The King of Pop left behind a formidable legacy, one that will never be forgotten in the world of music and entertainment. His music lives on and he remains one of the most popular entertainers in history. It is no easy task to narrow Michael Jackson's whole career down to 15 songs. None the less, these are 15 Michael Jackson songs you have to listen to if you call yourself a fan.
"Thriller" was released in 1983 on the album of the same name. The horror styled song is one of Jackson's most popular in his career. The music video that corresponds with it took on a life of its own.
2. "Billie Jean"
"Billie Jean" was released in 1983 on the Thriller album. "Billie Jean" also had an excellent music video that was one of Michael's best. In 1983, Jackson performed his first ever Moonwalk while performing "Billie Jean" live. It became his signature move.
3. "Beat It"
"Beat It" is one of Michael Jackson's most energetic songs. It will make anyone want to dance along. The music video also featured some of the best choreography in Michael's career.
4. "Smooth Criminal"
"Smooth Criminal" is still one of Jackson's most iconic songs. Every die-hard fan knows every word to this 80s classic. The fast beat is instantly recognizable making it one of Jackson's signature songs
5. "Man in the Mirror"
"Man in the Mirror" was released in 1988 and it made an immediate impact. It is a song that Jackson performed live many times and it was an audience favorite.
6. "Earth Song"
"Earth Song" was one of many songs that focused on social issues the world faces. This song goes a step further and zeroes in on the environment and the well-being of animals. "Earth Song" is an important one and its message is very relevant today just as it was when it was released.
7. "The Way You Make Me Feel"
"The Way You Make Me Feel" is one of Michael's most successful songs. It has influenced many artists and so has the music video.
"Bad" is one of Jackson's most recognizable songs. It gave him an edgier appearance and it made his fans see him in a new light. "Bad" redefined the pop star. The music video, directed by Martin Scorsese, is still one of his most popular music videos.
9. "Black or White"
"Black or White" has a message of racial harmony that could still be relevant in America today. In 1992, Jackson made history when "Black or White" remained at the top of the singles chart, making Jackson the first artist to have number one hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s.
10. "Heal the World"
"Heal the World" is another song that has a message and is relevant today. It is a song that will leave you optimistic about our world and that things can improve.
11. "I'll Be There"
Going back to his Jackson 5 days, "I'll Be There" is arguably the best song the Jackson 5 ever performed. It is one of their most popular songs to this day. "I'll Be There" also made history for the Jackson 5. They became the first black male group to reach four consecutive number one hits.
12. "The Love You Save"
"The Love You Save" was another popular Jackson 5 song. It helped add to the success of the group in the 70s. Along other Jackson 5 hits, "The Love You Save" has been performed by Michael live many times.
13. "Rock With You"
"Rock With You" was one of many popular hits by Michael Jackson in the 1970s. The disco song is a very relaxing song that will stick out in your memory.
14. "Remember the Time"
"Remember the Time" was one of Jackson's most popular hits during the 1990s. the lyrics describe remembering falling in love in with someone. It remains one of Jackson's most popular singles.
15. "This Is It"
"This Is It" is one of Michael's most underrated songs. The song was originally recorded in 1983, but not released until 2009, four months after Jackson's death. The song was a part of the "This Is It" album that accompanied the documentary "Michael Jackson's This Is It".
Michael Jackson's music will last longer than any of us will. What he left behind will impact many of unborn generations. Everyone can find something to enjoy about his songs that relate to them in one way or another. His messages and social commentary can provide a template for addressing problems we face in our global community. His career and legacy is one to remember and enjoy.