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The Simpsons' Song You Likely Forgot Soared To The Top Of The Charts In Multiple Countries

It can be easy to forget decades later that "The Simpsons" became so popular in the early 1990s that the phrase "Bartmania" was coined (via The New York Times) to describe the merchandising craze for Bart Simpson (voiced by Nancy Cartwright). Bart's image was sold on millions of T-shirts (via People), Entertainment Weekly named the character "entertainer of the year" in 1990, and in the same year, he became a balloon float at the Macy's Day Parade. The rebellious cartoon juvenile delinquent was everywhere — which naturally led to backlash.

Schools began banning students from wearing T-shirts with Bart's image on them, and authority figures disliked the character's status as a proud underachiever (per Deseret News). No less than the president of the United States at the time, George H.W. Bush, spoke out against the show's dysfunctional depiction of America (via Deadline), exhorting American families to be "a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons."

But even the president himself couldn't stop the massive success of this "Simpsons" single. 

Michael Jackson helped write the No. 1 song Do The Bartman

Part of the merchandising for "The Simpsons" was the 1990 album "The Simpsons Sing the Blues." Half of the album consisted of old covers and original songs sung by the cast in character — including its biggest hit, "Do The Bartman."

The song is a catchy R&B number where Bart Simpson raps and teaches the listener a new dance, naturally called "the Bartman." In the animated music video, Bart takes over a school performance by introducing a captive audience, including his parents, to his signature moves.

Backed by a strong groove and the rampant "Bartmania" craze, "Do The Bartman" hit No. 1 in several charts, including the United Kingdom, Ireland (via The Independent), and Australia (via The Music Network). It also hit No. 11 in the United States despite never being released as a single Stateside.

There is some controversy over who helped write the song. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening once insisted that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, co-wrote and co-produced it, as reported by Consequence of Sound. However, songwriter Bryan Loren, who also worked with music legends such as Whitney Houston and Barry White, stated in 2015 that he is the sole writer of "Do The Bartman," though Jackson contributed backing vocals and the title. 

Considering the tune's success, it's hard to blame Loren for wanting his due credit on such a massive song.