Pop star Michael Jackson has said he pays no attention to the negative press written about him.
In a rare interview, the star told Ebony magazine that he knows he has the reputation of being different, but just ignores it.
“In my opinion, it’s ignorance. It’s usually not based on fact. Every neighbourhood has the guy who you don’t see, so you gossip about him,” he said. The singer gave the interview to mark 25 years since the release of Thriller.
Jackson said he has not changed much since releasing the blockbuster album in 1982.
“That Michael is probably the same Michael here. I just wanted to get certain things accomplished first,” he said.
“But I always had this tug in the back of my head, the things I wanted to do, to raise children, have children. I’m enjoying it very much.”
Despite selling 750 million albums worldwide, Jackson said that his success “came with a lot of pain”.
“When you’re on top of your game, when you’re a pioneer, people come at you. But I feel grateful – all those record-breaking things, to the biggest albums, to those number ones – I still feel grateful,” he said.
The 49-year-old singer also added that he had no plans to keep entertaining when he is 80.
He said: “Not the way James Brown or Jackie Wilson did, where they just killed themselves. I wish James Brown could have slowed down and been more relaxed and enjoyed his hard work.”
Ebony reported the singer is working with Kanye West and Will.I.Am on a comeback album to be released sometime in 2008.
The magazine goes on sale on 12 November.
Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 14:43 GMT