Will Smith is an icon who has entertained his fans for years. From The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air to Men In Black, Smith is undeniably talented and, as a result, has become very wealthy, to say the least. However, despite his fame, some stars are so phenomenal and influential that even Smith is in awe of them. There is one individual that Smith was particularly obsessed with: the remarkably talented king of pop, Michael Jackson.
Known for his jaw-dropping, energetic live performances and quirky fashion sense, Michael Jackson was a global sensation and still has the highest-selling album of all time. Released in 1982, Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller, is considered a musical masterpiece, and Quincy Jones is regarded as a musical genius. As a 14 year old when the project was released, Will Smith was mind blown when he heard it for the first time and even after fame was a fan of Jackson.
The Men In Black actor was desperate to meet Jackson at an awards show when he had just started out. Luckily, he got the opportunity to, but it was under incredibly bizarre circumstances. Recalling the story in a YouTube video the actor posted to his channel, the actor and performer disclosed that it was in the early 1990s at the BET Awards that he first met the icon. Elaborating on how determined he was to meet Jackson, the former rapper stated, “I [had] wanted to meet him my whole life. I saw him from across the room, but he was just too far, and I was like ‘Gah!’ I just couldn’t get to him in the crowd!”
Smith continued, “I [was] like, ‘Yo, I’m about to go this whole award show, and I’m not gonna meet my idol. I gotta meet Mike!'” However, the show was far from over. After the award ceremony, backstage, the notoriously aggressive Death Row co-founder Suge Knight began physically attacking and verbally industry heads. With everyone on high alert, Smith’s security guard shoved him into a dark and dingy utility closet.
Recalling the strange nature of his first meeting with Jackson, Smith explained how, at first, he couldn’t see anyone else in the utility closet, so he stood there in silence as the ruckus died down. Detailing the exact moment, Smith recounted, “All of a sudden, it starts to get quiet, and I’m like, ‘yo.’ And I hear ‘Hey’. I’m like, ‘Oh sh*t!’ And I turn around, and Michael Jackson is behind me in the closet. I was like ‘Oh, Mike!?’ He’s like. ‘Hey, how you doing?’”
According to the ‘Summertime’ rapper, the pair had a short but sweet conversation in the closet, with Jackson asking Smith what was happening. Smith even recalled they gossiped about Suge Knight, with Jackson insistent Knight “[couldn’t] figure out how to be happy.” You can watch Smith further detailing his odd exchange with Jackson in the video below.