Over the course of his long and storied career, Michael Jackson found his way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 a total of a dozen times. He was no stranger to the highest echelon of the pop chart, and some of those songs became the cornerstones of popular music at the end of the 20th century — tracks like “Billie Jean,” “Bad,” “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” and “Black or White.” On this day in 1995, Jackson hit the top of the chart for the last time, debuting at the number one spot with “You Are Not Alone.”
“You Are Not Alone” was the third single from Jackson’s double-disc album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, which combined a disc of greatest hits with a disc of brand new songs. Though it was something of a controversial release for Jackson, the songs still managed to perform well, as both “Scream” (his duet with sister Janet) and “Childhood” both peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. But “You Are Not Alone” — a sweet ballad that featured a video starring Jackson and then-wife Lisa Marie Presley, was a juggernaut that took radio and MTV by storm. The track unseated Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” as the top song in the country, and was replaced the following week by Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Only five days after topping the chart, Jackson completed an incredible fall run with a performance at the 1995 Video Music Awards, during which he performed a medley of hits, busted out a full version of “You Are Not Alone” and welcomed Slash to the stage for some six-string pyrotechnics.
The aforementioned video for “You Are Not Alone” is pretty simple (and nowhere near as expensive as Jackson’s wallet-busting clip for “Scream”), but it gets the job done.