MICHAEL JACKSON & MADONNA
I recall reading in the '90s that Michael Jackson and Madonna attempted to collaborate on the song "In the Closet" from the former's album "Dangerous" but could not reach an agreement. Do you know who the female voice credited as "Mystery Girl" might be? Is it Madonna?
Luis A. Gonzalez
You're correct that two of pop music's heaviest hitters at the time wound up not combining forces on "In the Closet." Still, the song features another notable name. "Mystery Girl" was, believe it or not, Princess Stephanie of Monaco (as noted in Joel Whitburn's "Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits"), who pursued a music career in the late '80s/early '90s. In the song's video, supermodel Naomi Campbell lip-synched the "Mystery Girl" vocals.
But why take my word on the matter? View this YouTube clip in which Madonna herself discussed details of the proposed partnership.
Regardless, "In the Closet" became a big hit for Jackson, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in 1992.
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.