Happy Birthday MJ: Five Groundbreaking Michael Jackson Singles

On this day in 1958, Michael Jackson was born. The “King of Pop” would have been 59 today.

Michael Jackson led an amazing and prolific life and music career. Starting out at just five years old with his brothers in The Jackson 5, Michael’s career took off. His talent at such a young age stood out and by the time he was 14 made the transition to solo artist. Over the next four decades, he released hit after hit, breaking numerous records and making history. Even after his sudden passing in 2009, his career continued to flourish as continuous praise and several posthumous releases kept him in the public eye.

Vinyl Bay 777, Long Island’s music outlet, would like to honor Michael Jackson’s legacy by taking a look back at his groundbreaking music career. Here are five singles that changed music, music videos, and popular culture forever.

1. “Thriller”: “Thriller” is one of Jackson’s most iconic songs and its video is even more iconic. Known for its graphic content, its epic graveyard dance scene and Jackson’s red leather jacket, the short horror film runs 14 minutes, longer than your typical music video. But because of its length and level of detail, it also revolutionized what a music video could be. It is also the only music video to have been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry. There is still major interest in the video as well, with a 3-D upgrade of the video coming to movie theaters soon.

2. “Billie Jean”: When MTV launched in 1980, they didn’t really play much music from black artists, usually just the ones that were integrated with white artists. This changed in 1983, after complaints from not only music fans but VJ’s and artists themselves made MTV reevaluate their line-up. Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” was the first video from a black artist that the network deemed appropriate to put in rotation. The song’s inclusion and success opened up a new platform for black artists to get their music heard by a new and wider audience.

3. “We Are The World”: With large-scale charity singles en vogue in 1985 following the success of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie were tasked with writing one for an American audience. What transpired was the hit “We Are The World,” which featured more than 40 performers singing about the famine in Africa. Once released, the song broke records, becoming the fastest-selling American pop song in history and the first single to ever go multi-platinum.

4. “Love Never Felt So Good”: Michael Jackson has even been breaking records posthumously. In 2014, Jackson’s estate released an 8-song album of unreleased material called ‘Xscape,’ with “Love Never Felt So Good” as its first single. The song ended up peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking two records. The first was for having top 10 singles in five different decades as a solo artist, a record he still holds alone to this day. The other was for the most amount of time spent in the top 10 to more than 42 weeks (this record has since been broken).

5. “You’re Not Alone”: We all know that Michael Jackson is a number one-selling artist. But he is also the first artist to have a single debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. “You’re Not Alone,” the second single from Jackson’s 1995 album ‘HIStory,’ sold more than 120,000 units in its first week, leading it to take the top spot on the chart, something that hadn’t happened in the 37 years the chart had been around.

Michael Jackson released some of the most important music in pop history. From the contributions he made to the art of the music video to the impact he had on black representation in music, his career has been filled with innovation. His talent landed him countless chart successes that have made him one of (if not THE) the best-selling artists to date. Michael Jackson’s legacy proceeds him, as his continued popularity only shows that his music and cultural impact have gotten stronger.

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To read about two more of Michael Jackson’s most groundbreaking songs, check out the original article at vinylbay777.blogspot.com.