Beat It by Michael Jackson
"Beat It" is a song written and performed by American recording artist Michael Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones (with co-production by Jackson). It is the third single from the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Dutch-American guitarist Eddie Van Halen was tapped to add the song's distinctive overdriven guitar solo, but he refused to appear in the music video. Following the successful chart performances of the Thriller singles "The Girl Is Mine" and "Billie Jean", "Beat It" was released on February 14, 1983 as the album's third single. The song was promoted with a short film that featured Jackson bringing two gangs together through the power of dance. A commercial success, "Beat It" was awarded two Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards and was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. "Beat It" (along with the song's music video) propelled Thriller into becoming the best-selling album of all time. The single was certified platinum in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine placed "Beat It" in the 337th spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In the decades since its release, "Beat It" has been covered, parodied, and sampled by numerous artists including Fergie, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Fall Out Boy. The song was also featured in the National Highway Safety Commission's anti-drunk driving campaign. Show video tutorial!
About the Artist
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs including "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller", were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk.