Michael Jacksonâs BAD Album Re-Released On 25th Anniversary<br />

Siedah Garrett and Michael Jackson

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He had me re-sing the demo in the new key. Then doing that he filmed me singing this demo in the new key. I actually said, “What are you doing? Why are you filming this?” He said to me, “Because I want to sing it like you. You sound so great and I want to sing it just like you.” I said, “Oh, great, Mike, my friends are really going to believe me when I tell them that Michael Jackson wanted to sing this song just like me.” We laughed about that. Actually, Spike [Lee] found that footage and he put it in [his BAD] documentary. I haven’t seen it. I can’t wait to see it.

EBONY: When he recorded “Man in the Mirror,” were you in the studio with him?

SIEDAH GARRETT: Yeah, the whole first two-thirds of the song is just he and I. He’s singing lead and I’m doing all the harmonies and we’re both singing all the background. We’re singing all the choruses until the choir comes in. We were the first two-thirds of the song.

EBONY: After hearing your demo for “Man in the Mirror,” I understand that he loved your voice so much he wanted to do a duet. How did he come to ask you?

SIEDAH GARRETT: He didn’t ask while I was in the room. We had recorded the “Man in the Mirror” with this huge choir and it was just a long, long day of recording. But I wasn’t sure that we finished the song. So, Quincy called me back a couple days later. I thought we were going to finish “Man in the Mirror.” I go in the studio and there’s no choir. The song isn’t even up yet. There’s only four people in the studio. It’s me, Quincy, the fabulous engineer, Bruce Swedien, and Michael. This other song was playing. I was behind the console, behind the mixing board sitting, thinking that maybe they’re running behind. Maybe I’m late. Then Quincy yells back at me, “Siedah, you like this song?” I’m like, “Yeah. Yeah.” He said, “Well, can you sing it?” I’m like, “Yeah.” He said, “Well, go on in there and sing it. Michael, go on in there with Siedah.” So, this moment for me right now is so real. I’m walking into the studio and behind me is Michael. I get in the studio and there are two stands with music sheets on each. On the music sheet it says, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Michael. Siedah. Each of us get a verse and a chorus. At that moment, in that instant, I realized, “Oh my God, I’m going to do a duet with the King of Pop. I can’t believe it. I’m just busy trying to do the best that I can do so that they would want to keep me on this. I’m like seriously trying to sing and watch Michael do his side of the verse. When my verse comes in, I close my eyes and step up to the mic and I start bemoaning these lyrics. I start feeling this stuff flying in my face. Michael is throwing popcorn at me while I’m trying my best to do this perfect vocal for him and Quincy. He’s cracking up because Quincy’s like, “Siedah, you’re wasting studio time. Come on. I don’t have time.” Quincy just heard that I kept messing up. He didn’t know that Michael was throwing stuff at my face. Michael was cracking up. He thought that was the funniest thing while I was getting reprimanded for something that he thought was hilarious. Quincy just thought I was messing up.

EBONY: Aside from his sister Janet, aren’t you the only female to ever perform a duet with him?

SIEDAH GARRETT:  Well, darling, I was a question on a game show. [She chuckles] I think it was Jeopardy. The question was, “Who is the only person in the world, only female in the world unrelated to Michael Jackson, to ever do a duet with him?”

EBONY: Did he ever say why he never recorded a duet with anybody else?

SIEDAH GARRETT: No, I didn’t ask. I didn’t care. He was doing a duet with me and that’s all I cared about.

EBONY: Is it true that “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was originally intended for either Barbara Streisand or Whitney Houston?

SIEDAH GARRETT: Yeah, I heard that. I did talk to Quincy and Mike about that and they told me that, but I didn’t care. It wasn’t intended for anybody, but me evidently. It makes no difference, because I’m the one on it. Even before Barbara said, “No,” even before Whitney says, “I don’t think so,” it was meant for me just like the BAD Tour was meant for Sheryl. I had to live with that. I had to get with