Does Terrence Trent D’Arby Believe Michael Jackson Sabotaged His Career?

Published: Sunday 8th Oct 2017 by David

In 1987, Terrence Trent D’Arby burst onto the music scene armed with an androgynous style and romantic songs forged in Pop/Rock flames.

In 2017, years after his time atop Pop came to an end, he has given an interview which he hopes will offer insight into the jealousy, plotting and politics he believes cut his reign short.

Now known as Samada Maitreya, the performer spoke to ‘The Guardian’ about his new project and the journey that inspired it. At the heart said journey? The possibility that he was sabotaged by Michael Jackson.

Excerpts below…

He imagines his rapid rise, and vertiginous descent, as a matrix of conspiracy theory and quasi-mythology (his latest album – a triple – is titled Prometheus & Pandora). After the relative failure of his second album, 1989’s Neither Fish Nor Flesh, D’Arby was effectively and unceremoniously “tossed off the mountain”. More expansive (and less tuneful) than his debut, critics viewed it as simple artistic overreach, while the public largely concurred: it shifted a fraction of the sales of its predecessor.

As Maitreya understands it, there just wasn’t enough room for another black superstar operating in the realm of poppy, soulful R&B, especially one as resistant to racial narrowcasting as he was and is (the vest he is wearing today pointedly bears the legend “Rock Star”). It was, he says, a “limited plinth”, and either he, Prince or Michael Jackson had to vacate.

Me and Master Michael [Jackson] had to play out the Apollo/Mercury scenario: him being the entrenched god, me being the upstart who basically got sacked as a service to Apollo,” he says. Part of “a continuum of artists who carried the baton for as long as they could before they were killed, physically or psychologically”, he was, he says, “crucified”.

Why he feels this was the case?

I happen to know there were a couple of people in very, very high places in the establishment who, like Zeus, were kind of amused at my little routine.And it was working. Everybody was cashing in and happy. But behind my back, more and more A-list stars were complaining about the attention I was getting. The other gods on Olympus were sending their managers to ask: ‘What’s going on?’ The establishment had to do something about it because it couldn’t have all the gods angry.

Asked whether he truly believes he was manoeuvred out of the music business at the behest of several internationally famous musicians (or, at least, their record company: he, Jackson and, for that matter, George Michael were all on CBS), he replies: “I was a political sacrifice. This isn’t my theory. I’m telling you.”

I didn’t make this album to be back in the fray. I still have Madonna’s number. I can still call her and go: ‘What’s up, bitch? What’s going on?’” As his emails attest, “bitch” is a catchall for associates, male and female. Not that he’s overly preoccupied with what people think these days. When I ask whether he thinks his new music is, lyrically, too esoteric for mass consumption, he answers, “Maybe it’s not meant for mass consumption.”


D’Arby isn’t the first (nor will he be the last) musician to suggest that their career was sabotaged by a more established but potentially insecure peer.


So, let us know…

What do you think of his remarks?

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  1. june nelson October 8, 2017


    • Bey Bey Bangz October 8, 2017

      We know Beyonce is intimidated by Rihanna who isn’t talented so why wouldn’t Michael be intimidated by Terrence who actually has talent, was close in age, was on the same label and who looked like him.

      • Highway Unicorn October 8, 2017

        Sorry, why would a Beyonce be afraid of Rihanna when she helped to make Rihanna? If anyone is intimidated it’s Rihanna because she knows SZA is coming for her.

      • Caleb October 8, 2017

        Beyoncé has never given indication of being intimidated by Rihanna or any other of her peers.

      • Your Mother October 8, 2017

        Girl SZA is not coming for Rihanna. Where is her number one single. LMAO

    • 👧 + ✈ = 💀 October 9, 2017

      I think Milli Villi(with their non singing a$$’s) ended his career more than Michael Jackson

      • june nelson October 9, 2017

        I so agree with you plus his second album sucked, Mj second album is a certified hit

    • Dream October 9, 2017


    • Fancy BISH October 9, 2017

      Just to add a lil bit to the conversation…Terence sold a million copies of his debut album in the first three days of release worldwide…he had a lil Tay Tay moment lol

  2. H October 8, 2017

    I believe it. MJ was brilliant but very insecure. He was threatened by Whitney and Janet at one point. I work in the business and know people who worked with him who tell me that he respected artists just as much as he envied them. He and Janet didn’t speak for years because of this. Remember when she started hanging out with Lisa Marie AFTER the divorce?

