August 29 2018 would have been Michael Jackson's 60th birthday. The King of Pop died almost ten years ago, at the age of 50, leaving behind an incredible legacy of music that played out and discovered by new generations today.
To mark the occasion, Official Charts has teamed up with BBC Radio 2 to reveal his Top 60 biggest singles in the UK, based on physical singles, digital downloads and audio streams up to June 2018.
Not including his work with the Jackson 5 and Jacksons, Michael's solo career has seen him land 55 Top 40s on the Official Singles Chart, seven of which have reached Number 1. View Michael Jackson's Official Chart history in full.
As the lead singer of the Jackson 5 aged just 11, Michael helped to land 12 Top 40s on the Official Singles Chart. Their biggest single in the UK is their 1970 debut, I Want You Back, which places at Number 3 on Michael's all-time chart with combined sales of 918,000. 44% of its overall figure comes from streaming, proving the track remains as popular as ever today.
Two years later, Michael released his debut solo single Got To Be There, a ballad that reached Number 5 on the Official Chart and ranks as his 47th biggest single with combined sales of 174,000.
It would take nearly a decade for Michael to land his first UK Number 1 single with Motown ballad One Day In Your Life. Released after classics such as Rock With You (399k) and Don't Stop Til You Get Enough (812k), the song spent two weeks at the summit in June 1981. It's not remembered as fondly as some of his other hits, but still places at Number 5 on his all-time chart with 790,000 combined sales. 93% of that figure is made up of physical singles, showing how popular it was at the time.
From then, Michael was a regular at the top end of the charts, and his '80s singles make up the bulk of his all-time Top 20. 1987 chart-topper I Just Can't Stop Loving You featuring Siedah Garrett is at 20 (464k); follow-up single Bad is at 16 (491k); Smooth Criminal ranks at 12 (614k) and The Way You Make Me Feel places at 11 (645k).
Two very different Michael Jackson songs feature at the very top end of the Top 60. 1995's Earth Song is at Number 2 with 1.27 million combined sales (82% of which are physical sales), while 1983's Billie Jean is his biggest single in the UK with 1.44 million combined sales. Released as the second single from his Thriller album in 1983, it was the song that took Michael to a new level and kick started what was to become one of the best-selling albums of all time. With a roughly even split between physical (44%), downloads (29%) and streaming (28%), Billie Jean is one of Michael's tracks that has weathered the dramatic changes in how we consume music and truly stood the test of time.
Michael Jackson's Top 60 singles on the Official Chart*
|1||Michael Jackson||Billie Jean||1||Jan-83|
|2||Michael Jackson||Earth Song||1||Dec-95|
|3||Jackson 5||I Want You Back||2||Jan-70|
|4||Michael Jackson||Beat It||3||Apr-83|
|5||Michael Jackson||One Day In Your Life||1||May-81|
|6||Michael Jackson||Don't Stop Till You Get Enough||3||Sep-79|
|7||Michael Jackson||Black Or White (& 1992 Remix)||1||Nov-91|
|8||Michael Jackson||Man In The Mirror||2||Feb-88|
|10||Michael Jackson||You Are Not Alone||1||Sep-95|
|11||Michael Jackson||The Way You Make Me Feel||3||Dec-87|
|12||Michael Jackson||Smooth Criminal||8||Nov-88|
|13||Michael Jackson||Heal The World||2||Dec-92|
|14||Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson||Say Say Say||2||Oct-83|
|15||Michael Jackson||Love Never Felt So Good||8||Apr-14|
|18||Jacksons||Show You The Way To Go||1||Jun-77|
|19||Michael Jackson||She's Out Of My Life||3||May-80|
|20||Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett||I Just Can't Stop Loving You||1||Aug-87|
|21||Jacksons||Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)||4||Mar-79|
|22||Jacksons||Blame It On The Boogie||8||Sep-78|
|23||Michael Jackson||They Don't Care About Us||4||Apr-96|
|24||Michael Jackson||Dirty Diana||4||Jul-88|
|25||Michael Jackson||Remember The Time / Come Together||3||Feb-92|
|26||Michael Jackson||Rock With You||7||Feb-80|
|27||Jacksons||Can You Feel It||6||Feb-81|
|28||Michael Jackson||P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)||11||Mar-84|
|29||Michael Jackson||Leave Me Alone||2||Feb-89|
|30||Michael Jackson||Rockin' Robin||3||May-72|
|31||Michael Jackson||You Rock My World||2||Oct-01|
|32||Michael Jackson||Wanna Be Startin' Something||8||Jun-83|
|33||Jackson 5||I'll Be There||4||Nov-70|
|34||Michael Jackson||Off The Wall||7||Nov-79|
|35||Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson||Scream||3||Jun-95|
|36||Michael Jackson||Give In To Me||2||Feb-93|
|38||Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney||The Girl Is Mine||8||Nov-82|
|39||Michael Jackson||Blood On The Dancefloor||1||May-97|
|40||Michael Jackson||Stranger In Moscow||4||Nov-96|
|41||Michael Jackson featuring AKON||Hold My Hand||10||Nov-10|
|42||Michael Jackson||Farewell My Summer Love||7||Jun-84|
|43||Michael Jackson||History / Ghosts||5||Jul-97|
|44||Jacksons||Walk Right Now||7||Jul-81|
|45||3T featuring Michael Jackson||Why||2||Aug-96|
|46||Michael Jackson||Will You Be There||9||Jul-93|
|47||Michael Jackson||Got To Be There||5||Feb-72|
|48||Michael Jackson||In The Closet||8||May-92|
|49||Jackson 5||Who's Lovin' You||36|
|50||Michael Jackson||Ain't No Sunshine||8||Aug-72|
|51||Michael Jackson||Liberian Girl||13||Jul-89|
|52||Jackson 5||The Love You Save||7||Aug-70|
|53||Michael Jackson||Human Nature||62||Jul-09|
|54||Michael Jackson||Who Is It||10||Jul-92|
|55||Michael Jackson||Another Part Of Me||15||Sep-88|
|57||Michael Jackson & The Jackson 5||Santa Claus Is Coming To Town||43||Dec-72|
|58||Jacksons, Mick Jagger & Michael Jackson||State Of Shock||14||Jul-84|
|59||Jackson 5||Doctor My Eyes||9||Feb-73|
|60||Jackson 5||Lookin' Through The Windows||9||Nov-72|
©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Article Image: Cliff Schiappa/AP/REX/Shutterstock