It’s Bobby Brown’s prerogative to claim that he taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk — but “outraged” sources including longtime Jackson family friend and publicist Steven Manning tells Confidential that his story is way off the wall.
Brown made headlines last week when he told “The Cipher Show” podcast that it was he who taught the King of Pop how to do one of the most famous dance steps of all time.
But people close to Jackson and Jeffrey Daniel of the band Shalamar tell us that it was Daniel who taught Jacko the “Back Step,” which the “Beat It” singer mastered and rebranded as “The Moonwalk.” In fact, Manning vividly recalls Jackson hosting Brown and his New Edition bandmates in his home and insists there was no moonwalking going on.
“I invited the New Edition to have dinner at the Jacksons’ Havenhurst estate in December of 1983,” Manning says. “It was right before Christmas. La Toya, Michael and Janet hosted the dinner.”
The moonwalk leapt into mainstream pop culture after Jackson performed the move while singing “Billie Jean” on the May 1983 TV special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” That would have been seven months before Brown came to the Jacksons’ home, according to Manning. New Edition’s debut album “Candy Girl” came out in March 1983.
“The timeline isn’t even right,” Manning notes.
Another insider familiar with that dinner party recalled there was no dancing or music at all and “chicken cutlets, corn dogs, salad, rice and beans” were served.
Bobby Brown preforms during Valentine’s Music Festival at James L. Knight Center on February 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. He recently claimed to have taught Michael Jackson to moonwalk.
That source tells us it was at that holiday dinner where Brown met Janet Jackson, whom he briefly dated after Jackson’s marriage to James DeBarge ended.
“Joseph (Janet’s dad) ended that because he thought Bobby was too wild for Janet,” says that source. “As far as I know, Michael was never around Bobby much after that. It’s awful that Bobby is trying to change history.”
As Brown told the story to “The Cipher Show,” he was indeed with his bandmates at Jackson’s home when he taught MJ to moonwalk.
“He saw me do the moonwalk,” Brown told “The Cipher Show,” claiming that Jackson asked him, “What is that?” prompting him to repeat the dance step for Jacko.
“(Jackson) just started doing it,” said Brown, who claimed he learned the move from a guy in Alabama whom he didn’t name in the interview.