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The Story Behind Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”

LEGENDS & ICONS - Article By Kevin Douglas

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Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” continues to be a profound song til this day due to its strong message to change the world within. It came at a time when MJ was receiving some negative feedback for his music not being relatable to current issues from his previous album release of the monstrous “Thriller”.

With the “Bad” album release, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones had made a concerted effort to bring more socially aware art to their craft. The first release by the same album title cut, Bad, saw Michael Jackson address the real life story he had read about, of a young man who tried to escape poverty by attending private school but ended up being killed when he returned home. He would act out the role in the music video with a more happy ending however.

The Detail had the following to say about the single, “His release of “Man In The Mirror” was perhaps his most impactful in terms of sending a message for change in the world. Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in The Mirror’ was one of his most personal tracks, even though it wasn’t actually written by the artist. Bold, powerful and socially conscious, Jackson and his producer, Quincy Jones, set out to create an ‘anthem’ for social change, that turned out to have more significance for his legacy after his death, then at the time it was released”.

This is the story behind the inspiration, production and commercial reaction to one of pop history’s most iconic music releases. Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit, ‘Man in The Mirror’ in the video below.

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