On this day in music history: July 2, 1988 - “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #8 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. It is the eleventh solo chart topper for “The King Of Pop”. The dark, down tempo rock track about a groupie chasing after the singer, contrary to rumor is not about either Jackson’s longtime friend singer Diana Ross or Diana, The Princess Of Wales. Guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) is invited to play on the track by producer Quincy Jones after asking mutual friend and producer Ted Templeman (Van Halen) if he knew someone that could play guitar on Michael’s new album. Templeman recommends Stevens who at the time was signed to Warner Bros Records as a solo artist. Stevens comes to Los Angeles to work with Jones and Jackson during the “Bad” recording, recording his solos in a single session. For the songs music video, Michael invites Steve to appear in the clip and is also pictured with Jackson on the back cover of the single picture sleeve. Issued as the fifth single from Jackson’s seventh solo album “Bad” on April 18, 1988, it quickly races up the charts. Entering the Hot 100 at #53 on May 7, 1988, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. “Diana” is also the fifth consecutive chart topping single from the album, setting a record for the most number one singles from a single album. This record is not matched until 2011. “Dirty Diana” becomes a staple of Jackson’s live performances on the “Bad”, “Dangerous” and “HIStory” tours.
“The biggest thing I remember from my time working with Michael Jackson on that song (Dirty Diana) is that he wore penny loafers the entire time… that was a bit funny, but totally cool.” - Steve Stevens