    • Jasmine October 8, 2017

      Receipts? Michael jealous of Janet (baby sister) and Whitney is unbelievable. I dont believe you at all. Easy to lie on the dead but where are your receipts to back up your lies? Janet hanging out with Lisa Marie is a receipt against your lies because Lisa was also cool with MJ after the divorce and never ever said anything bad about him.

      • RMikasa Rouge October 9, 2017


    • Amber October 8, 2017

      You are full it. None of these folks were in MJ’s level. MJ was his OWN contender. And his guy was just a on hit wonder and his work after “wishing well” stunk. No, it was not MJ who messed up you career, it was YOU with your no good songs (and I use to be fan of your Darby).

      • NICOLE YOUNG October 8, 2017

        Totally agree with you Amber! Micheal was making hits when Darby was in kindergarten! Micheal is in a class by himself! He is the King! I use to love Darby too! Now I lost respect for him.

  3. AmbeRussell October 8, 2017

    The way how this industry is set up, putting 2 artist against each other, ears getting whispers saying “so and so is doing better than you and is coming for your throne” with low self-esteem and too big of an ego can make someone else’s career crumble. So I’m not going to deny this man’s claim bc this is HIS story and HIS truth. Far too often we hear these type of stories and say they are crazy blah blah blah so and so is too nice for that, while their public image is totally different than their behind the scenes image.

    • D October 8, 2017

      True story henny. Once upon a time someone would have called Tyra delusional if she said Naomi was out to ruin her career. Now even Naomi admits this may have been true because she heard Tyra was out to ruin hers. Celebs are insecure and good at acting as though they’re confident. Terrence slayed during his time and I can see why MJ and Prince would have been nervous in the same way I’m sure Cardi makes Nicki nervous.

      • Amber October 8, 2017

        Trya story does not mean it happen to someone else and Naomi admitted h(and you can tell by the way Naomi carries herself that she was catty. Plus that is the modeling world with women. we can be catty period no matter the profession).

      • Tai October 8, 2017

        Are you guys serious right now….MJ and Prince (especially Prince ) intimidated by him. He is not even on there level… He had two songs and they were good don’t get me wrong but nothing compared to those two legends. Why are people even questioning or entertaining this absurdity…….Smh…..

  4. Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

    There’s was no reason for MJ to be jealous of this guy or any other musician but he was, MJ was very insecure despite his many talents, he also seemed to have a superiority complex, he believed he was better than everybody in the music industry, even above his siblings, who were also jealous of his immense success. People like him are often surrounded by YES MAN people, it’s easy to get corrupted by the worship, I mean, you got artists who speak like Fifth graders telling other artists to bow down, insane 🤷🏼‍♂️

    • BeyHive October 8, 2017

      You trouble making dunce!

    • Jasmine October 8, 2017

      Nobody asked for your idiotic opinion. You say all that nonsense about MJ yet praise that old hag Madonna who was bussing it wide open for everything in hollywood from drug dealers to Bobby Brown to backup dancers. Now that old hag has to pay men to bang out that used up granny pnssy.

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        I’m more surprised by the fact that you didn’t think my comment was racist 🤣

      • Jasmine October 8, 2017

        What rock do you live under to not know that many of your comments are racist, discriminatory, insensitive, and negative mean generalizations of African Americans. I will continue to call you out whenever you make a racist comment until you apologize to me and everyone else of color. You do not get a pass for making a dumb comment on this post that does not involve racism.

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        Lol, Jasmine I actually like you, your hate towards me is funny 😄

    • Stephy October 8, 2017

      You can say the same about Madonna’s jealous ass.

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        Jealousy is a human trait, why y’all act like it was impossible that SAINT Michael could be jealous of someone?

      • Jasmine October 8, 2017

        Suicide this is 2017. You need receipts to back up whatever mean opinion you have. Otherwise your opinion is nonsensical and useless. I have numerous receipts that Madonna was a jealous hater and h o e that spread her legs wide for all of hollywood to bang out that smelly no walls pnssy!

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        I don’t speak to prove anything, I don’t care for MJ’s life, btw, stop using Madonna to provoke me, it’s not going to work, could care less about her life too, Madonna fans are proud of her evilness, that’s why we love them, she’s a b**** and proud of it.

      • Jasmine October 8, 2017

        Of course you are proud of that old h o e Madonna because she is your role model. She teached you how to spread it wide and have no walls, how to say subliminal racist comments, how to have no morals, and how to be an old hating queen of yester year.

