Sam Smith said ‘I don’t like Michael Jackson’ & everyone is hating on Sam now

Biggest Weekend Swansea

I like Sam Smith. I like his voice. I like his personality. I like the fact that his success riles up the haters who think he’s nothing more than the latest blue-eyed soul artist/one-hit wonder. I’ve always assumed that Sam is a serious student of the greatest R&B, soul, gospel and pop music of the past fifty years. But apparently he’s not? Sam was hanging out with Adam Lambert on a boat, and Michael Jackson was playing. Sam says on the video, “I don’t like Michael Jackson, but this is a good song.”

I’m not even sure Adam Lambert intended to post a shady video of Sam dissing the King of Pop. But as soon as it was posted, everyone in the Jackson family came for him:

While Sam Smith, 26, may not have thought twice about what he said, the internet certainly did, with hundreds quickly taking to social media to slam the singer and point out that his song “Writing’s on the Wall,” from the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre,” sounded like Jackson’s “Earth Song.” One of the many people angered by Smith’s comments was R&B legend, and former Jackson girlfriend, Stephanie Mills who tore into him on Instagram.

“Don’t come for MICHAEL JACKSON when you wish you have sold as many records and you wish you were the King of Pop like he was,” Mills, 61, wrote. “I’m so tired of you people studying our music, and studying our artist and claiming that you don’t like our music. Go sit your 1 HIT WONDER ass down and learn how to finish a tour. When you can sell as many records as the king of Pop, Michael Jackson then maybe you can say something. So I say to you Mr. Smith have several seats and come for me if you want to.”

Jackson’s nephew TJ also weighed in on the matter, tweeting, “Sam Smith made a career on singing R&B/soul music. So to look into a camera and disregard one of its pillars is ignorant, disrespectful and arrogant. Everyone has opinions but @samsmithworld don’t disparage a soul pioneer when they helped paved the way for you and your music.”

He added that it was fine if Smith didn’t like Jackson’s music, the issue was that he made the comments on video, whether or not he expected that video to go public.

“Anyone can like ANYONE they want,” he tweeted. “What bothers me is SS is a popular SOUL artist. So when he looks into ANY camera there is a good chance what is said will become public 1day. And for HIM to disrespect ANY classic soul Motown/Stax/etc artist publicly is arrogant. Period.”

[From Page Six]

I would feel like this reaction was entirely appropriate if Sam had dissed Michael Jackson in an interview, or made the comments in some kind of public setting. But he was on a boat and as I said, I’m still not 100% sure he ever intended this comment to be made public. Beyond that, I’m of two minds – one, everyone has the right to like or not like whichever artist. It really is as simple as that. But on the other hand, it’s ridiculous that Sam seems so uneducated about the pop-soul pioneers who came before him. Of course he was influenced by Michael Jackson. Of course he was influenced by many black artists, but when it comes to giving them credit, I guess Sam isn’t feeling it.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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150 Responses to “Sam Smith said ‘I don’t like Michael Jackson’ & everyone is hating on Sam now”

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  1. Missy says:

    I’m not a Jackson fan either, talented yes, but I still think he had a horribly inappropriate relationship with some children

    • anna2222222 says:

      Exactly. When it is someone as problematic as MJ, I would be inclined to give Sam a pass.

      • Milla says:

        Problematic is an understatement. I can’t believe people are pissed at Sam for not liking Jackson. Now I’m pissed at people for being such babies. And btw Prince and George Michael were much more talented musicians imo.

      • Ninks says:

        Yes, it’s like saying that I hate Chris Brown but I like some of his music, or I despise Johnny Depp but I love some of his films. Who you like or dislike is incredibly subjective and can be based on any number of reasons, and you should absolutely be allowed to say it in a private setting amongst friends.

      • Sarah says:

        George Michael?

      • magnoliarose says:

        No kidding. Geesh, can’t people have opinions about people anymore? Sam is ALLOWED not to like Michael Jackson. It isn’t like he was screaming and raving about 100 different things about the man.

      • Milla says:


        Both George and Prince played the instruments, sang their back vocals and produced their albums. I had the best time on George’s two concerts, my regret is not seeing Prince live.

        I have few friends who love Jackson and i cannot say that i didn’t like his music as a kid. But once everything started to come out… I can’t. I try to separate art from the artist but it is hard. We talked a lot about that issue.

      • geekychick says:

        I mean, I hate pedophiles. So I don’t like MJ, to put it mildly. FFS one of his victims gave the exact description of his pe**s, ffs.
        but obviously, such music, such genius! is more important than the fact he abused children, in this day and age??!?!

      • Eva says:

        Second this geekychick.

        It always astounds me how MJ came out of all that with his legacy virtually unscathed. I also wonder how things would have played out for him in this #metoo age, had he been alive (although I doubt it would have been much different as it seems Hollywood do their damndest to keep the child abuse, that is clearly rife there, under wraps).

    • My3cents says:

      Exactly. I cannot listen to his songs without thinking of his problematic as hell issues with children, and that spoils it for me.
      The fact that this issue is still hushed and not openly discussed is also very problematic in my view, but I guess when you’re trying to keep a multimillion empire going (that’s still making money after his death) it’s to be excepted.

