Today in Music History (Sept. 2): Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" becomes first song ever to debut at #1

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September 2, 1995 - Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" becomes first song ever to debut at #1

In the 1980s it seemed that Michael Jackson could do no wrong. His three album collaborations with Quincy Jones (Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad) were both critically acclaimed and were among the biggest selling albums of their time - or any time.

By 1995, Jackson was still a huge star, but seemingly was no longer singular in his renown. There was nonetheless great anticipation for his sort-of-Greatest-Hits album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, when it was released that Summer, a combination of his biggest hits and some new recordings. And one of the new cuts was a beautiful ballad written by R&B bad boy, R. Kelly, "You Are Not Alone."

September 2, 1995 - Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" becomes first song ever to debut at #1

In the 1980s it seemed that Michael Jackson could do no wrong. His three album collaborations with Quincy Jones (Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad) were both critically acclaimed and were among the biggest selling albums of their time - or any time.

By 1995, Jackson was still a huge star, but seemingly was no longer singular in his renown. There was nonetheless great anticipation for his sort-of-Greatest-Hits album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, when it was released that Summer, a combination of his biggest hits and some new recordings. And one of the new cuts was a beautiful ballad written by R&B bad boy, R. Kelly, "You Are Not Alone."

The song was not just well received, it was historic in its acceptance by the public. So much so, that it became the first song in the 37 year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to debut at number one in the U.S. (it also topped the charts several other countries), and ultimately was certified as a platinum single and a Grammy Award nominee.

Ironically, “You Are Not Alone” became Jackson’s last #1 pop song. The King of Pop would continue to record with less frequency, and less success, until his untimely death in 2009, but for this moment in 1995, he was absolutely historic.

 
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