How Van Halen Changed Michael Jackson's Beat It And Music History

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“Beat It,” improbably, blended the genius of Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson to ignite the King of Pop’s most iconic album. Prior to Thriller’s 1982 November release, MJ had not yet assumed the mantle. Yes, Jackson already owned Grammys, American Music Awards, and secured the highest royalty rate in the industry at 37%.

However, the monumental crossover success of his “Thriller” album, highlighted by “Beat It” took Jackson to heights previously unknown. It sold the world over and then some while also receiving credit for taking hard rock mainstream. Perhaps most incredibly, Van Halen only earned a pair of six-packs for his cataclysmic inducing input. As they say, “it doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Just beat it.”