Michael Jackson’s 13 Favorite Songs—From Charlie Chaplin to Shaggy

Michael Jackson—aka The King of Pop—created some of the most lasting songs in the history of American music, from “Bad” to “Billie Jean” to “Dirty Diana.”

Videos by American Songwriter

But one may wonder that while Jackson, who passed away in 2009, has created so many people’s favorite songs, what were his? The answers are below and they range from show tunes to pop hits.

Here, we will dive into what the hitmaker loved to listen to, from Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder and much more.

1. “Wasn’t Me,” Shaggy

According to Time magazine, Jackson loved this irreverent hit from 2000. “Shaggy pauses the performance takes the microphone, climbs on a speaker, and asks Jackson—the King of Pop himself—to join in because he has heard that this is one of Jackson’s favorite tunes,” the outlet wrote.

Shaggy told Hot Morning Crew radio program about what it was like meeting Jackson. “[W]e had a conversation, because ‘Wasn’t Me’ was one of his favorite songs, and he says to me ‘So Shaggy, did you write that song?’ and I said ‘Yeah.’ And he said ‘That sounds like something I would write.’ And I said ‘So you be bangin’, huh?’”

2. “Smile,” Charlie Chaplin

There is a lot online about Jackson’s love for this song by the famous silent movie star. Chaplain helped to write the music for his movie Modern Times. And songwriters John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons later adapted part of that score into “Smile,” which Jackson often said was his favorite song.

Jackson has even covered the tune himself. (Listen here).

3. “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye

Okay, this is where things get really interesting and serious. In this video interview, we hear answers straight from Jackson’s mouth. Listening to his speaking voice, Jackson rattles off 10 songs and albums he loves. So, let’s take them one by one, starting with Gaye’s classic, “What’s Going On.”

4. “I’ll Go Crazy,” James Brown

Jackson talks about the entire album from Brown, Live At the Apollo. The King of Soul meets the King of Pop.

5. “If You Want Me To Stay,” Sly and the Family Stone

“I love everything that they do,” Jackson says about Sly and the Family Stone.

6. “Living for the City,” Stevie Wonder

“Stevie Wonder is ingenious,” says Jackson, before listing off several songs from Wonder’s classic LP, Songs in the Key of Life. He called Wonder “Fantastic” and added, “Hearing his music made me say to myself I can do this and I think I can do this on an international level, really.”

7. “Night Fever,” Bee Gees

Said Jackson of the brother trio, “The Bee Gees came out in the ’70s that did it for me. I cried listening to their music.” There isn’t a better seal of approval, really.

8. “The Sound of Music,” Rodgers and Hammerstein

Michael says he loves show tunes and loves practically anything from the legendary songwriting duo Rodgers and Hammerstein.

9. “The Tracks Of My Tears,” Smokey Robinson

Jackson says he looked up to Smokey Robinson.

10. “Alfie,” Burt Bacharach

He says he just loved the standout songwriter and performer Bacharach.

11. “On Broadway,” the Drifters

Jackson was a sucker for songs like this, big swelling tunes.

12. “My Girl,” The Temptations

Perhaps the most timeless song ever by a legendary group.

13. “California Dreamin’,” The Mamas & The Papas

The soul-pop tune to end all soul pop tunes.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Leave a Reply

Barbra Streisand’s Long-Awaited Memoir to Arrive This Year