ABC (The Jackson 5 song)

"ABC" is a 1970 #1 hit by The Jackson 5. It was released on February 24. "ABC" knocked The Beatles' "Let It Be" off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, and was #1 on the soul singles chart for four weeks.

Single by The Jackson 5
from the album ABC
B-side"The Young Folks"
ReleasedFebruary 24, 1970
FormatVinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
RecordedDecember 1969[1]
M 1163
Songwriter(s)The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell and Deke Richards)[2]
Producer(s)The Corporation
The Jackson 5 singles chronology
"I Want You Back"
"The Love You Save"

Written with a similar structure and feel as the Jacksons' first hit of 1970, "I Want You Back". ABC was performed on television on American Bandstand (February 21, 1970), The Ed Sullivan Show (May 10, 1970), and The Flip Wilson Show (November 4, 1971), among many other broadcasts. "ABC" is considered one of the band's signature songs. It is one of the shortest titles to hit #1, and is the first alphabetically in a list of #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The upbeat lyrics compare learning to love to learning the alphabet. This makes it similar to Len Barry's 1965 hit "1-2-3." The song is considered by some to be one of the first disco songs.[4]

50 Cent told NME that the song was the first he remembered hearing: "I've always loved MJ, so I guess it was probably a good place to start music: right here, with the ABCs."[5] On November 7, 2016, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced its induction, along with that of another 24 songs.[6]

The song was parodied by Stay Human and Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste in a funny and witty sketch for his Late Show, called Jon Batiste Sings Classic Valentine's Day Black History Month Love Songs, that parodied 60', 70' and 80' hit songs and turns their original text as tributes to great black celebs and activists, in this case the legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the president at the time of his work, Lyndon B. Johnson, that united together for fight the Ku Ku Klan (in the song KKK), that Batiste gleefully tells to “suck it” in the end of the parody song.


Chart (1970–71) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[7] 24
UK Singles Chart 8
US Billboard Hot 100 1
Chart (2009) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 43
Irish Singles Chart 38
UK Singles Chart 50


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[8] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Gold 400,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allard, François; Lecocq, Richard (2018-10-04). "Michael Jackson: All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track". Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-05-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books. p. 272.
  4. ^ "Disco 70 Charts - 1971".
  5. ^ Haynes, Gavin (October 1, 2015). "Soundtrack of my life". NME. p. 48.
  6. ^ "Nirvana, Bowie, R.E.M. Songs Among Grammy Hall of Fame's 2017 Inductees".
  7. ^ The Jackson 5 - "ABC" (1970) single charts Archived August 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Jackson 5 – ABC" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved January 25, 2020. Select 2016年1月 on the drop-down menu
  9. ^ "British single certifications – Jackson 5 – ABC". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type ABC in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

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