    • Dtab says:


    • cate says:

      THIS! its insane what people will overlook if they like your music/movies. totally gross.

    • Pandy says:

      Agree. Something wrong there. Which taints his music for me sadly.

    • j says:

      Honestly, is it not ok to express that you don’t like something? Are personal preferences not allowed anymore? He didn’t even say MJ was BAD (lol pun)…just that he doesn’t care for him. What’s the mother effing problem?

  2. Tanesha86 says:

    He really stepped in it now. To say something like that about such an iconic artist, yikes.

    • Alissa says:

      honestly, he is Iconic but he’s really not that great. And I think it’s interesting that we all assumed he was a pedophile and then he died, and now we’re back to talking about how great of an artist he was all the time.

      • AG-UK says:

        Really not that great. Well all of his music I didn’t care for but not sure how old you are but I am “old” so I followed them from elementary school age, Who’s Loving you etc.. at 10/11 the range and emotion. Now his weirdness later in his life now that’s a whoooooooooooollllle different story. But Sam Smith can like or dislike whomever doesn’t bother me. I am not a big SS fan either.

      • Sarah says:

        The only surprising and unusual thing is the number of people who disliked MJ when he was alive because of the child abuse accusations and trial. I’m pretty sure nobody stopped listenning to Bowie or Led Zeppelin and they have done some messed up things as well to say the least.

      • Missy says:

        @sarah. I don’t think it’s surprising or unusual for people to dislike someone who’s been accused of molesting a kid with cancer.

      • Sarah says:

        But it IS unusual in the sense that the same people (at least, some of them) listen to Bowie, Led Zepellin or R. Kelly. That’s what I meant. Honestly, I think people not listening to Jackson’s music in his last years had more to do with the declining quality of his music than any kind of conscience issue regarding the child abuse accusations.

      • Missy says:

        @sarah. His music did decline, he also became incredibly creepy looking and acting, I think that had more to do with it. Michael Jackson was put on trial for molesting a kid with cancer, it was very public, he also paid off several other children and their families. You keep mentioning Bowie and led Zeppelin but I’m not sure why.

      • magnoliarose says:

        What did Bowie do? I know Jimmy Page liked very young teens, basically a pedophile, but I had never heard anything about Robert Plant just the typical 70s rockstar stuff.

      • broodytrudy says:

        Both Page and Bowie had relationships with young teens. Unfortunately that gets conveniently forgotten about as they’re “legends”.

      • Sarah says:

        Bowie: sleeping with underage groupie (one was 13 or 14)
        Led Zeppelin/ Jimmy Page: kidnapped a 14 year girl, made her his “girlfriend” (lol) and kept her being closed doors for years to avoid legal trouble.
        I guess you could say they are not as bad as MJ who had younger victims but it’s still repugnant to me.

        @Missy, it’s true what you wrote about Jackson’s physical transformation. Not only did he act like a creep but he also looked the part.

      • Milla says:

        I don’t think we can discuss groupies in 2018. They were always very young and most lied about their age to get into concerts, backstage… I don’t think that was normal but we are talking about different times and i can’t understand it since it was before i was born.

      • kosmos says:

        I feel that all of these men, Bowie, Michael, and others, are wonderful iconic artists and for that we celebrate them and the music they created; however, when it comes to pedophilia and taking advantage of underage children, this is sickening and cannot be fathomed. I just wonder, then, what are we left with when we think of them, their memory–it’s mixed, isn’t it? Bitter and sweet. We can’t deny their wonderful talent, but how do we reconcile with the other side? Just a question for now……

    • Crumbs says:

      What did he say that was so awful?! I feel like I stepped into an alternate universe. He didn’t slam MJ. If he went on a rage and said how awful his music was, or something like that, then I’d understand. He literally just stated that he did not like him. So now no one can have an opinion? I love MJ music, and I actually don’t like Sam’s,but I don’t think Sam Smith needs to like every soul singer before him to be respectful. People need to get a grip.

      • vespernite says:

        OMG Exactly!! People are so damn sensitive. Stephanie Mills needs her damn head examined…she definitely is dealing with some racism issues. Bitter ass Betty! She’s not even a 1 hit wonder. LOL Girl Bye!

    • Missy says:

      Yeah those are some shady things, but not as bad as mj. Those girls were groupies who followed Bowie and jimmy page around with the purpose of having relationships with them, other musicians too. I know it’s a tricky thing to argue about which is worse, it’s all terrible.

    • Carrie says:

      Adam Lambert was wrong to post this. If I were Sam, I’d not spend any time around Adam again in future.

    • Anika says:

      @Tanesha86: How did he “really step in it now?” People are allowed, still, to have differing opinions, and there are MANY “icons” that we are ALL allowed to dislike. Elvis Presley–for one. He’s an icon, too, but I never liked him OR his music. Plenty of “iconic” actors–such as James Dean, Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart–whose appeal I never saw, either. The minute you start scolding/condemning people for having different OPINIONS about artists/ celebrities than you, then you are effectively censoring them, which is plain ignorant, narrow minded, and intolerant. EVERYONE should be allowed an opinion.

