Why Michael Jackson Sang on Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” is one of the most unique one-hit wonders of the 1980s. During an interview, Rockwell said he couldn’t have written the song if he hadn’t asked God to help him write good music. Rockwell also revealed why Michael Jackson decided to perform backing vocals on “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

Michael Jackson in front of a wall
Michael Jackson | Chris Walter/WireImage

What Rockwell thought after God helped him write his most famous song

During a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Rockwell explained how he wrote “Somebody’s Watching Me. “I asked God to give me it,” he said. “The prayer was, ‘God grant me the creativity to write a song that’ll go to the top of the charts and tickle the taste buds of the music connoisseur.’ Everything came to me so easily after that prayer.”

Rockwell was thankful to the divine after writing “Somebody’s Watching Me.” “I said to father God, ‘I will tell everyone about you,'” he recalled. “I will tell them how you did this for me and how it really happened.'”

Rockwell with a mustache
Rockwell | Aaron Rapoport / Contributor

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What Michael Jackson thought of ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ after Rockwell sang it for him several times

Rockwell revealed he knew Jackson since he was a child. One day, he went over to Jackson’s home and performed “Somebody’s Watching Me.” “I performed it about eight or nine times,” he recalled. “Michael says, ‘Hey Rebbie! Hey Janet! You gotta hear this song [Rockwell] did.’ Every time we stopped the song, Michael called three more people down.”

Jackson was enthusiastic about the song. “Afterwards, Michael pulled me to the side and says, ‘[Rockwell], I gotta talk to you for a second. Who are you going to get to sing background vocals?'” Rockwell remembered. “I said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ It worked just like that.”

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The way fans in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

“Somebody’s Watching Me” became a huge hit in the United States. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 20 weeks. None of Rockwell’s other songs reached the top 20 in the U.S. Rockwell released “Somebody’s Watching Me” on the album of the same name. Somebody’s Watching Me hit No. 15 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 30 weeks.

“Somebody’s Watching Me” was popular in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, it peaked at No. 6 in the U.K. in 1984, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. Subsequently, “Somebody’s Watching Me” reached No. 47 in 2021, staying on the chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, the album Somebody’s Watching Me reached No. 52 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for five weeks.

“Somebody’s Watching Me” is a memorable 1980s hit and it wouldn’t be the same without the King of Pop.

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Read the original article from The Cheat Sheet


Why Michael Jackson Sang on Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’
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