A look back at the music that made Michael Jackson the undisputed King of Pop

30

"Smooth Criminal"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 7
Peak Date: January 14, 1989
Weeks On Chart: 15

"Smooth Criminal," like "Thriller," is one of Michael Jackson's songs whose memory in the public's collective consciousness is intrinsically tied to its music video. With "Smooth Criminal," Jackson further lifted the art of music videos, serving as the centerpiece of his theatrical film "Moonwalker," co-starring Joe Pesci. "Smooth Criminal" was the seventh and final single from Jackson's "Bad" album, peaking at No. 7 on the Hot 100 in January 1989.

29

"Mama's Pearl"

The Jackson 5

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2
Peak Date: February 27, 1971
Weeks On Chart: 10

"Mama's Pearl" features pretty mature lyrics for the young Michael: "You send cold chills up and down my spine/ We kiss for thrills, then you draw the line," he belts over classic Motown string arrangements and plucky piano. Peaking at No. 2 on both the Hot 100 and Billboard's R&B songs charts in 1971, the song was the second single from the group's "Third Album."

28

"Thriller"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 4
Peak Date: March 3, 1984
Weeks On Chart: 14

"Thriller" was one of seven top 10 singles from the groundbreaking album of the same name, now tied (according to the RIAA) with the Eagles' "Greatest Hits 1971-1975" as the best-selling U.S. album. Written by Rod Temperton and featuring Vincent Price's iconic cameo, Jackson's zombie fest peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100. "After 'Off the Wall,' " producer Quincy Jones recalls, "we were kicking booty and fearless; ready to do anything. It was a very exciting time."

27

"Enjoy Yourself"

The Jacksons

Hot 100 Peak Position: 6
Peak Date: February 19, 1977
Weeks On Chart: 21

The Jacksons' first single after their departure from Motown and subsequent name change from the Jackson 5, 1976's "Enjoy Yourself" featured jazzy, cheery horns and a funky guitar lick. Imploring the listener to "enjoy yourself with me," the voice of the then 18-year-old Michael bridged the gap between his cutesy pre-adolescent falsetto and his more mature adult tone. Audiences apparently enjoyed the track -- it hit No. 6 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on Billboard's R&B songs chart.

26

"Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)"

The Jacksons

Hot 100 Peak Position: 7
Peak Date: May 19, 1979
Weeks On Chart: 22

In one of the most familiar hooks in dance music history, Michael Jackson implores listeners, "Let's dance/ Let's shout/ Shake your body down to the ground." The track was produced, written, and performed by the talented brothers and ended up being their biggest dance record ever. The song was a mainstream success and charted at No. 3 on Billboard's R&B songs chart, and No. 7 on the Hot 100.

25

"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 5
Peak Date: July 16, 1983
Weeks On Chart: 15

To say that 1983 was the year of Michael Jackson would be a gross understatement. Between January and December, he charted seven Hot 100 top 10 hits, six from "Thriller." This single was the fourth released from the Epic set and peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100. The song returned to the chart in 2008 after Jackson reissued "Thriller" in an expanded 25th anniversary form, with a remix of this song by Akon. The redux peaked at No. 81.

24

"Remember The Time"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 3
Peak Date: March 7, 1992
Weeks On Chart: 20

Partnered with producer Teddy Riley, Jackson's eighth studio album "Dangerous" in 1991 marked the singer's leap into New Jack Swing. This single peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 in March 1992. Its video premiered not just on cable (BET and MTV), but the Fox network, as well. The star-studded clip includes appearances by Eddie Murphy, supermodel Iman and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

 

23

"State Of Shock"

The Jacksons

Hot 100 Peak Position: 3
Peak Date: August 4, 1984
Weeks On Chart: 15

With lead vocals shared between Michael and the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, "State of Shock" was the first single from the Jacksons' much-anticipated 1984 reunion album "Victory." The single entered the Hot 100 at No. 30 on June 30 -- at that point the second-highest entry of the year -- and peaked at No. 3. "State of Shock" initially began as a duet between Jackson and Queen's Freddie Mercury when the two were collaborating on material in the early '80s. Though the Mercury version was never released, you can easily find demo recordings of it floating around the Web.

22

"You Are Not Alone"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (one week)
Peak Date: September 2, 1995
Weeks On Chart: 20

Written and co-produced by R. Kelly, "You Are Not Alone" made history as the first song to enter the Hot 100 at No. 1, bowing atop the chart dated Sept. 2, 1995. The ballad became Jackson's last No. 1 to date and the 13th of his solo career, a sum that stands as the most by a male artist in the chart's 55-year history.

21

"Ben"

Michael Jackson

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (one week)
Peak Date: October 14, 1972
Weeks On Chart: 16

Jackson scored his first No. 1 Hot 100 single as a solo artist with this love song to a trained rat. The title track to the 1972 hit movie spent one week at No. 1 in mid-October. In "The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits," the song's co-writer Don Black says, "When Michael saw the song, he was anxious to do it. He [was] quite an animal lover -- very sensitive. He enjoyed anything that crawls or flies."

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