Written and Composed by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan
Produced by Michael Jackson for MJJ Productions, Inc.
Co-Produced by Bruce Swedien
Executive Producer: Michael Jackson
From the album Dangerous, released November 28, 1991
Released as a single December 1, 1993
THE SHORT FILM
Director: Bill DiCicco
Michael Jackson’s short film for “Gone Too Soon” was the ninth and final short film produced for recordings from Dangerous, Michael’s fourth album as an adult solo performer. While “Gone Too Soon” was not released as a single in the United States, it reached the Top 10 in France and Zimbabwe, and became Michael’s ninth Top 40 hit from Dangerous in the United Kingdom—an achievement shared with Bad for most U.K. Top 40 hits from one album.
Michael had befriended Ryan White, a teenager in Indiana who’d accidentally contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. His subsequent ostracism from his school, and fight to be treated like a normal child, helped raise awareness of AIDS around the world, and Michael developed a close friendship with him. Days before White died in 1990, the last song he listened to was “Man in the Mirror,” from the tape deck of the red Mustang convertible Michael had bought for him.
During the sessions for Dangerous, to honor Ryan’s memory, Michael decided to record “Gone Too Soon,” a song co-written by Buz Kohan, whom Michael had known since he was a teenager. Michael had seen “Gone Too Soon” performed by Dionne Warwick on a 1983 TV special honoring the passing of several popular musicians.
Released as a single on the fifth annual World AIDS Day, the “Gone Too Soon” short film features photographs and press clippings from Ryan’s life, closing with a candid shot of Michael and Ryan together.