« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Michael Jackson estate rolls out 'Hollywood Tonight' video despite underperforming album

Michael_Jackson_-_Hollywood_Tonight All things considered, the debut of a new Michael Jackson music video comes as a bit of a surprise.

Not because the King of Pop is no longer living -– we’ve come to terms with that -- but his first posthumous release, “Michael,” sorta came and went without much of an impact.

But his estate is pressing on with the video for the Teddy Riley produced “Hollywood Tonight,” the album’s second official single and one of its standout tracks.

In the video, which premiered Thursday, a young woman steps off a charter bus, suitcase in tow, ready to take on the big city. She moonlights as a waitress by day, a stripper by night, hits the audition circuit to no avail. Stop us if you've heard this story before.

Released in December, the album didn't leave a lasting impression on the hungry buyers ready to get their hands on anything Jackson-related –- or ever garner a wave of critical acclaim (we gave the album a middling two and a half stars). Though it debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 228,000 copies, its sales paled in comparison to the soundtrack to “This Is It,” which sold 890,000 copies in five weeks.

Producer Rodney Jerkins, who had a major hand in Jackson’s final album, “Invincible,” told The Times that he felt "Michael" was rushed and not something the performer, a well-documented perfectionist, would allow to see the light of day, with the exception of the album's first single "Hold My Hand."

“Most of the times, the first [posthumous album] is supposed to be the best,” Jerkins said of the release, adding that the estate has talked to him about releasing the stuff he and Jackson did together. "Ultimately, I would have to decide based on the songs I hear that they were planning on including.”

Late last year, Jackson's estate signed a $250-million deal with Sony, which will involve the release of 10 albums -- both original and reissue collections -- over the course of seven years.

Only the video for “Hollywood Tonight” is being released stateside; the estate is shipping the single overseas and opting for "Behind the Mask" on U.S. radio and are crowdsourcing fans for its accompanying video.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy


Photo: Single cover of "Hollywood Tonight." Credit: MichaelJackson.com

Comments () | Archives (26)

Great!!! 5 out of 5 stars!

There's nothing wrong with the album MICHAEL. The fans love it, but they hate Sony, which they believe treated Michael badly and is partly to blame for how his life ended. They don't want the company to profit from anything having to do with Michael. That's why the sales are low--the fans are sharing rather than buying. Had the album been put out by another music company, the sales figures would be much higher.

I agree! I love the "Michael" album. Of course, it's not going to be something MJ would have put out had he been alive, but it's really all we have left. Nonetheless, his legacy will live on. MJ you're the best, F**k the rest.

I agree. I really love Michael's album. I personally bought the album and have been sharing it with others. Michael was really unhappy with sony and the way they promote dhis Album invincible. We, Michael's fans, think that sony was not a friend of Michael and don't want them to profit from his legacy. at any rate, Michael is a legend. He was a legend when he was alive. That's why he won the living legend award. but now, he is imortalized, for ever and ever and ever. new album, old album, new song, old song, new gossip, old gossip,... nothing is going to change that.
He was a legend because more importantly than his great music, he was a great humanitarian and gave so much of his life, soul and heart to the betterment of mankind.
I LOVE you Michael. RIP.

I can't believe the fans (some of them) still think Michael Jackson would approve of them hurting his kids by boycotting the album.

Also, don't they release singles to support the album and maybe raise sales again? Why would they waste money on a single if the album was selling like Thriller?

I like the Michael album because it's not over polished.

The album Michael is actually amazing. It has a very current sound. "Keep Your Head Up", "Breaking News", "Behind the Mask", are some of his best work, I think...People dont know what their missing.

The album 'Michael' was rubbish. I bought it at Xmas and played it twice. The songs are not up to the standard of MJs songs in the 80's. There was no Thriller or Man in The Mirror here.

The press is pathetic.

I agree as well. The music is awesome, but Sony didn't treat Michael the way they should have and now we see that all these people are trying to make money from Michael's death, which is sickening. The fans do want to hear Michael's songs, but we also want the money to go directly to his kids, not some company trying to use Michael's death to make profits.