  3. NicNic says:

    I think the idea that he’s disrespecting what came before him, or acting like he doesn’t benefit from R&B music is ABSURD. It was an off hand comment about how he doesn’t like Michael Jackson, but liked a song. Reading into all of this is so stupid and I’m sorry and Michael Jackson, while being a great artist, was most likely not a good person so who cares if someone doesn’t like him? WHO CARES?

    • Swack says:

      Was going to say the same thing: How do you go from ” I don’t like Michael Jackson . . . ” to Sam Smith is disrespecting what came before him. That’s a huge jump to make. I don’t like many artists but may like a song or two that they made.

    • Alissa says:

      yeah, I really can’t figure out what in the world is supposed to be such a big deal about his comment.

      • Edwin says:

        What the big deal about his comment is due to the history of mainly white artist benefiting off of the rhythmn and blues sound monetary and when it suits them either the don’t the pay homage to those who came before them or disrespect black artist. I know he has a right to his opinion however we can’t then get on those who speak out against that said opinion. You see it’s so hard to walk in someone’s shoes when u refused to even look at those shoes because to u they weren’t even worthy of a look from you.

      • Alissa says:

        and when I think you’re seeing way more to his comment than what is actually there. Plus how do we know that Michael Jackson was actually an influence on him? I don’t hear Michael Jackson in his music. I hear more Soul, which MJ wasn’t, and I didn’t hear him saying anything bad about Marvin Gaye. honestly it seems like people are just reaching for reasons to see racism and appropriation at this point.

    • Snowflake says:

      Exactly, people can still have an opinion ffs

    • Jadedone says:

      You said it perfectly

    • Kitten says:

      Totally. This entire thing is ridiculous.

    • Gretchen says:

      Agreed. This is ridiculous, and turning an off the cuff remark about one (deeply problematic) artist into a total disregard of all black soul artists seems like a bit of a stretch.

  4. elisabeth says:

    Why is it so terrible to not like Michael Jackson? Perhaps it’s a personal preference. This is nothing to get pissy over

  5. Aud says:

    Oh ffs. It’s not “uneducated” to not care for a particular artist’s music. Even if it’s Michael Jackson. He can be influenced by his style, directly or indirectly and still honestly not enjoy listening to his music. It’s a subjective preference.


  6. Loopy says:

    Unless it’s a live feed I don’t get how it’s accidental? Adam is the one who posted in a couple of his accounts.

    • Carli says:

      That’s what I was thinking. How is this getting passed off as accidental? Shady shady shady.

      • Kitten says:

        Personally, I don’t see how whether it was accidental or not is even relevant. It’s one man’s opinion. He said he doesn’t like MJ, but he likes that song. I have said similar things about any number of controversial artists–you like the art, but dislike the person. BFD.

      • Carrie says:

        Yep. Shady and toxic. Adam is a heel apparently. That’s what I’m taking from this.

      • Carli says:

        Kitty: the purposeful posting of an insignificant, offhand comment is what the big deal is. Adam highlighted something that didn’t need to be highlighted and poor Sam is getting hell for it. Totally shady of Adam. The only reason to post a .24 second clip of someone saying something negative is to make the sayer look bad. I’m with Carrie, my takeaway from this is that Adam is the totally the heel here.

  7. laulau says:

    I grew up loving Michael but I hate who he was as a person and how his fans bash all the victims of his abuse.

  8. Rescue Cat says:

    Sam doesn’t have to like Michael Jackson and he doesn-t have to be educated about the pop-soul pioneers who came before him. I liked Michael’s work with the Jackson Five and his early solo stuff but from Thriller onwards I thought he sucked.

    • Missy says:

      It’s all about preference, I don’t see how some people don’t understand it. I’m half afraid to say it here because I’m sure I’ll be crucified. I can’t stand Beyoncé, her music is over rated, she doesn’t write her own stuff, doesn’t play any instruments. Her whole persona I find very annoying, but that’s just my personal opinion lol

      • Loopy says:

        Missy you in danger gurl.

      • Amanda says:

        Me too, Missy. She’s so overrated.

      • Slowsnow says:

        I’m starting to think that the dismissal of Beyoncé as an “overrated” artist and a talentless slob (neither of which she is imo) is a reaction – that I also experience on a gut level – of the rabid adoration by her fans and the American context of not being able to separate the Importance of a Black Woman’s success and her intrinsic value. Things are bad at this point, especially in the USA and that is why there seems to be no discussion. But also the need to constantly talk about our dislike of certain of her songs in this context can also be seen callous which I’ve come to understand thanks to the commenters of this website.

      • Sarah says:

        I think the majority of Celebitchers don’t like Beyonce’s music and dislike her even more. On almost every thread, you have a succession of “I don’t see what the big deal is…”, “She’s overrated…”. That’s hardly an original opinion on Celebitchy!
        Whatever, one man’s coffee is another man’s tea.
        I feel the same way about Taylor Swift and her nonexistent vocal abilities and her much lauded songwriting skills.