      • Amber October 8, 2017

        Then suicide Blonde, Chill when it comes to others. MJ was the best. MJ may have ha insecures but I was not over his talent and Darby was no where near being no MJ. Yes, Darby can say what he want about MJ because Mj was the biggest star. say MJ name and people come running to talk. I bet if Darby was just talking in this interview and not use MJ in the title, No one would be commenting on it. That’s the influence of MICHAEL JACKSON.

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        LOL , this is why I love your comments 🤣 but she’s not my role model, although if I was a female she definitely would have been my role model 😊

      • Stephy October 8, 2017

        MJ definitely wasn’t a saint. He was an abused child turned insecure abuser genius with lots of mental problems. Madonna was just a narcissistic jealous woman for no reason… She was just flat out mean & nasty to MJ, Janet, Whitney, her own family members, Vanilla Ice, Mariah Carey etc…etc.. and for NO reason whatsoever. So don’t be acting like MJ was the only one… Even Prince was an arrogant POS back then as well.

      • Suicide Blonde October 8, 2017

        Again with Madonna, let it go, same thing can be say about literally every female singer out there, I already stated that we love her evilness so, I don’t care, now, you won’t come for Prince, he was ABOVE MJ and almost every other artist in the music industry, that man was unique.

      • Amber October 8, 2017

        Stephy, MJ did not abuse no child (proven IN COURT with FACTS and EVIDENCE that it was all lies even one witnesses ADMITTED he LIED on Mike on the witness stand. Clearly, you know nothing about the trial and the FACTS given from the courthouse in Santa Maria. Not Tabloid nonsense and hearsay) so do not bring in LIES to make an argument. You lost this debate when you made that statement in this post.

      • Amber October 8, 2017

        Sorry Shephy, You were saying MJ was an abuse kid. Now that is true. Sorry I misread you post. Suicide B, Prince was NOT above MJ. I will say this. Prince was a better musician (I think Rick James was better than Prince as a musician) than MJ but MJ was a better songwriter, singer, dancer, and overall entertainer (that is why MJ is called GREATEST ENTERTAINER to ever live. Even James Brown gave MJ his dues on being called this and NO ONE can take that away, not even you. But like you said, you love Madonna and evilness. smh

      • Stephy October 8, 2017

        Prince was more talented but that doesn’t give him the right to treat ppl like crap.

  5. Junebug October 8, 2017

    Bs I have my Darby first cd on my iPod fell in love with that album on camp lejune in the late 80s love it so much that when his next album came out I went in picked it up niether fishor whatever was horrible years past my he had another album come out call virbabtor or something like that horrible as well bad music nothing more nothing less make another wishing well and you’re be back on top

    • Amber October 8, 2017

      Exactly Junbug. His album after his first album was not good. That’s why he failed. Blame everything on MJ. If MJ wanted to so called ruin someone’s career (which I do not believe MJ would do. Was MJ competitive, YES, as anyone would be including Darby, Janet, Madonna, Prince, Whitney, etc but NOT jealous), there were plenty of others he could have aimed for who were better and doing better than Dabry.

  6. John Stamer October 8, 2017

    It seems like you only used Mike’s name to get clicks

  7. Jasmine October 8, 2017

    Who? This is some washed up drug addict using Michael’s name to try and make a comeback. Nobody is checking for this garbage. MJ did not make him a drug addict or prevent him from making music.

  8. Caleb October 8, 2017

    “I still have Madonna’s number. I can still call her and go: ‘What’s up, b****? What’s going on?’”

    The interviewer should have told him to demonstrate.

  9. Julia whitehead October 8, 2017

    Ludarcris !

  10. I.D. October 8, 2017

    The absolute SHADE of the photos you posted at the end of the article!!!!

  11. Julia whitehead October 8, 2017

    There’s good and there’s great! You were just good.

  12. Mark111 October 8, 2017

    I can see it. Prince was a problem for MJ, you had a younger Bobby Brown doing it and now this light skin pretty boy is popping on the same label and look like everything I paid for? It could have been just the label put MJ first because it’s freaking MJ, way more money to make and this dude could have been bitter from it. MJ did it to his own brother, look up Word To The Bad and how it only got a few days of play before MJ put the hammer down and made every radio stop playing it.

    But to think artist don’t play these games is dumb, MC was bitter over Jlo, and her fans can get mad all they want, but the label was giving JLO a full push. That was labels do, when the first artist is almost out the door, rather it’s age or their contract is ending, they will try to clone a new one. What you think Rita Ora was for Roc Nation, when Rih signed over, they dropped Rita like a screaming baby in 4 in the morning. Look at how many little singer/actress Disney cloned, even 3 at the same time with Miley, Selena and Demo, plus Hilary and Lohan years before.

