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Cocker's Contempt for Jackson at Brits

London The 19th of February 1996 AD

The Brits have had their moments, not all of them planned: John Prescott getting soaked by a member of Chumbawumba; and botty-cringe co-presenters Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood in 1989. But the one that really sticks in the memory is the 1996 ceremony when Jarvis Cocker of Pulp ran on stage during a performance by Michael Jackson.
Jackson was singing Earth Song on the Earlís Court Exhibition Centre Stage. The organisers must have been happy to secure a rare performance by the self-styled King of Pop, but someone should have had serious worries about the stage-show he put on: Jacko, whose relationships with children were controversial, surrounded by adoring kids and a rabbi, the singer appearing as a Messiah-figure in white. Even for non-believers Jackson regarding himself as a martyr with healing powers was hard to stomach. Cocker apparently found it sick-making and stormed the stage, performing a discreetly trousered moon to demonstrate his feelings. Jackson was visibly shocked at someone expressing outright contempt for him.
In the furore surrounding Cockerís gesture, the awards sometimes get forgotten: Paul Weller winning Best British Male Solo; Annie Lennox taking the female equivalent; and Oasis winning best album, video and group, and throwing in a bit of controversial banter for good measure.

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