Heaven Can Wait (Michael Jackson song)

"Heaven Can Wait"
Song by Michael Jackson from the album Invincible
Released October 30, 2001
Format Digital download
Recorded 1999 – February 2001
Genre Pop, quiet storm, soul, R&B[1]
Length 4:49
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, Andreao "Fanatic" Heard", Nate Smith, Teron Beal, Eritza Laues, Kenny Quiller
Producer(s) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley
Andreao Heard, Nate Smith (co-producers)
Invincible track listing

"Break of Dawn"
"Heaven Can Wait"
"You Rock My World"

Heaven Can Wait" is a song recorded by Michael Jackson, originally released on his 2001 studio album Invincible. The song was written by Jackson, Teddy Riley, Andreao Heard, Nate Smith, Teron Beal, Eritza Laues and Kenny Quiller.


Michael Jackson - Heaven Can Wait
Sample song of Heaven Can Wait by Michael Jackson

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The song was originally written by Teddy Riley for BLACKstreet's 1999 album Finally.[2] However, while writing the song with Jackson, the singer asked Riley to give this song to him for he wanted that song, and needed that song in his life.[3] Riley agreed with him and the song was listed in Michael's 2001 album Invincible.[2] In an interview with Hip-Hop Wired, Riley talked about the recording sessions of the song: "What I did with Michael doing strings on 'Heaven Can Wait,' was like, we did the track first, that all took one day, and then the string section and then we did the guitar session and that's about three days. So the modern day is a little quick."[3] After receiving a digital release on October 30, 2001,[4] "Heaven Can Wait" was scheduled for release to radio stations across the United States, but was cancelled due to unspecified reasons.[2] At a tempo of 59 beats per minute, it is one of Jackson's slowest songs.


The song received mixed reviews from most music critics. Mark Anthony Neal of SeeingBlack.com praised the song, saying, "[Heaven Can Wait] features arguably one of Jackson's best vocal performance since Thriller's 'The Lady in My Life.'"[5] Milena Brown of PRessure PR thought the song was "breathless", and "clearly did not get the same recognition it deserved". Bill Johnson from The Urban Daily thought "Heaven Can Wait" kept Invincible "simple and smooth that excel the most".[6] Robert Hilburn of Los Angeles Times said the song was "a tale about turning away an angel who comes to take him to heaven because he wants to stay with his darling, seem aimed at the lower end of 'N Sync's fan base -a difficult stretch for a man of 43."[7] NME gave a mixed review to the song, saying "around this point you realise that Jackson is no longer pioneering - this would be a good Usher ballad. It has classic 'if I should die tonight' love lyrics and swelling chords, but doesn't add up to all that much."[8] On April 27, 2002, the song peaked at number seventy-two on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[9]


Chart (2002) Peak
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 72[2][9]


Cover versions

BLACKstreet Version

The song was also recorded by BLACKstreet, originally lined up to their 1999 album Finally. After being released by Jackson, their version did not make into the album. In an interview with The Urban Daily on December 12, 2010, Riley confirmed that the upcoming album from Blackstreet will feature a cover of "Heaven Can Wait".[3][10] He said "Blackstreet is gonna do something incredible with that song."[11] However, Riley stated in 2006 to re-make the song, for a new BLACKstreet album, but the new album did not finish until 2011.[2]


  1. "Heaven Can Wait by Michael Jackson". Yahoo! Music. October 30, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2007). Michael Jackson: For The Record. Bedfordshire: Authors OnLine Ltd. p. 137. ISBN 0-7552-0267-8.
  3. 1 2 3 Dusun Allah (July 8, 2007). "When "Heaven Can Wait": Teddy Riley Remembers Michael Jackson". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  4. "Amazon.com: Heaven Can Wait: Michael Jackson: MP3 Downloads". Epic. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  5. Neal, Mark Anthony (December 21, 2010). "The Return of the Scarecrow: Michael Jackson's 'Invincible'". SeeingBlack.com. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  6. Johnson, Bill (July 25, 2010). "The Urban Daily's Guide To Michael Jackson's Albums". theurbandaily.com. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  7. Hilburn, Robert (October 28, 2011). "Michael Jackson's 'Invincible'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  8. "Michael Jackson : 'Invincible'". NME. October 17, 2001. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  9. 1 2 "Heaven Can Wait by Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  10. "Teddy Riley Says No Guy Reunion, New Blackstreet Album To Feature MJ Cover". The Urban Daily. December 12, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  11. . Oakes, Gosho (December 12, 2010). "Teddy Riley on new Blackstreet LP, MJ cover, 'No Diggity' backstory & failed Guy reform". Soul Culture. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
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