Michael Jackson Exuded Pure Charisma On “Billie Jean”

By now, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” needs no introduction. Boasting nearly one billion views on YouTube, a number that is surprisingly low considering how iconic the track is, the timeless single helped solidify the late singer as the reigning king of pop — a title many of his loyal fans feel he still retains. And with today marking the eleventh anniversary of his death, it feels appropriate to highlight one of his triumphant moments as an artist.

While there are many, there’s something about “Billie Jean” that simply stands on its own, to the point where even today it’s impossible not to appreciate the groove. That bassline alone is something to behold, an infectious riff that provides the perfect backdrop for MJ’s vocals. Even the ascending-descending synth stabs have become iconic, but one of many harmonious elements telling the story of Billie Jean’s unclaimed child. But the song wouldn’t be what it is without Michael Jackson’s electric performance, both in the studio and on the stage; lest we forget, “Billie Jean’ is what originally introduced the moonwalk to the masses.  

Say what you will about the man, but given everything he’s contributed to pop music as a whole, perhaps it’s time to consider revisiting one of his countless hit singles — arguably his crowning achievement, depending on who you ask. Do you feel any pop artist can ever come close to MJ’s musical legacy?