Justin Bieber‘s new studio album Believe packs a ton of star power in its A-list collaborations, which include Nicki Minaj, Drake and Ludacris. But producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins thinks the Biebs has the vocal chops to aspire even higher in his musical matchups — to a level of pop royalty. ”I think if Michael [Jackson] was alive I would have been able to make a meeting happen and actually get them to do something together,” the hitmaker says in the Believe ZinePak, on sale now at Walmart.
Darkchild, who co-wrote and co-produced several songs on Jackson’s last studio album Invincible, including the hit “You Rock My World”, has writing and production credits on Believe‘s “As Long As You Love Me” and “Die In Your Arms”. After seeing him at work in the studio, Jerkins is convinced the 18-year-old has the artistry and work ethic worthy of the King of Pop.
“There are plenty of moments when he would nail the notes and I would be like, ‘Wow’,” he says. ”To me he is this generation’s new great.”
Justin and his mentor Scooter Braun have both cited Michael Jackson as an influence, and shades of the legend-gone-too-soon can be seen in the imagery in Justin’s “Boyfriend” video — that striking silhouette in front of a moon — and in the harmonies on “Die In Your Arms” that recall the Jackson 5.
Given the sudden viability of collaboration by way of holographic resurrection (wassup, Tupac?), could a JB-MJ song or live performance be on the way? Posthumous duets have been pulled off before: Natalie Cole famously sang with her dad, Nat King Cole, on 1991′s “Unforgettable”, and Jackson’s 2001 Invincible opener “Unbreakable” featured Notorious B.I.G. — four years after his death. And let’s not forget about what happened at Coachella this year.
Though no official announcement has been made, maybe a certain surprise guest is what Justin was alluding to when he said his sold-out North American tour would be “as epic as ever”.
Would you be excited to see a Justin Bieber/Michael Jackson duet? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to learn more about the making of Believe on our special Justin Bieber Believe page.