Don’t play with Michael Jackson fans—or his family. Rolling Stone sent The King of Pop’s nephew Taj Jackson fuming after calling Harry Styles the ‘new King of Pop’ on the cover of their UK magazine. Fans were also upset, defending the singer to the publication in comments.
Like many MJ fans, 49-year-old Taj Jackson vented on social media after the magazine made the audacious comparison between the icon and the 28-year-old “Watermelon Sugar” singer.
The son of Michael’s brother, Tito Jackson, slammed Rolling Stone in a Tweet, writing:
‘There is no new King of Pop. You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did. Decades of dedication and sacrifice. The title has been retired.’
In the same tweet, Taj clarified that he didn’t take any personal issue with ‘mega talented’ Harry Styles, just the magazine for the seemingly disrespectful magazine cover copy.
‘No disrespect to @Harry_Styles, he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title.’
There is no new King of Pop. You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did. Decades of dedication and sacrifice. The title has been retired. No disrespect to @Harry_Styles, he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title. https://t.co/td6SSSVkfX
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) August 22, 2022
The Rolling Stone cover also sparked sleuths of posts from MJ fans who compared the two singers’ abilities.
One fan shared a video of Harry singing at 16 years old, comparing it side-by-side with a video of Jackson at 6, when the singer was considered a prodigy for his vocal ability.
this is nasty??? pic.twitter.com/75qOJvfZur
— L.♡ fan account (@LADYlNHlSLlFE) August 23, 2022
Fan pages also pointed out that Michael Jackson “broke racial barriers” with his music and set many standards for artists across genres who came after him with hundred of people sharing the message in agreement.
He broke racial barriers, revolutionized and set the standard for music industry through his groundbreaking creativity and pioneering. A true Legend!
Michael Jackson is the King of Pop 👑
He broke racial barriers, revolutionized and set the standard for music industry through his groundbreaking creativity and pioneering. A true Legend! #KingofPopMichaelJackson pic.twitter.com/XksD0rzRay
— MJJ LEGION HD (@MJJGallery) August 22, 2022
Michael Jackson’s Estate Owns ‘King Of Pop’ Trademark
After Rolling Stone caused an eruption with their Harry Styles cover, Michel Jackson fans quickly pointed out that the singer’s estate literally owns the title.
According to legal documents, The Estate Of Michael Jackson trademarked the phrase ‘King Of Pop,’ which was used broadly when people spoke about Michael while he was living and since his death in 2009.
Umm… is anyone going to tell @RollingStoneUK legal department that “King of Pop” is trademarked and owned by the Michael Jackson estate and that the should see permission before throwing around the title to the undeserving? pic.twitter.com/n7rq5yPwya
— Dr. Andrew Greene | 🌊 (@AndrewGreene864) August 22, 2022
Black Twitter Defends MJ, The ‘King Of Pop’
Of course, even more tweets from MJ fans poured in with jokes about Rolling Stone having the gall to compare the 13-Grammy award winning pop icon to Harry Styles. Scroll down to see more reactions!
Rolling Stone: Harry Styles is the new King of Pop.
Black twitter: pic.twitter.com/orPMGCDYHg
— Public Enemies Podcast (@TheEnemiesPE3) August 22, 2022
Out of anybody, they’re calling harry styles the “new” king of pop? pic.twitter.com/6TuN8L2yd9
— mariah ☆ (@voguessangel) August 22, 2022
no white man is taking michael jackson’s king of pop title ever 🙅🏾♀️
— ً (@celiasblunt) August 22, 2022
so i heard rolling stone said “new king of pop” ? pic.twitter.com/u7dHJRiBTt
— L.♡ fan account (@LADYlNHlSLlFE) August 22, 2022
That man quite literally jumps around on a stage in a sparkly polka dot outfit and suddenly he’s the “king of pop”
— jordan • they/them (@jd_occasionally) August 22, 2022
Why Michael Jackson was dubbed “The King of Pop, Rock, & Soul”;
A Thread. pic.twitter.com/Xvvs55nyQw
— mal | fan account (@michaelstomford) August 22, 2022
That’s right !!
The King of Pop Michael Jackson 👑 pic.twitter.com/xktquGBykY
— Bangtan⁷ᴹ♚ᴶ FanAccount (@BtsPyt) August 23, 2022