Skip to main content

Michael Jackson: 1 of Madonna’s Songs Was Meant for His Album ‘Bad’

Quincy Jones asked Patrick Leonard to write a song for Michael Jackson. Leonard started writing "La Isla Bonita" for Jackson's album 'Bad' but Jackson never recorded the song. Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" was a hit but it wasn't as popular as Jackson's song "Bad."

The album Bad includes some of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs. One of Madonna’s songs was originally meant for Bad. Despite this, a famous musician said the song wasn’t suited for Jackson and he never recorded it.

Michael Jackson smiling
Michael Jackson | Chris Walter/WireImage

Why a songwriter who often worked with Madonna started writing a song for Michael Jackson

Patrick Leonard is a well-known producer and songwriter. He worked on several of Madonna’s most famous songs, including “Like a Prayer,” “Cherish,” and “Frozen.” Leonard told Boy Culture that Quincy Jones reached out to him to write a song for Jackson.

“The story about that one is, after the Victory Tour, I was still in touch with Michael [Jackson] and Quincy [Jones] and doing some work with them and Quincy called me and said, ‘I want to do something sort of Sade-like for Michael — would you write something?’ and so I wrote that song and sent it to him with some form of a vocal on it and the phrase ‘la isla bonita,'” Leonard said. “He called up and said, ‘Ah, I just don’t think it’s for Michael.'” According to The Independent, the song would have been on Jackson’s album Bad if he accepted it.

Leonard explained why Madonna sang “La Isla Bonita” instead. “Madonna and I were getting together, so I showed it to her and she said, ‘Oh, I like this, let’s work on it,'” Leonard said. “So we sat and changed, you know, whatever we changed and she changed lyrics and we reconstructed it. It’s a good song, for sure. I don’t know why she would return to that one more than others, to be honest.”

How the world reacted to Madonna’s song

“Las Isla Bonita” was a hit. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 17 weeks. Its parent album, True Blue, was a hit as well. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 82 weeks.


There’s Only 1 Copy of These Unreleased Michael Jackson Songs and It’s Private

“La Isla Bonita” had a major legacy beyond its time on the charts. Ricky Martin covered it in an episode of Glee. In Family Guy, Peter Griffin says Madonna is a liar because La Isla Bonita isn’t a real place. The joke is that “la isla bonita” simply means “the beautiful island.” In addition, the Black Eyed Peas sampled “La Isla Bonita” for their song “Mamacita.”

The way the world reacted to Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’

However, “La Isla Bonita” and True Blue weren’t as big as Jackson’s “Bad” and its parent album Bad. “Bad” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 14 weeks. The album Bad reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 171 weeks. While “La Isla Bonita” was a hit, Jackson didn’t need the song to find chart success.