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33 Of The Greatest Michael Jackson Songs Of All Time

Happy Birthday to The King Of Pop.

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1. Thriller

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Album: Thriller

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton

Fun Facts: Temperton, originally titled the song Starlight, before changing it to Thriller. The song features a voice-over from actor, Vincent Price.

The Making Of Thriller Extra

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The music video for Thriller was directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf In London, Trading Places, Coming To America). The 13-min music video was MTVs first world premiere video. Thriller was voted as the most influential pop music video of all time.

2. Rock With You

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Album: Off The Wall

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton

Fun Facts: "Rock With You" reached number one on the Pop and R&B charts. It was the fourth biggest single of 1980, according to Billboard.

3. Billie Jean

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Album: Thriller

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: Quincy Jones wanted to change the title to "Not My Lover" because he thought it would be confused with Billie Jean King, the tennis star.

4. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

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Album: Off The Wall

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" remained at #1 for six-weeks on the Billboard Soul charts. It earned MJ his first solo Grammy and American Music Awards.

5. Beat It

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Album: Thriller

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: In 1983 "Beat It" won Grammy Awards for Record of The Year and Best Rock Vocal Performance. Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo.

Eat It (Beat It Parody)

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In 1984 comedy music artist, "Weird Al" Yankovic released Eat It, a parody of Beat It. Weird Al won a Grammy for the song.

6. Scream

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Album: HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I

Producer/Writer: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Michael Jackson, and Janet Jackson

Fun Facts: The Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo) directed video, cost $7 million. Scream is primarily directed at the tabloid press.

7. Man In The Mirror

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer(s): Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Siedah Garrett, Glenn Ballard

Fun Facts: "Man In The Mirror" was the 4th consecutive #1 hit from Bad. The Andrae Crouch Gospel Choir sang on the song.

8. Bad

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The Departed) directed the video. The long version runs 17-min. Wesley Snipes (The Blade Trilogy, Passenger 57) co-starred with MJ in the video.

Badder

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Badder is a kid version of "Bad" from Moonwalker. If you grew up in the 80's you may recognize some of the kids. The actor Brandon Quintin Adams (The Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot) as a young MJ, singing group The Boys (Dial My Heart, Crazy), and actress Nikki Cox (Unhappily Ever After, The Klumps).

9. Dirty Diana

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: Michael wrote the song about aggressive groupies that followed the band.

10. Remember The Time

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Album: Dangerous

Producer/Writer: Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, and Bernard Belle

Fun Facts: The star studded music video was directed by John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice). Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Magic Johnson appear in the video.

11. Another Part Of Me

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jackson and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: "Another Part Of Me" was the last song chosen for the Bad album. It's the closing theme song for MJ's 3D Disney movie, Captain EO.

We Are Here To Change The World/Another Part Of Me (Captain EO)

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"Captain EO" is a Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) directed 3D science fiction film, starring Michael Jackson as Captain EO. The film is shown at Disney theme parks. The Supreme Leader in the film was played by Anjelica Houston (Prizzi's Honor, The Addams Family).

12. ABC

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Album: ABC (Jackson 5)

Producer/Writer: The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizzell, and Deke Richards)

Fun Facts: "ABC" was the Jackson 5's second #1 hit. In 1991 the rap group Naughty by Nature's hit song "OPP" sampled this song.

13. I Want You Back

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Album: Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5

Producer/Writer: The Corporation

Fun Facts: "I Want You Back" was the first single released by the Jackson 5 on Motown. It launched their career and shot to #1.

14. They Don't Care About Us

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Album: HIStory

Producer/Writer: Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing, Inside Man) directed both videos for the controversial song.

They Don't Care About Us (2nd Version)

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Directed by Spike Lee

15. Off The Wall

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Album: Off The Wall

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton

Fun Facts: Lyrically the song is about getting over troubles. It's one of the first songs Rod Temperton from the band Heatwave, wrote for The King of Pop.

16. Say Say Say

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Album: Pipes of Peace

Producer/Writer: George Martin, Paul McCartney, and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: The two Kings came together for this chart topping hit. "Say Say Say" was recorded for McCartney's 5th solo album. The video centers around two con artists, "Mac and Jack". Played by McCartney and Jackson.

17. Black Or White

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Album: Dangerous

Producer/Writer: Michael Jackson and Bill Bottrell

Fun Facts: The John Landis directed music video features, Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone, My Girl), Tyra Banks (Sports Illustrated, Victoria Secret, ANTM), and George Wendt (Cheers). The video for "Black or White" features a morphing technique that was very innovative at the time. The lyrics of the song are a plea for racial tolerance.

