Elvis Presley remains one of the most-loved musicians in the world, decades after his death.
So fans are sure to be upset by the claim from music mogul Quincy Jones.
Jones has said that he wouldn’t have worked with Elvis Presley for a shocking reason.
The musician and producer made the claim in a new interview, alleging that the late Presley “was a racist”.
He was speaking to The Hollywood Reporter as part of their new Icon series.
Jones was asked about Presley, after he compared Michael Jackson to the singer.
He was recalling the filming of the 1978 film The Wiz.
“[Jackson] was doing some Elvis copying, too. ‘The King of Pop,’ man. Come on!” Jones said.
He was then asked if he had ever worked with Presley, Jones replied: “No. I wouldn’t work with him.”
When he was asked by reporters why he wouldn’t, Jones said: “I was writing for [orchestra leader] Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said: ‘I don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist mother — I’m going to shut up now.”
“But every time I saw Elvis, he was being coached by [‘Don’t Be Cruel’ songwriter] Otis Blackwell, telling him how to sing,” he added.
However, THR contradicts this claim, reporting that Blackwell told David Letterman in 1987 that he and Presley had never met.
Elsewhere, Jones was asked about the anti-racism protests which took place across the world last year following the death of George Floyd a year ago today.
“It’s been coming a long time, man,” Jones said.
“People have been turning their heads the other way, but it’s all the same to me — misogyny, racism. You have to be taught how to hate somebody. It doesn’t come naturally, I don’t think. I don’t think so, unless you’ve been trained. I just think it’s such a bad habit.”
Quincy made his name for his work on Michael Jackson’s albums, Thriller, Bad and Off The Wall.
His work spans seven decades and saw him win an incredible 28 Grammys in total.
As well as Michael Jackson, he also worked with Frank Sinatra.
Meanwhile, he also recalled his early experience with racism in Hollywood.
Quincy added: “They called me to do Gregory Peck’s Mirage (1965) and I came out here [Hollywood]. I was dressed in my favourite suit and the producer came to meet me at Universal.”
“He stopped in his tracks – total shock – and he went back and told [music supervisor] Joe Gershenson, ‘You didn’t tell me Quincy Jones was a negro. They didn’t use Black composers in films.”
In addition, he also said his daughters regularly tell him off for saying too much in interviews. It came about after a 2018 interview for New York magazine because “my daughters set an intervention with me. Oh, and they called me “LL QJ,” for “Loose Lips Quincy Jones.” They kicked my butt. And they know how to.”
So are you surprised by his claim?
Image Via Alamy.