By Saryn Chorney
Check out the presenters, Notorious B.I.G. and Bill Bellamy, in the corner. We hope Biggie and Michael will make some sweet music together in hip hop heaven.
Musician, composer and producer Quincy Jones worked with Michael on The Wiz, Off the Wall and the legendary album Thriller. The resulting eight Grammy awards — along with album sales of over 65 million worldwide — officially sealed the deal: Jones and Jackson were a musical dream team. They teamed up once again for the hit tune "We Are the World," as well as the album Bad, which sold 32 million copies. Jones considered Jackson "a little brother."
Former Beatle Paul McCartney teamed up with Jackson on two hit tunes, "Say Say Say" and "The Girl is Mine," but later fueded with the pop star when he purchased the publishing rights to half of the Beatles catalog in a method that McCartney felt was underhanded. Regardless, he told the Associated Press, "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever."
Jackson teamed up with Lionel Richie to write and compose the mega-hit for charity "We Are the World" in 1985. Quincy Jones produced and the super-group "USA for Africa" — which included '80s stars like Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and many more — recorded the song.
Lionel also named Michael Jackson to be daughter Nicole's Godfather.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson were more than just close friends, they were also co-stars in the 1978 musical "The Wiz." (Jackson was the Scarecrow to Diana's Dorothy.) Although the film was a rather famous flop, it's an enduring cult classic.
Not only did Jackson and superstar Stevie Wonder collaborate on "We Are the World," but Wonder also appeared on Jackson's album, Bad, in the duet "Just Good Friends." The song was even performed live — just once — in Sydney, Australia when Wonder made a surprise appearance at Jackson's 1987 show.
One good turn deserves another, so Jackson repaid the favor by singing a duet, "Get It," on Wonder's '87 album, Characters.
Eddie Van Halen, of the seminal '80s rock band Van Halen, played the guitar on Jackson's huge hit "Beat It" back in 1983. He recently told TMZ, "I had the pleasure of working with Michael … one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace."
Mick Jagger, famed lead singer of the Rolling Stones, sang lead vocals with Michael Jackson on the 1984 song "State of Shock." The tune was the biggest hit on The Jacksons' Victory album, reaching number 3 (and certified gold) on the Billboard Hot 100 back in '84. The song was later revised by Jagger and Tina Turner during their 1985 Live Aid performance, and a recording of the song by Jackson and Freddie Mercury of Queen also exists as a very rare bootleg.
John Landis, director of the infamous "Thriller" video, also worked with Jackson on the popular "Black or White" video. Ladis told TMZ, "I was lucky enough to know and work with Michael Jackson in his prime. Michael was an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star … I will always have great affection for him."
He may be more famous for his scandalous Superbowl performance with Janet Jackson, but Justin Timberlake had also collaborated at least twice with the King of Pop. Michael made a grand return to MTV at the 2001 Video Music Awards when he joined 'NSYNC on stage.
'NSYNC also joined Michael and his brothers on stage for their rendition of "Dancing Machine" for the Jackson 5's star-studded performance during "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years" tribute in New York that same year. Jackson had reportedly wished to collaborate with Timberlake again for his upcoming tour.
Michale Jackson and Britney Spears famously performed "The Way You Make Me Feel" together at his 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2001. Brit is reportedly "devastated" about the news of his death.
Back in 1995, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash joined Michael Jackson on-stage at the Video Music Awards for a 15-minute medley of hits like "Beat It," "Black or White," and "Smooth Criminal." Slash had previously worked with Jackson on both the HIStory and Dangerous albums, and performed on stage with Jackson during various concerts over the years.
Kanye West may have cribbed Michael Jackson's style at the 2009 Grammy Awards, but at least he contributed his vocals to "Billie Jean 2008" on Jackson's 25th Anniversary Edition of Thriller boxset.
Fergie also collaborated on Jackson's 25th Anniversary of Thriller boxset, lending her vocals to "Beat It 2008."
Akon and Michael collaborated on a down-tempo version of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" in 2008 for Thriller's 25th Anniversary, as well as the song "Hold My Hand."
Did you know Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins all collaborated together on a song called "Behind the Mask" back in 1983? We didn't until we started researching this gallery. (Jackson wrote the tune and lyrics along with Chris Mosdell and Ryuichi Sakamoto.)
Little known fact: Mos Def made an appearance with Michael Jackson in the short film/long-form music video "Ghosts" back in 1997.
When Steven Spielberg was too busy for the gig, Francis Ford Coppola (pictured here with daughter Sofia Coppola) directed Jackson's "Captain EO," a 3-D film formerly shown at Disney theme parks. The short was executive produced by George Lucas. Two of Jackson's songs, "Another Part of Me" and "We Are Here to Change the World," were featured within the movie.
Anjelica Huston starred alongside Jackson as the wicked alien queen, the Supreme Leader, in "Captain EO."
Director Martin Scorcese lent his gangster expertise to Jackson's "Bad" video. Scorcese remembers, "Michael Jackson was extraordinary. When we worked together … I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times … a true artist. It will be a while before I can get used to the idea that he's no longer with us."
Kenny Ortega, the famed director/choreographer of the "High School Musical" films was also directing Michael's upcoming concert tour. He was devastated by news of the icon's passing.
"Michael was a dear friend and a consummate professional," Ortega told RadarOnline.com. "This was the most exciting collaboration of my life with a man who has inspired me like no other. He will be deeply missed. I am terribly sad. We had a 25 year friendship. This is all too much to comprehend. This was the world's greatest performer and the world will miss him.My heart goes out to his family and fans."
Steve Porcaro (far left) of the '80s band Toto ("Africa," "Rosanna") and John Bettis may have written Jackson's bittersweet hit song "Human Nature," but the lyrics truly resonated with the pop star's yearning to escape the trappings of his infinite fame.
OK, so "Weird Al" Yankovic never actually collaborated with Michael Jackson, but the guy basically owes his career to the King of Pop. "Eat It" (based on "Beat It") and "Fat" (a spoof of "Bad") are two of the parody singer's greatest all-time hits. Jackson was actually a huge fan of Yankovich and allowed him to even use the original set for the latter. Aww, that's really sweet.
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