Michael Jackson's fans wanna be startin' something with Sam Smith after an online post showed him dissing the King of Pop. People reports the British singer was recently kicking back on a boat with American Idol finalist Adam Lambert and other friends when Lambert started recording their conversation, at one point training the camera directly on Smith. "I don't like Michael Jackson, but this is a good song," Smith said as Jackson's "Human Nature" played in the background. Lambert posted the clip to his Instagram, though the swift reaction to Smith's MJ jab soon forced Lambert to take the post down (Music News Facts captured a copy before it was removed). In general, that reaction was not kind to Smith, especially since, as EW notes, the "Stay With Me" crooner has mentioned R&B singers such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as influences on his own music.
In addition to regular folks ripping on Smith—with one describing the 26-year-old as a "boring, mediocre, dull, middle of the road cringeworthy crooning sad sack"—some bigger names also came to the late Jackson's defense. "Don't come for MICHAEL JACKSON when you wish you have sold as many records and you wish you were the King of Pop like he was," Stephanie Mills, star of Broadway's The Wiz who says she once dated Jackson, posted. USA Today also notes outrage from Jackson's nephew TJ Jackson, who tweeted: "Sam Smith made a career on singing R&B/soul music. So to look into a camera and disregard one of its pillars is ignorant, disrespectful and arrogant." The irritation at Smith wasn't universal, however. "Not everyone likes the same music/artists. The world be boring if the world only liked or disliked the same things," one commenter posted, per Essence. (Read more Sam Smith stories.)