Photo Credit: Sony Music

Today would have marked Michael Jackson's 56th birthday, and the King of Pop's influence on music and culture at large remains indisputable.

Starting with his first No. 1 (1972's "Ben") up until the music released after his untimely death in 2009, we've picked 55 essential MJ records. Whether these tracks topped the charts for weeks or are just good ole fan favorites, the music still has a special place in fans' hearts, just like Michael himself.

Take a listen to 56 classic songs for his would-be 56th birthday.