Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: ThrillerReleased: 1983Charted:
Jackson is filled with desire on this track, offering up his lovin' to this pretty young thing. His image wasn't that of a ladies' man, but a few of his hits find him spitting game, including "The Way You Make Me Feel
," a #1 hit from his next album.
Jackson penned the original demo version of "P.Y.T." with keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, who worked as a session musician on several of Jackson's albums. Thriller producer Quincy Jones passed on the song but liked the title. With James Ingram, he fashioned a totally new song with the same name for the album.
The song was released on September 19, 1983, as the penultimate single from Thriller. It charted at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the sixth Top 10 hit from the album.
Jackson kept it in the family for the song's backing singers. The two females singing "na na na" back to Michael towards the end of the song were two of his sisters, Janet and La Toya, in the guise of the P.Y.T.s.
Bobby Brown popularized the word Tenderoni on his 1988 hit "Roni
," but it had been in the R&B argot since Eddie Kendricks released "Sweet Tenderoni" in 1976, which is probably where James Ingram and Quincy Jones got the line:Tenderoni you've got to be
Spark my nature sugar fly with me
The song has been sampled on several occasions, most notably by Kanye West on his hit single "Good Life
." Fittingly, the first time the full song was performed by West was during the Recording Academy's Leadership Award Ceremony for Quincy Jones on July 28, 2007. Ludacris made reference to this song when he rapped about Jones on Quincy's 2010 song "Soul Bossa Nostra": "He keep a flock of PYT's with him, and they all exotic, erotic, come in groups of threes with 'em."