The recent resurgence of speculation surrounding the feud between Prince and Michael Jackson, particularly in light of the Netflix documentary ‘The Greatest Night In Pop’, has prompted the vocal arranger of the iconic charity single ‘We Are The World’ to share his insights.
Originally released in 1985 to support Africa, ‘We Are The World’ has been a subject of ongoing discussion regarding the rivalry between the two pop legends. Their competitive streak during the ’80s, as well as their public spats, have long been documented. Jackson’s aversion to comparisons with Prince, evident in a resurfaced 1988 recording, and Prince’s refusal to collaborate on Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album due to lyrical disagreements, further fueled the speculation.
Tom Bahler, the vocal arranger appointed by Quincy Jones for ‘We Are The World’, has weighed in on the matter. He suggests that Prince’s absence from the charity single may have stemmed from a fear of Jackson, speculating that Prince had a discomfort with men and used the disagreement over ‘Bad’ as an excuse.
Bahler’s history with Jackson, dating back to the late ’70s, adds depth to his perspective. While some attribute Prince’s absence from ‘We Are The World’ to his rivalry with Jackson, others believe it was because Prince wanted to play guitar on the track, a request allegedly denied by Quincy Jones.
In related news, a biopic titled ‘Michael’, starring Jaafar Jackson as his uncle, is set to hit screens in 2025. Meanwhile, ‘Purple Rain’, one of Prince’s most iconic albums, is being adapted into a stage musical, ensuring the legacies of both artists continue to captivate audiences.