25 Michael Jackson Songs for a Funeral or Memorial


The legendary Michael Jackson kept the globe dancing for his entire career. The de facto Jackson 5 star became a sensational hit, with multi-million-selling records across the board. Many of Michael Jackson’s hits are amongst the best funeral songs. A musical genius and the king of pop, it’s hard not to dance to Jackson’s hits. 

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Whether you’re planning a memorial service or a memorial slideshow, what are the best Michael Jackson songs for a funeral or memorial service? There is no right or wrong tone when it comes to Jackson’s music. From somber to upbeat, it’s all about the message you’re trying to send. Music captures feelings and memories that are sometimes hard to put into words. Why not consider these Michael Jackson songs?

Michael Jackson Funeral Songs for Mom or Grandma

First, what are the best funeral songs to honor your mother or grandma? There are many ways music can make you think of your mom, from making fun memories to creating a safe space to express yourself. 

1. “Heal the World” from Dangerous

Though often overlooked, “Heal the World” is a song dedicated to children everywhere. One of the songs Michael Jackson claimed to be the proudest of, this tune inspired the Heal the World Foundation. 

2. “You Are Not Alone” from HIStory

“You Are Not Alone” is a song dedicated to anyone you’ve loved and lost. Jackson paints a picture of losing someone who never got to “say goodbye” but he’s still not alone. 

3. “PYT” from Thriller

Next, “PYT,” or “Pretty Young Thing,” is about a beautiful, charming young lady who captures everyone’s attention. She can hit the city lights, and she always knows when the time is right. 

4. “Ain’t No Sunshine” from Ain’t No Sunshine

When you lose that someone special, it’s like the sun doesn’t shine as bright in the sky. Jackson’s melodic voice is the perfect tribute to someone who’s no longer here. 

5. “Happy” from Lady Sings the Blues

In this song, the emotion of happiness is personified as a person. Happy makes life better, but she isn’t always around forever. 

» MORE: Create a free online memorial. Honor your loved one, share funeral details, and collect memories and tributes.

Michael Jackson Funeral Songs for Dad or Grandpa

When a parent passes away, it’s hard to process these feelings. If you’ve lost a dad or grandma, these Michael Jackson songs put these hard emotions into words. 

6. “Gone Too Soon” from Dangerous

Originally performed by Dionne Warwick to honor the performers who passed away in 1983, “Gone Too Soon” is dedicated to Jackson’s friend from high school. His friend was expelled from his high school for having HIV, and he died before he would have completed his studies. 

7. “Man in the Mirror” from Bad 25

The infamous song “Man in the Mirror” is an exploration of personal identity. This song tells the story of someone who struggles to see themselves clearly. 

8. “One Day in Your Life” from Forever, Michael

One of Jackson’s most beautiful and heartbreaking songs, this is a song about the memories of the past that we all hold onto. Though no longer needed now, they’ll stay with you in your heart. 

9. “Say Say Say” from Pipes of Peace

One of the first duets with Paul McCartney, both superstars collaborated to record “Say Say Say.” In this song, two lovers argue with a woman in a love triangle of emotion. 

10. “Bad” from Bad

Lastly, “Bad” is a song about street smarts. Sharing the story of a young man who goes to a private school but never fits in, the song says that he comes back to the old neighborhood he’s from. 

Michael Jackson Funeral Songs for a Sibling

The right funeral song for a brother or sister is whatever tune speaks to you. Try to choose a song that’s special or meaningful, especially if it’s one your sibling used to enjoy with you. 

11. “Another Part of Me” from Bad

“Another Part of Me” is about taking control of your own life. We all have our own power over the world around us, but we need to accept this love for what it is. 

12. “Rockin’ Robin” from Got to Be There

Though this song is by the Jackson 5, it’s one of the biggest hits from Michael Jackson’s early career. This pop-rock classic captures the excitement of the 1970s, daring you not to get up and dance.

13. “Music and Me” from Music and Me

Music is personified as a close friend in “Music and Me.” Through music, you’re never separated from the ones you love. The same is true for our memories. 

14. “Off the Wall” from Off the Wall

Next, “Off the Wall” is a song about breaking free from tradition. It’s easy to get caught in our own schedules, but life is passing you by. It’s okay to act “off the wall” if it means living life to the fullest. 

15. “You Can Cry on My Shoulder” from Hello World

A true sibling is one who’s always there for you even when the world can be a dark place. This early Hello World hit shares the love as Jackson encourages listeners to come to him for comfort. 

Michael Jackson Funeral Songs for a Spouse or Partner

If you’ve recently lost a spouse or partner, it’s normal to feel confused about what steps to take next. Many of Michael Jackson’s songs grapple with feelings of loss and heartbreak, like these below. 

16. “Remember the Time” from Dangerous

The ultimate love song, “Remember the Time” was written to describe how Jackson fell in love with Debbie Rowe, his wife at the time. A tribute to lovers everywhere, this song is pure magic. 

17. “You Rock My World” from Invincible

As the title of this song implies, “You Rock My World” is about a girl who fulfills the narrator’s dreams. These emotions are hard to put into words, but his world will never be the same. 

18. “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” from Bad

This song might be simple, but the lyrics dig deeper than the surface. Sometimes the only thing you need to say is that you can’t stop loving that special someone. They will be with you always. 

19. “The Way You Make Me Feel” from Bad

“The Way You Make Me Feel” captures that feeling of attraction and love for someone you’re interested in. This is someone who makes you feel truly alive, and this is an addicting experience. 

20. “Human Nature” from Thriller

Written by the keyboardist from the band Toto, this is a song written about the power of love. When asked “why” to life’s biggest questions, the only answer is “human nature.” You don’t need a reason to do what you love. 

Michael Jackson Funeral Songs for a Friend

Whether your friend was always there to lend a helping hand or start the party, these pop or rock funeral songs are sure to set the tone. Honor this dear friend with a musical tribute like none other. 

21. “Smooth Criminal” from Bad 25

One of the most iconic songs of all time, “Smooth Criminal” is an exciting beat that just asks to be danced to. Perfect for any party animal, this is quite the final sendoff. 

22. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” from Thriller

Sometimes it seems like everyone has an opinion about you, but the only one that matters is the one you think about yourself. Within “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and its groovy beat, Jackson explores the way the media often harassed him and his family. 

23. “You’re My Best Friend, My Love” from Joyful Jukebox Music

Another Jackson 5 classic jam is this song about friendship. No matter what you go through, you’re together forever until the very end. That’s what real love is. 

24. “Got to Be There” from Got to Be There

When you love someone, you want to be around them all the time. You need to be beside them so they know they’re loved and understood. 

25. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” from Off the Wall

Last but not least, this is a song about destiny. Sometimes a force outside of yourself brings people together. Though these people might not be around forever, you should appreciate the time you’ve been given. 

» MORE: Our story doesn't end at the grave. Honor your loved one with a free online memorial.

Dare to Hope with These Michael Jackson Funeral Songs

Though his legacy is often laced with controversy, we can still admire Michael Jackson’s vast discography of impressive hits. From ‘80s beats to ‘90s classics, Michael Jackson’s songs belong to every generation. Choosing one of the songs above puts even the most complicated feelings into words. 

Music has helped humans honor their loved ones for thousands of years. How do you use music to make meaningful memories? What songs do you wish people to remember you by?

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