6. Michael Jackson campaigned for the lead in the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ remake, even recording an entire soundtrack free of charge for the film. When Tim Burton refused to cast him, Jackson declared ‘If I can’t have the part, they’re not getting the soundtrack’
7. Eddie Van Halen didn’t ask for royalties after completing Michael Jacksons Beat it guitar solo, he did it as a favor.
Van Halen was a surprise guest on the single “Beat It,” from the album “Thriller” (which ended up being the record of the year). His guitar solo lasted 20 seconds and took about an hour and a half to record. The rest of his band was out of town and he decided to do the solo as a favor to the producer Quincy Jones.
He told CNN in an interview what he was thinking when he first heard the song.
I listened to the song, and I immediately go, “Can I change some parts?” I turned to the engineer and I go, “OK, from the breakdown, chop in this part, go to this piece, pre-chorus, to the chorus, out.” Took him maybe 10 minutes to put it together. And I proceeded to improvise two solos over it.
I was just finishing the second solo when Michael walked in. And you know artists are kind of crazy people. We’re all a little bit strange. I didn’t know how he would react to what I was doing. So I warned him before he listened. I said, “Look, I changed the middle section of your song.”
And so he gave it a listen, and he turned to me and went, “Wow, thank you so much for having the passion to not just come in and blaze a solo, but to actually care about the song, and make it better.”
He was this musical genius with this childlike innocence. He was such a professional, and such a sweetheart.
8. Michael Jackson tried to buy Marvel Comics in the early 1990’s so that he could play Spider-Man in his own produced movie.
He was convinced that the only way he could get the part was to buy Marvel. The chairman of Marvel, Stan Less, elaborated in an interview with Moviefone:
MF: How do you think he would have fared as Spider-Man?
SL: I think he’d have been good. I think he’d have been very good. But I must say that Tobey Maguire was wonderful.
MF: I’m fascinated by the fact that Jackson worked with Stan Lee Media and attempted to buy Marvel, in the 90s.
SL: Yes, he wanted to. He felt that would be the only way that he could play Spider-Man.
Stan also went on to say that Michael was not a great businessman and he wasn’t sure what the company would be like today if Marvel would have gone to Michael.
9. Michael Jackson has “hundreds” of unreleased songs that were discovered in his vault after he died.
After his death in 2009, La Toya Jackson said that she found two discs at her brother’s house. On them were more than 1,000 songs that had never been released. There are rumors that Jackson had over 50,000 songs that were unreleased. Some of which were leaked onto the internet, such as “A Place With No Name” leaked by TMZ.com.
During this time, it was claimed that he had “hundreds” of unreleased songs that could be issued for the next several years. Curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jim Henke said, “I think we are going to see amazing interest in any released Michael Jackson material that will come out in the future or a year from now on.”
He was right. In 2010, Sony Music Entertainment signed a record-breaking deal of $250 million with MJ’s estate to retain distribution rights to all of his recorded material until 2017.
10. Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury were going to make a collaborative album, but Freddie quit because Jackson demanded his pet llama come into the studio with him.
The pair would record 3 duets together, two of which were completed and one that never made it out of the studio. There were rumors that Mercury was taken aback by MJ insisting his llama be in the studio, but there were also rumors that the third song was never recorded because Jackson threw Mercury out of the house when he “took too much cocaine on his couch.”
Mercury addressed the rumors in an interview with Time.
“They were great songs, but the problem was time — as we were both very busy at that period,” Mercury recalled of the 1983 session. “We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely. Michael even called me to ask if I could complete , but I couldn’t because I had commitments with Queen. Mick Jagger took over instead. It was a shame, but ultimately, a song is a song. As long as the friendship is there, that’s what matters.”