During the week of October 14, 1972 “Ben” sung by Michael Jackson reached Number 1 on the Billboard Charts. Even though he had had a number of Number 1’s along with his brothers as the Jackson 5 this was was first solo number 1. Only two performers had a Billboard Number 1 at a younger age. Stevie Wonder, “Fingertips” and Donny Osmond with “Go Away Little Girl”.
Ironically Donny Osmond was offered the song, but since he and his brothers were on tour at the time, he was unable to record it.
Don Black and Walter Scharf wrote the song as the title song for the movie “Ben”, a sequel to “Willard”. Both Ben and Willard are rats.
The song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. This video was of his performance at the ceremony in 1973. “Ben” lost to “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern from The Poseidon Adventure.
The song also reached number one on the Australian pop chart, spending eight weeks at the top, but only reached number seven on the British pop chart.