"Cheater" was written and produced by Michael Jackson, and co-written by Greg Phillinganes. The song was originally intended for Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad (1987). However, it failed to make into the final track listing. It was described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.com as "funky, loose, and alive," saying "that it's hard not to wish that Jackson didn't fuss over his albums and just record like this all the time". "Cheater" was originally released as a single on September 14, 2004. As a b-side, was released the R. Kelly remix for "One More Chance". However, the full commercial release was cancelled for unspecified reasons, turning the song into a promotional release.
As promotion of the limited edition box set from The Ultimate Collection, Epic Records distributed a sampler of the compilation featuring twelve tracks. Eight songs were previously released, while four – "Beautiful Girl", "Scared of the Moon", "We've Had Enough", and "Cheater" – remained unreleased until the compilation's release. The sampler was titled Highlights From The Ultimate Collection in the United States, and The Ultimate Collection Sampler in Europe.
A music video was also shown on some channels; it features clips from the Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour DVD, which was included in the same album the song appears in.