This album should never have been released. Being best friends with a Michael Jackson fanatic, I've learnt through documentaries and his entire discography that this is just something that he would never ever release! It's badly mixed, and badly done. Some of the songs of the album are unfinished, and just laughable.
Watching 'This Is It' I saw how much this artist wanted in perfection for his upcoming shows, for his songs and for his fans.
Look at his fantastic music videos compared to the new music videos for 'Hold My Hand' and 'Hollywood Tonight'..
He would have never allowed it.. they are nothing compared to some of the music videos he's released.

This album is just an embarrassment, and personally, I think that if he were still alive he wouldn't have allowed it to have been released.

it is underperforming because of sony's crappy promotion and crappy videos with no creativity vision or whatsoever!!! look at how they butcher up 'hollywood tonight'!! what a disappointment!

I absolutely love the album "Michael" and I bought it anyway. I would have preferred not to give "Sony" the satisfaction but at the end of the day, I just wanted something of Michael, that he was working on. There is definately more to MJ's death and I hope it will come out someday. The problem is MJ is not here to endorse or promote it. NOthing is the same without his love and kindness. Long live the memory of the King of Pop! I miss him every day more and more. And he still had more to give...

The album may as yet have under performed but that in no way detracts from it's quality or that Hold My Hand got no airplay that I saw either on TV or radio.

So called fans boycotting the album are not and never were fans - Put simply while he was alive 'others' tried sabotaging every Michael release with accusation and innuendo (You'll never sell another record) - I remember well. If the ppl claiming to be fans loved Michael as much as I always have, they would buy everything and anything Michael for the sake of his legacy, what he tried to and did achieve and what others (i.e., that state of popular music now) would very much like to achieve.

Hollywood Tonight is a great song (not the best on the album imho), has a good video and should be the monster hit it deserves to be... It's about time the generations embraced Michael the man and his work again :)

I LOVE the Michael album. I have to admit I had to listen to it 3 or 4 times because it has a different energy without Michael but now I love it. I play it all the time. Hollywood Nights, Keep Your Head Up, The Way that You Love Me and on and on. Did I like giving Sony the profit? No. Do I think the new videos are as good as Michael's? Of course, not. Would it have been genius if Michael had produced it? Absolutely. But he didn't know that he wasn't going to wake up on June 25, 2009 to make it all better. This is all we have left of Michael from now on and I'm not giving that up for anything!!

I too love the "Michael" album. I just don't like Sony either. The music is awesome and what is special is that it is Michael's work. "Hold My Hand" is a favorite, but I really like all of them. I don't like "Monster" and "Breaking News" not because of the songs themselves but because of the subject ... the media and the paparazzi (don't know if I spelled it correctly)....don't care for them at all. They are predators with an agenda. Michael had such a range with his voice and could sing any type of song he wanted to; he had a very beautiful, clear voice. I do enjoy the cd very much.

Rodney Jerkins doesn't the heck what he's saying. 'Hold My Hand' is the worst song on the album (imo), 'Hollywood Tonight' has far more appeal than Akon's annoying voice. That's the mistake the execs made; instead of releasing a song that is purely MJ, they instead released one on which MJ is more like a guest of Akon, when it's the other way round. Also they should've released 'Behind The Mask' (the best track on the album contrary to Rodney's poor belief) the second week of the album hitting shelves, to energize fans to go out and support the album. I do believe 'Behind The Mask' will be a hit, because it has all the right ingredients. I only hope the video will do it justice.

I love the Michael album. I was personally conflicted about supporting Sony as a MJ fan. However at the end of the day I know how much Michael loved being #1 and I supported that. He may not be #1 in the US but is #1 in many other countries in the world. He is a legend and it took awhile for me to realize he is never coming back so I just accepted whatever new music available. That said this album is awesome with my favorites being "Monster and "Behind the mask"

I would rather have something from Michael than nothing . People don't realize that his kids are benefiting in the end . Yeah Sony is getting its share of profits , but in Michael's case someone always did that was the story of his life. So keep supporting Michael Jackson.......