    • Amber October 8, 2017

      If this goes on, it is the label. Jermaine was upset that MJ was not calling him and he wrote that song. MJ was carrying his brothers for too long even did the Victory tour to help them so it is a little bit more to the story than what you are saying. Prince was jealous and insecure if anyone was a jealous. He did not want to sing “we are the world” because MJ wrote it. Prince was jealous MJ was first black on tv getting heavy rotation (MJ broke that racial barrier), so again, I think MJ was competitive but not jealous. It was MJ who wanted Quincy Jones when Sony did not want Q to produce MJ (Q even told this story). MJ was always willing to share.

      • Amber October 8, 2017

        Michael was the first black on MTV. That was what I was saying. Sorry for the ypo.

    • Keegan A Parker October 8, 2017

      Yes God you did this I was going to literally put the same thing most people don’t know about the Jermaine Jackson song kill I live

  13. RoyalKev October 8, 2017

    I really don’t know which way to go with this one! If you take a little time and study some of these artists from time to time, those that have some insecurity will start to show it! MJ was very talented and probably had no reason to be threatened, but I’d be telling lies if I said he didn’t strike me that way from time to time. MJ almost seemed obsessed with Prince! I guess we can only speculate, but MJ did appear to keep an eye on his biggest competitors in a weird kind of way.

    • Amber October 8, 2017

      Being competitive is not the same as being jealous. Now to men, Prince was more of a jealous type (giving MJ a voodoo box, the way he tried to upstage MJ in Vegas but failed, did not want to sing the We are the World because Mj helped wrote it even looking silly at the Anniversary of the song at the Grammy was standing on stage eating a lollipop and Q was trying to lighting the mood but was not pleased, etc).

      • RoyalKev October 8, 2017

        It’s not just competitiveness , MJ was fixated on Prince! Prince had a horrible attitude! … Yes! For all I know, maybe Prince sparked the whole thing between them! I’ve just heard numerous remarks (made by MJ) that seem to come across as someone that’s insecure and a little threatened. Close sources said MJ watched clips of Prince messing up on stage for chuckles! Who does that?

  14. donna October 8, 2017

    Welp, he sabotaged his own brothers careers, so why not add Trent’s career to the list of careers Michael sabotaged!

  15. ANTHONEY LIVINGSTON October 8, 2017

    Well he’s good but only his imagination would think MJ would go there. Talent, voice, dance, music, videos. TTD no comparison. Don’t hate the players. You’re good but cannot compete

  16. 4u2See October 8, 2017

    I get it, can we all just say that all ya’ll know is Rihanna and Beyoncé? We get that it, you all don’t know any better than what they give you with no other competition, which is sad. They sneaked Cardi b in because she’s a rapper but I’ll be damned if they compose a new artist that can sing, dance, write, produce and play several instruments and it will mean nothing. It’s like an old relationship you all can’t get over.and he/she can come back to trap you again. He should’ve married a black woman like Sade, but ya’Ll got rihanna (GED) Good Enough Damnit music. Bawahaha

  17. James Jennings October 8, 2017

    As much as I like Terence Trent D’Arbys music, I too believe he is delusional. Michael was in a lane all by himself and so was Prince. I never really understood why Michael worried about Prince, because had HITS!! To me D’Arby appeared to me by appearance only, to be in Prince’s lane. But hey you never know, Michael could be insecure he’s human. At the end of the day, good music sells. If D’Arby second album was fire there would have been no getting dropped by the label. Great example is R. Kelly this man has been accused of being a child m*******. But he kept putting out great music and the masses brought it.

  18. Joey October 9, 2017

    I saw an interview w TTD. He had some good dance going on
    but he had no polish or style of his own.
    Michael filled up stadiums all over the World. What did TTD expect? He only showed Michael some moves to work into his routines. MANY famous well established choreographers did the same.
    Michael worked hard to open many doors for many ppl.
    I worked in the Industry all my life.
    You earn a red carpet walk. You don’t walk on the dead.
    Michael and his brothers paid their dues.
    As far as the jealousy …. I saw white musicians…male n female who were so jealous of Michaels rise to fame. Watch some old clips and you can see the
    “Snear” around their mouths talking about Michael.
    Ppl loved Michael so this little one can take his place. He should have talked to Michael back in the 1980’s when this alleged persecution happened.
    Man up at the time.
    Michael never fought back. It was against his religion. I was there for that too.

