Prince Jams With James Brown, Michael Jackson (August 20th, 1983)
Michael Jackson was Prince's chief rival in the Eighties, and James Brown once had some less than flattering things to say about Prince's performance, which he said copied Brown's. Yet the three formed a jaw-dropping alliance in 1983, when Brown invited first Jackson and then Prince onstage at Hollywood's Beverly Theater to jam with him. "Prince, you gotta do something!" the Godfather of Funk commands, and Prince – already royalty himself – takes a guitar and obliges. While Brown looks on, grinning, Prince busts into a scratchy, gloriously fractured, Hendrix-meets-Catfish Collins workout. Then Prince strips his torso bare and proceeds to out-Godfather the Godfather with his acrobatic footwork and raw sex appeal. If ever the torch was passed, consciously or not, it was at this moment.