Michael Jackson is someone who needs no introduction. Also known as King of Pop, The Gloved One or MJ, he was one of the best-selling music artists to date. The best Michael Jackson songs, some of which are over three decades old, prove how MJ was a legendary musician.
Every generation, be it millennials or baby boomers, knows one or more songs by Michael Jackson. His death took the world by storm. Despite this, there are songs that are still being released as duets with other artists. An example of this is the song “Love Never Felt So Good” by Justin Timberlake.
Michael Jackson hit songs
Here is a list of the best songs by Michael Jackson. However, the list will exclude collaborations like the song “Scream” with his sister Janet Jackson or the songs that were released while he was part of the Jackson 5 like “I Want You Back”.
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1. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Billie Jean is one of the songs by MJ that is over 3 decades old. As you would expect, this single ranks among the highest selling hit songs of all-time. As a result, the song played a big role in making Thriller the album to be a best-selling release.
When listening to the song, you'll notice that it was the first song in which he introduced his hiccups singing style. After the release of Billie Jean, it became very popular and proceeded to win loads of awards and topping the Billboard Hot 100 for almost two months.
Once on a televised performance to Billie Jean, MJ broke out the famous moonwalk earning his title as King of Pop even more.
2. Black or White – Michael Jackson
Black or White is a powerful song about race. Upon its release, it topped charts across the globe. It became Billboard’s Hot 100 number one in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. In addition to that success, it is worth noting that over 500 million people watched the television premier of its intriguing music video, which introduced the now well-known model, Tyra Banks.
3. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
This song has MJ showcasing his dance moves as he is trying to win over a woman. His crazy and very entertaining dance moves could be what made him win over the woman.
4. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
After departing from Motown, MJ released Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough as his first solo. Notably, he's the wrote the entire song. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough has a disco vibe that will make you move to the beat. Thanks to this mega hit, Michael Jackson scooped his first Grammy.
5. Rock With You – Michael Jackson
Rock With You is record that clearly showcases MJ’s smooth vocals whilst making us boogie along. In the Rock With You video, MJ is in a shiny outfit that was a representation of all the disco craze back in those days. That dress code drew many people to watch the video and in the process, listen to the song.
6. Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
Anyone who has heard this song, has wondered; who is Annie and is she really okay? This song became one of MJ’s signature tune. It is also remembered for its music video where MJ and his dancers broke out the ‘anti gravity lean’ move which I’m certain most people have tried doing once or twice.
This song was covered by the cast of Glee which sold 108000 digital copies and was number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 which is more proof of how great of a song MJ had.
7. Thriller – Michael Jackson
Thriller is often remembered for its video as it features dancing zombies. How thrilling! Thriller the album has won itself 33 times Platinum status and in the process becoming the best-selling album with 66 million sales.
8. They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson wrote this song in a time where social injustices were starting to get noticed by people in the world. This included hate crimes mostly concerning race and cultures.
Two versions of this song were released i.e. The Prison Version and Brasil Version.
While still making sure to sing about matters that are affecting the world, the harmony and drum beats used in the song make it very infectious.
9. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
This song gives all the feelings for the inspiring message it conveys which could be why it became MJ’s 4th straight song to top charts and gave him a Grammy nomination. Incorporating his trademark vocal hiccups, this song preaches change and is still relevant to date to anyone who wants to impact change in the world or even in their lives.
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10. Bad – Michael Jackson
Whenever you are on a train or subway station, this song might come in mind. Picturing yourself in an all leather black outfit and leading a group of dancers dancing all over the place as portrayed in the music video. This song really did show the world who is bad and gives you the same feels when you listen to it.
11. Earth Song – Michael Jackson
Earth Song was one of MJ’s self conscious songs which shone the light to global problems. The video to this song helped many people see the world and the problems in it as it was shot in different locations including Tanzania, The Amazon Rainforest, Croatia and South West New York to show the world what was happening in these places.
12. Beat It – Michael Jackson
The video to Beat It was televised all over which popularized him internationally making him win a Grammy. The rock theme to the song and choreographed dance moves makes the song super catchy.
13. You Rock My World – Michael Jackson
Featuring actor and comedian Chris Tucker, this video has him and MJ trying to make a woman like them. The video is a good 13 and a half minutes long which was why a shortened version was released.
14. Heal The World - Michael Jackson
The title of this song says it all. It encourages people to heal the world from poverty, sadness and from anything that makes the world such a dark place. It was one of MJ’s philanthropic songs. He opened Heal the World Foundation, a charity focused on improving children’s lives.
15. Blood On The Dance Floor - Michael Jackson
Susie, the woman who Michael Jackson is singing about in Blood On The Dance Floor, seduces him so that she can kill him. This song is in his remix album.
16. One More Chance - Michael Jackson
This song was the last original single Michael Jackson did. Different from most of the songs he did, he updated his sounds to fit in more to the 20th Century but keeps his soulful vocals. It a slow song that explains how with love, you can conquer anything that is thrown at you.
17. Leave Me Alone - Michael Jackson
MJ wrote this song targeting the media who would not leave him alone. The media can either build you or break you and in Michael Jackson’s case, they did both. Well, technically this song brought more attention to him. Ironic. He compares the media as an ex who would not leave him alone.
18. Stranger in Moscow - Michael Jackson
MJ wrote Stranger in Moscow when he was facing the accusations of child molestation. The song explains how felt isolated and alienated from the world during that difficult time. It was MJ’s slowest song in terms of melody and sound.
R. Kelly wrote this song. Categorised as a gospel song, the video to this song featured a real life gospel group. This song will probably make you cry as the sound, the picture and even the scenes the song was shot at, is so moving. It includes many people of different races, ages and ethnicities who are holding hands as they are overlooking mountains, in a beach and also in a forest. As the song ends, the group of people all clap their hands as they sing in harmony, giving the song a well deserved ending which is indeed a tear dropper.
A film with the same name was produced. The music video was extracted from the film.
Whether its singing about issues that affect the world or about the woman he wants, Michael Jackson’s songs are still relatable to date. Charts were dominated by a list of Michael Jackson songs from the 90's while the airwaves played best Michael Jackson 80's songs crowning him the unchallenged king in those centuries.
You could be a super Michael Jackson fan or going down memory lane to the songs of Michael Jackson, listening to the top Michael Jackson songs or watching Michael Jackson video songs will leave you with mixed emotions which shows that Michael Jackson will forever be missed and his legacy and songs will live forever.
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