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Top Singles Produced by Quincy Jones

Top Singles Produced by Quincy Jones

Jazz musician, arranger, producer, entrepreneur, social activist and one of the first black executives of a major record company: all describe the inimitable Quincy Jones. He is a one-person history of the entertainment industry over the past 60 years, going from be-bop to hip-hop. With more Grammy nominations and awards than anyone else alive, Quincy Jones is one of the great American success stories.Here, we take a look at some of the top singles ever produced by Jones. The list is based on a
Photo: David Redfern | Redferns | Getty Images

Jazz musician, arranger, producer, entrepreneur, social activist and one of the first black executives of a major record company: all describe the inimitable Quincy Jones. He is a one-person history of the entertainment industry over the past 60 years, going from be-bop to hip-hop. With more Grammy nominations and awards than anyone else alive, Quincy Jones is one of the great American success stories.

Here, we take a look at some of the top singles ever produced by Jones. The list is based on a point system developed for the third edition of "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits."

Not surprisingly, this list is dominated by the record-setting string of hits he recorded with Michael Jackson. That said, there are still some unexpected titles on the list that might surprise you. Click ahead to see the top music singles ever produced by Quincy Jones.

By Constance Parten, Senior Producer
Posted 18 July, 2011

15. I'll Be Good to You

Artist: Brothers JohnsonAlbum: Look Out For #1Label: A&MCertification: GoldRelease date: June 12, 1976Weeks at No. 1: One on Billboard's R&B chartWeeks on Charts: 17This top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot Singles Charts peaked at No. 3, but hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. Fourteen years later, Jones recorded a cover of "I'll Be Good to You" with Ray Charles and Chaka Khan, taking it once again to the No. 1 position on Billboard's R&B chart.Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Brothers Johnson
Album: Look Out For #1
Label: A&M
Certification: Gold
Release date: June 12, 1976
Weeks at No. 1: One on Billboard's R&B chart
Weeks on Charts: 17

This top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot Singles Charts peaked at No. 3, but hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. Fourteen years later, Jones recorded a cover of "I'll Be Good to You" with Ray Charles and Chaka Khan, taking it once again to the No. 1 position on Billboard's R&B chart.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

14. Dirty Diana

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: BadLabel: EpicCertification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: April 18, 1988Weeks at No. 1: OneWeeks on Charts: 14"Dirty Diana" was the fifth single to be released off of Jackson's "Bad" album. It was also the fifth single from the album to hit No. 1 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The single charted on the top 10 in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and New Zealand.
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Bad
Label: Epic
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: April 18, 1988
Weeks at No. 1: One
Weeks on Charts: 14

"Dirty Diana" was the fifth single to be released off of Jackson's "Bad" album. It was also the fifth single from the album to hit No. 1 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The single charted on the top 10 in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and New Zealand.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

13. The Way You Make Me Feel

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: BadYear: 1988 Label: EpicCertification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: November 9, 1987Weeks at No. 1: One  Weeks on Charts: 18This was the third single from Michael Jackson's "Bad" album. The video, directed by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees fame, was nominated for an MTV Music Award for best choreography, but lost out to Jackson's younger sister Janet's video "The Pleasure Principle."
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Bad
Year: 1988
Label: Epic
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: November 9, 1987
Weeks at No. 1: One  
Weeks on Charts: 18

This was the third single from Michael Jackson's "Bad" album. The video, directed by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees fame, was nominated for an MTV Music Award for best choreography, but lost out to Jackson's younger sister Janet's video "The Pleasure Principle."

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

12. Bad

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: BadLabel: EpicCertification: PlatinumRelease Date: Aug. 28, 1987Weeks at No. 1: Two Weeks on Charts: 14Jackson's "Bad" was inspired by a real-life story about a boy who went to a private boarding school and was murdered out of jealousy by his peers when he returned home.Jackson discussed his inspiration for the song in a .
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Bad
Label: Epic
Certification: Platinum
Release Date: Aug. 28, 1987
Weeks at No. 1: Two
Weeks on Charts: 14

Jackson's "Bad" was inspired by a real-life story about a boy who went to a private boarding school and was murdered out of jealousy by his peers when he returned home.

