Man in the Mirror peaked at number one in the United States when released as a single in early 1988 off his seventh solo album, Bad. It is one of Jackson’s most critically acclaimed songs and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.
The song was written and composed by Siedah Garrett (who can be heard singing in the background with Jackson) and Glen Ballard. Jackson added background vocals from Garrett, The Winans and the Andrae Crouch Choir, which gave the song its distinctive sound.
Man in the Mirror is video is unique because Michael 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 from various major news events such as nuclear explosions, the John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy assassinations, the Iranian hostage crisis, Live Aid, Farm Aid, and notable people including Martin Luther King, Raúl Alfonsín, Lech Wałęsa, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Mahatma Gandhi, Anwar El Sadat, Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan, and Pieter Willem Botha.