Beat It  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Beat It" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written by Jackson and co-produced by Quincy Jones for the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Jones had wanted an ambitious black rock 'n' roll song, however, Jackson had never previously shown an interest in the genre. Eddie Van Halen was drafted in to add the distinctive overdriven guitar solo with tapping, but initially thought the phone calls from Jones requesting that he participate were fake. The lyrics of "Beat It" are about defeat and courage.

Following the successful chart performances of Thriller, "The Girl Is Mine" and "Billie Jean", "Beat It" was released on February 14, 1983, as the album's third single. The song was a worldwide commercial and critical success, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. Both "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" occupied Top 5 positions at the same time, a feat matched by very few artists. One of the most lauded songs in history, "Beat It" was certified platinum in 1989.

Honoured numerous times—including two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame—"Beat It" and the song's music video propelled Thriller into becoming the best-selling album of all time. The song was promoted with a short film that featured Jackson bringing two real life gangs together through the power of dance. Covered and sampled by modern artists, including Fergie and Fall Out Boy, the song was included in the National Highway Safety Commission's anti-drunk driving campaign. "Beat It" has become a signature song of Jackson; the singer performed it on all of his world tours.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Beat It" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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