The star claims the system turned on him when success hit and labelled him "a freak"...

Michael Jackson has delivered another shot across the bows of the record industry, claiming this time that the system turned on him when success hit and labelled him “a freak”.

Speaking yesterday (June 9) again at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s Music Industry Initiative summit, from where he delivered his “industry is racist” volley on Saturday (July 6), the fading self-styled King Of Pop also attempted to divert attention from his squabble with Sony and turn to wider questions of rights and recognition for black artists.

“I’m tired of the manipulation,” he said. “The press has manipulated the truth. They’re liars. History books are a lie. You need to know this, you must know this, that all forms of popular music, from jazz to rock to hip-hop, and dance, from the jitterbug to the Charleston, are black. But go down to the corner bookstore, and you won’t see one black person on a cover. You’ll see Elvis Presley. You’ll see the Rolling Stones. But where are the real pioneers?”

He went on: “Once I started breaking sales records – I broke Elvis Presley‘s record, I broke The Beatles‘ record — once I started doing that, overnight, they called me a freak, a homosexual, a child molester. They said I bleached my skin. They did everything they could to turn the public against me. It’s a conspiracy.” Pointedly, he added: “I know my race. I look in the mirror, and I know that I’m black.”

[/a] was joined on the platform by Sharpton and celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran, MTV reports. He picked out recently deceased songwriting legend Otis Blackwell – the man who penned classics ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘All Shook Up’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire’ as a black artist who never received the plaudits or financial rewards he deserved. “They didn’t write one book about him that I know of, and I’ve searched the world over,” [a] said. “And he was a prolific, phenomenal writer.”