Michael Jackson’s ‘Scream/Childhood’ Single Sets Record With #5 Debut On Billboard Hot 100
June 17, 1995

On this date, the double A-side single “Scream/Childhood” became the first single to debut at #5 in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. They were the first songs released from HIStory: Past, Present and Future—Book I. The single hit #1 in several countries and reached the Top 10 in most other countries around the world.

“Scream,” a duet by superstar siblings Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, was so highly anticipated that it drove the chart debut. But both songs reflected Michael’s personal feelings, with “Scream” expressing frustration with injustice, and “Childhood” yearning “for the childhood I’ve never known,” and asking the listener to “try hard to love me.”

“Childhood” was written and composed by Michael, and he co-produced the song with David Foster. It also was included on the soundtrack for Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home.

The short film for “Childhood” was directed by Nicholas Brandt, and shows Michael singing in an enchanted forest while children fly above him, playing games in sailboats. Toward the end of the film, a child in the forest watches the boats and flies up to join them, while Michael remains on the ground.

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