Michael Jackson, the greatest pop artist that ever lived, has a career that spans more than 40 of his 50 years. On the 11th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death, let’s listen to the famous songs that have made Michael Jackson “monument” such as: ‘Heal The World’, ‘Billie Jean’ or ‘Black or White’.
1. Heal The World
Among the self-composed songs, “Heal The World” has always been the song that King of Pop Michael Jackson is most proud of. This humne song has been performed by children of all colors around the world and has a very powerful influence. The humanitarian messages about the fight against the war were sent by Michael Jackson in every word that moved generations of music lovers. Three years since the King of Pop died forever, the melody of “Heal The World” has always resonated and contributed significantly in changing the world, erasing all distances in space and time.
2. Billie Jean
“Billie Jean” is one of Michael Jackson’s most successful singles.
Debuted in 1983, “Billie Jean” made Michael Jackson become the first black artist in history to ever appear on MTV. At first this song was not liked by producer Quincy Jones, but when it was released, it suddenly achieved great success and became one of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs. The Moonwalk dance that the King of Pop performed every time he performed “Billie Jean” went down in the history of music and made great influence on many contemporary artists later on.
In 1983, Michael Jackson made music lovers all over the world shiver and amazed with the 14-minute “Thriller” music video. After its debut, “Thriller” quickly created a phenomenon of the entertainment industry and is now also recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful Video clip of all time. This is also one of the biggest budgeted music videos in the history of music with 500,000 USD – a huge number in the 1980s. The image of Michael Jackson turning into a werewolf under the moonlight in “Thriller” has become a classic symbol of the world music industry.
4. Earth Song
The environment is increasingly destroyed by human beings. Wars, earthquakes, fires, forests are being destroyed, rare animals are about to be extinct, sea level is rising, and Mother Earth is constantly crying … That’s what the lyrics of “Earth Song” talks about – the song that Michael Jackson performed with a troubled mood. With an emotional melody and a fierce MV, the “King of Pop” wants to alert people to environmental protection because the “paradise” we once had is slowly falling, let’s do everything we can to bring the Earth back to the way it once was.
“Ben” was one of the first singles to bring success to Michael Jackson. This track was released in 1972, when the King of Pop was only 14 years old. The song was also used as the soundtrack in the movie of the same name and this soundtrack was nominated “best movie soundtrack” both for the Golden Globe and an Oscar Award in 1973.
6. Smooth Criminal
Smooth Criminal is the seventh single from the album ‘Bad’ (1987). With a fast beat, the King of Pop continues to fascinate millions of audiences with his signature Moonwalk dance moves. Many contestants have chosen “Smooth Criminal” for their performances over the past years.
“Smooth Criminal” peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the sixth top 10 single from Bad. It also peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart.
Though “Smooth Criminal” was not one of the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, in retrospective reviews it has been regarded as one of the best songs on Bad and one of Jackson’s signature songs.
7. You Are Not Alone
“You are not alone” was released on August 15, 1995 as the second single from Michael Jackson’s ninth studio album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I.
The song’s corresponding music video, which featured Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley, featured scenes of semi-nudity. “You Are Not Alone” received a generally positive critical reception and was the recipient of Grammy and American Music Award nominations. The song was a commercial success. It holds a Guinness World Record as the first song in the then-37-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to debut at number one, and was later certified platinum by the RIAA.
“You are not alone” are also the words that millions of fans around the world sent Michael Jackson when he was gone forever on June 25, 2009.
8. Black or White
The song was released by Epic Records on November 11, 1991, as the first single from his eighth studio album, Dangerous.
As a standout single from the album Dangerous (1991), Black or White is considered a pinnacle of Michael Jackson’s career. This song has a vibrant sound with funny lyrics, but more than that, the “King of pop” wants to express his opinion on racial discrimination: whether you are white or black we all have equality. With the participation of child star Macaulay Culkin, “Black or White” is considered one of the best video songs of all time, and is also the most powerful statement of music on color discrimination in the world.
9. Gone Too Soon
The touching ballad “Gone Too Soon” is a gift from the King of Pop to commemorate the little friend Ryan White – who has hemophilia and HIV infection during a blood transfusion. Through this song, Michael Jackson wants to call on the government to make efforts to help HIV / AIDS patients and find ways to eliminate this century disease.
10. We Are The World – USA for Africa
“We Are the World” is a charity single originally recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa in 1985. It was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is the eighth best-selling physical single of all time.
Awarded numerous honors—including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and a People’s Choice Award—the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a VHS, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters, and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of “We Are the World” and raised over $63 million (equivalent to $147 million today) for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
The meaningful lyrics of this song seem to remind all that we are the world, we create the world and only we can make it better.