We haven't heard from from Prince Jackson after his famous father tragically died seven years ago, but now the 19-year-old is speaking out about his childhood with the late music icon, and recalls some of his memorable moments with the man dubbed King of Pop.
Michael Jackson's son opened up in a rare interview with The Los Angeles Times on the legacy his father left with him, but makes it clear that while MJ influenced Prince's life, he's not trying to imitate his dad.
"Everyone thinks I'm going to do music and dance," he laughed because he admitted he couldn't do either. Instead, Prince wanted to focus more behind the scenes.
"Music is a big part of my life," Jackson said. "It shaped who I am because of my family, but I've always wanted to go into production. My dad would ask me what I wanted to do and my answer was always producing and directing."
Earlier this year, Prince put his interests to work and produced his first music video, for Omer "O-Bee" Bhatti's "Automatic," and used it to launch King's Son Productions, a name inspired by his father's nickname, the King of Pop. Another video, for the Sco Triplets soon followed.
Prince also shared the career advice Michael once gave him. "Trust no one," he told his son.
"It sounds bad, but...a lot of people are motivated by themselves," the 19-year-old explains. "He said don't trust someone just because it sounds like a good idea—do your research. There are a lot of people who want to interact with [me and my siblings] just because of who we are."
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And, that same protective demeanor, may have been the fuel behind the reason Jackson chose to put masks on his children when they were younger.
"My dad spoke to me like an adult. He told us the reason for the masks was he wanted us to have our own life without him," Jackson said, noting he and his siblings could often go out without their father unbothered because they were unrecognizable.
"I don't think I ever thought about if other kids lived like that when I was younger. But once I knew who he was, I realized it wasn't normal...I remember being in Disneyland and I went to the window and there were all these fans waving and taking pictures of me. I thought it was normal, so I just waved back," he continued.
"It wasn't until I saw a video of him performing and people were fainting and passing out, when I realized the work he did meant a lot to people."
Unfortunately, the sexual abuse allegations against his father continued to haunt the family long after his death. "After he died, we got bombarded with [everything]," Jackson said.
However, the family found a way to move passed it. "It was a shock," he continued. "It all came at once. But [we] learned how to deal with it by just kind of ignoring it."
And when it comes to learning how to live life without his dad around, Prince explains the best they can do is keeping MJ a part of their everyday life in some way.
"The way I cope with [the grief] is incorporating him into my life in every way—from my company logo having little bits of him [to] using his metaphors and trying to follow everything he taught us," Jackson said. "My brother and my sister, we've all coped differently. I've gotten better the older I get."