      • Beth says:

        I’m with you. She’s talented, but way, way too overrated. I understand she has millions of loyal fans, but the way some go overboard with defending her is a little too much. I don’t come out swinging and insulting someone who doesn’t like my favorite musicians, because I know everyone has the right to a different choice

      • Sarah says:

        Beth, okay she is overrated to you, but she is no more overrated than Taylor Swift or even Britney Spears in her haydays yet, we don’t see dozens of comments calling these two overrated in every threads. And they are just as worshipped as Beyonce.
        And it’s natural to go overboard to defend an artist, espcially a black artist, when you feel they are being criticized for things white artists have always done. A few years ago for example, the fashionable thing online was to constantly niptick Beyonce’s feminism because of the way she is dressed on stage and her sexualized routines. But, Madonna threw her panties at then Paris’s mayor Jacques Chirac, Taylor called a woman a sl*t in a song and they are feminist queens ? See the problem?

      • Missy says:

        beyonces fan base is not why I don’t like her music, it’s entirely about her music. It’s repetitive and full of annoying noises. It takes Dozens of songwriters to make one of her albums, and it sounds like it’s all done on computers. It’s just not my thing. And it’s not just Beyoncé, it’s also Taylor swift, Katy perry, and just about every other pop musician these days. It’s my personal preference lol.

        If I told everyone the music I listened to, chances are most people would disagree with me and call it garbage. But I’m not gonna bash them for their opinion, that’s for sure. To each their own

      • Adorable says:

        Agreed.I find Beyoncé overrated.Shes a gorgeous & talented woman,but the manner in which some people fawn over her😪…I find it off putting & embarrassing really.

      • Beth says:

        @Sarah, I don’t like any of the singers you listed. Pop and country music make me want to put ear plugs into my ears. Skin color has nothing to do with my opinion of music or the musicians. My preference is hard rock and metal, especially British heavy metal. I know we’re free to have our own opinions, so I’d never assume people who don’t like what I listen to it don’t like it just because it’s loud men with long hair from the UK. I never read about Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, or Megadeth here, but I have no problem, and I wouldn’t hold it against someone if they didn’t like or had never heard of any of them.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I don’t like a lot of musicians other people like. I couldn’t stand Destiny’s Child with a passion and I have only liked Crazy and some songs from Lemonade. As far as RB I lean toward old school or singers like Jill Scott, 90s Lauryn Hill, and alternative RB like Santogold and FKA Twigs so Beyonce’s pop style wouldn’t be a fit for me.

        I just think some-not all-of the criticisms can veer into dog whistling and rubbing close to racial insensitivity and then the legit simple criticisms get lost in the mix.

        @Beth Wow. What a dark horse you are. Heavy Metal. Huh. I don’t know why that surprises me but it does. lol

      • Sarah says:

        Beth, I will recognize I’m not as tolerant as you are when it comes to music tastes. Bruce Springsteen is my absolute favorite and I will go ballistic if anyone criticize him in front of me ^^ . Another reason I hate President Bankrupcy Batista!

      • Udi says:

        Beyonce is not overrated at all. She is appropriately rated for the performances she puts out and criminally underrated as a vocalist. She is a vocal gymnast with the best technique in the industry. And she does play the piano which she learnt on being advised by Prince. Prince himself has acknowledged her incredible knowledge on music and Egyptian scales. The woman can dance, sing like no one else in the industry and has a work ethic to die for. She can sing anything from rock to reggae and soul.
        You absolutely can dislike her music but calling her overrated is unjustified

  9. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    I have no f_cks give about this.

  10. Kealeen says:

    If you want a white British pop-soul singer with a better appreciation of legendary artists, try John Newman.

  11. Jane says:

    Sam Smith I have never liked his voice.

    But yeah he doesn’t like Michael Jackson but will produce songs that sounds like him.

  12. Erinn says:

    People really need to stop obsessively idolizing celebs to the point where they police whether or not someone likes them.

    Michael had a LOT of sketchy shit going on. But just like the Chris Browns, Johnny Depps, etcs of the world people will come at you if you seem like you vaguely insult them. The rabid fanbase crap is so volatile and insane. The way people will defend celebs to the death when they don’t even know them at all is scary.

  13. OriginalLala says:

    eh I don’t like Michael Jackson’s music either – I can appreciate his talent without liking his music…

    • Astrid says:


    • magnoliarose says:

      He’s not my jam either. I like Off The Wall but anything after that, I can’t abide. Now because of the shadiness I don’t like him at all.

    • Naddie says:

      Yes! There are plenty of “good music” I highly dislike, but I recognize the quality, as bossa nova (good but boring AF) and “garbage music” that I enjoy, even though the quality is questionable, to say the least.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      Agreed. He was influential and talented, but I only like a few of his hits and I found his personal life to be problematic. I’m surprised Smith doesn’t like him as an artist, but that’s his opinion and I don’t see why he needs to “educate” himself on Jackson as CB suggests.

  14. Neelyo says:

    Nice voice but the songs are pablum. Only good ones are the ones he did for Disclosure because he didn’t write those.

