Although the King of Pop passed away in 2009, his memory is still alive through his songs. His best period was certainly in 1983, when Thriller and Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever were the two points which jump-started his whole career. In 1983, Thriller became the best-selling album worldwide and it is still the best-selling album of all time in the United States.
“Billie Jean” was released over 22 years ago but it has not been forgotten, especially not by Michaels fans and you would be surprised about some of the things you did not know about the song. Here are some of the most interesting things regarding Michael Jackson Billie Jean.
Things You Should Know about Billie Jean
1. There Were Some Title Issues
Moonwalk, Jackson’s autobiography features a passage in which the pop stars said that Quincy Jones wanted to rename the song to “Not My Lover” so that it will not be confused with Billie Jean King, a famous tennis star. However, Jackson did not want to change anything about the song so it’s needless to say Quincy failed.
2. It Shows How the King of Pop Felt the Music
A musician knows hit material. It has to feel right. Everything has to feel in place. It fulfills you and it makes you feel good. You know it when you hear it. That’s how I felt about ‘Billie Jean’.
This paragraph can also be found in Moonwalk and it depicts how Michael simply felt the music. By reading the full section of the autobiography you can also find out about the fact that Jackson was so absorbed by the song that he did not even notice that the bottom of his Rolls-Royce was on fire. A kid on a motorcycle pulled him over and probably saved the Pop Star’s life.
3. It Broke the Color Barrier
“Billie Jean” is said to be the song which broke the color barrier on MTV, being the first song by a black artist making heavy rotation on MTV’s network. There was actually a racism scandal in that era involving MTV and their lack of consideration for black artists. However, the song was not played on MTV until it was ranked #1 hit song.
4. People Thought It Showed M.J.’s Phone Number
The album cover’s 7 digit UPC code was presumed to be Michael Jackson’s phone number so a lot of people in many different area codes who had that number got a lot of phone calls from Jackson’s fans.
5. We Don’t Know If Billie Jean Was Real
Although during an interview in Thailand, Michael Jackson tried to make “Billie Jean” a current more than an actual person, there is still no clue about whether or not Billie Jean was real. During the interview, Jackson said that “Billie Jean” was mainly a song which depicts groupies in the 60s and that many girls claimed to have a son related to one of his brothers. However, there was actually a woman who stalked Jackson and claimed that he was the father of one of her twins. The idea itself was considered amusing by his producer Quincy Jones and no other information is available about the identity of the woman.
6. Quincy Jones Didn’t Like It
Jones stated that he hated both the bass line and the intro of “Billie Jean” and that he did not even want the song on “Thriller”.
7. It Was Shot in One Take
According to the Rolling Stones magazine, Michael Jackson nailed the entire vocals of “Billie Jean” in only one take.
8. It Was Used in a Commercial
Billie Jean Michael Jackson was also used as a soundtrack for a Pepsi-Cola commercial in which Michael’s head was set on fire with the help of special effects explosions.
9. The Lyrics Were Sold in 2012
In 2012, the handwritten lyrics of “Billie Jean” sold for almost $30,000.
10. There Are Plenty of Covers
There are many covers of “Billie Jean” available on YouTube. Moreover, a lot of artists tried their own take on the song, including Chris Cornell, Ian Brown and even Kanye West.
11. Quincy Jones Wanted More Personality
Quincy Jones told the audio engineer who took care of “Billie Jean” to add sonic personality to the song.
12. It Proves His Genius
Good songs will never grow old and will always have a special meaning for the people who listen to them. “Billie Jean” is only one of the many, many songs that impressed each and every one of us. Moreover, it made us think Michael Jackson was a musical genius and an extraordinary performer.
13. It Showed His Signature Dance Move
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was an NBC special show which aired in May 1983. It involved Michael and his brothers reunited for an extraordinary live performance. During this show, Jackson performed “Billie Jean” solo and also introduced his signature dance move, the Moonwalk, earning his first Emmy nomination. He performed the Moonwalk while first time wearing his trademark glove.
His career was filled with sparkly costumes and outfits to difficult chords and tabs and kids scandals. Regardless, Michael Jackson will surely never be forgotten and will always remain the King of Pop. Finally, you can check Michael Jackson’s official website at www.michaeljackson.com.