18. In The Closet

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Album: Dangerous

Producer/Writer: Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: The sexy sepia colored video, directed by Herb Ritts, has Michael dancing with model Naomi Campbell. The female vocal was supposed to be recorded by Madonna, but she dropped out, being replaced by Princess Stephanie of Monaco.

19. I Wanna Be Where You Are

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Album: Got To Be There

Producer/Writer: Hal Davis, Arthur Ross, and Leon Ware

Fun Facts: "I Wanna Be Where You Are" was Michael's third straight top ten Pop hit during his early solo career with Motown. Songwriter Arthur Ross is Diana Ross's younger brother.

20. The Way You Make Me Feel

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: "The Way You Make Me Feel" was the 3rd of five #1 hits from the "Bad" album. On the Bad Tour, MJ's background singer Sheryl Crow sang this song with him.

21. Human Nature

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Album: Thriller

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones, Steve Porcaro, and John Bettis

Fun Facts: The song was written by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis from the band Toto (Rosanna, Africa)

22. You Are Not Alone

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Album: HIStory

Producer/Writer: R.Kelly and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: "You Are Not Alone" was the first single in US history to enter the Billboard charts at #1. The Wayne Isham directed music video, features Michael and his then-wife, Lisa Marie Presley.

23. Smooth Criminal

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: The most famous aspect of this video was the forward lean, where Michael and his dancers appear to defy gravity. The recording engineer, Bruce Swedien, is the voice of the police chief on the song.

24. Never Can Say Goodbye

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Album: Maybe Tomorrow (Jackson 5)

Producer/Writer: Hal Davis and Clifton Davis

Fun Facts: "Never Can Say Goodbye" was originally written for the Supremes. Michael was 11-years old when he recorded the love song.

25. Leave Me Alone

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: The song was a kiss-off to the media and press that constantly shadowed MJ around the globe.

26. Wanna Be Startin Somethin

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Album: Thriller

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: At the end of the song the chorus is, "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sas." The line is borrowed from Manu Dibango's 1972 song "Funky Soul Makossa." Julia, Maxine, and Oren Waters sang backing vocals on the track.

27. I'll Be There (With Feelin Alright Medley)

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Album: The Third Album (Jackson 5)

Producer/Writer: Hal Davis, Bob West, Willie Hutch, and Berry Gordon

Fun Facts: The lead vocals for "I'll Be There" were shared by Michael and Jermaine Jackson. Mariah Carey remade the song in 1992, for MTV Unplugged.

28. I Just Can't Stop Loving You

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Album: Bad

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

Fun Facts: The original song features Siedah Garrett (in the video above). Whitney Houston and Barbara Streisand were asked to sing the song with Michael but they refused. On MJ's Bad Tour Sheryl Crow was a backup singer, and sang the song with Michael.

29. Ben

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Album: Ben

Producer/Writer: Don Black and Walter Scharf

Fun Facts: The song "Ben" was written for the 1972 movie with the same name. This was Michael's first #1 hit as a solo artist. The song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.

30. She's Out Of My Life

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Album: Off The Wall

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Tom Bahler

Fun Facts: The emotional ballad "She's Out Of My Life" has a tempo of 66 beats per minute, making it one of MJ's slowest songs.

31. You Can't Win

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Album: The Wiz

Producer/Writer: Quincy Jones and Charlie Smalls

Fun Facts: Michael played the the scarecrow in the 1978 musical film "The Wiz" directed by Sidney Lumet (Network, The Verdict). The single is performed in the film and on the soundtrack.

32. Got To Be There (Brand New Thing Medley)

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Album: Got To Be There

Producer/Writer: Hal Davis and Elliot Willensky

Fun Facts: "Got To Be There" was released as Michael's first solo single in 1971 on Motown. The song was recorded at Motown's Hitsville West studio in Hollywood.

33. Gone Too Soon

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Album: Dangerous

Producer/Writer: Larry Grossman, Buzz Kohan, Michael Jackson, and Bruce Swedien

Fun Facts: Dionne Warwick first performed the song in 1983, as a dedication to Janis Joplin and Karen Carpenter. MJ's version was dedicated to the memory of his friend Ryan White, a teenager who came to national attention, after being expelled from his high school for having HIV/AIDS. R&B singer-songwriter Usher performed this song at Michael's memorial service.

RIP MJ (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009)

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