Published on February 12th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world’s best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Thriller” making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.
His estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide makes him the world’s best selling artist in history.

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10. The Way You Make Me Feel

 
“The Way You Make Me Feel” is a song written by Michael Jackson and recorded for his seventh album Bad (1987). Produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones, it was released as the album’s third single in 1987 and became another number-one hit from the album.

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9. You are not alone

You Are Not Alone”, released in August 1995, is the second single from Michael Jackson’s album HIStory. The R&B ballad was written by r&b singer, R. Kelly in response to difficult times in his personal life. Jackson’s interest in the song was also linked to recent events in his personal life. “You Are Not Alone” was Michael Jackson’s last number one hit song in the United States during his lifetime.

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8. Smooth Criminal

“Smooth Criminal” is the seventh single from Michael Jackson’s Bad album (1988). The song contains a fast-paced beat intertwined with Jackson’s lyrics about a woman named Annie, who has been attacked in her apartment by a “smooth” assailant. It was released as a single on October 24, 1988 and peaked at 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7. Human Nature

“Human Nature” is an R&B song by Michael Jackson that was produced by Quincy Jones for the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Reaching number two on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart and number seven on the Hot 100, the song became Jackson’s fifth Top 10 hit from Thriller.

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6. Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a 14-minute music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983 and directed by John Landis, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jackson. Often referred to as the greatest music video ever, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over 9 million units.

 

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5. She’s Out of My Life

She’s out of my life became famous as the fourth single to be released by singer Michael Jackson from his successful Off the Wall album in 1979. It was the first time a solo artist had achieved four top ten hits from one album. Unlike the album’s previous singles (which were all dance-oriented funk/disco songs), the “She’s Out of My Life” song was an emotional ballad. Jackson’s vocals on the record were considered by critics to be some of his best.

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4. Beat It

“Beat It” was produced by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones for the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Following the successful chart performances of the Thriller singles “The Girl Is Mine” and “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” was released on February 14, 1983 as the album’s third single. A commercial success, “Beat It” was awarded two Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards and was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame.

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3. Wanna Be Starting Something

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” is featured on Michael Jackson’s 1982 sixth studio album Thriller. Released as the fourth single from the album on May 8, 1983, the song peaked at number five on the American Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, topped the American Hot Black Singles and Hot Dance Club Songs charts and reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart.

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2. Man in the Mirror

“Man in the Mirror” peaked at number one in the United States when released as a single in early 1988 off his seventh solo album, Bad. It is one of Jackson’s most critically acclaimed songs and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.

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1.Billie Jean

“Billie Jean” was written by Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones for the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). The song’s lyrics refer to a real-life experience, in which a mentally ill female fan claimed that Jackson had fathered one of her twins. The song is well known for its distinctive bass line and Jackson’s vocal hiccups. “Billie Jean” was a worldwide commercial and critical success; it became one of the best-selling singles of 1983. Cited as one of the most revolutionary songs in history,”Billie Jean” won two Grammys and sealed Jackson’s status as an international pop icon.

Entertainment | Comments (17)


17 Responses to “Top 10 Songs by Michael Jackson”

  1. warez keys Says:

    Thank you very much for that great article

  2. Trisha Says:

    I would love to agree 100% but I would need to switch Billie Jean to #2 and put Man in the Mirror to #1. So much of who Michael was was about what he saw in his own mirror.

  3. Leon Says:

    Good point Tricia.
    But I think Billie Jean was such a tremendous hit, that it deserves to be number 1.
    Also, on the Motown Special, Billie Jean was the song that Michael Jackson did his famous moon walk for the very first time.

  4. Shack Says:

    Good list but Rock With You and/or Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough from Off The Wall album must be considered. Up until those songs/album he was a mere teen idol. These hits and the album made him an international superstar!!!

  5. Leon Says:

    I ‘ll admit that Rock With You & Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough did wonders for his career. But I wasn’t sure if they deserved to be in the top 10, or where to place them.

  6. Shack Says:

    Leon,
    In reviewing this again, list I don’t beleive the single Thriller should be listed in the Top Ten. Many confuse the greatness of the video with the song! As you recall, via BillBoard, the single is NOT one of his Top Ten hit singles BUT ROCK WITH YOU Is. Suggest it (or DSTYGE) be No.6 w Thriller falling out. Rest of the list is justified…

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  8. Leon Says:

    Thanks, I appreciate the feedback!

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  10. Shonee Says:

    I love Michael..I love his songs but I especially love his songs with the Jackson 5.

    Just recently, I was watching a Fred Astaire movie, I believe it was called “The Band Wagon”..Michael was influenced by Fred Astaire because his entire look (white suit/hat) in the video was inspired by him. I also saw a couple of dance moves that appeared to have influenced Michael…amazing!

    I miss you Michael!

  11. Leon Says:

    Guess what, Shalona? Many years ago, I read that that Michael Jackson said that one of his favorite compliments came from Fred Astaire. MJ said that Astaire called him after the Motown Special and told him that he loved the way he moved on stage.

  12. Shonee Says:

    @ Leon…Wow! What a compliment to MJJ from Astaire.

    I forgot to mention that I was referring to MJJ’s “Smooth Criminal” video.

  13. Karen Says:

    But which song is your number one favorite?
    I don’t think I could pick just one to be my favorite it just to hard

  14. Karen Says:

    But my four year old grandson loves to dance and sing ( Thriller)
    actually he loves all his songs too

  15. Leon Says:

    You’re right Karen, too many great ones to pick just one as a favorite.

  16. Shonee Says:

    @Leon…I saw “Cabin In The Sky” and one of the characters did what I think was the “moonwalk” dance. We all know Jeffery Daniel of Shalamar introduced it to our generation(s) but Michael took it to another level and then some.

    If I had to pick my favorite MJJ song, it would be “Girl, Dont Take Your Love” from his “Got To Be There” album…**sigh** can you sense the school girl crush here? ;-)

  17. Leon Says:

    Hey Shonee, a few weeks ago I saw a show featuring Shalamar. As I was watching the show, Jeffery Daniels did mention that the moonwalk was done many, many years ago before he, (as you stated), introduced it to our generation. And MJ (again as you stated) took it to another level. I’m almost tempted to rent “Cabin In The Sky” to see what the moonwalk looked like originally.