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"Man in the Mirror" is a song recorded by Michael Jackson, with lyrics by Siedah Garrett and music by Glen Ballard, and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It peaked at number 1 in the United States when released in January 1988 as the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad (1987). It was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

"Man in the Mirror"
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror.png
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
ReleasedJanuary 16, 1988
RecordedMay 1987[1]
Length5:19 (album and 12" versions)
5:00 (single and video versions)
Songwriter(s)Siedah Garrett
Glen Ballard
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Get It"
"Man in the Mirror"
"Dirty Diana"
Audio sample
Music video
"Man In The Mirror" Video on YouTube

The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, becoming his tenth number-one single on that chart. 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.[2] It also became the number 1 single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK,[3] having sold over 3 million digital copies in the former alone.[4] 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. The song is said to have been one of Jackson's favorite songs.[5] 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 mid-1987. The song is played in the keys of G major and A major at a tempo of 100 bpm. The vocal range is A3–C6.[6]

The single sleeve for "Man in the Mirror" contains a dedication to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped and murdered in September 1987. Jackson was touring Japan at the time and dedicated concerts in Osaka and Yokohama to Yoshiaki's memory.[7]

Critical responseEdit

When Ed Hogan reviewed the song, he called it "gentle."[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] In 2017, ShortList's Dave Fawbert listed the song as containing "one of the greatest key changes in music history".[11]

Music videoEdit

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 of various major news events and famous people.[12]

The "Man in the Mirror" music video was directed, produced and edited by Don Wilson. Don and Michael Jackson developed the idea for the video. Larry Stessel who was Video Commissioner at Epic Records at the time was the Executive Producer.

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. The first segment of Moonwalker is a live performance of "Man in the Mirror" during his Bad Tour in Europe. Clips from Wembley Stadium among others can be seen. It also features a montage of clips of children in Africa, Adolf Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, Martin Luther King Jr., the Kent State shootings, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Lech Wałęsa, kids in Graduation, and other historical figures.

Live performancesEdit

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.[13] The song is also featured as the final number in Michael Jackson's This Is It.

Track listingEdit

  • 12" and CD
  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
  • 7"
  1. Man in the Mirror (single version) - 5:00,g_1:music&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi768btwvHjAhVGQEEAHa9fAk4Q4lYIGSgK&biw=480&bih=243
  2. Man in the Mirror (instrumental) - 5:00
  • Video single
  1. Man in the Mirror (music video) - 5:00

Running time: 5 minutes 30 seconds

Chart performanceEdit

"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.[3] It has sold 567,280 copies in the UK as of January 2016.[14]


  • Written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Co-Produced by Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jackson: Solo & background vocals
  • Ollie E. Brown: Clap
  • Dann Huff: Guitar
  • Greg Phillinganes: Keyboards
  • Glen Ballard, Randy Kerber: Synthesizers
  • Siedah Garrett: Background vocals
  • The Winans: Carvin, Marvin, Michael and Ronald Winans
    • Andrae Crouch and his Choir: Sandra Crouch, Maxi Anderson, Rose Banks, Geary Faggett, Vonciele Faggett, Andrew Gouche, Linda Green, Pattie Howard, Jean Johnson, Perry Morgan, Alfie Silas, Roberto Noriega
  • Rhythm arrangement by Glen Ballard and Quincy Jones
  • Synthesizer arrangement by Glen Ballard, Quincy Jones and Jerry Hey
  • Vocal arrangement by Andrae Crouch



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[41] Gold 4,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[43] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Michael Goldberg; David Handelman (September 24, 1987). "Is Michael Jackson For Real?". RollingStone. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "Michael Jackson tops album chart". BBC News. BBC News. June 29, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Michael Jackson's music tops charts". CNN. July 1, 2009. Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Siedah Garrett on writing a song for Michael Jackson. YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. ^ "Michael Jackson: Man In The Mirror Sheet Music". Aerostation Corporation. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  7. ^ Related by Casey Kasem on "American Top 40", week of February 27, 1988.
  8. ^ Ed Hogan. "Man in the Mirror review at Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. 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. ^ "The 19 greatest key changes in music history". ShortList. October 1, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  12. ^ ""Man in the Mirror" short film (with photos and video)". Leaf & Letters (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Jones, Alan (January 15, 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Bieber continues to dominate Top 5 singles". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  15. ^ bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2". ARIA. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  16. ^ "Man in the Mirror - MICHAEL JACKSON". VRT (in Dutch). Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  17. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 48, No. 1, April 23, 1988". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  18. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 25, April 09 1988". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  19. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2013. Only results when searching "Man in the mirror"
  21. ^ "Indice per Interprete: J". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  23. ^ a b " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  24. ^ "MAN IN THE MIRROR - Michael Jackson". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  25. ^ a b c "Michael Jackson: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Bad awards at Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  27. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  28. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  29. ^ "50 Back Catalogue Singles – 20 February 2010". Ultratop 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  30. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Tracklisten. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  31. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  32. ^ "Japan Singles Chart". Retrieved July 31, 2013.[dead link]
  33. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  34. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". VG-lista. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  35. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  36. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  37. ^ " – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '88" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 49 no. 10. December 24, 1988. p. 9. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1988 - Billboard Year End Charts". Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  40. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2009". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  41. ^ "Danish single certifications – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". IFPI Denmark. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2016 to obtain certification.
  42. ^ "British single certifications – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Man in the Mirror in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ "American single certifications – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit