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There’s been lots of Michael Jackson chatter in light of the re-release of Bad commemorating its 25th anniversary, and in a new Q&A with the New York Times magazine, Jackson’s longtime collaborator, Quincy Jones, reflects on the late King of Pop’s first three and most successful works and how their professional relationship ended.

You once wrote that Michael Jackson stopped working with you because he felt threatened by the credit you were getting for his music. Considering he was never able to repeat the success he had with “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad,” how much credit do you deserve?

Well, what do you think?

I don’t know. I wasn’t in the studio.

You heard the albums, didn’t you? That’s nothing to do with any one person. That’s the combination of the two of us. You’re looking at one of the most talented kids in the history of show business. Michael was very observant and detail-oriented. You put that together with my background of big-band arranging and composing, we had no limitations.

Did he really never personally tell you he was moving on?

He didn’t, no. It’s O.K., man. It’s not like I’m gonna roll over and die. He told his manager that I was losing it, that I didn’t understand the business because I didn’t understand in 1987 that rap was dead. Rap wasn’t dead. Rap hadn’t even started yet.

You can read the Q&A in full over at the New York Times magazine.


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Quincy Jones on Making Music With Michael Jackson  was originally published on