Diana Ross Invited Michael Jackson On Stage During “Upside Down”

In a moment that etched itself into music history, Diana Ross made an impromptu invitation to Michael Jackson during her 1981 concert performance of “Upside Down.” As the song filled the air, Jackson, a fellow labelmate, caught Ross’s eye in the audience, prompting her to invite him onstage “for a dance.”

What followed was pure magic. Jackson leaped onto the stage, effortlessly showcasing his iconic dance moves before seizing the microphone to lend his vocals to Ross’s timeless hit. The electrifying performance sent shockwaves through the audience and later went viral, amassing millions of views online as fans relived the unforgettable collaboration.

But Jackson’s musical collaborations extended beyond impromptu moments onstage. His friendship with Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the legendary rock band Queen, birthed the possibility of another monumental collaboration. Their paths first crossed backstage at a Queen concert in Los Angeles, where Jackson, a self-professed Mercury fan, expressed his admiration for the iconic frontman.

Over the next few years, their bond deepened as they shared mutual respect for each other’s musical prowess. Despite their divergent personalities and styles, Mercury affectionately referred to Jackson as his “Little Brother,” acknowledging the younger artist’s talent and insight. In 1983, the duo embarked on recording sessions, including a rendition of “There Must Be More To Life Than This,” a song originally penned by Mercury for Queen’s album “Hot Space.”

While Mercury praised the quality of their recordings, challenges arose, including conflicting schedules and, notably, Jackson’s unusual studio companion – his pet llama, which made regular appearances during their sessions. Reports of tension surfaced, compounded by Jackson’s discomfort with Mercury’s drug use in the studio. Ultimately, their collaborative efforts came to a halt, straining their once extraordinary friendship.

However, the legacy of their collaboration endured. In 1985, Mercury released a solo version of “There Must Be More To Life Than This” on his debut album, “Mr. Bad Guy.” After both Mercury and Jackson’s passing, the dream of their collaboration was resurrected with the release of a joint version on Queen’s 2014 album, “Queen Forever.” Produced and mixed by William Orbit, the track featured the original backing recorded in 1981, showcasing May, Taylor, and Deacon’s instrumental brilliance alongside Mercury and Jackson’s electrifying vocals.

Though their collaboration faced challenges, the enduring allure of their musical partnership finally found its moment in the spotlight, captivating audiences with its long-awaited release.

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