Beyond Michael Jackson's 50 Biggest Hits
As Billboard celebrates Michael Jackson's 50 biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits, the late King of Pop's rich musical catalog can't be confined so neatly.
Here is a spotlight on 10 more Jackson songs that reached Billboard surveys. Though not placing among his 50 top-performing Hot 100 chart entries - some of the following titles, in fact, did not reach the list - these songs (listed chronologically, not ranked in any order pertaining to chart performance) endure as notable recordings featuring Jackson's incomparable vocals.
(Not included here, or in Billboard's countdown of Jackson's top 50 Hot 100 tracks, are songs on which the late legend memorably appeared but did not receive billing, such as "We Are the World," credited to USA for Africa, or "Somebody's Watching Me," credited solely to Rockwell).
"Just a Little Bit of You"
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 23, 1975
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 4
After reaching the Hot 100's top 40 with his first four chart entries in 1971-72, the then-16-year-old returned to the region with this Motown-splashed song from his fourth solo album, "Forever, Michael." The song would mark his last solo top 40 appearance until "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" began its ascent to No. 1 in 1979.
"Ease On Down the Road," Diana Ross Michael Jackson
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 41, 1978
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 17
Adult Contemporary: No. 40
Dorothy and the Scarecrow teamed up for the theme song from the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical "The Wiz." While serving as the movie's music supervisor, Quincy Jones asked Jackson if he could produce the singer's next album. Jackson agreed, marking the beginning of the pair's iconic collaborations. "Divinity brought our souls together and, to this day, the music we created on 'Off the Wall,' 'Thriller' and 'Bad' is played in every corner of the world," Jones said following Jackson's passing last year. "The reason for that is because he had it all: talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him."
"Farewell My Summer Love"
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 38, 1984
Adult Contemporary: No. 20
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 37
Two weeks after the title cut from "Thriller," the album's seventh consecutive and final Hot 100 top 10, spent its last week on the chart, this track unearthed from Motown's archives bowed at No. 81 on May 26, 1984 (below such new entries as Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" at No. 36 and Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" at No. 75). A Billboard Singles Review that week highlighted the song in its "Pop picks" section, noting that "the fans are insatiable."
"Heal the World"
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 27, 1993
Adult Contemporary: No. 9
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 62
This ballad spurred the creation of Jackson's charitable foundation of the same name, which provided relief efforts for causes worldwide until its dissolution in 2002. Jackson performed the song at Super Bowl XXVII and donated his appearance fee to the foundation. The NFL additionally contributed $100,000 and a TV commercial soliciting viewer funds."Who Is It"
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 14, 1993
Dance/Club Play Songs: No. 1, one week
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 6
The sixth of seven singles from Jackson's 1991 album "Dangerous" is his highest-peaking Hot 100 chart entry not to make Billboard's ranking of his top 50 Hot 100 hits. When the song bounded 14-9 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs on May 15, 1993, the set became Jackson's third consecutive album to yield at least five top 10s on the survey, following "Thriller" (five) and "Bad" (seven).
"Whatzupwitu," Eddie Murphy featuring Michael Jackson
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Peak Position: No. 74, 1993
Following Murphy's appearance in Jackson's video for "Remember the Time" in 1992, Jackson returned the favor by contributing vocals and co-starring in the clip for this single from Murphy's third album, "Love's Alright." The novelty song lives on somewhat infamously, having been retired from rotation by MTV after it claimed the No. 3 spot on the channel's "25 Lame" list in 1999. (The rest of the countdown: "Owww!" by Chunky A, aka Arsenio Hall, at No. 2 and "Heartbeat" by Don Johnson at No. 1).
Dance/Club Play Songs Peak Position: No. 32, 1996
Though it topped the Official UK Charts Co.'s singles chart for six weeks in 1995-96, this new track from Jackson's "History: Past, Present and Future Book 1" collection appeared only on Dance/Club Play Songs in the U.S. upon its release. At the 52nd Grammy Awards earlier this year, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Usher combined for a dramatic 3D performance of the song in memory of Jackson. The ballad added to Jackson's library of socially-conscious songs, such as "We Are the World" and "Heal the World." Sings Jackson, "Did you ever stop to notice all the children dead from war? / Did you ever stop to notice this crying earth, its weeping shores?"
"Why," 3T (featuring Michael Jackson)
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Peak Position: No. 71, 1996
After reaching No. 15 on the Hot 100 with "Anything," Tito Jackson's three sons - Taj, Taryll and TJ - enlisted their uncle for guest vocals on another lush ballad. Earlier this year, the trio graced the stage at this year's Grammy Awards with their cousins Prince Michael, Jr. and Paris Jackson, who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of their father. The singers were among the chorus on Artists for Haiti's remake of "We Are the World," which reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in February.
"Blood on the Dance Floor"
Hot 100 Peak Position: No. 42, 1997
Dance/Club Play Songs: No. 10
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 19
After 28 of Jackson's singles on Epic Records reached the Hot 100's top 40 consecutively between 1979 and 1996, this track became the first to fall short. In Chuck Taylor's "Air Waves" column in the Billboard issue dated June 14, 1997, U.S. radio programmers decried the jam as not meeting the standards of Jackson's previous work. Globally, the song was greeted more warmly. "We were a little concerned when we heard the title and some of the lyrics, but when we heard the track and its remixes, it just blew us away," said Paul Chantler, then-PD of Essex Radio Southend-on-Sea, England. "Audience reaction has been brilliant."
"This Is It"
Adult Contemporary: No. 18, 2009
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: No. 18
Serviced to radio stations at midnight Oct. 12, 2009, the first previously-unreleased Jackson song made available by Epic Records following his passing received 900 plays on 402 stations, reaching an audience of 10.4 million, before noon the following day, according to Nielsen BDS. "We know people miss Jackson and love his music. This song will do well on both mainstream R&B/hip-hop and adult R&B radio," Kevin Gardner, program director of adult R&B WCFB (Star 94)/Orlando, told Billboard following the song's release. "Long live the King of Pop."