  19. T October 9, 2017

    What an idiot thing to say at this stage of the game. His 2nd album was not of the caliber of his 1st simple !

  20. Coolio October 9, 2017

    Im to young to know what happended to her.

  21. Ladi October 9, 2017

    Some of what he’s saying bears a ring of truth but this artist has issues

  22. Kevin McGhee October 9, 2017

    Well i don’t gis career waa sabotage. You have understand when Michael Jackson broke out to a solo capacity people loved him and when he sid thriller that shattered the music world especially when he did Motown 25 and introduced billt jean people went crazy i don’t know what Terence Trent talking about if anyone was taking advantage of was Michael Jackson when he did heal the world ro save the children he buult nether land so kid would to come have fun get health exams and treatment long existsance diseases that could not pay for it when he did that it started all kind of trouble for him just to give kida hope

  23. Truth October 9, 2017

    This is all true. It isn’t even a new accusation. Numerous sources have cited that MJ was in fact threatened by Terrance Trent D’Arby’s success, which was rivaling his Bad album. In the end, it was obviously benign, since Terrance’s pop career didn’t continue to thrive, but at the time he was definitely a rival for MJ…and it’s well know that MJ didn’t like having rivals. Anyone who was on the charts at the same time as him, and was having hits that were displacing his, he considered a threat. King of Pop or not, MJ was easily threatened.

    • Jasmine October 9, 2017

      Being “threatened” has NOTHING to do with sabotaging someone’s career. D’Arby is accusing MJ of sabotaging his career and you are writing a bunch of blah pretending to know MJ’s feelings when you are not MJ.

      • Dream October 9, 2017


  24. truthteller October 9, 2017

    He is clearly disillusional. MJ and Prince had more than one hit album under their belts before D’arby. Why would they be jealous of some flash in the pan? They had more reason to be jealous of George Michael who appealed to white America

  25. AdrianL October 9, 2017

    It’s no secret that Michael didn’t like competition. If another pop star was having huge hits and getting a lot of attention/praise while he had an album out, he felt threatened. MJ needed all eyes on him.

  26. Alicia Steward October 9, 2017

    Sounds true. You are real against the fake💞

  27. SMH October 9, 2017

    Welllll…..Michael Jackson was/is the Greatest Entertainer that ever lived, no questions. At the same time, he was also one of the most insecure, a trait he had in common with Madonna. And anyone who knows anything about Michael will agree that this story is not really that far fetched. I’ll just leave it at that lol.

  28. Dream October 9, 2017

    TERRENCE SOUNDS BITTER. Stop using Michaels name as ur jump off! your simply just didn’t have it Boo Boo.

  29. Avi October 9, 2017

    I believe this. Jackson family biographer j. Randy Taraborrelli said that Michael had a real petulant streak and would often throw temper tantrums over the success of her peers, D’Arby being one. MJ was fine with legends who came a generation before him and could tolerate the kids who came a generation after him, but had a hard time reconciling her own peers.

    • Avi October 9, 2017


  30. june nelson October 9, 2017

    I will repeat…DELUSIONAL, and the people stating that Prince or Michael was threatened by any of their peers must know them well, because I don`t think they were. They also respected each other

  31. june nelson October 9, 2017

    J Tamborelli is full of s*** he said a lot of s*** to sell his book and pacify the haters. Michael`s family loves him and people need to read Jermaine`s book about Michael

  32. A Mess A Kii A Cackle October 9, 2017


  33. T-Dub October 10, 2017

    First thing I want to say is that, as an artist, Terrence Trent d’Arby (Samada Maitreya) – like Michael and Prince – was a class act in his own accord and there absolutely was room to have 3 (and even more) explosive black artists during his tenure. From what I have read and have become to believe is that both Michael and Prince were very welcoming in giving fellow artists a platform to perform and shine, as they had their places in different spectrums in Pop music. To my knowledge during the 90’s, it is the record companies A&R groups that basically pull the strings as to how much popularity and, importantly, prosperity an artist or band has in the industry. This is something that they (Record and A&R execs) could not get a grip on from Prince, Michael Jackson and even James Brown – honorable mention: Ray Charles. Record companies do their best to gain and own the creativity and catalogue rights of every artist they sign in order to become filthy rich while denying the artist their just do. any resistance results in being dropped from the label which Michael and Prince knew record execs could not control because of their status in the business and name. I believe if Samada Maitreya had stood his ground it would of been the same. Madonna has definitely learned this and is the reason she is still around though her record sales are not that of when she was big in the 90s. You have to fight shrewd business with shrewd business.

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