“You Are Not Alone”
Released in 1995, it was the first song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Jackson was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and steadfastly refused to use profanity. “Scream,” a duet with his sister Janet Jackson, is the only time he ever swore in a song: “Just stop messing with me / just stop f***ing with me / make me want to scream.”
Horror movie legend Vincent Price recorded his spoken- word interlude in just two takes. Songwriter Rod Temperton wrote it in a taxi on the way to Price’s recording session.
Jackson planned it as a duet with Prince. Prince backed out over lyrical content. (He was reportedly uncomfortable with the song’s first line, “Your butt is mine.”)
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
Another duet for the Bad album, which Jackson wrote to perform with Whitney Houston. She had recorded three hit duets with Jackson’s brother Jermaine, but turned this one down. So did Barbra Streisand. Who got the gig? An unknown backup singer named Siedah Garrett, who also co-wrote “Man in the Mirror” with Jackson.
“Wanna Be Startin’ Something”
Jackson was sued for stealing the song’s African-influenced chorus from the 1972 landmark disco song “Soul Makossa” by Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango. (They settled out of court.)
Eddie Van Halen played the song’s guitar solo as a favor to producer Quincy Jones. He was uncredited and unpaid for his work, apart from the two six-packs of beer Jones gave him during the recording session.