Michael Jackson Names

A boy I know through work recently had a Michael Jackson birthday party, and he wasn’t kidding about it. He knows every word to every song and the dance to go along with it. So in honor of the littlest Michael Jackson fan, a few names from Michael Jackson songs:

Annie– “Smooth Criminal” features the famous “Annie are you okay?” line. Annie as a given name ranks in the 300s, but formal names that could be shortened to Annie, like Anna and Annabel, are more popular.

Billie Jean– Allegedly, there was no real Billie Jean; instead, the name is a stand in for groupies Jackson and his brothers encountered over the years.

Dorothy and Glinda– Jackson worked on the soundtrack for the Wiz, an updated Wizard of Oz that originated as a stage musical and was later adapted for film. Although all of the music is original, the character names were kept the same.

Diana– “Dirty Diana” is one of only a few songs Jackson wrote that is considered hard rock. Quincy Jones, a co-writer of the song, stated that it was not about Princess Diana or Diana Ross (speculated at the time) but was instead, like Billie Jean, a song about groupies.

Ben– The 1972 song was actually written for Donny Osmond, but performed by Jackson when Osmond’s schedule conflicted with the recording window. Ben on its own is less popular than it’s ever been (it ranked #740 in 2015) but formal version Benjamin is in the top 10.

Dan– Like Ben and Annie, Dan is a friendly, familiar nickname that’s popular right now. “Dapper Dan” was a song on Jackson’s “Forever, Michael” album, one of the least popular records he produced.

Michael– It is, of course, Jackson’s first name, but “Dear Michael” is also a song on the “Forever, Michael” album. Jackson seemed to be a big fan of his own name: it’s included in all 3 of his children’s names, even his daughter’s.

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