‘Imagine If Chris Had Mike’s Team’: Akon Believes Bad Company and Lack of Guidance Ruined Chris Brown’s Chances at Being the Next Michael Jackson, Fans React 

Last summer, Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Chris Brown shut down a longstanding debate regarding who was the better entertainer between him and Michael Jackson. However, singer and entrepreneur Akon recently reignited that conversation after claiming Chris could’ve surpassed the “Thriller” musician had he kept a better group of people around him.

During a recent appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast, the Senegalese-American singer spoke about some of the last people he worked with before their passing, including Jackson and the late Whitney Houston. 

According to the Grammy-nominated star, “the only person in my opinion that could have achieved just as great as [sic] legacy as Mike to me would have been Chris Brown.” Akon explained his reasoning, saying, “I just believe that Chris Brown wasn’t surrounded by the circle of creative people that Mike was surrounded by because Chris got the talent. He just needed the direction.”

“Imagine if Chris had Mike’s team, just imagine that… it would be something different,” the “Lonely” singer told Sharpe. “Chris got Bloods around him–he got little gangbangers around him. He doesn’t have the guidance; he’s smart, but he’s smart according to what this generation’s ‘smart’ attracts: For me to survive in this area, I gotta keep certain things around me, certain people around me just so I can keep going.” 

Akon noted that if Chris “was able to delete all that and say ‘Look, I’m going to focus on being the greatest entertainer ever….Chris has the opportunity.” Shannon joked that it was too late for the R&B crooner to achieve that status, at least when it came to album sales, citing how streaming and other elements on the business side have shifted the music industry.

Akon’s remarks garnered mixed reactions on social media. Some supported the idea, including one user who claimed career controversies hindered Chris from being vetted with Michael and Whitney, citing the singer’s 2009 assault incident involving entertainer and fashion designer Rihanna. 

“Chris trajectory was to be the next Micheal Jackson,” that particular social media user argued. “The incident with Rihanna is the reason people won’t acknowledge Chris has been on Michael’s level when in actuality he’s the closest thing to him then and even now.”

Other fans saw it differently, including one Twitter user who wrote, “I think you are who you are! And the problem with this is we always want to compare someone’s legacy! Michael Jackson touched little boys but he still had a legacy…. “

Another added, “Ya’ll consistently sell Michael Jackson short with these ridiculous comparisons.”

Back to top