ET’s Denny Directo spoke to Prince at the Thriller Night Halloween benefit over the weekend, following Rolling Stone UK’s controversial move to hand over the crown to Harry Styles. While Prince acknowledged the “As It Was” singer’s talents, he maintained that the title is reserved for his late father, and his late father only.
“There’s so many technological, social factors, that I think went into the earning of the title, ‘King of Pop,'” Prince began. “I don’t see it as a slight to anybody else’s career, because they’ve had their own length of achievements, but the ‘King of Pop’ is a unique achievement, because he broke boundaries in countries that didn’t have the same infrastructure that they do now.”
He continued, “He was popular on a global basis — at one point the most famous person in the world. And for all these reasons, and his music, the ‘King of Pop’ is a title that I just don’t think could ever be taken.”
While the title will remain with Michael Jackson, there is one celeb that Prince said is closely following in his father’s footsteps and achieving that icon status — Beyoncé.
“Personally, the first person that comes to mind, is actually Beyoncé,” Prince shared. “I think that the way she approaches music, and I don’t know her personally, but from what I’ve seen from a professional standpoint — and I know my dad idolized her as well when she was just coming up, so, he kinda predicted that, if you will. He saw that same fire and dedication in her, and for me, I felt like — she’s up there.”
Celebrating 40 years of Michael’s Halloween hit, “Thriller”, Prince told ET Friday said he feels “so proud” of what his dad accomplished all these years later.
“It makes me feel so proud to have a history and a heritage, and proud of what my dad accomplished over the years, because we’re here 40 years later, and it’s nuts,” the 25-year-old gushed.
“Here we are at the 40th, and to be celebrating it and to see so much love and so much respect for my father, still to this day, is incredible,” Prince added.
In addition to celebrating Michael’s music and his legacy, the Thriller Night Halloween party also acts as an annual fundraiser for Prince’s Heal Los Angeles foundation and the Dee Dee Jackson foundation.
“Both of them work with children. The Dee Dee Jackson Foundation specifically works with grieving, and people who have lost a parent or a significant person in their life,” he explained. “The Heal Los Angeles foundation is around education, and really trying to improve the quality of life through education of both soft and hard skills.”
Prince, who lost his father back in 2009, still admittedly struggles with grief, noting that it’s an ongoing “process” for him.
“It’s still a process for me, a grieving process and a journey that I’ve been on,” Prince said before sharing his advice for those grieving the loss of a parent. “And I don’t think that any one way is right. You have to do what makes you feel good and whatever helps you deal with the loss of someone that you loved significantly. Unfortunately, that’s the best advice I can give. Life continues to go on, and it’s beautiful.”
He added, “As long as you celebrate them, they’re never gone.”