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Sam Smith suffers backlash after saying he doesn’t like Michael Jackson

/ 01:15 PM August 15, 2018

In this Feb. 24, 1988, file photo, Michael Jackson leans, points and sings, dances and struts during the opening performance of his 13-city US tour in Kansas City, Missouri.  Image: AP FILE

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but with social media, one must tread carefully, or at least be prepared for opposing reactions.

Such is the case of Sam Smith after expressing his “dislike” for the King of Pop.

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British singer Sam Smith performs on stage during the V Festival 2015 at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex, England, on Aug. 22, 2015.  Image: Jonathan Short/Invision/AP

A video shared by singer Adam Lambert showed the two on a boat. “I don’t like Michael Jackson but this is a good song,” said the 26-year-old singer-songwriter.

“Oh,” says someone off-camera with a hint of dismay.

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The innocuous video has since made the rounds on the internet, with many expressing their disappointment and outrage at the “Too Good at Goodbyes” singer.

Jackson’s nephew TJ Jackson lambasted Smith for being “disrespectful” in tweets on Monday, Aug. 13 : “Sam Smith made a career on singing R&B/soul music. So to look into a camera and disregard one of its pillars is ignorant, disrespectful and arrogant.”

“Everyone has opinions but @samsmithworld [Sam Smith] don’t disparage a soul pioneer when they helped paved the way for you and your music.”

Perhaps in response to some comments that said the issue had been blown out of proportion and Smith was merely expressing an opinion, TJ added, “Anyone can like ANYONE they want. What bothers me is SS [Sam Smith] is a popular SOUL artist… And for HIM to disrespect ANY classic soul Motown/Stax/etc artist publicly is arrogant.”

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Award-winning singer Stephanie Mills, who once dated Jackson, was more vehement in her disapproval of Smith’s opinion in an Aug. 13 Instagram post.

“Don’t come for MICHAEL JACKSON when you wish you have sold as many records and you wish you were the King of Pop like he was,” she said. “I’m so tired of you people studying our music, and studying our artist and claiming that you don’t like our music.”

“Go sit your 1 HIT WONDER a** down and learn how to finish a tour. When you can sell as many records as the king of Pop, Michael Jackson then maybe you can say something.”

It seemed many took offense because Smith’s soul-singing was something that was popularized by the African-American community. “Sam Smith literally makes his money by mimicking black artists,” said one Samar (@theMJAP). “It’s ignorant, ESPECIALLY when you’ve TAKEN from that culture, to try and attack one of the founding fathers.”

Others, of course, reasoned that it was a harmless opinion. Sports reporter Aaron J. Fentress, a self-confessed MJ fan, said in reply to TJ, “Good grief. This is overblown. He didn’t say this in a formal interview. He was on vacation and made a comment to friends that someone captured and unfortunately put out there. He is not required to like Michael Jackson and is entitled to his opinion.”

Smith has yet to comment on the matter.  /ra

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Late Michael Jackson breaks new record with ‘Thriller’

Sam Smith wins Song of the Year Grammy

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