Can you believe it’s been 7 years since Michael Jackson passed away? It feels like it was just last week. His legacy is far from gone, however, and this week, we’ll be taking a look at and celebrating what made MJ the true King of Pop.
Collaborations in the music industry are always interesting because you get to see how different musicians’ styles clash or blend for a hopefully worthwhile and unique result. Michael Jackson was in no shortage of these collaborations throughout his career. Being a singer of his caliber, it was only natural that other top-notch musicians would work with him for numerous joint projects that would elevate his and their success even further.
“The Girl Is Mine” (1982)
“The Girl Is Mine,” one of Michael’s more famous duets, was the first single released from Thriller. In it, Michael and Paul McCartney argue back and forth over a girl over a steady, soft-rock rhythm. The musical argument is almost silly, yet still fun and sweet. Michael himself said this song was one of his favorites to record in the studio because “working with Paul McCartney was pretty exciting and [they] just literally had fun.”
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” (1987)
The first of five straight number one hit singles from the album Bad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is a powerful, yet sensual duet ballad between MJ and Siedah Garrett. Michael originally wanted Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston to sing with him, but they both passed on the offer, so the spot was given to Garrett, who co-wrote “Man in the Mirror.” They would later perform the song live during Michael’s Dangerous world tour.
“Just Good Friends” (1987)
“Just Good Friends” is another duet off of Bad, this time with Stevie Wonder, and like “The Girl Is Mine,” also features the singers playfully arguing over a girl. However, this song is more upbeat and funky, a true representation of the late ’80s. Michael and Stevie’s powerful vocals complement each other very well, and the song also features a killer synthesizer solo by Stevie.
“Whatever Happens” (2001)
Legendary singer in Michael Jackson meets legendary guitarist in Carlos Santana. A match made in music heaven. While Michael’s Invincible album didn’t get much critical praise compared to his previous albums, “Whatever Happens” is certainly one of the gems on it. It’s different from his usual sound in that Santana gives it a western feel with his guitar, but together, they create something mysterious and magical. Plus, their exchange of “Thank you, man” and “Thank you, Carlos” at the end of the song is an exciting moment for music fans everywhere.