Got To Be There (3:24)

Cover of The Essential Michael Jackson

From The Essential Michael Jackson and 220 other releases

“Got to Be There” is a 1971 single released by Michael Jackson on the Motown label. It was the singer’s first solo single following his successful tenure as the lead singer of The Jackson 5. Michael’s solo career began in earnest after the success of Got to Be There. The single, written by Elliot Willensky and produced by longtime Jackson 5 producer Hal Davis, was an immediate success - it reached #1 on the Cashbox singles chart, and #4 on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts. It also dominated some European markets, including a #5 position in the UK Singles Chart. With this first hit as a solo artist secured, Motown helped to establish Jackson as a solo act while still with his brothers.

“Got to Be There” was covered by Chaka Khan on her eponymous 1982 solo album. Her version reached the Billboard R&B top 5 and was nominated for a Grammy Award. It was also covered by Boyz II Men for their 2007 album Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA, and by The Miracles on their albums Flying High Together , and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: 1957-1972 . A mostly instrumental version of the song was recorded by jazz guitarist/singer George Benson for his 1993 release Love Remembers.


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