The 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland explored sexual abuse allegations made against Michael Jackson throughout the 1990s by Wade Robson and James Safechuck. After the release of the HBO feature, parts of the music industry began to distance themselves from the King of Pop’s music and legacy. It even got to the point where Jackson’s songs were ripped from a huge tour organized by “Weird” musical parody man Al Yankovic.
Originally, Weird Al made a name for themselves by releasing a few smaller parody tracks. But his first real burst of fame came when he released a track to one of Jackson’s songs.
The American star released Eat It in 1984. The track was a parody of Jackson’s Beat It single.
Weird Al became an overnight hit and has continued to release parody albums to this day. But her work with Jackson didn’t stop there.
A few years later, in 1988, Weird Al released Fat – a parody of Jackson’s track Bad – solidifying another hit for the artist.
However, that all changed in 2019 when Weird Al began to distance himself from Jackson and his music.
The Grammy Award-winning satirist dropped the aforementioned Jackson songs from his Strings Attached Tour, which ran from June 5, 2019 to September 1, 2019.
Weird Al confirmed at the time that cutting both songs was a response to Leaving Neverland. He said, “We just felt that with what happened recently with HBO documentaries, we didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.”
Discussing the rest of his set, he added: “I felt I had enough fan favorites on the show that I could get away with it. We decided to err on the side of not offending people. .”
On whether he would bring the songs back into rotation, Weird Al shrugged, “I don’t know if it’s going to be permanent or not.”
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Before Weird Al dropped Jackson’s songs from his setlist — and before the King of Pop’s death in 2009 — they had a great relationship.
He spoke candidly about meeting Jackson on The Conan O’Brien Show. He said the Thriller star gave him his “blessing” to release the Beat It parody.
Weird Al revealed: “[Jackson gave me] legal authorization. There’s a document somewhere with Michael Jackson’s signature next to mine saying we’re the co-writers of ‘Eat It’. So it’s legal!”
Weird Al then noted that he had met the singer “two or three times”. “He was super nice,” he said. ” Very soft. But it’s not like you meet a human! a statue of Madame Tussauds.”
The singer, now 62, also said covering a Michael Jackson song from the 1980s made it “go viral”.
He said, “The day ‘Eat It’ went into heavy rotation, it was literally overnight.”