Why Michael Jackson Turned Down the Hit Justin Timberlake Wrote for Him

by Jeremy Spirogis
Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson raising their arms

There’s a number of parallels between Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, so it solely made sense that Timberlake as soon as wrote a track for Jackson. Ultimately, the track grew to become a success for a special artist. Interestingly, audiences received to see Timberlake work with Jackson the identical yr the track got here out.

Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson raising their arms
Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The observe Justin Timberlake wrote for Michael Jackson

Comparisons between Timberlake and Jackson are apparent. Both singers received their begin in present business at a comparatively younger age and had been a part of well-known boy bands. In addition, their solo profession grew to become big off of their eclectic mixture of pop, funk, and R&B. Likewise, MTV News experiences Timberlake took plenty of inspiration from Jackson’s work. 

Given all that, it is sensible Timberlake wrote a track for Jackson. Bustle experiences the observe was a ballad known as “Gone.” “Gone” is lots quicker than lots of Jackson’s ballads, nevertheless, it options the type of vocal acrobatics the King of Pop knew how one can pull off effectively. 

Justin Timberlake wearing a hatJustin Timberlake wearing a hat
Justin Timberlake | Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

RELATED: How a Michael Jackson/Janet Jackson Duet Broke a Musical Record

Why the King of Pop by no means sang ‘Gone’

However, Jackson’s group turned down the observe. After that, Timberlake recorded “Gone” together with his band NSYNC for his or her album Celebrity. Timberlake opened up concerning the state of affairs in an interview with Oprah.

“I guess Michael did hear it,” Timberlake mentioned, “and [he] called me on the phone and said that he wanted to cut the record, but he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I. And I said, ‘Well, it’s already out, we’ve already cut the song as an NSYNC record … could we do, like, an NSYNC featuring Michael Jackson, or Michael Jackson featuring NSYNC?’ And he was very absolute about the fact that he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I.” Jackson, nevertheless, had little interest in recording the track with NSYNC.

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“Gone”

RELATED: Michael Jackson’s Final No. 1 Hit Was Written by Another Major Singer

The connection between Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson

Ultimately, there by no means was a model of “Gone” that includes the King of Pop. NSYNC’s model of the track managed to seek out chart success with out Jackson’s assist, as Billboard experiences “Gone” peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, NSYNC carried out with Jackson on the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Interestingly, NYSYNC and Jackson carried out the previous’s hit “Pop” slightly than “Gone.”

When Jackson died a couple of years later, Timberlake mirrored on his legacy. He mentioned he cherished his recollections of performing with Jackson and attending to spend time with Jackson offstage.

JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Michael Jackson, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Justin Timberlake wearing suitsJC Chasez, Lance Bass, Michael Jackson, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Justin Timberlake wearing suits
JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Michael Jackson, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Justin Timberlake | Steve Azzara/Corbis through Getty Images

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“To create the things that he created with his music is untouchable,” Timberlake instructed MTV. “He opened the minds of the world to be able to do that through his music… [it’s] a feat not accomplished by many people, maybe only a handful of people. I don’t think anyone ever did it like him.” On high of that, who is aware of if we’d even have Timberlake’s music if not for the King of Pop?

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