Michael Jackson: Celebrating & Remembering The King Of Pop

Today, June 25, is a special day for music fans across the world as it has been 11 years since Michael Jackson, passed away but his music till this day lives on.

Born on August 29, 1958, Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers in the history of music.

Through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance techniques such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His sound and style have influenced artists of various genres. Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

As we celebrate the life of Michael Jackson on his 11th death anniversary, here are 10 of his songs that inspired social change:

We Are The World – USA For Africa

Written in 1985 by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, this song was created to bring attention to the African famine relief and was recorded by the supergroup ‘USA for Africa’ which consisted of many celebrities including Bob Dylan, Bob Geldof, Hall & Oates, Michael, Randy, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and La Toya Jackson, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen and many more. The song went on to sell over 20 million copies.

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Heal the World – Michael Jackson

Released in 1991, Michael Jackson wrote this song to highlight the suffering of children living in third world countries, especially Burundi. The song also became the inspiration for his “Heal the World Foundation,” an organization designed to improve the lives of children with children being the ones to teach and help others. Michael also performed this song at his famous Super Bowl Half Time Show performed in California on January 31, 1993.

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Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson

‘Man in the Mirror’ is a reflective song by Michael Jackson about wanting to change the world but first by changing yourself.

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Earth Song – Michael Jackson

A song that highlights the importance of looking after the environment and animal welfare, the ‘Earth Song’ reminds us that we are not the only living things on this planet and that we need to love and nurture the nature of the world around us. Michael was awarded the Genesis Award for animal sensitivity for this powerful track.

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Black Or White – Michael Jackson

The song was released by Epic Records as the first single from Michael Jackson’s eighth studio album “Dangerous.” The lyrics of this song are a plea for racial tolerance. Jackson wrote it with producer Bill Bottrell, who also worked with Jackson on his “Bad” album and won the 1994 Grammy for Record of the Year for Sheryl Crow‘s “All I Wanna Do.” Epic Records described the song as “a rock ‘n’ roll dance song about racial harmony”.

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Will You Be There – Michael Jackson

Lyrics:

“Hold me / Like the River Jordan / And I will then say to thee / You are my friend… Carry me / Like you are my brother / Love me like a mother / Will you be there? / Weary, tell me will you hold me / When wrong, will you scold me / When lost will you find me? / But they told me / A man should be faithful / And walk when not able / And fight til the end / But I’m only human”

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They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson

Lyrics:

“Tell me what has become of my rights / Am I invisible because you ignore me? / Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now / I’m tired of bein’ the victim of shame / They’re throwing me in a class with a bad name / I can’t believe this is the land from which I came / You know I really do hate to say it / The government don’t wanna see / But if Roosevelt was livin’ / He wouldn’t let this be, no, no”

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Cry – Michael Jackson

Lyrics:

“You can change the world (I can’t do it by myself) / You can touch the sky (Gonna take somebody’s help) / You’re the chosen one (I’m gonna need some kind of sign) / If we all cry at the same time tonight”

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History – Michael Jackson

Lyrics:

“How many victims must there be / Slaughtered in vain across the land / And how many struggles must there be / Before we choose to live the Prophet’s plan / Everybody sing… Every day create your history / Every path you take you’re leaving your legacy / Every soldier dies in his glory / Every legend tells of conquest and liberty”

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Childhood – Michael Jackson

Lyrics:

“Before you judge me, try hard to love me / Look within your heart then ask / Have you seen my childhood? / People say I’m strange that way / ‘Cause I love such elementary things / It’s been my fate to compensate / For the childhood I’ve never known”

 

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