"'There were times when I had great times with my brothers, pillow fights and things, but I was, used to always cry from loneliness."
"Well, especially now I come to realize - and then - I would do my schooling which was three hours with a tutor and right after that I would go to the recording studio and record, and I'd record for hours and hours until it's time to go to sleep."
"Well, you don't get to do things that other children get to do, having friends and slumber parties and buddies. There were none of that for me. I didn't have friends when I was little. My brothers were my friends."
"I remember one time we were getting ready to go to South America and everything was packed up and in the car ready to go and I hid and I was crying because I really did not want to go, I wanted to play. I did not want to go."
"I remember going to the recording studio and there was a park across the street and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead."
"People wonder why I always have children around. It's because I find the thing that I never had through them. Disneyland, amusement parks, arcade games — I adore all that stuff because when I was little, it was always work, work, work."
Michael Jackson, interview with Oprah Winfrey, 1993
"When I was little I grew up in an adult world. I grew up on stage. I grew up in night clubs. When I was seven, eight years old I was in nightclubs. I saw striptease girls take off all their clothes. I saw fights break out. I saw people throw up on each other. I saw adults act like pigs. That's why to this day I hate clubs. I don't like going to clubs - I did that already, I've been there. That's why I compensate now for what I didn't do then. So when you come to my house, you'll see I have rides, I have a movie theatre, I have animals. I love animals - elephants and giraffes and lions and tigers and bears, all kinds of snakes. I get to do all those wonderful things that I didn't get to do when I was little, because we didn't have those things. We didn't have Christmas. We didn't have sleepovers. We didn't have school, we had private school when we were touring. I didn't go to a state school. We tried it for two weeks and it didn't work. It was very difficult. It's hard growing up a celebrity child. Very few make that transition from child star to adult star. It's very difficult. I relate to Shirley Temple. I met her in San Francisco and I sat at her table and I cried so bad. She said, 'What's wrong Michael?' I said, 'I love you. I need to be around you more.' She goes, 'You're one of us, aren't you?' and I said 'Yes, I am.' Somebody else said, 'What do you mean?' and she said, 'Michael knows what I mean.' And I know exactly what she meant - to have been there as a child star and to have graduated to have succeeded in making that transition to fame as an adult is very difficult. When you're a child star people don't want you to grow up. They want you to stay little forever. They don't want you to work afterwards. It's very hard."
Michael Jackson in Gold Magazine interview, 2002
"I don´t like clubs now, I did all that when I was eleven, eight and going back - nine, eight, seven, six. Fights break out, people throwing up, yelling, screaming, the police sirens. Our father never let us become a part of it other than to perform and leave. But sometimes in having to do that you would get caught up in some of the craziness. I saw it all. The lady who came on right before, when The Jacksons were little.´And now next, the little Jackson 5´, was the lady who took off all her clothes. Threw her panties into the audience and the men would grab them and sniff them. I saw all this. Her name was Rose Marie and she put these things on her breasts and moved them around and she showed everything. So when I became sixteen, seventeen, and guys would say: ´Let´s go clubbing,´ I would go, ´Are you crazy?´ And the guys were like, ´No, are you crazy? We can get girls, we can get liquor.´ But I had done that. I did that when I was baby. Now I want to be a part of the world and the life I didn´t have. Take me to Disneyland, take me to where magic is."
Michael Jackson in MJ Tapes
"When I was a kid, I was denied not only a childhood, but I was denied love. When I reached out to hug my father, he didn't hug me back. When I was scared on an airplane, he didn't put his arm around me and say, ´Michael, don't worry. It's going to be OK.´ When I was scared to go on stage, he said, ´get your ass on that stage.´ … I will never deny a child love. If it means that I have to be crucified or put in jail for it, then that's just what they're going to have to do.
Michael Jackson in remark to producer Cory Rooney, as repeated to Chris Yandek (https://thesportsinterview.com/mjackson.html)
"When people see the television appearances I made when I was a little boy — 8 or 9 years old and just starting off my lifelong music career — they see a little boy with a big smile. They assume that this little boy is smiling because he is joyous, that he is singing his heart out because he is happy, and that he is dancing with an energy that never quits because he is carefree.
But while singing and dancing were, and undoubtedly remain, some of my greatest joys, at that time what I wanted more than anything else were the two things that make childhood the most wondrous years of life, namely, playtime and a feeling of freedom. The public at large has yet to really understand the pressures of childhood celebrity, which, while exciting, always exacts a very heavy price.
More than anything, I wished to be a normal little boy. I wanted to build tree houses and go to roller-skating parties. But very early on, this became impossible. I had to accept that my childhood would be different than most others. But that’s what always made me wonder what an ordinary childhood would be like."
Michael Jackson in his reflection "My Childhood, My Sabbath, My Freedom," December 2000
"My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood — those were exchanged for hard work, struggle and pain and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price, I cannot re-create that part of my life.
However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents. The sound… of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic. Wonder fills our hearts, for what we have glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.
And that’s why I love children and learn so much from being around them. I realise that many of our world’s problems today — from the inner city crime, to large scale wars and terrorism, and our overcrowded prisons — are a result of the fact that children have had their childhood stolen from them. The magic, the wonder, the mystery, and the innocence of a child’s heart, are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world. I really believe that.
What… what we need to learn, what we need to learn from children isn’t childish. Being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life which is everpresent, and only asks to be lived. They know the solutions that lie waiting to be recognised within our own hearts. Today, I would like to thank all the children of the world, including the sick and deprived… I am so sensitive to your pain."
Michael Jackson´s speech at Grammy Awards, 1993
"But, if you really want to know about me, there is a song I wrote which is the most honest song I've ever written. It is the most autobiographical song I've ever written. It's call CHILDHOOD."