In a revelation that may surprise many, Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson were roommates back in the early 2000s when the ‘Thriller’ star moved into the Bee Gees’ Miami home.
Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson were lifelong friends.
The Bee Gees star and the King of Pop knew each other for decades and had many milestones together; becoming confidantes, godparents to one another’s children and eventually recording a duet together in 2002.
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So when Michael Jackson was at the height of his fame – and facing ever-increasing scrutiny from the media – he secretly escaped his Neverland Ranch home in the early 2000s and travelled to Miami, Florida, where he moved into Barry Gibb’s spare room.
Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and The Bee Gees pictured in 1997.
The eldest Gibb brother had lived in Miami since 1975 with his wife Linda and their five children, and Michael felt at home Barry’s spacious waterfront property.
Gibb has since said that his house become a safe haven for Michael and he granted him his privacy by never discussing the star’s upcoming court cases.
“He would come to Miami and stay in our house,” Barry told the Mirror in an interview.
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“He’d sit in the kitchen and watch the fans outside his hotel on TV, just giggling – ‘Hee hee!’ He lived upstairs for a while.
“[It was] right before his child-molestation trial. We never discussed the case.”
Barry went on to reveal the pair would get drunk and write songs together, and that they sometimes didn’t make it upstairs to bed.
“I never had that kind of fame. I managed to keep my distance, love and raise my kids and basically keep my sanity,” Barry Gibb said. Pictured: Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb with their children in Miami, Florida, March 1978
“We would just sit around and write and get drunk. Michael liked wine – there were a few nights when he just went to sleep on the floor.”
Barry Gibb also opened up about how even behind closed doors fame ‘consumed’ Michael and he struggled to relax.
“We spent weeks together, I got to know him pretty well, and he was very lonely and isolated,” he told Mojo.
“He would sit in my lounge dressed as if he was going on stage. It had basically taken over his whole life. He didn’t know how to be a normal person anymore. He wished he was somewhere else, or someone else.
“I never had that kind of fame. I managed to keep my distance, love and raise my kids and basically keep my sanity, to some extent. That’s probably my best achievement.”
In an interview with The Guardian published in December 2020, Barry Gibb said he eventually had to ask Michael to leave because the star was at his house all the time.
“I think Michael was just trying to escape the legal environment he was trapped in, he was visiting people he knew that he could relate to, because he didn’t know who his friends were.”
“He started to hang out at the house all the time and I had to get up in the morning; I’m 12 years older than him, I had to take my kids to school,” he said.
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“At some point, I said: ‘Michael, wherever it is you’re going, you’ve got to go.’ So,” Barry laughs, “I politely asked Michael Jackson to leave my house because I couldn’t get anything else done.”
It was during those intimate days in Miami that Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson wrote the anti-war song ‘All In Your Name’ in 2002.
Michael Jackson moved in with Barry Gibb and wife Linda (pictured in 1985). The pair have been together for 52 years.
“Michael Jackson and I were the dearest of friends, that’s simply what it was,” Barry said upon the release of the video for their duet in 2011.
“We gravitated towards the same kind of music and we loved collaborating and he was the easiest person to write with.”
“[All in Your Name is] the message that Michael wanted to send out to all of his fans all over the world,” continued Gibb. “That he did it all for them and for the pure love of music.”
Barry Gibb named one of his sons after Michael Jackson – who was also the boy’s godfather – and Jackson attended fellow Bee Gee Maurice Gibb’s funeral in 2003.
“We are devastated,” Barry Gibb said after MJ’s sudden death on June 25, 2009, with brother Robin Gibb adding: “We’ve not only lost a great friend in Michael, but also lost a wonderful sensitive human being.”