Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs of All Time

June 25, 2010
Bookmark and Share

While he was known the world over for his intoxicating dance skills, bizarre behavior, and movie-quality music videos, on the anniversary of the passing of who was quite possibly the most influential entertainer of all time, many people are taking time to reflect on what the King of Pop really gave to us, his music.

With so many songs to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow it down to the top 20, let along the top 10 songs of the late-great MJ. Based on internet opinion, as well as my own, I give you the Top 10 Michael Jackson songs of all time!

So much needs to be taken into consideration when compiling a list like this. Collaborations, awards, sales, public opinion, and more are all included. With such a long, impressive career, even being cut short by his untimely death, there is certainly no lack of quality tunes in the MJ catalog:

10: “I Want You Back” – While this doesn’t technically count as an MJ song since it was performed by the Jackson 5, it should be included on this list. It was the first single off their first Motown release, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Without the success of this song, we would have never had the King of Pop.

9: “Smooth Criminal” – Off his “Bad” album, Smooth Criminal wasn’t one of his best performing songs on the charts when it was released. However, as a personal favorite of MJ’s, it was always included in his live performances and is one of his most recognizable songs. And with a short film featuring the song starring Joe Pesci, how can you not include it?!

8: “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” – A culturally diverse song that has had everyone singing “Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa” for decades, everyone has a special place in their heart for this sprawling 6 minute epic.

7: “Thriller” – Some may be surprised to see Thriller lower on the all-time list, but I don’t think it can be argued that part of the allure of the song was its accompanying music video. Still one of the greatest songs of all time, period, Thriller without Thriller just wasn’t one of MJ’s top 5.

6: “I’ll Be There” – Another Jackson 5 number, it needs some recognition for little MJ’s stellar performance. Still regarded as one of his best vocals, this is the song that really launched The Jackson 5 out of the bubblegum pop realm and into mainstream music.

5: “We Are the World” – This song gets major props in the collaboration department. Performed and released by supergroup USA for Africa (and supergroup is a complete understatement), this charity single to bring attention to African hunger managed to raise $63 million for its cause by becoming the fastest selling American pop single ever. It was remade in 2010 to raise money for the Haitian earthquake victims.

4: “Black or White” – My personal favorite MJ song, Black or White was the best selling single of the early 90s, and the video featured a “rapping” Macaulay Culkin for Pete’s sake!

3: “Beat It” – One of MJ’s most acclaimed songs, Beat It won two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and is in the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. And Eddie Van Halen rockin’ on the guitar is pretty cool too.

2: “Man in the Mirror” – I remember a year ago today driving home and this song suddenly came on the radio. This was the song used to break the news that the King of Pop had passed. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year, and is acclaimed as one of his best vocal performances of all time.

1: “Billie Jean” – It’s tough to find a list of MJ songs that doesn’t have this listed at #1. He wrote and composed this song at the ripe age of 24, and it has long been a fan (and critic) favorite that won two Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. It is the song that really solidified his pop-superstardom and made the Thriller album the most successful album…ever!

Of course, these songs are always up for debate. With so many possible honorable mentions, this list could go on forever. But what do you guys think? What are your favorite Michael Jackson songs? Let us know! And enjoy the music video for my personal fav, Black or White, below.

Tags: ,

« Previous Next »

6 Responses to “Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs of All Time”

  1. 1
    Ben M Says:

    My Favorite songs by him (not in any order)

    Break of dawn
    stranger in moscow
    they don’t care about us
    whatever happens
    man in the mirror
    wanna be startin somethin
    human nature
    off the wall

    My favorite music video by him is definately Scream. It feels like its been made in the 2030’s. The most expensive music video of all times.

  2. 2
    Random Says:

    Here are mine (no order)
    1. I just can’t stop loving you
    2. The way you make me feel
    3. Human nature
    4. Billie Jean
    5. PYT
    6. Thriller
    7. Working day and night
    8. Blood on the Dancefloor
    9. Smooth Criminal
    10. Man in the Mirror

  3. 3
    B,E. Says:

    1. Human Nature 2. Smoothe Criminal 3.I Just Can’t Stop Loving 4. The Way You Make Me Feel 5. Man in the mirror 5. Thriller 6. Wanna be startin’ somethin’ 10. Dangerous 11. They don’t care about us 12. Bad 13. Don’t stop till you get enough 14. Rock with you

  4. 4
    Lumi Says:

    In no particular order
    1.Rock with you
    2.Don’t stop till you get enough
    3.She’s Out of my Life.
    4.Human Nature
    5.I Just can’t stop loving you.
    8.Wanna be starting something
    9.They way you make me feel
    11.Another part of me
    12. Smooth Criminal
    13.Will you be there
    14.Give into Me

  5. 5
    Lumi Says:

    P.S Can’t forget his songs about he’s care about the planet:

    a.Man in the Mirror
    b.Heal the World
    c.We are the World
    d.Earth Song

    I like like Come Together from Moonwalker he looks so gorgeous is that yellow shirt.

    Stranger in Moscow is a sad but, it lyrics hunts you.

    I Just love him. RIP my ANGEL with the love-L.O.V.E-Lumi PPS: LOVE ALL HE’S SONGS AS A SOLO ARTIST & WITH THE JACKSON 5 or JACKSONS :-)

  6. 6
    NaNuM Says:

    OH MY GOD!!
    All of his songs rock…!
    Sad songs and Wow! songs. (especially in the 80s)
    (I will give the best songs I’ve heard in his 2001
    Album: INVINCIBLE.
    1. Heartbreaker
    2. Threatened
    3. Speechless
    4. Unbreakable (very mad song!!)
    and etc.