‘You Didn’t Earn It’: Michael Jackson’s Family Upset Rolling Stone Calling Harry Styles ‘The New King Of Pop’

Entertainer Michael Jackson sings at a concert November 8, 1988 in California. Jackson, who was the lead singer for the Jackson Five by age eight, reached the peak of his solo career with 1982's "Thriller."
Jean-Marc Giboux/Liaison via Getty Images

Late superstar Michael Jackson’s family is making it known they aren’t happy about Rolling Stone magazine’s latest cover featuring Harry Styles, labeling him “the new King of Pop.”

The October cover of the UK Rolling Stone magazine was posted on Twitter Monday, featuring the 28-year-old singer wearing an ivory-colored coat with shimmering pink sequined shorts. The message on the cover read, “Harry Styles: How the new King of Pop set the music world aflame.” It can be seen here.

“There is no new King of Pop,” the late singer’s nephew Taj Jackson tweeted about the cover featuring the former member of One Direction. “You don’t own the title [Rolling Stone], and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did.”

“Decades of dedication and sacrifice,” the tweet added. “The title has been retired. No disrespect to [Harry Styles], he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title.”

And he wasn’t the only person who took issue with anointing the “Watermelon Sugar” hitmaker with the title of “King” of pop music. Styles solo career started with his self-titled debut album in 2017.

One person tweeted, “being called the ‘new king of pop’ while not even being close to what Michael Jackson was is sick.”

“There is no such thing as the new King of Pop,” another tweeted. “Michael Jackson holds that title forever. This is so embarrasing wtf.”

One Jackson fan posted a former cover of the Rolling Stone magazine from its 2003 Yearbook calling pop star Justin Timberlake “The New King of Pop” to get their point across.

“Lol, what?” the person wrote. “Nothing against Harry Styles, but he’s not the new King of Pop. That title still belongs to Michael Jackson. You lot called Justin Timberlake the same thing & that was also a huge fail. Stop trying to take the crown away from MJ. It’s not happening.”

Earlier in the day, the official Michael Jackson Twitter page, followed by millions of followers, shared a photo of the “Beat It” hitmaker gracing the cover of SOUL Newspaper in 1979 at the age of 21.

Jackson died at the age of 50 in 2009 following nearly four decades of hits as a solo artist starting in 1971.

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