• Bill Bellamy Recalls 'Acting Like Kids' with Biggie Smalls Over Meeting Michael Jackson for the First Time (Exclusive)

    Actor and comedian Bill Bellamy has an epic personal database of memories to share from an incredible pop culture era: the '90s. Discussing his new book Top Billin': Stories of Laughter Lessons and Triumph — out April 25 — the former MTV VJ told PEOPLE how rewarding the writing process was while documenting those iconic instances. Recounting the groundbreaking time he spent as one of the network's first Black VJs, the TV pioneer shared one of the more "surreal" moments. "I'm on stage [at the VMAs], I give the award to Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, and I'm on stage with Biggie," Bellamy, 58, exclusively tells PEOPLE of sharing the moment with the late rapper, also known as the late great Notorious B.I.G.

    On that night in September 1995, Michael and Janet won three music video awards, known as Moonmen at the time, for their "Scream" collaboration that year.

    "It was funny because it turns out it was Biggie's first time meeting Michael Jackson, too," he laughs after mimicking the "Big Poppa" singer's signature voice. "'Can you believe it man, it's 'Scream,' man.'"

    "So me and Biggie was acting like kids, cuz we're in the game, but they're in THE GAME!" Bellamy continues of meeting the brother-and-sister duo. "It was just surreal."

    Expanding on that notable time in pop culture history, the Top Billin' by Breakbeat Media podcast host shares:

    "That's what's going to happen when people read my book. They're going to remember where they were, they're gonna go, 'Oh my God, I remember that, I was in high school, I was in college, I was 8 years old.'"

    "That's like me saying to my parents, 'I wish I could have seen Elvis [Presley] live,' " Bellamy compares of meeting the late "King of Pop," who died in 2009 at age 50, but missing out on the possibility of meeting the "King of Rock n' Roll," who died in 1977.

    Bellamy would later become friends with Janet Jackson, now 56. "What Janet was doing at that time was incredible for females," he says, noting the "baton" pass from Madonna, 64, who began her reign in the mid-1980s and through the '90s as hip-hop culture further emerged to the masses.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. NotoriousBiggieSmalls's Avatar
      Bill is mistaken. This Time Around was already out since June of that year on the album.