Wyclef Jean Froze Up When Meeting Michael Jackson

'I go to shake his hand -- and my whole voice box goes out," former Fugees frontman recalls.

[artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] possessed the sort of fame that was so sweeping and intense that it defied comprehension. Even when he was out of the spotlight, he still commanded fawning, sometimes aggressive crowds whenever he went out in public. That mania wasn’t limited to just normal everyday fans, either — even other famous people, who are accustomed to fame being in the public eye, still swooned and stammered when Jackson was in the room.

In an interview that ended up not being included in MTV’s “Michael Jackson’s Human Nature” special, which aired over the weekend, former Fugees frontman [artist id="1162"]Wyclef Jean[/artist] admitted as much when he recalled meeting Jackson in 1997. The two worked together briefly on a recording session for the remix album Blood on the Dance Floor (the track never saw the light of day) and Wyclef admitted that the prospect of meeting Jackson was overwhelming.

“When I knew he was coming, I went to the bathroom, put some water on my face and I was rehearsing how I would be talking to Mike,” he said. “When I was in the presence of Michael Jackson, I go to shake his hand — and my whole voice box goes out. This is the kind of effect that this man had on me!”

Jean said that even his bodyguards, who tended to shrug off everything, got wound up once Jackson was in the room. But as he explained, Jackson’s music was such a huge part of everybody’s development that they couldn’t help but get excited.

“When somebody is the soundtrack of your life, you can just imagine,” he said. “Michael Jackson and Bob Marley — those were the soundtracks of my life.”