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"Girlfriend" is a song written by Paul McCartney. McCartney thought of the song as one that Michael Jackson might like to record, and mentioned this to Jackson at a party in Hollywood. However, McCartney ended up recording it himself with his band Wings, and it was issued in 1978 on the album London Town. Subsequently, it was suggested by Quincy Jones as a possible track for Jackson to record for his 1979 album Off the Wall. Jones was unaware that the song had been written for Jackson in the first place. Jackson's recording omitted the middle eight heard in McCartney's version. It was issued as a single in 1980, in the UK only, as the fifth and final single from the Off the Wall album. It performed rather poorly, just managing to enter the top 50 at #41 and falling out of the top 100 completely after five weeks.

McCartney and Jackson subsequently worked together on "The Girl Is Mine" from Thriller and two tracks from McCartney's Pipes of Peace album, "Say Say Say" and "The Man". The musical partnership would end in the 1980s after Jackson purchased the ATV Music catalog, which held the rights to numerous Beatles tracks, which McCartney contested.

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