The vast majority of critical reaction to "You Are Not Alone" was positive, although it did not attain unanimous praise. The song was the recipient of Grammy and American Music Award nominations. The corresponding music video, which featured Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley was also notable for its scenes of semi-nudity.
Commercially, the song was a significant success. It holds a Guinness World Record as the first song in the 37-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to debut at number one; it was later certified platinum by the RIAA. The song peaked highly in all major markets. "You Are Not Alone" was Michael Jackson's last number one hit song in the United States during his lifetime.