June 25, 2012, will mark three years since Michael has been gone. Some days it’s still surreal to think that a legend like Mike isn’t here any longer. But … we will always have memories. There will always be stories to tell about our experiences with Michael Jackson – not the I remember meeting Michael (some of you may have been fortunate enough to do so), but the I remember when … with his music and events that surrounded his life.
Michael Jackson’s pop-culture defining Thriller music video helped usher in MTV era of music yet the song itself isn’t even among his top 50 Billboard charting hits, according to Billboard. Below we list Jackson’s best charting hits of his almost mystical music career as determined by Billboard. The selections aren’t as obvious as it may seem. His collaborations with former Beatle Paul McCartney have generated the most chart success for Jackson.
The widely-coined “King of Pop” is recognized as one of most successful entertainers of all time. Debuting in the music spotlight in 1964 as the front man and youngest sibling of Motown’s popular boy group the Jackson 5 before kicking off a solo career in 1971. Jackson became a transformative figure within music and pop culture with the release of his 1982 Thriller album and its supporting videos, which not only spawned the 14-minute horror cinematic opus that was the “Thriller” video but also MTV defining hits for chart toppers like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”. Thriller would go on to be recognized as the greatest-selling album of all-time with over 100 million copies of the album sold, but Jackson, while still amassing a dizzying amount of fame as a performer (he’s garnered countless awards and has sold more than 750 million albums worldwide from Thriller and his other solo projects including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995)) also became as much of a caricatured celebrity for the bizzare headlines was linked to.
10. The Girl Is Mine (1982)
Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
“A duet with McCartney, the song was released in October 1982 and quickly debuted on the Hot 100 at No. 45, eventually rising to No. 2. “The Girl Is Mine” also famously kicked off an incredible run of hits from the “Thriller” album.”
9. ABC (1970)
The Jackson 5
Billboard: “In somewhat of a case of chart fortune-telling, it was perhaps fitting that the Jackson 5′s second Hot 100 No. 1 dislodged the Beatles’ second-to-last No. 1, “Let It Be,” from the top of the chart, as arguably the most influential group in the history of pop music symbolically passed the baton to the format’s future King.”
8. I Want You Back (1970)
The Jackson 5
Billboard: “Michael Jackson’s six-decade tenancy on the Billboard charts began the week of Nov. 15, 1969, when the then-11-year-old and his four brothers entered the chart at No. 90 with “I Want You Back.”"
7. Man In The Mirror (1988)
“When “Man in the Mirror” reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1988, Jackson became the first artist in the chart’s history to pull four No. 1 songs from one album.”