Michael Jackson’s friend ‘knew the real reason’ he wore single white glove on right hand

Michael Jackson’s friend ‘knew the real reason’ he wore single white glove on right hand

A single white glove became a signature accessory for Michael Jackson over the course of his career and actor Cicely Tyson said that she had been aware of the motivation behind him wearing it

A single white glove became a signature accessory for Michael Jackson during his career

Michael Jackson first had a glove designed for him to “camouflage” signs of the skin condition vitiligo, according to someone who knew him in an unearthed interview.

A single white glove became a signature accessory for the late singer – who died in 2009 – over the course of his career, with him often wearing it on his right hand.

Vitiligo is a condition where the skin loses its colour in patches most commonly on the face, neck and hands.

It is caused by the lack of melanin – the pigment in skin – and affects one in every one hundred people.

Late actor Cicely Tyson – who’s understood to have known Michael – spoke about the creation of his glove whilst she was discussing the singer at his memorial service in 2009.

A single white glove was a signature accessory for the late Michael Jackson

Late actor Cicely Tyson spoke about the accessory in 2009 following Michael’s death

Cicely – who starred in films like Sounder (1972) and later appeared in the series How to Get Away With Murder – spoke about Michael in an interview with CNN at the time.

She told correspondent Don Lemon that she had shared a fashion designer with Michael, reportedly in the 1980s. She went on to discuss the designer working on a glove.

Cicely had recalled: “All of a sudden, [my designer] said to me ‘I’m doing this glove for Michael’. Well, Michael was beginning to develop the vitiligo and it started on his hand.”

She claimed that the accessory had been created to cover signs of the condition, with her saying: “The glove was to camouflage it. That’s how that glove came into being.”

Asked how she knew that, Cicely – who later passed away in 2021 – said to the correspondent during her interview about the late singer: “I was there when he was creating it”.

Michael reportedly first wore a single white glove in 1983, according to the Independent, and he’s quoted as later saying: “I felt that one glove was cool… wearing two gloves seemed so ordinary.”

Michael spoke about having a skin condition in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in the 1990s

Michael had shared that he had a skin condition during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, seemingly refering to vitiligo. He suggested there was a family history of it.

Oprah said to him: “The colour of your skin is obviously different than it was when you were younger”. She said there was speculation about him potentially bleaching his skin and asked: “Is your skin lighter because you don’t like being Black?”.

Michael – who said that he wasn’t aware of skin bleaching – addressed the speculation saying: “This is the situation, I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin.”

He continued: “It’s something I cannot help, okay? […] But when people make up stories that I don’t want to be what I am it hurts me […] It’s a problem for me. I can’t control it.”

Asked when he had noticed that his skin had “started to change,” Michael explained to host Oprah that it was “sometime after Thriller,” which was released in 1982.

Michael shared during the interview with the broadcaster that he used makeup to manage blotchiness but seemingly dismissed the suggestion that he had bleached his skin.

Oprah later said: “I think in 1993 nobody understood what it was. Nobody knew anything about vitiligo. I could see that that was one of the areas that was very sensitive to him, obviously.”