"Earth Song" is the third single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It is the fifth song on the second disc of the album. It is a ballad that incorporates elements of blues, gospel and opera. Jackson had a long-standing history of releasing socially conscious material such as "We Are the World", "Man in the Mirror" and "Heal the World". However, "Earth Song" was the first that overtly dealt with the environment and animal welfare. "Earth Song" was made for the Dangerous album but it failed to make the final cut. The song was written and composed by Jackson; the task of production was split between Jackson, David Foster and Bill Bottrell.
"Earth Song" was accompanied by a lavish music video shot in four geographical regions. The video centered on the destruction and rebirth of Earth and went on to receive a Grammy nomination in 1997. The song went number one in the United Kingdom, and was the nation's number-one Christmas single in 1995. It also topped the charts in Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland while peaking at number two in France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Jackson went on to receive recognition from various animal and environmental organizations.
In 2011 the song was paired-up with the poem "Planet Earth" (previously released on Michael Jackson's This Is It, in 2009) and released as a song in the remix album Immortal. Following a rehearsal of the song in preparation for the This Is It concerts shortly after midnight on June 25, 2009, Jackson would suddenly die later that day, making "Earth Song" the final song ever performed by Michael Jackson.