And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

Beef Of The Week #417: Sam Smith v Michael Jackson

By | Published on Friday 17 August 2018

This week, Sam Smith went rogue and claimed not to like Michael Jackson. Yes, I know, unbelievable. Luckily, the cool-headed and always rational people of Twitter set him straight, explaining to him why he was so very, very, very, very wrong.

Smith’s comment appeared in a video which was posted by Adam Lambert onto Instagram, apparently by accident. Lambert and friends were travelling around on a boat, having fun. Lambert felt this was something that his followers should be aware of. So, for a brief time, a video of his boating exploits sat on his profile, in which Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’ played in the background. The camera then turned to Smith – who was also there for some reason – and who said, “I don’t like Michael Jackson, but this is a good song”.

I mean, really. Imagine not liking Michael Jackson. And saying so out loud. In public. On a boat. While smiling. Outrageous!

As the internet responded to this revelation, many online critics argued that this careless statement would almost certainly be the end of Smith’s career. Others said that it was impossible for Smith to hold such an opinion because Michael Jackson has sold many millions of records. Others still insisted that Smith should “show some respect” to the late king of pop. Particularly as he’s not sold anywhere near as many musical units.

In the interest of balance, some did come to Smith’s defence. Sort of. One person on Twitter argued that “you can’t just say ‘I don’t like Michael Jackson’, you have to say ‘I’m very sorry but Michael Jackson’s songs aren’t my fave'”. That, presumably, would be suitably respectful to Jackson himself, while ensuring that his fans don’t have to hear that there are people out there with differing opinions. Because God knows, you don’t want to get yourself into an argument with a real life Michael Jackson fan.

Of course, when Smith said “I don’t like Michael Jackson” he could have been talking about the man rather than the music, Jackson himself more commonly dividing the room.

But he seemingly did mean the music. And, social media waffle nonsense aside, it is true that in a room full of pop fans – and you have to assume that pop maker Smith is a kind of pop fan – usually most people will concede that there are a number of real pop classics in the Michael Jackson oeuvre. I mean, Lord knows he put out some shit music too, but there were several fine pieces of pop product on the earlier solo albums. And not just ‘Human Nature’. And probably not ‘Human Nature’.

But hey, you know that Smith, ever the maverick. I bet he’s a pop fan that doesn’t even like Queen. Try saying that on Adam Lambert’s boat, Sammy boy. Not only will you anger the internet, you might be in for rather a long swim.