Chris Tucker says he once turned around a private jet to fly right back to New York — after already landing in Los Angeles — because Michael Jackson wanted to see him.

The 51-year-old comedian told GQ that starring in the ‘Rush Hour’ franchise helped launch him to fame. Additionally, it even provided him the opportunity to meet the music legend, who is one of his childhood heroes.

Tucker Recalls The Time He First Met Michael Jackson, Having Turned A Plane Around To Do So

“I was in New York for two days waiting to meet MJ,” Tucker recalled. “I took a private jet there. I said, well, I ain’t heard from him, I got to go. Took a private jet back to LA, and as soon as I landed, I had a message: ‘Michael Jackson wants to meet you tomorrow morning.’”


The actor said he immediately told the captain that money was not an issue. He asked the pilot to take him back to New York before even stepping foot on Los Angeles soil.

“I was still on the plane. I went up to the captain and said, ‘I’ll pay you whatever you want to take me back to New York.’”

Tucker Credits Michael Jackson For Encouraging Him To Make More Movies In Hollywood

Tucker told the outlet that the two eventually became close friends, with Jackson pushing him to make more movies in Hollywood.

“He used to always say, ‘Let’s make history,’” Tucker told GQ. “‘We want to see more of you, Chris! What are you doing?’”

RELATED: Chris Tucker Explains Why He Never Appeared In Any Other ‘Friday’ Films

Tucker added that on Jackson’s advice, he’s only worked on film roles that really inspire him ever since ‘Rush Hour’ came out in 1998.

Chris Tucker And Michael Jackson: A Friendship Retrospective

Jackson and Tucker enjoyed a long and close friendship in the years before the former’s death in 2009. Tucker even appeared on stage with Jackson for his 30th-anniversary celebration tour in 2001.

Additionally, the actor also starred in Jackson’s 13-minute music video for “You Rock My World” in 2001.

Today, Tucker will be making his return to the big screen and is set to star in ‘Air,’ a film produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It reportedly chronicles basketball icon Michael Jordan’s influence on Nike in the 1980s.

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