Michael Jackson gave the world some of the most famous songs and music videos of the 1980s and 1990s. During an interview, Sting of The Police said he hated one of Jackson’s songs. Furthermore, Sting said the video for the track was even worse.
Why The Police’s Sting was called an ‘eco-warrior’
According to a 1996 article from The Observer hosted on Sting’s website, Sting took a stand for the environment when he tried to help the Kayapo tribe stop the deforestation of Brazil. The “Shape of My Heart” singer took Chief Raoni, a member of the Kayapo tribe, on a tour to help raise awareness of the environmental issues facing Brazil.
For this, Sting was called an “eco-warrior.” The star didn’t like this designation. “Well, I’ve never been an eco-warrior,” he said. “What is an eco-warrior anyway? Look, I’ve done a little bit of work to safeguard a piece of land, which I was asked to do by the people who lived there. And I actually succeeded.”
Sting couldn’t stand Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ or its music video
Sting criticized the King of Pop’s attempt to promote environmentalism in one of his songs. “I wouldn’t write a song like Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song,’ which I think is a pile of crap,” Sting said. “And the video’s even worse.”
Sting felt Jackson made himself appear godlike in the music video. “Michael brings the trees back to life?” Sting said. “He brings people back to life? He brings life back to dead soil? Jesus Christ! He’s God!”
Sting wasn’t a fan of “Earth Song” on a musical level either. “And you know the worst thing about that song?” Sting said, seething. “It’s that semi-tone modulation in the middle. That is just beyond it.”
The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’
“Earth Song” didn’t seem to strike a chord with the public in the United States. The song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Jackson released the song on HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I is a double album including one disc of previously released material and one disc of new material. It reached No. 1 for two of its 36 weeks on the Billboard 200.
“Earth Song” was more popular in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, “Earth Song” reached No. 1 for six of its 26 weeks on the chart. Meanwhile, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I hit No. 1 for one of its 95 weeks on the chart. Notably, Jessie J performed a live cover of “Earth Song.”
Sting wasn’t a fan of “Earth Song” but it found an audience in the U.K.