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Jay-Z Compares Beyoncé to Michael Jackson

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Aug 16, 2011 | 8:04am EDT

Though they're one of Hollywood's most secretive couples, the love Jay-Z and Beyoncé have for one another is well known. The fact they so rarely comment on their relationship makes the times they choose to elaborate on their love (or even just acknowledge that it exists) all the more significant. Time seemed to stop for everyone involved when Beyoncé was up on stage accepting her Grammy for Best Female Vocal Performance in January of 2010 and uncharacteristically said, "I'd love to thank my family for all of their support, including my husband. I love you." Cameras caught Jay-Z with a shocked look on his face, and Beyoncé told Access Hollywood when she was backstage, "I was so happy I could've said anything. That's why I ran offstage. I just looked up, and he was the first face I saw. And I was like, 'What did I just do? No, I didn't just say that.'" We witnessed even more of their affection this year, when Jay published a video of Beyoncé rehearsing backstage before she was to appear on American Idol with the caption of, "Sometimes you need perspective. You've been right in front of greatness so often that you need to step back and see it again for the first time. This is the dressing room rehearsal for American Idol. NO MICROPHONE. No effects."

But last night, die-hard Michael Jackson fans might think Jay-Z's latest praise for his wife goes a bit too far. Before attending a release party at Club Liv in South Beach, Jay called into the radio station, 99 Jamz, and said of his wife, "What I've learned from [Beyoncé] is similar to what I learned from Mike [Jackson] - and I know that's blasphemy to compare the two because Mike was such an innovator - but I think she's like the second coming. You know, the hard work and dedication that she puts into her shows. It just makes you want to work harder at your own craft. She's like a machine."

Now, most of what he said was complimentary of his wife. But the part where he acknowledges the danger in comparing Beyoncé to Michael Jackson is strange because the way he phrased it made it seem like he doesn't think his wife is original. Surely this isn't what Jay meant to say, simply because Beyoncé is actually quite unique. But it's interesting because not only did Jay probably offend the Michael Jackson fans who continue to mourn the King of Pop and think it's disrespectful to liken him to anyone, he also (however inadvertently) gave a little dig to his wife. Perhaps with a little bit more practice, he can clean sweep it next time.

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