    If I recall, this isn’t the first time he’s stepped into it as far as black R and B artists or black people in general, so I think that history plays into the reaction to his comment.

  15. Amanda says:

    Much ado about nothing, as usual. Sam can like whoever he wants and be influenced by who he wants. Sure MJ is probably one of the biggest names out there, but that doesn’t mean he inspires everyone. There are other great artists out there.

  16. Beth says:

    Not everyone likes the same thing, because we’re all different. I just roll my eyes when someone finds it unbelievable and insane when I don’t admire the same celebrity they love and they assume everyone should be obsessed with them like they are. Worshiping fans need to chill out, because they sometimes take their adoration of celebrities too far

    • SM says:

      This. There are so amny more things to be outgared about other than anyone’s personal taste. I don’t like Jackson too, so what?bthis is why we should be outraged when new aspiring tyrannts who want to cancel democrqcies because they guaranty there is a place and market for different tastes in art and in music.

  17. Adorable says:

    OMG The fake outrage is OTT🙄😪!!He didn’t say anything messy.You can not like someone,but appreciate they’re music or song.How dare he have a different opinion🙄!

  18. Slowsnow says:

    “Of course he was influenced by Michael Jackson. Of course he was influenced by many black artists, but when it comes to giving them credit, I guess Sam isn’t feeling it.”
    Here we are. Trying to make this into a white artist dismissing black culture.
    While many articles on this site were spot on about that particular tendency and taught me great lessons about it, this here is not the case.
    Come on.

    • Naddie says:

      I didn’t see how he was dismissing black artists either by just saying “I don’t like Michael Jackson”. Unless he’s got a history I don’t know about…

  19. Kath says:

    I guess we have reached peak faux-social-media-outrage when a guy is overheard saying he doesn’t like a performer investigated for pedophilia. Cue the bogus hand-wringing. The whitewashing of Michael Jackson (no pun intended!) is complete.

  20. Scal says:

    I dont like Michael Jackson either. Talented yes, important to pop history and good songs yes-but a pedophile.

    I don’t like pedophiles and I’d guess Sam Smith was thinking the same thing.

    • JoJo says:

      If Sam has a problem with pedophiles then IMO shouldn’t have worn a R Kelly shirt on SNL .There is a video of R.Kelly having sex with a young girl.There are literally dozens of cases of R Kelly having sex with underage girls,forcing them to get abortions,beating his wife,etc.

      • Missy says:

        I don’t get how r kelly is still even famous. Remember when lady Gaga did a song with him, that was really disappointing, especially when she was trying to speak out about rape

      • Sarah says:

        R. Kelly’s still having a career in the year 2018 of our Lord is the definitive proof that society at large does not give a shit about rape victims, no matter how clear cut the situation is. This is not a he said/she said situation. There is a video of this creep urinating on a teenager but still, people listen to his nonsense. And contrary to MJ, I don’t even think his music is good. Uggh

  21. Sarah says:

    Well, I don’t like MJ the man altough I adore his music and everyone’s taste is different.
    For my part, I loathe Sam Smith’s uninspired, bland soup, that thing he calls music. Off to listen to Off the Wall^!

  22. BaBaDook says:

    Lol, if he hadn’t prefaced it by saying “I don’t like Michael Jackson” people would be like “Sam Smith likes a paedophile!” – there’s no winning here, but honestly he’s entitled to his opinion…maybe he likes plenty of other soul greats that have influenced him just not Jackson. It’s more indicative of his taste, rather than him being disrespectful to the history of soul.

  23. JoJo says:

    He can like who he wants but I’ve noticed he is ignorant when it comes to history.I remember when he basically said he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.Obviously others, including Elton John,had won Oscars before 2016.

    As for Stephanie Mills she already had an issue with artists like Sam Smith, Adele,Bruno,etc being praised and celebrated for making R&B music when many better singers can’t even get played on radio.

  24. Iknow says:

    I don’t think what he said was that bad. But I do get why the reactions were so swift and volatile. A lot of people are sick of these white artists, who get fame and riches because they’re a white person with a “black voice”, yet they are quick to diminish what they’re blatantly exploiting in little micro-aggressive ways. Just look at Justin Timberlake.

    • Sarah says:

      + 1,000. But I don’t expect people who don’t even believe cultual appropriation is a thing to understand that.

  25. S says:

    One musician not liking a particular artist that performed in his same genre, noting a personal preference, is not some sort of ignorance, and I’d feel that way no matter who was called out, or doing the calling.

    Iconic or not at one point, I do not understand how a man who was repeatedly, credibly accused of, arguably, the most heinous crime on earth, is somehow untouchable, to the point where simply stating you don’t like their music is considered musical heresy.

    I’m not sure what that says about our society, collective memories or even just the idea of legacy, exactly…But whatever it is, I can’t imagine it’s very good.

    John Kennedy was, at the time, a beloved President who many also considered a great man. Still, despite his tragic death, no one today pretends he wasn’t also a serial philanderer. When Roman Polanski or Woody Allen die, do they suddenly become legendary filmmakers and no director that comes after them is allowed to dislike their work?

