Prince, Michael Jackson, and James Brown on stage together (VIDEO).

That One Time Michael Jackson Told James Brown to Invite Prince Onstage

That One Time Michael Jackson Told James Brown to Invite Prince Onstage

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 21 2016 4:58 PM

That One Time Michael Jackson Told James Brown to Invite Prince Onstage

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Screenshot via YouTube

Little is known about this clip except for the fact that the year was 1983. James Brown, in all of his sleeveless and soulful glory, is putting on another one of his awe-inspiring performances. At some point, he invites Michael Jackson, who was enjoying the show in the audience just like everyone else, to join him on stage. (At the time, Michael Jackson was on top of the world after just releasing his magnum opus Thriller in November of 1982.)

Michael jumps at the chance to share the same air as the man who influenced his career the most. After singing a few notes and busting a couple of moves, Michael graciously returns control to James but not before insisting that the Godfather of Soul invite another special attendee up. That attendee was Prince.

Materializing out of the shadows, atop the back of his infamous bodyguard Big Chick, Prince removes both of his gloves with his teeth, throws them into the audience, borrows a guitar from a band member (as my favorite YouTube comment goes: “When Prince f--ks your guitar, it’s not your guitar anymore … ”), and proceeds to take control of the entire set. Prince finally waves a shirtless goodbye after a solid couple of minutes of stage calisthenics and makes an exit—but not before destroying a stage prop in the process.

Little did we know that the Purple One was only barely scratching the surface of what he would show himself capable of in the years to come. Game: blouses.