Michael Jackson vs Prince in Pop Culture

Two pop recording artists that share a lot of similarities and yet also have significant difference are Prince and Michael Jackson. Both have etched their names in the annals of music history as two of the greatest artists of all time and transcended various genres such as pop, funk, and rock and roll, among others. However, although both are good performers and superb dancers on stage, they also have drastic differences in terms of musical style, controversies, success, and record sales, among many others.

In general, two notable points of comparison between the two are their music and dance techniques.

Both Michael Jackson and Prince are excellent performers and are prime innovators in their own respect, but have distinct styles. As shown in the hundreds of concerts and live shows that they have done, it is without a doubt that both artists give electrifying performances that rouse up the crowd. Michael Jackson, for his part, introduced and popularized dance moves that have him grabbing or touching his crotch, torso, and chest.

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But among his arsenal of dances, perhaps his most popular move is the moon walk, which involves the creation of an illusion that has him stepping forwards while actually moving backwards.

In addition, he does his dance moves while also singing, which is why he is widely considered as one of the most entertaining performers of all time. Prince, on the other hand, also gives out impressive dance moves but the most notable aspect about his style is that it combines pop, rock, folk, and funk.

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Moreover, in each of his performances, his voice is usually very emotional, funky, and partially soulful. In short, it can then be said that Michael Jackson delivers high energy and explosive performances while Prince gives his own unique style which is a fusion of multiple genres.

Furthermore, both Michael Jackson and Prince are highly controversial artists. The difference, however, is that the former was mainly criticized for his sexual orientation and treatment of young children while the latter is berated for the explicit sexual messages and in his songs and in his overly flamboyant attires during performances. In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year old child named Jordan Chandler whom he spent time with in his Neverland Ranch in California. According to the boy, he and Jackson engaged in various sexual acts such as masturbation, oral sex, and kissing.

But his most prominent case was in 2003, when he was again charged with child sexual abuse by Gavin Arvizo, who frequently slept over at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. However, in both cases, he was not found guilty. On the other hand, Prince first faced significant controversy in 1980 after the release of his self-recorded album “Dirty Mind”. The album was widely criticized for its sexually explicit material, particularly in the tracks “Head” and Sister”. His taste in clothing onstage was also criticized as it more or less conveyed strong messages of sexuality and was inappropriate for public viewing.

Among the clothes that he wore include black bikini briefs, boots, a trench coat, and heeled shoes. During his opening act for The Rolling Stones in 1981, he was booed off the stage and thrown garbage at for again wearing sexually-themed clothing. In short, both Michael Jackson and Prince had their share of controversies in their respective careers and coincidentally, the cases of both were sexual in nature. The difference is that Jackson’s case involved his sexual orientation while Prince’s case involve his methods of expressing his sexuality.

Finally, the last point of comparison between the two recording artists is their respective career success. Evidently, both had their highs and lows but there is no question that Michael Jackson was more successful and possibly, more influential than Prince. Jackson won 13 Grammy awards and had 13 number one singles in his career. One of his most notable albums was “Off the Wall,” which sold over 20 million copies worldwide and produced hits such as “Rock With You” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.

However, his best-selling album is “Thriller,” which was released in 1982 and spawned a number of chart-topping singles such as “Beat it” and “Billie Jean. ” The album alone has sold more or less 109 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling album of all time . Likewise, Prince also won a number of awards, which included seven Grammys as well as an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award. He was also ranked 28th on the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

His best-selling album was “Purple Rain,” which he released in 1984 and sold over 20 million copies around the world . This album alone catapulted him into superstardom and produced the number one hits “When Droves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”  Both he and Jackson were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on separate occasions in their respective careers. However, considering the scope of influence and record sales of the two, it is clear that Michael Jackson is a much bigger artist and more successful artist than Prince.

Over-all, it can be surmised that Michael Jackson and Prince are similar in terms of musical and dancing skills, influence, and controversies but are different in terms of style, success, and popularity.

Works Cited

  1. “Jackson, Michael. ” 2009. Answers. com. 5 May 2009 <http://www. answers. com/topic/michael-jackson>.
  2. “Prince. ” 2009. Answers. com. 5 May 2009 <http://www. answers. com/topic/prince-rock-musician-funk-musician#Controversy_era:_1980. E2. 80. 931984>.
  3. “Prince Biography. ” 2009. RollingStone. com. 5 May 2009 <http://www. rollingstone. com/artists/prince/biography>.
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
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Michael Jackson vs Prince in Pop Culture. (2016, Nov 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/michael-jackson-vs-prince-in-pop-culture-essay

Michael Jackson vs Prince in Pop Culture essay
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