Earth Song (4:59)

Cover of HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 (disc 2: HIStory Continues)

From HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 (disc 2: HIStory Continues) and 32 other releases

“Earth Song” is the third single from Michael Jackson’s album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It is a ballad that incorporates elements of blues, gospel and opera. Jackson had a long-standing history of releasing socially conscious material such as “We Are the World”, “Man in the Mirror” and “Heal the World”. However, “Earth Song” was the first that overtly dealt with the environment and animal welfare. The song was written and composed by Jackson; the task of production was split between Jackson, David Foster and Bill Bottrell.

Reviews were generally favorable, but some charged that the song sounded pompous, even if unintentional. “Earth Song” was accompanied by a lavish music video shot on four geographical regions. It centered around the destruction and rebirth of Earth and went on to receive a Grammy nomination in 1997. The song was a top five hit in most European countries. In the UK, it remains Jackson’s best-selling single. “Earth Song” was not released as a single in the United States.
Jackson performed the song at the 1996 BRIT Awards, but was interrupted when Jarvis Cocker stormed the stage, offended with the imagery presented. Jackson went on to receive recognition from various animal and environmental organizations.

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