Michael Jackson’s Son, Prince Jackson, Shares the Moment He Realized Just How Famous His Dad Was

To the world, Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. But there was a side of Jackson that fans never got the chance to see. For instance, the singer had a little-known love of thrift shops, including such items in his “Thriller” video. Though Jackson was one of the most famous entertainers that ever lived, it took a while for his children to recognize how beloved he truly was.

Michael Jackson performs on stage on his HIStory tour
Michael Jackson performs on stage on his HIStory tour | Pete Still/Redferns

Michael Jackson’s songs changed the music industry forever

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the impact Jackson had on the music industry and on culture as a whole. A true showman, the singer’s early success with his brothers in the Jackson 5 was just the beginning. His solo career truly took flight in late 1979 with the release of Off the Wall featuring iconic singles “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You.”

1982’s Thriller cemented Jackson as one of the most influential stars of all time. That album is among the biggest-selling in music history. And subsequent albums such as Bad, Dangerous and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I kept Jackson’s legacy alive and thriving. By the time the King of Pop died in 2009, his estimated net worth stood at $500 million.

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The moment Prince Jackson realized just how famous his father was

To the outside world, Jackson was a larger-than-life figure. From within his personal life, his children didn’t realize just how iconic their father really was. But on a recent appearance on the talk show The Mix — available on the streaming Fox Soul network — Jackson’s son, Prince Jackson opened up about the exact moment he understood the depths of his father’s fame.

“It’s really more like there were these little seeds as I was growing up and getting older. And I saw that people would follow us around. People would just want to reach out and touch my dad. But it was really when I was maybe around 10 or 11 in the Middle East when I was watching a video of my father performing. And I don’t remember the name of the tour. I believe it may have been the HIStory tour. But he’s performing outside, and you see this sea of people. And there are people fainting in the audience. I asked my dad, ‘Why are they fainting? I see you every day. I don’t faint.’”

Certainly, Jackson’s music elicited a strong emotional response from fans. But perhaps no one got a closer look into the man behind the mask than his children. Following his 2009 death, Jackson reportedly left much of his estate to his kids and his mother, Katherine Jackson.

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How old would Michael Jackson be today?

Jackson’s influence as a performer and cultural icon lives on. Countless musical artists have cited the impact his career had on their own. And yet, Jackson has been gone for more than a decade. And fans can only imagine what the singer — who would be in his early 60s — would be up to now if he were still alive.

Although Jackson might be gone, his music continues to circulate and inspire. From his early Motown records to his final studio album, 2001’s Invincible, Jackson’s level of success is unparalleled. As much value as there is in keeping his children out of the spotlight, it’s heartening to hear they recognized how important Jackson was to his fans.