Man in the Mirror

"Man in the Mirror"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
Released January 16, 1988
Format CD single, 7" single, 12" single, Video single, Cassette
Recorded May 1987
Length 5:19 (Album & 12" versions)
5:00 (Single & video versions)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard
Producer(s) Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson (co-producer)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"The Way You Make Me Feel"
"Man in the Mirror"
"Dirty Diana"
Music video
"Man In The Mirror" on YouTube
Audio sample
file info · help

"Man in the Mirror" is a song made popular by Michael Jackson and written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. Jackson's recording was produced by Quincy Jones and co-produced by Jackson. It peaked at number 1 in the United States when released in January 1988 as the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad. It is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. The song peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Charts in 1988, but in 2009, following the news of Jackson's death, the song peaked at number 2, having re-entered the chart at 11 the previous week as his top song on the singles chart.[1] It also became the number 1 single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK,[2] having sold over 1.3 million digital copies in the former alone.[3]

The song was remixed for the soundtrack of Jackson's tribute tour Immortal.


"Man in the Mirror" was composed by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. Jackson added background vocals from Garrett, The Winans and the Andraé Crouch Choir, which gave the song its distinctive sound. The song is said to have been one of Jackson's favorite songs.[4] Arranged with a gospel choir, Jackson would use a gospel choir again several years later on his hit "Will You Be There". Siedah Garrett also sang Jackson's duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in summer 1987. The song is played in the key of G Major at a tempo of 100bpm. The vocal range is Ab3-C6.[5]

The single sleeve for "Man in the Mirror" contained a dedication to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped for ransom and subsequently murdered in September 1987. The killing was highly traumatic to the Japanese public and to Jackson himself, who was touring Japan at the time and subsequently dedicated concerts in Osaka and Yokohama to the boy's memory.[6]

Critical response

"Man in the Mirror" is one of Michael Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs. When Ed Hogan reviewed the song, he called it "gentle."[7] Robert Christgau wrote: "He's against burglary, speeding, and sex in favor of harmonic convergence and changing the world by changing the man in the mirror."[8] Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that this song has "gospelly lift."[9] Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson thought that "Man in the Mirror" stands among the half dozen best things Jackson has done, and he continued: "On "Man in the Mirror," a song he did not write, Jackson goes a step further and offers a straightforward homily of personal commitment: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror/I'm asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been any clearer/If you wanna make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change.""[10]

Music video

One of the videos is a notable departure from Jackson's other videos mainly because Jackson himself does not appear in the video (aside from a brief clip toward the end of the video in which he can be seen donning a red jacket and standing in a large crowd). Instead, it featured a montage of footage from various major news events such as the nuclear explosion of Operation Crossroads, the Civil Rights March on Washington, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy's assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Kent State shootings, the Iranian hostage crisis, Cesar Chavez, Solidarity's birth and growth, The Troubles, Ethiopian famine, increases in U.S. homelessness, Live Aid, the first Farm Aid with Willie Nelson, Jessica McClure's rescue, Salvadoran Civil War, Camp David Accords (with Anwar El Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter), INF Treaty signing (with Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan), and other notable people including Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Lech Wałęsa, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Pieter Willem Botha, Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Ku Klux Klan, and Adolf Hitler.[11]

The PCM Stereo music video version of this song was included on Number Ones, Michael Jackson's Vision, the Target version DVD of Bad 25, and the song's video that released on VHS in 1989.

An alternate live video was used as the opening song in Jackson's film Moonwalker with live audio and footage from several live performances of the song during the Bad World Tour.

Chart performance

"Man In The Mirror" was the 4th consecutive number-one single for Jackson's Bad in the United States. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 48 on February 6, 1988, and reached number 1 by its 8th week on the chart, on March 26, 1988, where it remained for 2 weeks.

