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

March 10, 2011 |  4:15 pm

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

Twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

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

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