500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Michael Jackson, 'Billie Jean'

58. Michael Jackson, 'Billie Jean'

Writer: Jackson
Producers: Jackson, Quincy Jones
Released: Jan. '83, Epic
7 weeks; No. 1

Sinuous, paranoid and omnipresent: The single that made Jackson the biggest star since Elvis was a denial of a paternity suit, and it spent seven weeks at Number One on the pop charts. Jackson came up with the irresistible rhythm track on his home drum machine and he nailed the vocals in one take. "I knew the song was going to be big," Jackson said. "I was really absorbed in writing it." How absorbed? Jackson said he was thinking about "Billie Jean" while riding in his Rolls-Royce down the Ventura Freeway in California — and didn't notice the car was on fire.

Appears on: Thriller (Sony)


The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Michael Jackson

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Michael Jackson

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Thriller

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