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Billie Jean
Michael Jackson
Jackson topped the UK charts with this fabulously funky slice of disco-pop – but it was very nearly released under a different name. The song, about the many false paternity claims directed at Michael and his brothers in their Jackson 5 days, was almost titled “Not My Lover”, as producer Quincy
Micheal Jackson
Song facts
Composer Michael Jackson
Genre Pop
Album Thriller
Year of Release 1982
UK Chart Position 1
Jones was worried that fans would think first of the tennis superstar Billie Jean King. But Jacko had the casting vote, naming it after a female admirer who used to stand outside his California mansion and claim he was the father of her child. According to Jones, the girl amusingly once alleged Jackson was the father of just one of her twins – something even a pop genius would’ve found it tricky to have managed. Jackson threw himself into the track, working for three weeks on the bass lick alone. But the effort proved worthwhile and the track is widely regarded as one of his best.

Record Producer Quincy Jones talks about working with Michael Jackson
Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones on the magic of being in the studio with Michael Jackson: "He's brilliant because he's so disciplined . . ."


Surely one of the most distinct and infectious hooks ever, plus the dark moody sentiments of the melody.

Will H

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Songwriting tips

Could you one day be a player of Jacko's cailbre? Find out about the business in Record Companies.
Confidence is about creating a rapport with the other person in a way that also brings out the real you. Learn more in Confidence Tricks.
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Michael Jackson in the "The Wizard of Oz"? Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the quiz . . .

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