Though they didn’t end on the best of terms, Tommy Mottola still writes fondly of Michael Jackson in his new memoir. Even so, the former Sony Music CEO doesn’t shy away from the reality that the late King of Pop was not into reality checks, specifically when it came to his declining music sales. In the excerpt below, Mottola reflects on the time he had to pull the budget from “Invincible” due to the album’s poor performance.
If only had Mike accepted those Neptunes tracks that went on to Usher and Justin Timberlake.
Michael Jackson was the most brilliant artist of our time. He went through tons of abuse in early childhood that scarred him for life, monumentally overwhelming success, public scrutiny, and various surgeries. That can take over someone’s psyche and isolate him. On top of that, he had an army of yes men who were there to grant his every request. Yes, Michael, yes, Michael, yes, Michael, yes. There was absolutely no one who stood up and told Michael Jackson reality. When sales of Invincible completely stalled, I was the one who had to deliver reality. I was the one who had to say, “No, Michael, we cannot and will not put millions more into the promotion of this album.” When somebody who’s accustomed to hearing only yes suddenly hears no, it’s only natural for him lash out.”
You can also watch Tommy Mottola discuss MJ and his ex-wife, Mariah Carey, below: