Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean Has Seriously Dark Meaning That Haunted Him Until Death

Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ hit had a seriously dark meaning that haunted him until he died.
Credit: Alamy & Michael Jackson via YouTube

Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ had a seriously dark meaning that haunted him until he died.

The King of Pop is widely regarded as one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century and is the most awarded artist in history.

Jackson released ‘Billie Jean’ as a single in 1983 after leaving the Jackson 5 in order to pursue a solo career – and it went on to become one of his biggest hits.

But the true meaning of the song is believed to have affected him until he tragically died aged 50 in 2009.

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The song featured on Jackson’s award-winning ‘Thriller’ album, and was apparently based on people he and his brothers had been ‘plagued with over the years’ following their rise to stardom.

In his autobiography, ‘Moonwalk’, released in 1988, Jackson wrote: “There never was a real Billie Jean. 

“The girl in the song is a composite of people my brothers have been plagued with over the years. 

“I could never understand how these girls could say they were carrying someone’s child when it wasn’t true.”

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Jackson’s explanation for the track is reflected in the lyrics, which go: “Billie Jean is not my lover / She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one / But the kid is not my son.”

In an interview, when asked about the inspiration behind the song, Jackson reiterated: “There is a girl named Billie Jean, but it’s not about that Billie Jean. Billie Jean is kind of anonymous.

“It represents a lot of girls. They used to call them groupies in the ‘60s.

“They would hang around backstage doors, and any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, and I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little.

Michael Jackson
The true meaning of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ haunted him up until his death. Credit: Alamy

“There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there. Every girl claimed that their son was related to one of my brothers.”

In 1991, a Jackson biographer wrote in ‘The Magic and the Madness’ that the star had gotten letters a decade earlier from a woman claiming that he was the father of her twins.

That may explain Jackson’s reference to women alleging that they’ve carried his children in the song.

Whether that woman was the inspiration or not, Jackson had a legion of adoring fans all over the world and some have gone further than others in trying to prove their involvement with him.

One fan, who identified herself as Billy Jean Jackson, believed that Jackson had asked her to marry him – and that he was the father of her children.

“He loves me dearly,” she said, before claiming that the lyric ‘Billie Jean is not my lover’ actually meant the opposite.

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Eventually, she was hit with a court order that prevented her from going anywhere near the pop sensation.

She had apparently sent her medical bills to him and even instructed a shop to charge him for her wedding dress.

Of course, she violated the court order and was subsequently jailed for two years.

She continued to express hopes that he would become her saviour and help free her from behind bars, telling him: “I miss you.”

She is thought to have kept on harassing Jackson until he died.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.