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Remembering King of Pop Michael Jackson

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Today marks the fifth anniversary of Michael Jackson's untimely death.

From his days in The Jackson 5 to his recently released posthumous album Xscape, the King of Pop's artistry and music still thrive on today, creating a legacy to last a lifetime.

Let's remember the legendary musician with a few of his biggest hits which took him all the way to music royalty. And for more of Michael's timeless music, tune in to 24/7 MJ Radio on iHeartRadio.

"Thriller"

The song was one of Michael's biggest hits and served as the seventh single from his album of the same name - oddly enough the tune was originally titled "Starlight." The music video is one of the most iconic at 14-minutes long. The video/short film is known as "Michael Jackson's Thriller" and was the first music video selected to be added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

"Billie Jean"

The smash hit was the second single from Michael's Thriller album and was co-produced by Quincy Jones. "Billie Jean" is reportedly about groupies Michael had encountered over the years, even while in The Jackson 5 - although some suggest the song refers to one woman in particular. The music video was ground-breaking in that it was one of the first music videos from a black artist to be aired frequently by MTV, who allegedly refused to play it at first. The song was also the one Michael sang when he Moonwalked for the first time during a performance on "Motown 25:Yesterday, Today, Forever."

"Beat It"

Released in 1983, the third Thriller single was co-produced by Quincy Jones and Van Halen's Eddie Van Halen played the song's guitar solo. Real gang members were actually cast to be in the song's music video which was filmed on Los Angeles' Skid Row.

"Bad"

Released in 1987, the song was the second from his album of the same name. "Bad" was co-produced by Quincy Jones and the music video was actually directed by Martin Scorsese. The song was reportedly intended to be a duet with Prince, but despite the final product being a solo for Michael, the single topped the charts anyway.

"Smooth Criminal"

The song was featured on Michael's 1987 Bad album, but was released as a single in 1988. Jackson had reportedly wanted to name his album after the song. The "Smooth Criminal" music video is the first time Michael unveiled his famous "anti-gravity lean" dance move. 

Photos: Getty Images

 

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