Jackson discussed his inspiration for the song in a 1988 interview with Ebony/Jet magazines.

Watch the Bad Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

11. You Don't Own Me

Artist: Lesley GoreAlbum: Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up HeartsLabel: MercuryCertification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: January 1964Weeks at No. 1: None. It peaked at No. 2Weeks on Charts: 13You Don't Own Me was Gore's second hit single. It was released at the same time The Beatles were taking America by storm, and Gore's feminist ballad never could knock "I want to Hold Your Hand" out of the No. 1 position.The song was covered with some success in later years by both Both Dusty Springfield and Joan
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Lesley Gore
Album: Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
Label: Mercury
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: January 1964
Weeks at No. 1: None. It peaked at No. 2
Weeks on Charts: 13

You Don't Own Me was Gore's second hit single. It was released at the same time The Beatles were taking America by storm, and Gore's feminist ballad never could knock "I want to Hold Your Hand" out of the No. 1 position.

The song was covered with some success in later years by both Both Dusty Springfield and Joan Jett.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

10. I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Artist: Michael Jackson, Siedah GarrettAlbum: BadLabel: Epic Certification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: July 20, 1987Weeks at No. 1: OneWeeks on Charts: 14This was the first single from Michael Jackson's "Bad" album, and was written by Quincy Jones protege Siedah Garrett. She is quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson that she was unaware she would be singing the song until the day of the recording session, when Jones told her to step up to the microphone.
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson, Siedah Garrett
Album: Bad
Label: Epic
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: July 20, 1987
Weeks at No. 1: One
Weeks on Charts: 14

This was the first single from Michael Jackson's "Bad" album, and was written by Quincy Jones protege Siedah Garrett. She is quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson that she was unaware she would be singing the song until the day of the recording session, when Jones told her to step up to the microphone.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

9. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: Off the WallLabel: EpicCertification: Platinum (RIAA)Release Date: July 28, 1979Weeks at No. 1: OneWeeks on Charts: 21Grammy Recognition: Best R&B Vocal Performance, MaleThis was Michael Jackson's first No. 1 hit from the "Off the Wall" album and his second as a solo artist. In a review on AllMusic.com, Jason Elias wrote "Like the best of Jones' late-'70s, early-'80s work, this wasn't quite disco, couldn't be hardcore funk — it was an amalgam of styles with the all-
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Off the Wall
Label: Epic
Certification: Platinum (RIAA)
Release Date: July 28, 1979
Weeks at No. 1: One
Weeks on Charts: 21
Grammy Recognition: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male

This was Michael Jackson's first No. 1 hit from the "Off the Wall" album and his second as a solo artist. In a review on AllMusic.com, Jason Elias wrote "Like the best of Jones' late-'70s, early-'80s work, this wasn't quite disco, couldn't be hardcore funk — it was an amalgam of styles with the all-important pop accessibility."

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

8. Man in the Mirror

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: BadLabel: EpicCertification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: Jan. 9, 1988Weeks at No. 1: TwoWeeks on Charts: 17When "Man in the Mirror" hit No. 1 in 1988, it was a major musical milestone, marking the first time any artist had ever had four No. 1 hits from one album. Michael Jackson went on to top himself, eventually scoring a fifth No. 1 hit from the album with "Dirty Diana."
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Bad
Label: Epic
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: Jan. 9, 1988
Weeks at No. 1: Two
Weeks on Charts: 17

When "Man in the Mirror" hit No. 1 in 1988, it was a major musical milestone, marking the first time any artist had ever had four No. 1 hits from one album. Michael Jackson went on to top himself, eventually scoring a fifth No. 1 hit from the album with "Dirty Diana."

