Michael Jackson Does ‘Billboard’ Magazine

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Almost one year after his untimely death, Billboard magazine is featuring Michael Jackson on the cover of their new issue. The magazine is paying homage to MJ’s 50 Top Hits and reveals his most successful single according to the Billboard charts … and you may be very surprised to find out which of his many songs is his most successful (it ain’t Billie Jean or Thriller). Here is MJ’s Billboard cover and some deets from the coverstory:

In the days, weeks and months following his death on June 25, 2009, from drug-related cardiac arrest, a popular reclaiming of Jackson as a beloved, once-in-a-lifetime musical genius took hold. While cable-news pundits endlessly pored over the tawdry circumstances of his demise, millions of fans new and old simply shrugged their shoulders and happily popped in their “Thriller” CDs. In July, Jackson regained his spot at the top of the Billboard sales charts, moving 422,000 units in the week after his death alone–to date, the Jackson catalog has sold 9 million copies in the year since he passed, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Spontaneously, kids from Bed-Stuy to Beijing were seen sporting bootleg “Thriller” T-shirts and blaring “Billie Jean” as if it were 1983 and Reagan was in the White House. In the fall, the film of Jackson’s rehearsals for the mocked This Is It tour became the highest-grossing concert movie of all time, earning $72 million at the U.S. box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. (The soundtrack to “This Is It,” Sony Music’s only release of new Jackson material since his death, has sold 1.6 million copies.) In March, the Jackson estate, led by co-executors John Branca and John McClain, signed a 10-album, $250 million deal with Sony that will include the release of a collection of previously unreleased tracks, set for November, as well as repackages of Jackson’s 1979 solo breakthrough, “Off the Wall,” and his 1987 album, “Bad.” One month later, Cirque du Soleil, which had created the Beatles’ show “Love” to great acclaim, announced it would produce both a touring and permanent show based on Jackson’s music.

The coverstory article can be read in full HERE … but just to spoil a bit, MJ’s most successful Billboard hit was the song Say, Say, Say — his duet with Paul McCartney. Click HERE to see the full ranking list of MJ’s 50 Top Hits. It’s kinda crazy to think that we are coming up on the one year anniversary of MJ’s death … and yet, he continues to make headlines. Michael Jackson, it would seem, is destined to live on forever in much the same way that Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley do. He might be even bigger … after all, there is still that treasure trove of unreleased Michael Jackson music that has yet to be released. Who knows, in a few years Billboard may have to amend this list of 50 Top Hits with the addition of a few new songs.

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  • DJ Vegas

    Michael Schmicle. Did you not see the top of the page? KYLIE TAKES AMERICA!!!!! Now theres your story. ;)

    • @DJ Vegas – so many publications have tried to make the “Kylie Takes America” story happen. I hate it but I just don’t think it’ll ever really happen.

  • CHASE

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about that cover. He’s painting himself on how he used to look, but yet his current self which was white and noticeably different and what not is looking in the mirror…kind of disrespectful in my opinion.

  • Val 2.0

    Stupid thing only I would notice: the cover art is a take off of a Norman Rockwell piece. Jackson provided backing vocals for for another artist named Rockwell in the 80s about media scrutiny. Gave me an irony chuckle.

  • Winona

    I LOVE the Norman Rockwell tribute!

  • krissy

    I think Chase raises a good point. It is a Rockwell tribute, but the decision to put the “old face” on the portrait was a bold choice. Unlike Chase, I think it makes a good (if cynical) point. There are a lot of people who would rather remember MJ as he was before he went over the edge in his drug addiction and vanity. The guy in the portrait made great music, the guy doing the painting did not.

  • DJ Vegas

    @Trent – Yeah. Prolly not. :( It’s a shame.

  • CHASE

    @Trent – No, I did not. I had no idea who Norman Rockwell even was until you just told me.
    @Krissy – Thank you. : )

  • rheather

    This is awesome! I love it!

    Any MJ fans out there planning to watch the TV Guide Network’s upcoming Michael Jackson special, Gone Too Soon, next week? It’s airing June 25th. I’m really looking forward to watching!

    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3b9oXa9v8c

    http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/gone-soon/305026

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  • @manda

    I actually like it a lot and I don’t see how it’s disrespectful when everyone openly talks about what he did to himself throughout the years.

  • JUST LOOKING FOR MY FAVORITE ARTIST, ‘MICHAEL JACKSON’ GOD, I WISH HE WAS STILL ALIVE. I KEEP ON THINKING EVERY MOMENT WHY, SUCH A BIG OR LETS SAY BIGGER PERSON ON THIS PLANET EARTH. DEAR. GOD, WHY DID YOU TAKE HIM FROM US SO SOON. MY SOUL IS HURTING BECAUSE, I ADORE MJ. JUST TO LET THE WORLD KNOW I’M A FAN AND I AM DEVESTATED FOR HIS LOST. IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE HE WAS EVERYTING TO ME. HE IS MY DREAM ALWAYS TILL I DIED. HE WAS THE BEST IN EVERYTHING HE GAVE TO THE WORLD AND, IS CALLED LOVE SO ‘HOLD MY HAND’ NEVER CAN SAY GOODBY. MY SWEET ‘MICHAEL’ IN MY HEART YOU STILL LIVE. LOVE YOU.

  • TO. BILLBOARD, AND TO THE WORLD TO HEAR YES, MJ. WAS THE BEST THERE’S NO THOUTH. AS A FAN IF I HAD A CHOICE TO PICT ANOTHER PERFORMER ENTERTAINER. I WOULD RATHER GO FOR ‘ CHRIS BROWN, HE DANCES LIKE MICHAEL AND HIS GREAT THINK ABOUT IT. CHRIS CAN ROCK MJ’S MOVES I KNOW I’D SEEN HIM IN ACTION ON STAGE. SO IF CHRIS KNOWS WHAT HIS DOING HE NOT AFRAID ON STAGE. CHRIS, YOU COULD REALY DANCE I LIKE HIM AND CONGRATULATION ON HIM DOING SO WELL TODAY. TO ‘HOLLYWOOD’ MY BEST TO CHRIS BROWN, HE DESERVED A BIG CHANCE JUST LIKE ‘MICHAEL JACKSON. THAT’S ALL LOVE, PEACE, AND HAPPINES.

  • BILLBOARD. BRITNEY, YES SHE’S SEXY SHE’S GOOD. LADY GAGA, WELL SHE’S NOT MY CUP OF TEA. SO I WOULD HAVE TO SAY ‘WHO’ ‘PINK’ THAT’S HER SHE’S THE ONE POPPING AND SHE DANCES LIKE JANET JACKSON. SHE GOT STYLE AND BEATY SHE GOT TALENT.