On Aug. 22, the music magazine unveiled the cover for the October/November issue of its U.K. edition, which featured the “As It Was” singer wearing only a pair of pink sequined boxers and a white fur coat while holding a lit birthday cake. Teasing its interview with Harry, the outlet printed as a subhead under the 28-year-old’s name: “How the new King of Pop set the music world flame.”
“There is no new King of Pop,” he wrote in response to Rolling Stone UK‘s tweet about the cover. “You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did. Decades of dedication and sacrifice.”
Saying that the “title has been retired” since Michael’s death in 2009, Taj urged the magazine to give Harry “his own unique title” instead of making it seem like he was succeeding the Thriller artist. “No disrespect to @Harry_Styles,” Taj added, “he’s mega talented.”
Other Twitter users also agreed with Taj, with one pointing out that someone “can’t be King of Pop with 2 albums.”
Another commenter quipped, “I like Harry but it’s the finest example of blowing smoke.”
While Harry has not publicly addressed Taj’s comment, he did note in his cover story with Rolling Stone that he rarely uses social media. In fact, he described Twitter as “a s–tstorm of people trying to be awful to people” in the profile, saying that the online comments about his personal life “doesn’t make me feel good.”
“It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something,” he said during the interview, which took place earlier this summer. “I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”
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