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

7. The Girl Is Mine

Artist: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartneyAlbum: ThrillerLabel: EpicCertification: GoldRelease Date: Oct. 18, 1982Weeks at No. 1: None. It peaked at No. 2Weeks on Charts: 18What was the first single released from the "Thriller" album? Why, this one, of course. The duet with Paul McCartney was the first of seven singles from the album to become top-10 hits on Billboard's Hot 100. Thriller was the first album to have such a streak of hit singles.
Photo: Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
Album: Thriller
Label: Epic
Certification: Gold
Release Date: Oct. 18, 1982
Weeks at No. 1: None. It peaked at No. 2
Weeks on Charts: 18

What was the first single released from the "Thriller" album? Why, this one, of course. The duet with Paul McCartney was the first of seven singles from the album to become top-10 hits on Billboard's Hot 100. Thriller was the first album to have such a streak of hit singles.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

6. Baby, Come to Me

Artist: Patti Austin with James IngramAlbum: Every Home Should Have OneYear: 1983Label: QwestCertification: Gold (RIAA)Release Date: Early 1982Weeks at No. 1: Three (adult contemporary chart)Weeks on Charts: 23When this song was released as a single in 1982, it didn't do that well, peaking at No. 73 on Billboard's Hot 100. A soap opera love affair would change all of that in 1983, however. When the song became a theme for Luke, of Luke and Laura fame, on ABC's "General Hospital," demand for the
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Patti Austin with James Ingram
Album: Every Home Should Have One
Year: 1983
Label: Qwest
Certification: Gold (RIAA)
Release Date: Early 1982
Weeks at No. 1: Three (adult contemporary chart)
Weeks on Charts: 23

When this song was released as a single in 1982, it didn't do that well, peaking at No. 73 on Billboard's Hot 100. A soap opera love affair would change all of that in 1983, however.

When the song became a theme for Luke, of Luke and Laura fame, on ABC's "General Hospital," demand for the song surged and the single was re-released. It reached No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

5. It's My Party

Artist: Lesley GoreAlbum:I'll Cry If I Want ToLabel: MercuryCertification: N/A (RIAA)Release Date: April 1963Weeks at No. 1: TwoWeeks on Charts: 13This was the first No. 1 hit for Gore and the first hit single for Quincy Jones. The song has been covered many times over the years, but never charted again in the United States. In 2009, American singer Brandy rapped the nearly 50-year-old hit in a. In 2010, British singer Amy Winehouse with Quincy Jones.
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Lesley Gore
Album:I'll Cry If I Want To
Label: Mercury
Certification: N/A (RIAA)
Release Date: April 1963
Weeks at No. 1: Two
Weeks on Charts: 13

This was the first No. 1 hit for Gore and the first hit single for Quincy Jones. The song has been covered many times over the years, but never charted again in the United States.

In 2009, American singer Brandy rapped the nearly 50-year-old hit in avideo on YouTube.
In 2010, British singer Amy Winehouse recorded the song with Quincy Jones.

Watch Lesley Gore sing It's My Party

Source: Billboard.com

4. We Are the World

Artist: USA for AfricaAlbum: We Are the WorldLabel: ColumbiaCertification: 4x Platinum (RIAA)Release Date: March 7, 1985Weeks at No. 1: Four Weeks on Charts: 18Grammy Recognition: Song of the YearIn 1985, Lionel Richie approached Jones with the idea of an all-star concert tour to benefit African famine relief. Jones had another thought. "I said, 'Why aren't we doing records instead? A tour can be a nightmare.' So we decided to do a record," Jones told CNBC.Combining common sense with creativity,
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: USA for Africa
Album: We Are the World
Label: Columbia
Certification: 4x Platinum (RIAA)
Release Date: March 7, 1985
Weeks at No. 1: Four
Weeks on Charts: 18
Grammy Recognition: Song of the Year

In 1985, Lionel Richie approached Jones with the idea of an all-star concert tour to benefit African famine relief. Jones had another thought. "I said, 'Why aren't we doing records instead? A tour can be a nightmare.' So we decided to do a record," Jones told CNBC.

Combining common sense with creativity, Jones knew exactly when all the stars would be available. "I said, 'Okay, the practical time to do it would be after the American Music Awards. Everybody will be in town.'"

