This was the first-ever single in US history to enter the Billboard Hot 100 at #1. It's far from Jackson's most popular song, but there was so much anticipation and promotion for the single that it jumped right to the top spot. It also hit #1 on the UK chart.
Michael Jackson asked R. Kelly's manager if Kelly would write a song for him after hearing his hit record "Bump And Grind." R Kelly went straight into the studio and came up with this song. Michael Jackson then joined R. Kelly in Chicago to record the track and asked Kelly to provide backing vocals. Kelly is quoted in 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh as saying, "I actually imitated Michael when I sent him my first copy. He was laughing at me because I was imitating him."
Jackson was married to Lisa Marie Presley at the time, and she appears in the video, where both of them are topless.
The couple divorced the following year after it became clear that Jackson wanted her to join him in the spotlight, but she wanted no part of it. Presley claimed that Jackson orchestrated their public appearances, and cited the video as an example of how he used her as part of his publicity. She had just returned from Hawaii when she found out he had plans to put her in the clip, and that she would be topless.
When the couple did show affection in front of the cameras, it often appeared strained. Their kiss at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards was one of the most awkward high-profile smooches, and another example of a last-minute manipulation - Presley said that she found out about the kiss 20 minutes before it happened.
In Belgium, the brothers Eddy and Danny Van Passel are considered the composers of this song, as the Belgian right society SABAM agreed that the largest part of the melody came from the 1993 Van Passel composition "If We Can Start All Over."
The song topped the UK chart for a second time in 2009 when a cover by the finalists of the sixth series of the United Kingdom music talent show The X-Factor reached #1. All proceeds went to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
R Kelly paid tribute to Michael after his passing by recording his own version of this song as a bonus track on his 2010 album, Love Letter.
A woman named Lizzette Martinez claimed that Kelly wrote the song about their relationship when she was a senior in high school. Martinez stated on Lifetime's 2018 Surviving R. Kelly documentary that she became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage and Kelly wrote the song about her losing the baby. "When he wrote it, he was thinking of me," she said.