    Michael Jackson is dead, almost certainly before his natural time, but that does not absolve him of any sins. It’s fair to note he was one of the most successful recording artists of all time AND, quite likely, also a monster or, at the very, very least, an incredibly emotionally disturbed addict. Maybe our society would be a better place if we were a little LESS likely to heap praise and adoration on those sorts of people, instead of the opposite.

    And, even if you ignore all the baggage that invoking Michael Jackson’s name as if he was a flipping saint entails, why the hell isn’t someone, anyone, just allowed to like, or dislike, whatever art they want? Who cares? Be it Sam Smith or Jane Doe, one person saying THEY don’t like a musician, or song, doesn’t mean YOU can’t still like them. Is this third grade, in that you and your favorites must share the exact same profile of likes/dislikes or you disinvite them to your birthday party? Geez.

    • a reader says:

      ^^^^^ Great comment!!! Totally co signed.

      MJ was no saint. He was important, he was a musical trailblazer, but also in all likelihood a child molester. The fact that some of his stans act like he cannot be criticised or disliked in any way blows my mind.

  26. Bishg says:

    So are we now at such point where we can’t even freely express our likes or dislikes? Who exactly did he disrespect? He wasn’t mean or insulting anyone, he just stated a matter-of-fact preference. I find it very disturbing how people are always ready to jump at each others’throat for whatever reason. I hope Sam doesn’t take it back or apologise, he has nothing to apologise for.

    • me says:

      The world is filled with angry people. People literally get mad over the dumbest sh*t now a days. It’s insane people can have the same degree of anger over a child getting shot as they can by Sam Smith saying he doesn’t like MJ. WHAT ?!!

  27. Samab says:

    I don’t like Michael Jackson because of Micheal Jackson nore Beyonce because of Beyonce.Still…..I can enjoy some of their works .
    HE should be free to say what he wants about his likes . Being disrespectful is a completely different thing.

  28. Nija says:

    Really, so he doesn’t like MJ so he isn’t giving credit to people who came before him?
    I can’t stand MJ either, he has couple good songs but thats it. Also i guess were supposed to forget all the shady thing about him lol

  29. CharlieBouquet says:

    MJ was my first celeb love! I had the glove and earrings of the glove. He was iconic in my view because he was parent word friendly, I could play it loud unlike Eazy , NWA or CH. I played the balloon pop dart game at a carnival to win a little mirror.

  30. bap says:

    You need PR to sell your records off of saying something negative about MJ?

  31. Veronica S. says:

    Wait, this is what was upsetting people? All he said is that he doesn’t like the music. How’s that even an insult?

  32. Nacho_friend says:

    So sam’s music is in the genre of R&B? MJ owner that category before going pop, and he didn’t like him? Sam’s songs and melodies have all been shaped from MJ at some point. You should respect he was R&B and pop before you came along.

  33. magnoliarose says:

    Extreme fans need to realize that their behavior veers into unhinged when they get offended that someone doesn’t like who they like. They need to stop attacking people for their personal tastes and opinions. It is all subjective. All of it. No one has better taste or more correct opinions about any celebrity. We may feel we do but we don’t. Unless people are being bigots or cruel it is just one person seeing one thing in someone famous and someone else interpreting them differently. I am sure right now someone somewhere is calling Sam Smith a hater.

  34. Starryfish29 says:

    I don’t really care about the context of his comment, and I don’t care whether or not he personally likes Michael Jackson’s music. However, as a white person making his money off of the traditions of black music, what he doesn’t get to do is disrespect the greats that make his career possible. It’s rhat simple.

    • Nacho_friend says:


    • Anilehcim says:

      How is he being disrespectful by saying he doesn’t like someone? He said nothing about MJ.. didn’t take away anything from his talent or legacy. Just stop. You’re reaching. Some people are so desperate to create an issue where there isn’t one.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Sigh. All the man said is he didn’t like MJ. He didn’t say I hate all older RB legends and icons.

    • CharlieBouquet says:

      Mic drop, that is it boom.

  35. Anilehcim says:

    Saying “I don’t like _____” isn’t a diss. He didn’t say a word that was at all disrespectful or disparaging about MJ’s legacy or talent. He simply said that he personally didn’t like him. IDK where we’re at as a society when someone can’t express an opinion without people losing their damn minds over it. An inability to accept dissenting viewpoints just makes people look stupid.

  36. Danielle says:

    Ffs. Sam’s music is NOTHING like MJ’s, so how exactly is he like JT or other culture vultures?
    You can appreciate someone’s talent and impact but still not like their catalogue as a whole. This is a non issue.

  37. Jordana says:

    Why cant he “not like” MJ? I dont like MJ. Earlier in my life, I would listen to and enjoy his music. But after his weirdness and the pedo stories and victims coming forward, I cannot stand the sound. If an MJ song comes on the radio, I immediately change the station. My kids used to ask me why, and I told them exactly why I can’t stand his music.
    I can’t with any Aerosmith either. It also gets switched off immediately. Steven Tyler is also cancelled.

