by HH on Mar 10, 2013
MJ was called "The King of Pop, Rock and Soul" at the Soul Train Awards in 1989 by Elizabeth Taylor which is 2 years before Black and White was released in 1991. Others have already stated he was referred to as King of Pop in 1984 by the Press. The 1989 Soul Train Awards are on You Tube.
posted by lynnmincher on Mar 10, 2013
MTV just wants some attention in the news!
posted by lynnmincher on Mar 10, 2013
why can't I post my opinion- I tried 5X
posted by lynnmincher on Mar 10, 2013
why can't I post my opinion
posted by BP on Mar 09, 2013
Ok, I cant post a link to the copy of the articles, but also: There was the 1984 Chicago Sun-Times article referring to MJ as the "reigning King of Pop": + And many news articles / TV reports throughout the mid-to-late '70s referred to MJ as the "Prince of Pop."
posted by BP on Mar 09, 2013
Michael jackson NEVER CALLED HIMSELF The KING OF POP! On February 8, 1984, New York Post printed an article about MJ calling him King of POP! STOP MTV SPREADING BS! MJ Fans, please copy the picture link and post it on MTV site or everywhere where there is this nonsense!
posted by BrandonP on Mar 09, 2013
Michael jackson NEVER CALLED HIMSELF The KING OF POP! On February 8, 1984, New York Post printed an article about MJ calling him King of POP! STOP MTV SPREADING BS! MJ Fans, please copy the picture link and post it on MTV site or everywhere where there is this nonsense!
posted by munchkin420_99 on Mar 09, 2013
He was given that Title Well before 91.Why must people keep trying to run his name through the mud? He's been know as THE KING OF POP sense 1984. I am so sick of people running their mouths about him. He's passed let him rest in peace. Let his kids remember him for the Great Dad he was. There are more fans of his in this world then there are haters. The haters are just jelous because he's a better entertainer then whoever it is that they follow. He's been around longer then all the Metalheads or Headbangers and all the other Druggy/Drunk entertainers in this world. People of Multiple Generations Love him and his music. N the only reason that MTV thinks they need to use his name again is because their channel sucks. They need to go back to playing just Music Videos again n maybe people will start watching it again.
posted by Diana on Mar 09, 2013
So what? Even if it is true, at least he was able to back it up with real talent and work. If the public didn't think he deserved it, we wouldn't still be using the nickname. We see more laughable attempts by current stars to inflate their statuses.
posted by enough already on Mar 09, 2013
what a load of shit, the only people these retard tabloid trash are confusing are people not old enough to remember that he had been called the KING of POP way back in the 80s and his fans always called him that ever since.
posted by anna on Mar 09, 2013
this is rubbish, it was at an award ceremony when elizabeth taylor called him the king of pop for the first time and from then it stuck. another rumour to try and drag down the name of the jacksons, why cant you leave them alone.
posted by Bored90sGuy on Mar 09, 2013
This was hardly a secret. Michael Jackson was often referred to at the time as the "self-proclaimed" King of Pop, and the conditions that he had stipulated to MTV were well-publicized at the time of the Black And White video release. I was 13 at the time and well aware that he was the one trying to make this happen. This story makes it sound like people didn't know when in actuality everyone did and it effected his image and made people think he was egocentric.
posted by ves on Mar 09, 2013
We have had better entertainers ... a lot of his fame was in his own mind! Just the jackson arrogance! Couldn't keep his hand off himself!
posted by susi on Mar 09, 2013
Another rubbish story.
posted by stanleyd on Mar 09, 2013
Typical media baloney - if the supply of bs wanes a bit, dig something up about Michael Jackson because his name instantly garners eyeballs. MTV is no better. I'd like to see that 1991 memo...
posted by yanni54 on Mar 09, 2013
Why are your people STILL reporting lies on this man. HE DIED WHAT ELSE CAN HE DO TO SATISFY YOU AND HIS IGNORANT HATERS THAT WILL MAKE YOU STOP THESE LIES JUST TO MAKE TO STORY FOR YOUR OWN GREEDY A$$E$. ELIZABETH TAYLOR IS THE PERSON WHO GAVE MICHAEL THAT TITLE AND NOT ONCE DID HE EVER INSIST ON BEING CALLED THAT! If you are so damn desperate for a story find someone who is alive and can defend themselves from blatant liars like you!ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!

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