By Scott T. Sterling
It’s hard to be humble when you’re Kanye West. But when the rap superstar met Michael Jackson, his notoriously braggadocios demeanor gave way to reveal a visibly starstruck fan awed by the presence of his idol.
According to Business Insider, West’s fanboy moment with Jackson is among the revelations found in Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days, a new book by two of the pop stars former bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard.
“Once Kanye saw Mr. Jackson, he was the one who was starstruck,” Whitfield and Beard write in the book, which was released today (June 3).
The two were meeting about a remix of Jackson’s “Billie Jean” for the Thriller 25 anniversary reissue.
“He started gushing. ‘Oh my God, Mr. Jackson, it’s such a pleasure and an honor to meet you. You just don’t know. I’m your biggest fan. I love you so much,'” they write. “The whole time, Kanye was like a kid in a candy store. I’ve never seen somebody be so humble. To see him that way was surreal. Everybody knows that Kanye can be very arrogant, and here he was just amazed to be in the same room as Mr. Jackson.”
Kanye West wasn’t the only pop star awed when meeting the King of Pop. The authors also detailed when R&B singer Ne-Yo met Jackson, and how he “couldn’t stop shaking… Experiences like that made you remember just how special Mr. Jackson was to people.”
Working as Michael Jackson’s bodyguards wasn’t all just gushing pop star encounters. An excerpt from the book published by Slate outlines a bizarre encounter with Jackson’s brother Randy, who literally crashed through the front gates of his sibling’s home, causing Michael to miss Elizabeth Taylor’s 75th birthday party. Another incident found most of the Jackson clan camped out front of the home in the middle of the night, and not leaving until Michael had a brief meeting with his brothers in a security trailer.
The book release comes not a month after Jackson’s estate released the first album of new music from the pop star in over a decade. Xscape hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 upon its release and spawned his first top 10 single of the decade — meaning he’s the first artist with top 10 singles over five decades.