will.i.am has too much “integrity” to release the songs he recorded with the late Michael Jackson.
The Black Eyed Peas star was the last person to work with the King of Pop before he died from acute propofol intoxication in 2009, and though he would make millions from bringing out the tracks they worked on together, he knows the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker wasn’t happy with what they’d done and he respects his idol’s “legacy” too much to ignore that.
Asked about releasing the songs, he said: “I would never do that. I grew up obsessed with Michael Jackson. When he called me to ask him to work with him I didn’t believe it was him. But those songs weren’t perfected in the way someone like him wanted them to be perfected. You don’t do that. You have integrity. You respect the legacy.”
The 42-year-old star believes a lot of young people think they can reach the heights that Michael did, but he doesn’t think that’s possible if they don’t put in the “work”.
He told Event magazine: “It’s all about work. You need to be prepared to stand up, get knocked down and stand up again. Society has created a lot of snowflakes and social media has created a generation of kids who think they can be Beyoncé or Michael Jackson on social media. You don’t get to be that person unless you give it everything.”
The ‘Where Is The Love?’ hitmaker is single and has no children, but insists his legacy is about more than passing down his genes because his work in technology and the scholarship programme he set up in the Los Angeles neighbourhood where he grew up is far more valuable to the future.
He said: “I don’t want to talk about marriage and kids. But it is completely egotistical to think that a legacy is all about you having children. For me, a legacy is the things you do.
“I have a whole generation of kids from my streets going to college and being educated, I’m part of a movement of people working in technology and artificial intelligence trying to make a better future.
“Today we have racism, sexism, a celebrity president [in] Donald Trump, and that’s scary. Tomorrow we can make it a better world.”