Michael Jackson wrote some of the most famous pop songs of all time. That didn’t stop him from working with other pop stars. For example, one of the hit songs from Thriller was co-written by another pop star from the 1980s and 1990s.
This pop star came to Quincy Jones with a song that was used on Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’
Several other famous artists worked on Thriller. Steve Porcaro of the band Toto co-wrote “Human Nature.” Paul McCartney duets with Jackson on “The Girl Is Mine.” Quincy Jones produced the album. Interestingly, Jones worked with a pop star to write one of the hits from the album: “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).”
James Ingram was a pop singer who released several songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100. His top 10 hits include “Yah Mo B There,” “Baby, Come to Me,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” and “I’m Real.” During an interview with NPR, Ingram discussed the origin of “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).”
“This ‘P.Y.T.’ comes from Quincy Jones, coming back with — he’s married to Peggy Lipton, and her lingerie said pretty young things,” he said. “So Quincy had the title “Pretty Young Thing: Tender Loving Care,” and he put a lot of writers on it. And when I came up to his house, I had a track, and I had some of the lyrics, and this is what he heard.
“Where did you come from, baby?” Ingram said. “‘Oh, won’t you take me there right away? Won’t you, baby? (Unintelligible). I wanna love you, pretty young … ‘ Quincy said, ‘We’re cutting this tomorrow, just like that.'”
What James Ingram thought about Michael Jackson
Ingram didn’t just co-write “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” He was also in the studio when Jackson recorded the song. Ingram revealed he was very impressed when Jackson danced during the recording of “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).”
“Now me, I may bob a little bit, but I’m holding all my breath for the microphone, and I’ve never seen nobody, and Michael came out of the studio sweating,” Ingram recalled. “He said, ‘James, am I singing all right?’ I said ‘Man, you killed it. You can sing however you want to sing it.'”
The way the world reacted to the song
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” was a hit. It climbed to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. Its parent album, Thriller, topped the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 486 weeks. The Official Charts Company says “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” was a hit in the United Kingdom as well. It reached No. 11 there and stayed on the chart for eight weeks. Thriller was No. 1 in the U.K. as well, staying on the chart for weeks. Ingram isn’t as famous as Jackson, but one of Jackson’s classic songs might not exist without him.