  38. Aaliyah says:

    You can certainly tell that Sam Smith doesn’t like Michael by listening to his terrible music. He is not a student of the game. He doesn’t study the architects, Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton etc who crafted a whole new sound through their muse, Michael Jackson.
    Luckily for him, his mother stole some money from her banker job and bought him a career. He is not even a footnote in the book of great soul and pop musicians of the 20th and 21st century. *bangs gavel* case closed. ( but seriously, imagine being Sam Smith and having an opinion about Michael Jackson)

    • Sarah says:

      White mediocrity knows no bound.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Say it louder for the people in the back! Sam Smith’s music is derivative weak tea. It shows just how little he knows – or cares – about the music he openly appropriates.

  39. Adee says:

    Just wondering if he didn’t like MJ the man or MJ the musician?
    Cos not appreciating his music would be really strange for a fellow musician to dismiss music that is iconic (except the one song that was playing that Sam Smith apparently liked)

    Not liking him personally I could relate, cos even tho R Kelly has some amazing music, the person Robert Kelly is cancelled totally for me.

  40. Cee says:

    Why are people coming after him? He simply said he does not like Michael Jackson, he didn’t say MJ is not Iconic, is a molester, hated his blackness, etc There is nothing problematic about what he said. People need to calm down.

  41. Jess says:

    I don’t care for Sam Smith but I’m shocked that people are bashing him, I can’t listen to MJ anymore without thinking about the countless lives he ruined by being a pedophile. Being a good artist or dead doesn’t give him a pass for the horrible things he did to children, and not everyone likes his style of music and that’s ok too, people are allowed to have opinions.

  42. Harryg says:

    This is ridiculous! Are we now supposed to walk on egg shells so that someone somewhere would not hurt their feelings about some random thing we say? God I hate social media.

  43. HeyThere! says:

    Sheesh, MJ family needs to calm down a hair. Lol I am not a big fan of MJ for many reasons but I’m not going to debate it now. No point. I will say that Joe was a horrible stage father who treated MJ like a cash cow. He treated all his kids horrible, according to them, and MJ had a horrible upbringing because of it. Yes he is the King of Pop but he was a broken boy/man due to his father’s horrible actions. Anyway, being a JJ and MJ have passed, this all seems pointless. I mean it’s. It like SS came out and said “f MJ I’m the King”, then his family can react but that is not what happened.

  44. me says:

    He has a right not to like MJ. It’s ridiculous the Jackson family went after Sam like that. The whole world was not in love with MJ…sorry.

  45. Laura says:

    I love Michael Jackson’s music 🎶 I think he was an incredible entertainer and will remain an icon of the entertainment business for many years to come. As for Michael Jackson the man, well, I didn’t know him beyond what I read/heard in the media. I have always felt sorry for the abuse he suffered as a child but found his child-like persona as an adult slightly off-putting. I do not believe he molested children but I do believe it was inappropriate of him to limit his friend circle to young boys. I think he was a very broken, lonely man with a massive case of arrested development. He probably needed intense therapy to deal with the loss of his childhood and the abuse from his dad. Unfortunately, he chose to mutilate his appearance with surgery and abuse drugs 😔

    I love Sam Smith’s music too and believe he is entitled, as we all are, to like or dislike whomever we please 😊

  46. horseandhound says:

    he can have his own taste. but to the people who are like ‘jackson wasn’t that special, he shouldn’t be considered a legend’….well…at least jackson really was extremely talented. unlike beyonce, who is the golden cow nowadays. nobody is allowed to dislike her. she can sing and dance, but she’s not nearly as talented as people convince themselves and others she is. if she’s considered to be a goddess then jackson should be the main god, like zeus.

  47. manda says:

    So he’s not permitted to dislike something without having hell rain down? I don’t get the big deal, he didn’t say anything bad, just that he didn’t really care for MJ’s music. Unpopular opinion: the stuff after Bad really wasn’t very good!

  48. Happy21 says:

    Gah! Different strokes for different folks. It’s okay to have a damned opinion. Jeez. I personally love MJ. He was my childhood. I don’t like Sam Smith – at all. His voice is as grating as nails on a chalkboard to me. Big deal. it’s okay to not like someone. Wow. The world today, I just do not know how we are going to keep surviving.

  49. InquisitiveNewt says:

    Given the appallingly shady items discovered at MJ’s mansion post mortem, not to mention the years of documented inappropriate behaviour with young minors, I think Sam’s comment was exceptionally mild. Personally, I have refused to listen to MJ’s songs for years – why validate such behaviour? But it seems, in this postmodern feelings are everything world, one hint of opinions that don’t conform to the norm and the Internet becomes hysterically shrill.

  50. sara says:

    He just proved a point that a lot of black people feel. White people using our music, and not crediting us or pretending they weren’t influenced by us or not even paying us. Sam embarrassed himself at the Grammys by not knowing gay history even. Also, it’s mind blowing to see so many people pretend Michael wasn’t crazy talented singer, dancer and producer. Yes, he made his own music and influenced many artists popular today who know their history. Sam has a history of stealing from another great artist and being “surprised” about it – Tom Petty. He doesn’t know his music history. Not even recent history. He’s not that young.