The song originally peaked at number 21 in the United Kingdom in 1988. However, following Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, "Man in the Mirror" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11, and the following week the song peaked at number 2, held off by Cascada's "Evacuate the Dancefloor". The chart had also contained over 12 Michael Jackson songs in the Top 40. This song had been at top 100 for 15 consecutive weeks in this chart. In Australia the song originally charted at number 39. After the singer's death, the song re-entered the chart and peaked at number 8, much higher than its original release. It was also the top single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK.[2] It has sold 567,280 copies in the UK as of January 2016.[12]


Weekly charts

Chart (1988-2010) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[13] 39
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[14] 11
Canada (RPM Adult Contemporary)[15] 1
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[16] 3
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 23
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 3
Italy (FIMI)[19] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[20] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 4
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[22] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[24] 2
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[24] 1
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles[24] 1
Chart (2008) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 55
Chart (2009–10) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[25] 8
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[26] 17
Belgium (Back Catalogue Singles Flanders)[27] 6
Denmark (Tracklisten)[28] 12
Eurochart Hot 100[29] 7
Hot Canadian Digital Singles[24] 7
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 3
Japan Hot 100[30] 65
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[31] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 9
Norway (VG-lista)[32] 15
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[33] 50
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[34] 19
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[35] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 2
UK R&B Chart 1
US Billboard Hot Digital Songs[24] 2

Year-end charts

Chart (1989-2010) Rank
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 21

Live performances

Jackson performed a live, extended version of the song at the 1988 Grammy Awards. He also performed the song as the ending of the concert during the Bad World Tour's second leg, and regularly during the Dangerous World Tour. Live versions of the song are available on the DVDs Live at Wembley July 16, 1988 and Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour. On July 16, 1996, Jackson also performed "Man in the Mirror" at the Royal Concert Brunei for the last time prior to the United We Stand benefit concert.

The instrumental introduction to the song was played at the end of Jackson's memorial service, while his casket was being carried out; followed by the appearance of a spotlight shining on a microphone on an empty stage. After a closing prayer that incorporated themes from the song, the spotlight remained shining on the lone microphone.[37] The song is also featured as the final number in Michael Jackson's This Is It.

See also

Track listing

  1. "Man in the Mirror" (single version) – 5:00
  2. "Man in the Mirror" (album version) – 5:19
  3. "Man In The Mirror" (instrumental) – 5:00
  1. Man in the Mirror (single version) - 5:00
  2. Man in the Mirror (instrumental) - 5:00
  1. Man in the Mirror (music video) - 5:00