And they certainly were. Everyone from Michael Jackson to Bruce Springsteen. With Jones producing, "We Are The World" went on to become one of the biggest selling singles of all time, and raised $63 million.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

3. Beat It

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: ThrillerLabel: EpicCertification: PlatinumRelease Date: Feb. 14, 1983Weeks at No. 1: ThreeWeeks on Charts: 25Grammy Recognition: Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male; Record of the Year"Bung! Bung! Bong. Bong. Bung! Bung! Boooooooong." The opening strains of Jackson's "Beat It" are among the most recognizable of the early 1980s, not to mention the wailing guitar solo by the legendary Eddie Van Halen (whose contract did not allow him to appear in Jackson's famous video)
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Thriller
Label: Epic
Certification: Platinum
Release Date: Feb. 14, 1983
Weeks at No. 1: Three
Weeks on Charts: 25
Grammy Recognition: Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male; Record of the Year

"Bung! Bung! Bong. Bong. Bung! Bung! Boooooooong." The opening strains of Jackson's "Beat It" are among the most recognizable of the early 1980s, not to mention the wailing guitar solo by the legendary Eddie Van Halen (whose contract did not allow him to appear in Jackson's famous video).

The song not only was a huge success for Jackson — it spent more time on Billboard's Hot 100 chart than any other single in Jackson's long career — but also became a coup for musical satirist "Weird Al" Yankovic. His Beat It parody "Eat It" went gold, his only certified gold hit of the 1980s according to RIAA.

Watch the Video | Watch the Eat It Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

2. Rock With You

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: Off the WallLabel: EpicCertification: PlatinumRelease Date: Nov. 3, 1979Weeks at No. 1: FourWeeks on Charts: 24"Off the Wall" was Jackson's first solo album for Epic records, and is widely regarded as his coming-of-age album. "Rock With You" was the second single released from the album, and surpassed the first "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" in popularity and sales.
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Off the Wall
Label: Epic
Certification: Platinum
Release Date: Nov. 3, 1979
Weeks at No. 1: Four
Weeks on Charts: 24

"Off the Wall" was Jackson's first solo album for Epic records, and is widely regarded as his coming-of-age album. "Rock With You" was the second single released from the album, and surpassed the first "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" in popularity and sales.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com

1. Billie Jean

Artist: Michael JacksonAlbum: ThrillerLabel: Epic Certification: PlatinumRelease Date: Jan. 2, 1983Weeks at No. 1: SevenWeeks on Charts: 22Grammy Recognition: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male; Best R&B SongIn 2008,"Billie Jean" was voted the by BBC 2 Radio listeners. According to a BBC story, sound engineer Bruce Swedien said Jackson himself asked for the song to have "the greatest sonic personality that you can possibly put on a track — starting with the drums."Almost 28 years after its releas
Photo Background: Peden+Munk | Workbook Stock | Getty Images

Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Thriller
Label: Epic
Certification: Platinum
Release Date: Jan. 2, 1983
Weeks at No. 1: Seven
Weeks on Charts: 22
Grammy Recognition: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male; Best R&B Song

In 2008, "Billie Jean" was voted the greatest dance record of all time by BBC 2 Radio listeners. According to a BBC story, sound engineer Bruce Swedien said Jackson himself asked for the song to have "the greatest sonic personality that you can possibly put on a track — starting with the drums."

Almost 28 years after its release, the "Thriller" album ranks as the best-selling studio set to-date in the United States with 29 million copies sold, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Watch the Video

Source: Billboard.com, RIAA.com, BBC.co.uk

CNBC Titans: Quincy Jones

From his parents’ California garage Steve Jobs launched the personal computer revolution and built Apple into the most envied, and valuable, technology company in the world. "CNBC Titans"  profiles Jobs and other remarkable people who made careers turning the “unthinkable” into reality and companies that grew from humble roots to worldwide recognition.

With more Grammy nominations and awards than anyone else alive, he produced the biggest selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’sThriller, and the landmark We Are The World.

As a film and TV producer, he introduced the world to Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple and Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jones’ life — many of his greatest accomplishments happened after recovering from a near fatal brain aneurism — is one of the great American success stories.