"Jean" (song) (1969), by Rod McKuen
Jean Grey, a Marvel Comics character
Jean Valjean, fictional character in novel Les Misrables and its adaptations
Jean Seberg a 1983 musical by Marvin Hamlisch
Jean, fictional planet in webcomic Freefall
Jean Pierre Polnareff, a fictional character from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
JEAN (programming language)
Jean, Nevada, a town
USS Jean (ID-1308), American cargo ship c. 1918
Sternwheeler Jean, a paddleboat of the Willamette River, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
The song became a success; it was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The song topped both the US and UK charts simultaneously. It also topped the charts of Switzerland and reached the top ten in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. "Billie Jean" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine placed the song in the 58th spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Awarded numerous honorsincluding two Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Famethe song and corresponding music video helped propel Thriller to the status of best-selling album of all time. The song was promoted with a short film that broke down MTV's racial barrier as the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation. Also, Jackson's Emmy-nominated performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, in which Jackson premiered his "moonwalk", helped to popularize the song. It was additionally promoted through Jackson's Pepsi commercials. Covered by modern artists, "Billie Jean" sealed Jackson's status as an international pop icon.
Jackson stated several times that "Billie Jean" was based on the groupies he and his brothers encountered while part of The Jackson 5. "Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. It represents a lot of girls. They used to call them groupies in the '60s." He added: "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. There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there. Every girl claimed that their son was related to one of my brothers." The reason for this was due to the fame of the Jackson 5, and wanting to have their money in order to have a way of living.
Jackson's biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli promoted the theory that "Billie Jean" was derived from a real life experience the singer faced in 1981. The Magic & The Madness documents how a young woman wrote Jackson a letter, which informed the singer that he was the father of one of her twins. Jackson, who regularly received letters of this kind, had never met the woman in question and ignored it. The woman, however, continued to send Jackson more letters, which stated that she loved him and wanted to be with him. She wrote of how happy they would be if they raised the child together. She pondered how Jackson could ignore his own flesh and blood. The letters disturbed the singer to the extent that he suffered nightmares.
Following the letters, Jackson received a parcel containing a photograph of the fan, as well as a letter and a gun. Jackson was horrified; the letter asked that the pop singer kill himself on a certain day and at a specific time. The fan would do the same once she had killed their baby. She wrote that if they could not be together in this life, then they would be in the next. To his mother's dismay, Jackson had the photograph of the woman framed and hung above the dining room table of their family home. Afterwards, the Jacksons discovered that the fan had been sent to a psychiatric hospital.