Michael Jackson achieved a level of fame not often seen with public figures. There was an adoration level that caused him to have difficulty relating to the public. Jackson would often talk about getting into a disguise in order to be treated like a normal person and not a superstar.
He developed a way of protecting himself by disguising his voice, which even tricked some of his famous friends. Jackson also had a love of practical jokes, with one celebrity revealing he used to get prank calls from the singer.
Jackson’s mysterious nature and love of practical jokes came together during one particularly memorable moment for an A-list singer Jackson collaborated with.
Michael Jackson Disguised His Voice And Tricked Liza Minnelli When She Spoke To Him On The Phone
Jackson was a mysterious person in many ways. While his mysterious nature was known to the public, those who knew Jackson privately said he was even a mystery to them. Part of this mystery included Jackson disguising his own speaking voice around certain people.
There are many who knew Jackson personally who have revealed that his famous soft speaking voice wasn’t how the singer really spoke in private.
“I hope he doesn’t get angry at me for telling you this, but that’s his public persona,” Samm Brown III, Jackson’s musical director, told VH1 in 2005. “I remember a time I called him up and he answered the phone and I didn’t know I was talking to him, because he was talking in his normal voice, which is pretty deep.”
A similar account was shared by Jackson’s friends Liza Minnelli and David Guest in 2002. The former couple were guests on an episode of Larry King Live.
“I think people don’t know the real him. He doesn’t talk like [that],” Guest revealed.
Minnelli always believed Jackson’s high-pitched voice was real. She told King that she picked up the phone one night and heard Jackson talking to Guest in his real voice and was shocked.
“I said, Michael, you’re busted. I got you now. All these years you’ve been talking in that voice,” Minnelli said.
When pressed further, both Guest and Minnelli said they believe Jackson crafted a persona to protect himself from an intrusive public.
“This is who you think I am. And I can be me within these walls. But you can’t come in,” Minnelli theorized.
“He’s been hurt too much, Larry,” she continued. “I mean, they have said kind of rotten things about him. The person that we know is a rather regular guy, believe it or not.”
Michael Jackson Loved Practical Jokes And Prank Called Russell Crowe In His Hotel Room
In addition to maintaining a veil of mystery, Jackson loved playing practical jokes on people. Those within his inner circle said that Jackson was definitely a prankster and would often play pranks on people.
During the recording sessions for the “Bad” album, singer Siedah Garrett said Jackson threw popcorn at her while she was recording her vocal for “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.”
Actor Russell Crowe was also a target of Jackson’s playful antics. Crowe said that he never met the King of Pop, but Jackson had a habit of prank calling him whenever he stayed in hotels. Crowe revealed details of their exchange to The Guardian.
“I never met him, never shook his hand, but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under so it didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up [and] do this kind of thing, like you did when you were 10, you know, ‘Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roof up? Ha, ha.’ You’re supposed to grow out of doing that, right?”
Crowe said that Jackson’s comic timing needed some work. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Crowe said that whenever he started to get frustrated, Jackson would giggle and reveal it was him all along.
Akon Revealed Michael Tricked Him With A Disguise As He Was Waiting For Him In His House
In 2023, Akon appeared as a guest on Logan Paul’s podcast Impaulsive. During their conversation, Akon discussed his time working with Michael Jackson. The two collaborated on bonus tracks for Jackson’s “Thriller 25” album. Akon also collaborated with Jackson on the track “Hold My Hand,” which was released after his death.
Akon revealed that Jackson was a master of disguise.
“He was a king of disguises,” Akon said. “He would be standing right next to you and you would not even know it’s him.”
Akon then told a story of the first time he went to see a movie in an IMAX theater and it was with none other than Jackson himself.
“My first IMAX theater experience as with Michael Jackson,” he said.
Akon then told a story of waiting for Jackson to get ready to leave at his house.
“He said ‘Let’s go to the movies.’ In my mind, I’m like, ‘You can’t go to the movies, you’re f****** Michael Jackson,’” Akon said. “So I’m waiting for him to get dressed so we can go to the movies.”
Then, Akon was greeted by a man who sat next to him as he waited for Jackson come out. To Akon’s surprise, this man turned out to be Jackson himself in disguise.
“This guy comes out, sits, we’re watching TV for a second,” he said. “So I’m like, it’s 15, 20 minutes, like, damn, where’s Mike? ‘You going to the movies?’ Mike was like, ‘Oh I was waiting for you, let’s go.’”
Akon was shocked at how convincing Jackson’s disguise was.
“I thought it was one of his guests,” Akon said.