Billie Jean Song Story-Michael Jackson

Arinzona Elect
5 min readMay 12, 2021


The famous Billie Jean became the most famous and commercially successful single of Michael Jackson, whose popularity at one time went beyond all imaginable boundaries. It was with the release of this song that he appeared before the public as we remember him, and began to turn into a pop icon. Moreover, Billie Jean made way for black artists on MTV.

Billie Jean Song Story-Michael Jackson mp3

History and meaning of the song Billie Jean

Jackson claimed that Billie Jean is based on the experience of his brothers and colleagues in The Jackson 5, who were constantly harassed by fans.

Here’s what he revealed about the meaning of the song at a fan meeting in Thailand:

There’s a girl named Billie Jean, but it’s not the same Billie Jean. This Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. She represents a lot of girls. In the sixties, they were called “groups”. They hung around the backstage doors, ready to connect with any band that came into town. I think I wrote this from my brothers ‘ and my own experiences when I was little. There were a lot of Billie Jean’s back then. Each girl claimed that her son was related to one of my brothers.

Thailand, 1996

However, most researchers of Jackson’s work believe that the story of the song Billie Jean is connected with the personal experiences of the musician. In 1981, he was harassed by a deranged woman who claimed that he was the father of one of her twins. Such claims were commonplace for Michael, but this time the situation was particularly difficult.

Michael wrote the lyrics and music himself. According to Q magazine, it happened in his home studio in Encino. While working on Billie Jean, Jackson was literally obsessed with the song and once almost died because of it:

I knew it was going to be a hit before I wrote it. This song completely engulfed me. Once, during a break in a recording session, I was driving down the Ventura Freeway with Nelson Hayes, who was working with me at the time. Billie Jean was running through my head, and all I could think about was her. We were pulling off the highway when a guy on a motorcycle pulled up to us and said, “ Your car is on fire.” Suddenly, we noticed smoke, pulled over to the side of the road, and realized that the entire lower part of the Rolls-Royce was on fire. That guy may have saved our lives. If the car had exploded, we might have been killed. But I was so engrossed in the melody playing in my head that it wasn’t until some time later that I thought about the possible terrible consequences.

Now it seems incredible, but such a seasoned producer as Quincy Jones did not recognize the potential of the song, and much of it he did not like at all. He believed that the name Billie Jean would remind people of the famous tennis player, and suggested changing it to Not My Lover. The introduction seemed to him “ … so long that you could have had time to shave.” He did not even like the bass guitar part that Jackson composed for three weeks (not without the influence of the song I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) by the duo Hall & Oats). However, Michael convinced Jones to record Billie Jean without changing anything about it.

Release and achievements

Billie Jean’s first single from the album Thriller was released on January 2, 1983. It topped the charts of many countries, became one of the best-selling albums in the world, and received platinum status. The song was awarded two Grammys and several other prestigious awards. Rolling Stone listed Billie Jean as one of the five hundred greatest songs of all time.

Billie Jean has recorded numerous covers and remains one of the most frequently sampled tracks.

Billie Jean Video Clip

The music video for the song was directed by Steve Barron. The video had to be launched on MTV, but the management of the then-young channel did not want to take clips of black artists. And then the president of the CBS label, Walter Yetnikoff, took over. He threatened to remove all their products from MTV and tell the public about the racial discrimination that prevails on the channel. After that, “Billie Jean” got into a very active rotation, which contributed to its further popularity.

Download Billie Jean Song by Michael Jackson

Interesting facts

  • While performing “Billie Jean” on “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever”, Jackson performed “moonwalk” for the first time.
  • The song was used in a famous Pepsi commercial featuring Jackson. During the filming of the video, he was seriously burned.
  • Lydia Murdock recorded the song “ Superstar” as an answer to “Billie Jean”.
  • In 2012, the handwritten lyrics of the song “Billie Jean “ were sold at auction for almost twenty-five thousand pounds.

Lyrics by Billie Jean-Michael Jackson

She looked more like a beauty queen from a movie
I said I don’t mind, but what do you mean by saying I’m the one
Who will dance in the center of the circle
She said I’m the one who will dance in the center of the circle

She said her name was Billie Jean, and when she made a scene,
Everyone turned to look at us, and their eyes shone with the desire to be the one who was going to kill us.
Who will dance in the center of the circle

I’ve always been told to be careful what I do
And don’t break girls ‘ hearts right and left
And my mother always told me to be careful when choosing who to love,
And be careful what you do, because a lie becomes a truthfully Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims I’m the one
But the child is not my son
She keeps saying I’m the one, but the baby isn’t my son

Billie Jean is not my mistress
She’s just a girl who claims I’m the one
But the child is not my son
She keeps saying I’m the one, but the baby isn’t my son

Forty days and forty nights
The law was on her side
But who can resist if it’s so popular,
Her intrigues and schemes
After all, we danced in the center of the circle
Here’s my insistent advice: never forget to think twice
(Don’t think twice, don’t think twice)

She told me, my little one, that we danced until three, and then she looked at me
Then he showed me a picture of my baby crying, his eyes were like mine (oh no!)
We were dancing in the center of the circle, baby

I’ve always been told to be careful what I do
And don’t break girls ‘ hearts right and left
She came and stood right next to me
Just the smell of sweet perfume
It happened too fast
She called me to her room

Quote about the song

Billie Jean is the most important record he’s ever made. And not only because of its commercial success, but also because of its musical depth. It has more “chips” than any other thing I’ve ever heard. In that song, everything caught on, and each instrument did it in its own way. It could be divided into twelve separate pieces of music, and I think it would be twelve separate hits. I look for this kind of song every day.

Antonio Reid, Rolling Stone, 2004



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