Louis Johnson (born April 13, 1955, in Los Angeles, California, United States) is an American musician regarded as one of the best bass guitarists of the 20th century. Best known for his group The Brothers Johnson and his session playing on several hit albums of the 1970s and '80s including the "best selling album of all time" Thriller. His signature sound is from the Music Man StingRay bass which Leo Fender especially made for him to first use and promote, and from his slapping technique.
His work appears many well-known records by prominent artists. Johnson played on Michael Jackson's albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous, and hit songs "Billie Jean" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". He also played on George Benson's album Give Me the Night. He was one of three bassists on Herb Alpert's 1979 album Rise, which included its top-10, Grammy-winning disco/jazz title-track.
Due to his tremendous ability, he was nick-named "Thunder-Thumbs". Many slap bassists have been given the moniker, however it is Johnson that the name first originated with. His slap bass playing arrived soon after Larry Graham brought it into the mainstream, and both are considered the "grandfathers" of slap-bass playing.