Taking a short break from his Thrill of It All world tour last week, Smith was on a boat trip off the California coast with fellow singer and longtime pal Adam Lambert when he was caught proclaiming a dislike for Jackson’s music. Lambert posted an Instagram video in which Smith can be heard saying, “I don’t like Michael Jackson, but this is a good song,” as Jackson’s 1982 hit “Human Nature” plays in the background.
Possibly predicting the reaction Smith’s remark would arouse among Jackson’s fans, Lambert deleted the video shortly thereafter. Unfortunately for Smith, his comment was captured for posterity by Music News Facts.
Not surprisingly, the clip got a blistering response on social media.
Among those to weigh in was the King of Pop’s nephew, T.J. Jackson, who called Smith “ignorant, disrespectful and arrogant.”
The harshest words, however, came from Stephanie Mills. The Grammy-winning singer-actress dated Jackson in the late 1970s, and made her feelings known about Smith’s aversion to her former beau in a heated Instagram post Sunday.
“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 wrote. “Go sit your 1 HIT WONDER ass down and learn how to finish a tour.”
Thus far, Smith has not responded publicly to the criticism.
Meanwhile, he’ll return to the concert stage Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.