Michael Jackson vs. Prince: Pop Royalty

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Difference between Michael Jackson and Prince

Michael Jackson and Prince are undoubtedly two of the most recognizable icons in the music industry, and for a time, the two were virtually leapfrogging over each other at least in terms of popularity and cultural significance, if not commercial success. Even with the passing of Michael Jackson, much has been discussed with regard to parallels between the two. This comparison article takes a look at some of the more significant aspects of each.

Michael Jackson
Prince

Significance

Both Michael Jackson and Prince were born in the summer of 1958, which in itself is enough to warrant some comparison. Making things even more interesting is that they were both originally from the Midwest. This is where they take divergent paths however. While both Michael Jackson and Prince capture the life of a musical black youth living in America, each had their own unique take on the subject. Michael Jackson was basically mirroring the hopes and dreams of post civil-rights American youth (at least at the start of his career), while Prince was more attuned to the teen years of the same generation.

Strengths

Both Michael Jackson and Prince were obviously highly accomplished musical artists, albeit with different focuses. Michael Jackson wasn't really adept at any musical instrument, although he did have a facility for music that most singers didn't have. He actually directed a lot of his own music, and was closely involved in all aspects of production, all the way from composition to recording, and even in the mixing. Michael Jackson was also known to be on point at all times, and he was always the hardest worker in the project. Prince on the other hand, was a virtual one-man act, and he could sing, write and play all the musical instruments himself. In fact, he often played all three roles on many of his recordings, and served as producer besides.

Privacy And Shyness Issues

Michael Jackson and Prince were known to have suffered from issues related to their massive fame, although Jackson was clearly affected to a much greater degree than Prince was. Michael Jackson gradually retreated further and further away from the public eye, and much like Elvis before him, he gradually formed a barrier between himself and the rest of the world with only a few select people that he trusted. Prince's struggles with fame took on a slightly different tack, and he was more likely to be evasive and enigmatic towards the media on the few occasions that he agreed to an interview. Prince seemed to see the media as a necessary evil and his attempts to distance himself from the public were apparent in his name change to the unpronounceable symbol.

Similarities and Differences

Michael Jackson

  • Represented the youth of post civil-rights America
  • Was amazingly gifted and hard working
  • Was involved in virtually every aspect of his music
  • Increasingly retreated from public attention and the media

Prince

  • Represented the concerns of post civil-rights American teens
  • Multi talented singer, composer, instrumentalist and producer 
  • Has been known to play all the instruments in his recordings

Which pop singer is thought of as sexier?
  • Michael Jackson
  • Prince
 
 

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