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Top 13 Songs that Michael Jackson Co-writes & Produces for other Singers

Top 13 Songs that Michael Jackson Co-writes & Produces for other Singers
Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney together during duet recording in 1981/ Sony/Epic/ Photo: Ultimate Classic Rock

Michael Jackson was a star who loved to work with other people. He never had the arrogance of belittling anyone. Popular or newcomer, he worked with everyone with the same passion. In his career, Michael’s collaboration list is huge. He co-wrote, produced, gave background vocals and all sorts of things. But we have made an effort to put together a list of some of his joint adventures. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

1. This Had to Be (for The Brothers Johnson, co-writer and backing vocals)

Michael wrote the lyrics for the famous The Brother Johnson’s “This Had to Be”. Besides that, he also arranged some of them and backed them up with background vocal. He deserves some credit for this sweet piece of music.

2. Night Time Lover (for La Toya Jackson, co-writer / producer and backing vocals)

La Toya is Michael’s sister who at that released her debut album. Her brother co-wrote the lyrics and lent his voice on the chorus. The song overall performed well and got 59th on Billboard R&B Hip-hop songs.

3. Just Friends (for Carole Bayer Sager, producer and backing vocals)

Carol Bayer Sager’s album Sometimes Late at Night had quite a few sleeping hits that took the listeners by surprise. Michael helped his friend by producing it with Burt Bacharach. He recorded the background vocals as well.

4. Muscles (for Diana Ross, writer/producer, and backing vocals)

“Muscles” was a huge hit for Diana Ross and Michael as he wrote and produced the whole song. It charted on the 10th position of Billboard Hot 100 and claimed huge public attention. Diana and Michael’s friendship is widely recognized, this song is a small example of that.

5. Say Say Say (for Paul McCartney, co-writer and guest appearance)

Michael not only collaborated with Paul McCartney for the song but also appeared in the music video. Paul’s album Pipes of Peace garnered massive acclaim and their collaboration was praised widely. Although their relationship later ended at a bitter point, these memories are worth cherishing.

6. The Man (for Paul McCartney, co-writer and guest appearance)

The duo did another song for the album, “The Man”. Given the ambiguous effect of the lyrics, Paul once said, “it’s quite nice leaving things ambiguous: I’m sure for Michael, probably ‘The Man’ meant God.” 

7. Centipede (for Rebbie Jackson, writer/producer and backing vocals)

“Centipede” is another success of the Jackson family. It is written and produced by Michael Jackson and performed by Rebbie Jackson. The song was a mixed success and given Rebbie’s debut performance, she did it quite well.

8. You’re The One (for Jennifer Holliday, the co-writer/producer)

Jennifer Holliday worked with Michael for her album Say You Love Me. He co-wrote and produced the song “You’re The One”. The album didn’t create much noise but their efforts were appreciated.

9. Eaten Alive (for Diana Ross, co-writer / producer, and backing vocals)

Once again Diana and Michael collaborated in 1985 for the album Eaten Alive. Michael co-wrote the song along with Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb. It got the 77th spot in Billboard Hot 100. Interestingly, it was Michael who suggested Diana make some changes and that’s how he got involved in the song.

10. Alright Now (for Ralph Tresvant, co-writer)

Michael co-wrote the song “Alright Now” for Ralph Tresvant’s eponymous album. The album performed extraordinarily well and was certified platinum by RIAA. Many people don’t know about Michael’s involvement in this album.

10. Why (for 3T, producer and guest appearance)

Michael produced the song “Why”, it was actually written for HIStory. But later he decided not to include that in the album and gave it to his nephew. Michael has also appeared in the music video of the song.

11. Children’s Holiday (for J-Friends, the co-writer / producer)

J-Friends was a fund-collecting collaboration of three Japanese bands. Michael supported their efforts by writing the song “Children’s Holiday”. MJ himself was a human rights enthusiast so it came as a no surprise.

12. There Must Be More To Life Than This (for Queen, producer original record and guest appearance; recorded in 1981)

It was an unreleased song from Freddie Mercury’s debut album Mr. Bad Guy. Freddie and Michael recorded the song at that time but it wasn’t released until 2014. At last, we could listen to the legend duo.

13. Don’t Matter to Me (for Drake, co-writer and virtual guest appearance; Michael recorded for himself in 1983)

Drake made this song from Michael’s unfinished song. “Don’t Matter to Me” brought some warm memories to MJ fans, who could listen once again to some new lines from the King of Pop. Drake’s version got hugely popular in multiple countries of Europe.

Source: Aleks Evdokimov/Quora

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  1. There was another song by Dave Mason that Michael co- wrote and did a duet with just around the time of The Wiz. I forgot the name of the song. There was also “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell.

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