Great video and love the leading lady she's an excellent dancer and beautiful..Love Michael Jackson on this song and hope it along with Behind the Mask are played on the radio constantly. Very refreshing compared to the other junk being shoved down peoples throats these days.. Both "She's Going Hollywood" and "Behind the Mask" are big winners! RIP Michael. We miss you..

My two favorite songs on the album are "Behind The Mask" and "Another Day", how I wish they would make videos for those 2 songs.

I think Lenny Kravitz did a fantastic job with MJ in "Another Day", it's also a rock song. I also like "Behind the Mask" which has previously been covered by Eric Clapton.

I do not understand Sony's marketing of this album.

They are using the song "Hold My Hand" for the ABC show "Secret Millionaire". I suppose it's better than nothing, the song is getting some exposure since the radio stations refuse to play it.

I look forward to hearing "Another Day" played on the radio. My rock loving husband also liked it.

I cannot stand this headline. The media continues to try to beat Michael up even though he is not here. I think the media cannot stand the fact that Michael continued to have millions of fans around the world despite the fact they were hellbent on destroying him. The album is what it is, if Michael were alive he would not have approved of its release. I don't know of any posthumous works that were true masterpieces, all things considered it is a great album. It is a hell of a lot better than most of the "music" out today.

I personally will not support the new "Michael" album. After listening to "Breaking News" I knew the album would be an absolute fail, because of the obvious reason that Michael Jackson himself was not singing on that song. You do hear his background vocals here and there in between the lyrics, but that is definitely NOT his voice on that song. I'm not saying none of the songs on the album is not Michael himself, because a few of them are but the majority isn't. The point is I was digusted with Sony releasing the first single claiming it to be Michael Jackson. Its sad this album was rushed, and not well put together, just like the video compilation called "Vision". I've seen better videos in REAL widescreen and in better QUALITY on Youtube. Michael Jackson's "Vision" was poorly put together, but nicely packaged.

We have to stand behind Michael no matter what or who makes a profit. We must let these companies know its Michael we love and miss so dearly. Michael believe in love. We need to show that even though it hurts. Michael was the greatest gift God gave mankind let's not hate. Pay day is coming for the entire world. It time for us all to love and stop the madness. I love his album sony can not stop me from buying. I loved Michael the two goes together therefore I buy. We can make his album a hit by proving them wrong not throwing malice or stone. Its time to heal and love the man who gave us his all. Michael. Michael God bless you and your family. Sunshine is smiling on us all today.

michael right should never had been sold to sonny. they just releasing the second single now. that is insane what have they been waiting for?

This album is not as Michael would have released it because he wasn't here to finish it but I still love listening to the album, I think I burned a hole in it already. It does have a different feel to it but I love many of the songs. Much too soon reminds me a lot of MJ's early slow songs from the Jacksons albums, Destiny E.T.C, MJ's voice. Very simple and clean with a lot of emotion. I also love Best of Joy. The break down verse reminds me a bit of the Bee Gee's and beautiful lyrics. I can't make it another day is a great Rock/Pop ballad with MJ's signature growl. Monster, though not a big 50 fan has a sweet beat and the lyrics are cool too, He's comin at you rather too fast, Mamma say mamma got you runnin in a zig zag. I love the way he breaks down that verse. Keep your head up has a great simplicity too it also, clean vocals that talk about the struggles that MJ often talked about and I love the Gospel at the end, it's a feel good song. I have to say that I had a hard time getting into Hollywood tonight until the Video Version came out. The video version of the song has a lot more of MJ's energy than the album version and if I'm not mistaken, that is the Billie Jean beat in the background. Oh, I forgot to mention Behind the Mask. Great MJ Energy and uptempo ryhthm.........................I totally agree on the air play. The radio stations are controlled by big bussiness and money. They push the songs that they want you to hear not what you want to hear. I don't call in to radio stations or buy to many albums these day's but in all honesty the pickins are slim, not to much to get excited about these days................

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: