THE SHORT FILM
Director: Steve Barron
Primary Production Location: Los Angeles, California
Michael Jackson's short film for "Billie Jean" was the first of three short films produced for recordings from Thriller, which continues its reign as the biggest selling album of all time with worldwide sales in excess of 105 million as of June 1, 2016 and in December, 2015 became the first ever album to be awarded triple diamond status by the RIAA for US sales alone. The ""Billie Jean"" single reached No. 1 in 10 countries in the spring of 1983, including seven consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 - becoming the second-highest selling single in America that same year.
"Billie Jean" was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on April 4, 1983, and Platinum on February 4, 1989. The song won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance - Male, as well as an American Music Award for Favorite Single - Pop/Rock and was also named the Single of the Year on The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll in 1983.
The short film featured a paparazzo attempting to photograph Jackson as he danced through an urban landscape. A specially created set featured steps and sidewalk tiles that lit up underneath Michael's feet. It is here that fans first saw some of Michael's best-known dance moves, such as spinning and landing on his toes. Many of Michael's steps and mannerisms in the video would become forever associated with The King of Pop.
When the chorus hit. he sprung into this dance that was unlike anything I'd ever seen, director Steve Barron recounted of Jackson's choreography in the video. "It was just extraordinary, instinctive. He pulled it all together and turned it into what we saw. The camera literally steamed up, the eyepiece steamed up, because of my heat from what I was seeing." Barron also recalled the crew breaking into spontaneous applause after Michael finished dancing.
The "Billie Jean" short film made history as the first video by a black artist to be played in heavy rotation on MTV, then in its second year. In 1992, the short film was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. MTV ranked "Billie Jean" as the 35th greatest music video of all time in 1999, one of three entries of Jackson's on the chart alongside "Thriller" and "Beat It."
Written & Composed by Michael Jackson
Produced by Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions
Co-Produced by Michael Jackson for MJJ Productions, Inc.
From the album Thriller, released November 30, 1982
Released as a single January 2, 1983
She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene I said, "Don't mind, but what do you mean, I am the one Who will dance on the floor in the round?" She said I am the one Who will dance on the floor, in the round She told me her name was Billie Jean As she caused a scene Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of bein' the one Who will dance on the floor in the round People always told me, "Be careful of what you do Don't go around breakin' young girls' hearts" (Hee-hee) And mother always told me, "Be careful of who you love And be careful of what you do (Oh-oh) 'Cause the lie becomes the truth" (Oh-oh) Billie Jean is not my lover She's just a girl who claims that I am the one (Oh, baby) But the kid is not my son, hoo! She says I am the one (Oh, baby) But the kid is not my son (Hee-hee-hee, no-no-no, hee-hee-hee) Hoo! For forty days and for forty nights, law was on her side But who can stand when she's in demand? Her schemes and plans 'Cause we danced on the floor in the round, hee! So take my strong advice, just remember to always think twice (Don't think twice) Do think twice! (A-hoo!) She told my baby we'd danced 'til three, then she looked at me Then showed a photo my baby cried, his eyes were like mine (Oh, no) 'Cause we'd danced on the floor in the round, baby (Ooh, hee-hee-hee) Hee! Hoo! People always told me, "Be careful of what you do And don't go around breakin' young girls' hearts" (Don't break no hearts!) (Hee-hee) But she came and stood right by me Just the smell of sweet perfume (Ha-oh) This happened much too soon (Ha-oh, ha-ooh) She called me to her room (Ha-oh, hoo!) Billie Jean is not my lover (Hoo!) She's just a girl who claims that I am the one But the kid is not my son No-no-no, no-no-no-no-no-no (Hoo!) Billie Jean is not my lover She's just a girl who claims that I am the one (Oh baby) But the kid is not my son (Oh, no, no) She says I am the one (Oh baby) But the kid is not my son (No, hee-hee!) Ah, hee-hee-hee! Hee! Hoo! She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son No-no-no, hoo! (Ouw!) Billie Jean is not my lover She's just a girl who claims that I am the one (You know what you did to me, baby) But the kid is not my son No-no-no, no-no-no-no (No-no-no, no-no-no-no) She says I am the one But the kid is not my son (No-no-no-no) She says I am the one (You know what you did) She says he is my son (Breakin' my heart, babe) She says I am the one Billie Jean is not my lover Billie Jean is not my lover Billie Jean is not my lover (She is just a girl) Billie Jean is not my lover (She is just a girl) (Don't call me Billie Jean) Billie Jean is not my lover (She is just a girl) (Hoo!) (She's not at the scene) Billie Jean is not (Hee! Aaow! Ooh!) Billie Jean is