  51. ladida says:

    I cannot believe that our collective memory of Michael Jackson is still as good as it is. Yes, he was talented. But if the #metoo movement had started during his lifetime, he’d have been dragged across the coals probably worse than anyone.

  52. jrwarrenforever says:

    I’ve read most of the comments and every white person clames to not like Michael Jackson in some sort of way. It’s simply about respect. Respect the one before you that made it possible for you

    • InquisitiveNewt says:

      I promise that my comment, and I’ll go out on a limb and say all other CBers – a pretty Liberal and decent lot – is in no way racist. We’re appalled by what the man did; his actions were pretty horrific, and it’s arguably very difficult to listen to the man without seeing the shadow. Yes, he was insanely talented – I’d loved him before the revelations re his behaviour broke. Yes, his influence, and that of those who came before him, was staggering. And, in many cases, un- or under-sung.

    • Beth says:

      I think Michael Jackson was very talented, but his sexual molestation of children made me lose respect for him as a person, and I’m positive it’s not just white people who feel the same way as me. Was he being respectful while he molested the children? No.

  53. Makiba says:

    That guy’s star is dimming so he used Michael’s name to get attention…..poor thing

  54. OkieOpie says:

    He has every right to dislike someone and not be crucified for it. Ridiculous.

  55. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    MJ was a pedophile. All the reason in the world to not like him. He may have been talented but those accolades are on the backs of abused children so no, I won’t glorify him.

  56. apple jones says:

    Isn’t this the guy who an Oscar by ripping/borrowing parts of MJ’s “Earth Song”?
    If so, that’s rich.
    And about MJ and the inappropriate contact with children, he was wrong, as well as the parents. If someone mentioned a parent with questionable behavior. I’d be damned if my child would go

  57. aenflex says:

    So with every other abuser and serial harasser/rapist in the entertainment industry, it’s ok for us to crucify them, regardless of talent. But heaven forbid we do the same to Micheal Jackson. Who was a pedophile and who’s money saved his ass countless times. No.

    Sam Smith does not have to like Micheal Jackson.

  58. Elian says:

    Look up the police reports of what was confiscated from MJ’s home. The types of videos & pictures he had in his possession. Then defend him.

  59. Babs says:

    OMG, that thread. MJ was one of the most accomplished artist the world ever saw and never molested anyone, so yeah, okay, carry on with your opinions Sam smith and friends. No amount of slandering will ever tarnish or disminish Michael’s legacy.

  60. Justwastingtimr says:

    Hi Sam! Me neither. Boring music and Jesus juice for non celeb kids.

    I will pass

  61. HK9 says:

    Sam doesn’t have to like MJ. He has the right to his opinion. But make no mistake about it, if MJ was alive Sam would work with him in a heartbeat-so then there’s that. MJ’s personal life was a hot mess and I do not defend what he did. There is also a reason why MJ is still the standard when it comes to music and performing. He was doing what Sam is doing now when he was about 12-to bigger audiences. However, I think Sam’s comment is being over blown-there are more serious things going on in the world.

  62. LAM says:

    Omg. People can’t have opinions now? There is nothing wrong with Sam Smith not being into an artist. Differing opinions is what makes the world go around.

  63. NewKay says:

    People are missing the point completely. The larger point was that white artist like Sam Smith are heavily influenced by artist like Michael Jackson, never give them credit and then diss them by saying I don’t like that. Kind of like Justin Timberlake and his I’m going back to my roots comment after getting famous off imitating Black music.

  64. Derriere says:

    I don’t think Sam was talking about Michael the person, but his music. As in, “this song” is good, but you can keep the rest. And again, it’s tiring for black people to see white artists take a genre we made and then make millions off of it. How many black country artists are making millions, getting featured on other works and going on tour to sold-out stadiums?

    Michael was a problematic man. No doubt. But I’m tired of the Sam Smiths, Justin Timberlakes and Elvises of the music industry vulturing our sound, our moves, our culture only to turn around and deny us once they’ve made it.

  65. Heather says:

    Why is MJ sacred? Brad Pitt won’t pay child support….cancelled. Director Gunn posts some problematic tweets YEARS ago…cancelled and fired. Aziz has a super bad date with a lot of misread signals…cancelled. MJ has problematic if not downright criminal relationships with underage vulnerable boys (plural)….it’s okay. WTF? If anything, Sam Smith did a reasonable thing. “I don’t like Michael Jackson” for whatever reason “but I like this song” recognizing the difference between an artist and the art.

  66. NewKay says:

    Here is the quote from Stephanie Mills:

    “I’m so tired of you people studying our music, and studying our artist and claiming that you don’t like our music”

    And the full article-

    IMO she is 100% right. If you know music history you know this is true and still ongoing today.

  67. Jag says:

    I think that people are overreacting to what Sam said. (No idea who Sam is.) And yes, people are allowed to not like other people.

    But I also think that one thing that isn’t being talked about is that Adam Lambert posted that video knowing what his friend had said on it. Perhaps to get more views to his Instagram? Perhaps to stir up drama? There have been some things over the years which have made me not like Adam, and this is just another one. (The domestic abuse charges – I think it was – were when he was canceled by me.)