Jackson was pleased with the list. But when Payne asked if there was anyone else he wanted to work with, Jackson named the 2009 breakthrough artist.
“Michael literally told me, ‘You got to get into her,'” Payne said. “‘She’s good.'”
Jackson’s admiration for Lady Gaga sparked Payne’s interest.
“I started listening to her music more and went onto YouTube to look at her performances, and I was like, ‘You’re right.'”
Ironically, in November, Payne received a call from Lady Gaga. He initially thought getting the call was strange, but thought of his conversation with Jackson.
“I told her the story,” Payne said. “Of course she got moved by it.”
Payne wound up directing and choreographing Lady Gaga’s performance on the American Music Awards, as well as her sets on “Ellen,” “The Jay Leno Show” and “X-Factor.”
Michael Jackson often collaborated with other artists. He and Lionel Richie wrote and performed “We Are The World,” the song that brought together dozens of artists and raised millions to fight famine in Africa. Throughout his career, Jackson worked on separate projects with the likes of Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder.