Who Did “You Are Not Alone” Better: Michael Jackson Or R. Kelly?

Dec 9th, 2010 // 26 Comments

Included as a bonus cut on R. Kelly’s upcoming 10th album Love Letter is his version of Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.” Kelly, of course, penned the 1995 chart-topping single—Jackson’s last Hot 100 #1 during his lifetime—for the King Of Pop. Incidentally, Love Letter and Michael will duke it out in the charts next week, as they’re both released on December 14th. But before that, let’s head below and hear the two versions of “You Are Not Alone.”

First up we have Michael Jackson’s Wayne Isham-directed “You Are Not Alone” video, featuring MJ’s then-wife Lisa Marie Presley. Maybe they were experiencing marital bliss at the time, but did the whole world really need to see them this naked?

“You Are Not Alone” became Jackson’s second Top 10 hit off HIStory: Past, Present And Future, Book 1, following his duet with sister Janet, “Scream.”

Next is Kelly’s version, which has a slightly different keyboard arrangement and contains the singer’s spoken tribute “In love and memories of my hero MJ forever” at the beginning.

Normally we’d raise an eyebrow over an artist taking one of Michael’s classics. (Alien Ant Farm, anyone?) But given that Jackie Collins’ favorite source of inspiration R. Kelly wrote “You Are Not Alone”, he’s pretty much got a free pass with this one. We’re just surprised it took him 15 years to release his rendition.

Which version of “You Are Not Alone” do you prefer?

[Via Rap-Up.com]

  1. Kj

    Are you kidding?? Michael Jackson’s version is so much better, a lot more depth and emotions expressed in his version. I’m a little surprised that’s R. Kelley’s version comes across so flat, almost devoid of emotion – R. Kelly can do much better than this. I do like the intro though.

  2. AJ

    I gotta go with my boy R KElly, he wrote the song, always meant for him. Props to MJ, but Kellz is a genius. Love Letter December 14th, go get that.

  3. EP

    of course michael jackson version is better

  4. IAMWHOIAM

    Just let Kellz honor one of his heroes. This shouldn’t be about who’s is better.

  5. michael jackson is much good then JUSTIN BIEBER JUSTIN BIEBER is bi4life

  6. Anth

    Agree with the post above – it’s not meant to be a contest.

  7. u r a JUSTIN BIEBER fan anth

  8. mmm how long this song been out? You are not alone song by michael jackson ? 13 ,14 years AGO! and the song was a hit? on history album and now his dead it being ask u sings it better when R kelly is the one who wrote of course and this is news? are u kidding me? oh lord not matter what weather u think who song it better which is your opinion michael will always be famous u can’t compete with michael jackson damn the man died working worked until his very last breath i like R kelly music as well but the media has no right to compare michael who’s been making music all his life to someone u only been making since the 90′s no one is doing this to Elvis or john Lennon RIP MJ AND JUSTIN BIEBER IS A SWEET HEART

  9. Umm

    You sound crazy.

  10. Ryan W Blaisdell

    I am a huge Michael Jackson fan and I also love R Kelly, I have to say that Michael Jackson’s version has much more depth and feeling. Also, Michaels voice is simply amaizing. Listening to his music so much sometimes I think people take his vocals for granted until someone tries to cover his music and then you realize how hard it is to even come close. I love Boyz II Men also, but when they did an acoustic cover of Human Nature it just didn’t work. I have to say that I like the music in R Kelly’s Version of you are not alone though. It’s a nice clean simple sound.

  11. Johan

    Will pass 100 years and we don’t have a star like Michael

  12. Matteo

    Obviously the King of R&B’s version is better

  13. adzli

    of course is the King Of Pop who sings better . He got soul and emotions when he sing this song

  14. Rae

    Sorry to say this, but R. Kelly didn´t write this song. He was accused of plagiarism, and he was found guilty. The song was actually written by a belgian duo, the brothers Eddy and Danny Van Passel, and it used to be called `If We Can Start All Over´ (youtube it, you’ll see). And besides, Michael´s version (eventhough it’s not a contest) is unbeatable.

  15. RayEsque

    This is how wars are started. The song is clearly a tribute for MJ. R. Kelly sung it at his Ladies Make Some Noise tour. If it sounds flat it probably is intentional. Let him honor him the way he wants. And to Rae the suit was more so over the production. That’s why this version has a different beat. Lets not bring foolishness in this and MJ RIP

  16. Max

    I thought R. Kelly’s version was fine, but it can’t compare to Michael’s. And yes, Kelly was found guilty of ripping off the melody, but the lyrics are his. The Belgian tune is an instrumental, and is not nearly as good as either Kelly’s or Michael’s.
    As far as the video with Lisa Marie is concerned, it was well done, a classic. Two beautiful young bodies, good enough to be painted by Michaelangelo, shot from discreet angles so nothing “private” ever showed. Well done. And if “the world” doesn’t like it, it doesn’t have to watch, does it? These two nude bodies are far less offensive than all the indiscriminate, clothed dry humping Usher and others are doing on stage in full view of the audience these days.

  17. marcial

    the KING of pop ofcourse..all the way!

  18. andrea

    I am the biggest MJ fan ever; but darn…I love R Kelley’s voice in this version….very nice

  19. mylene

    they both are good. people are expecting r.kelly do it just like michael jackson. i like both because they have their unique type of style in both versions.

  20. Taelyn

    Well.. Firstly.. I doubt seriously that R.Kelly’s original version of the song sounded like that.
    This is clearly a Tribute performance of Michaels version of the song.
    So truly there is no comparasin. RK sang it exactly like MJ did, even the Harmonies..

    And while I agree, Nobody can sing this or any song like MJ because he didnt just sing with his voice, but his very heart ,soul, and essence.
    I still think RK did a fine job on the song.. But it does not leave you feeling gutted the way Michael does.. It just makes you sad that Mike isnt around to sing it himself these days.

  21. cscott

    I agree with you Max. The video was very well done. What you see on stage when people are dressed is offensive. BeYonce, on stage with a bustier, and everything busting out. She might as well come out naked, as well as other performers of today. At least they weren’t hypocritical with it, pretending to be modest.

  22. RR

    Have to agree with Max about the video: MJ and LMP are sexy and in love, and it looks classy. Not like most of the smut now. I like R Kelly and MJ both, but MJ was one of our greatest originals. His friend R Kelly’s tribute to him shouldn’t be set up for comparison as the song could have different meanings at different times. I notice artists are often artificially pitted against each other by stupid questions like this one.

  23. pauline

    MJ version is better , Kelly is a great singer but you have to remember who you are comparing him to. Michael we love and adore you.

  24. Natalie

    Definitely Michael Jackson’s better he has more soul and emotion in his voice, but R. Kelly did good enough. Also R. Kelly didn’t write this song it was written by two other people he lied.

  25. katja

    This is really a good song.Thanks R kelly.
    MJ , however is better.

Leave A Comment