Running time: 5 minutes 30 seconds


Cover performances





External links


  1. "Michael Jackson tops album chart". BBC News. June 29, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Michael Jackson's music tops charts". CNN. July 1, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  3. Paul Grein (September 23, 2010). "Chart Watch Extra: Songs From The Last Century". Chart Watch. Nielsen Business Media. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  4. Siedah Garrett on writing a song for Michael Jackson. YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  5. "Michael Jackson: Man In The Mirror Sheet Music". Aerostation Corporation. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. Related by Casey Kasem on "American Top 40", week of February 27, 1988.
  7. Ed Hogan. "Man in the Mirror review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  8. Robert Christgau. "Michael Jackson". Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  9. Jon Pareles (August 31, 1987). "POP: MICHAEL JACKSON'S 'BAD,' FOLLOW-UP TO A BLOCKBUSTER". The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  10. Davitt Sigerson (October 22, 1987). "Michael Jackson – Bad". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  11. ""Man In The Mirror" short film (with photos and video)". Leaf & Letters (in Japanese). Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  12. Jones, Alan (15 January 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Bieber continues to dominate Top 5 singles". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 15 January 2016. (subscription required (help)).
  13. bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2". ARIA. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  14. "Man In The Mirror - MICHAEL JACKSON". VRT (in Dutch). Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  15. "Adult Contemporary - Volume 48, No. 1, April 23, 1988". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  16. "Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 25, April 09 1988". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  17. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  18. 1 2 "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved July 31, 2013. Only results when searching "Man in the mirror"
  19. "Indice per Interprete: J". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  20. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  21. 1 2 " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  22. "MAN IN THE MIRROR - Michael Jackson". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  23. 1 2 3 "Michael Jackson: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bad awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  25. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  26. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  27. "50 Back Catalogue Singles – 20 February 2010". Ultratop 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  28. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". Tracklisten. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  29. "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  30. "Japan Singles Chart". Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  31. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  32. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". VG-lista. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  33. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  34. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  35. " – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  37. Michael Jackson Memorial Final Closing Prayer by Pastor Lucious Smith "Man in the Mirror" (Youtube video). CNN. YouTube. July 7, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2011. Note: The poster of the video added the segment of the song at the end of the video after the prayer.
  38. "Papoose's Gonne Make That Change sample of Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror". Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  39. "Man In The Mirror REMIX - MICHAEL JACKSON Ft RHYMEFEST". YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  40. DJ Pizzo (February 14, 2008). "Mark Ronson Presents Rhymefest – "Man In The Mirror" – @@@@". Retrieved June 19, 2013. "Ronson teamed up with Chicago super-emcee Rhymefest for Man In The Mirror, a tribute album built upon samples from the King Of Pop himself, Michael Jackson."
  41. Video on YouTube
  42. Natalie Gauci - Top 9 - Man in the Mirror. YouTube. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  43. "Diana Vickers Man in the Mirror X Factor". Metacafe Inc. October 19, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  44. Catriona Wightman (December 6, 2009). "Danyl Johnson voted off 'The X Factor'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  45. "Check out my #telly". Telly. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  46. Beth Hardie (July 1, 2009). "U2 sing tribute to Michael Jackson on first date of 360 world tour in Barcelona - video and pics". Mirror. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  47. The Fray covers Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror". YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  48. "Man in the Mirror - Nobel Peace Prize Concert (Noruega,11.12.09)". Lipstick Alley. DragonByte Technologies Ltd. December 14, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  49. Eddie Razaz Man in the mirror Idol 2009 Lyrics. YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  50. Amy Studt - Man In The Mirror (M.J.). YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  51. "Wang Lee Hom Covers Michael Jackson's Song in Respect". Live Journal. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  52. Laura Gorini (January 7, 2010). "Marco Mengoni- Dove si vola (SonyMusic), l'ep di debutto della nuova stella della musica italiana". TC&C Srl (in Italian). Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  53. The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell (Acoustic Live 091609). YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  54. Whitney Houston: Michael Jackson Tribute (MITM + Speech). YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  55. The Liaison - Man in the Mirror (cover). YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  56. Brad Wete (June 27, 2010). "Chris Brown finally gets his Michael Jackson tribute at BET Awards 2010. Amazing? Yes! Appropriate? Hmmm...". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  57. "Celine Dion Covers Michael Jackson's "Ben" & "Man In The Mirror" In New Vegas Show". Pop Crunch. SeaWaves Technology. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  58. Angeline (April 6, 2011). "Video: Jacob Lusk Sings "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson on April 6". Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  59. Amanda Hensel (June 28, 2011). "Javier Colon and Adam Levine Sing Michael Jackson's 'Man in the Mirror' on 'The Voice'". Pop Crush. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  60. "'Thriller – A Metal Tribute To Michael Jackson': More Details Revealed". Blabber Mouth. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  61. The Voice (2016-10-10), The Voice 2016 Battle - Andrew DeMuro vs. Billy Gilman: "Man in the Mirror", retrieved 2016-10-14
Preceded by
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 26, 1988 – April 2, 1988
Succeeded by
"Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" by Billy Ocean
Preceded by
"Fishnet" by Morris Day
Billboard Hot Black Singles number-one single
March 26, 1988
Succeeded by
"Wishing Well" by Terence Trent D'Arby
Preceded by
"Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas
UK R&B Chart number-one single
July 5, 2009 – July 19, 2009
Succeeded by
"Beat Again" by JLS
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