Michael Jackson earned the name the King of Pop for the simple reason that his amazing songs dominated the charts for decades. Jackson tragically died in 2009, and many thought this would make way for the arrival of a new musical monarch. However, it turns out that he was both the once and future king: Billboard reports that Michael Jackson’s hit song “Beat It” recently crossed the billion views mark on YouTube.
Beat It Hits The Billion Viewer Mark
This is quite an accomplishment, and it speaks to the powerful legacy that Michael Jackson left behind. The singer might have catapulted to solo fame in the ‘80s, but he became an icon specifically because his musical talents are so timeless. Now, the fact that “Beat It” has been viewed over one billion times on YouTube is proof that Jackson still has a powerful appeal to both veteran fans and newer music lovers who are discovering his library of hits for the first time.
Michael Jackson Songs With More Than A Billion Views
Speaking of that library of hits, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is not the first of the artist’s songs to cross over and get a billion views on YouTube. Before this, both the 1996 song “They Don’t Care About Us” and the 1983 bop “Billie Jean” passed one billion views on the streaming giant. Considering that “Billie Jean” introduced the world to Jackson’s famous Moonwalk dance, we can only assume some of the fans streaming that song over and over were doing their best to learn the King of Pop’s legendary moves.
Thriller Lands Back On The Billboard Hot 100
As impressive as it is to reach the heights of YouTube popularity, it’s important to note that Michael Jackson has remained popular across other platforms as well. Just last month, Jackson’s famous Halloween hit “Thriller” rose from its grave and landed on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 21. This is the sixth year it has managed to do so, proving once and for all that no trick-or-treating season is complete without jamming out to Jackson’s own brand of monster mashing.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller Album
In a fun bit of synchronicity, “Beat It” first premiered on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album along with “Billie Jean.” The singer was no stranger to creating hit records, but this album was full of one banger after another. All in all, it produced no fewer than seven songs that landed on the Billboard Hot 100’s top 100 hits. In addition to the aforementioned tunes, other major hits on this album included “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and “The Girl Is Mine,” which was a killer collaboration between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.
If all this talk about one of Michael Jackson’s most iconic albums has you in the mood to revisit the King of Pop, then you’re in luck: on December 2, Showtime and Paramount+ subscribers will be able to stream Thriller 40, a documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary of this album.
The documentary is going to blend behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album (including never-before-seen footage) along with modern interviews with various artists (including Usher and Mary J. Blige) who were influenced by Jackson’s life and career. It sounds like this documentary will rock, and if you end up doing your best “hee-HEE” Jackson imitation while watching, we won’t judge you.