Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Hologram Performs at Billboard Music Awards

Michael Jackson

The king lives on. Five years after his death, Michael Jackson was resurrected at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The King of Pop appeared as a hologram to perform the Timbaland-produced “Slave to the Rhythm” off his posthumous album Xscape, which was released last week. Much like Tupac at Coachella, the digital creation was eerily lifelike, dancing its way across the stage.

The controversial performance drew a mixed response on Twitter. Some were impressed, while others were skeptical. “Dat was mike?” said Nicki Minaj.

Watch the MJ moment that had everyone talking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake – ‘Love Never Felt So Good’

Justin Timberlake

Long live the king. Justin Timberlake pays homage to Michael Jackson through dance in the video for “Love Never Felt So Good” off the late legend’s posthumous album Xscape.

In the feel-good clip, co-directed by Timberlake and Rich Lee, dancers recreate the pop icon’s signature moves from videos including “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” while fans sing along to his lyrics. It also features throwback footage of the King of Pop throughout his career.

The disco-soul jam, originally recorded by Jackson as a demo in 1983, was “contemporized” by Timbaland before Timberlake got on board. But he was hesitant to do the song at first.

“I’m such a loyal fan to him and his music that it seemed almost too much of a thing, but then I kept hearing this song and it just felt so good,” he told Ryan Seacrest. “It kind of spoke to me. It reminded me of some of the stuff [Timbaland] and I had worked on on 20/20 Experience.”

Even after death, MJ continues to sell records. Xscape is vying for No. 1 on next week’s chart with 125-150,000 copies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review Roundup: Michael Jackson – ‘Xscape’


Nearly five years after his death, Michael Jackson lives on with his second posthumous album Xscape. The eight unreleased tracks, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, have been “contemporized” by executive producer L.A. Reid and hitmakers including Timbaland, Stargate, and Rodney Jerkins.

Justin Timberlake duets with the late legend on the Off the Wall outtake “Love Never Felt So Good,” the Timbaland-assisted “Blue Gangsta” evokes a “Smooth Criminal” vibe, and the Darkchild-produced title track recalls latter-day MJ.

Is the King of Pop still able to win over critics? Read the reviews and stream Xscape below.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Music: Michael Jackson – ‘Xscape’


After blessing our ears with the Timbaland-produced “Blue Gangsta” yesterday, MTV has premiered the title track off Michael Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape, due Tuesday.

The King of Pop, in his signature falsetto, sings about escaping from the pressure of a relationship on the Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins production.

Jerkins and Jackson originally started working on the song around the time of Invincible in 1999. The producer revisited the track in 2003 before finishing it this year.

“Even when Michael was alive, we never stopped working on the song ‘Xscape,’” Jerkins told the AP. “It was one of those songs where he specifically said to me, ‘It has to see the light of day one day.’”

Xscape features eight previously unreleased songs, which were originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, with additional production from Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon, and John McClain.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Music: Michael Jackson – ‘Blue Gangsta’


In advance of Tuesday’s release of Xscape, another song off Michael Jackson’s posthumous album has hit the net via MTV. “Blue Gangsta,” which was recorded in 1998 and leaked in 2010, features slick vocals from MJ and a funky string arrangement courtesy of Timbaland.

“What you gonna do? / You ain’t a friend of mine / Look what you’ve put me through / Now that I’m the blue gangsta,” sings the King of Pop.

Xscape features eight previously unreleased songs produced by Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon, and John McClain.

The album is already off to a strong start. The first single, “Love Never Felt So Good” featuring Justin Timberlake, debuts at No. 20 this week, selling 80,000 downloads after only three days on sale.

Read the rest of this entry »

John Legend Earns First No. 1 on Hot 100, Ariana Grande Debuts at No. 3

John Legend

A decade after making his debut, John Legend has earned the first No. 1 hit of his career with “All of Me.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, & L.A. Reid Discuss Michael Jackson’s ‘Xscape’

Timbaland and Rodney Jerkins

Earlier today, Michael Jackson fans got to hear a new song from the pop icon called “Love Never Felt So Good.” The disco-soul jam, which features Justin Timberlake, will appear on his posthumous album Xscape.

Some of the producers including Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, and Stargate sat down with Billboard editor Joe Levy to discuss the project, which includes eight unreleased songs originally recorded between 1983 and 1999.

“What drives us is we really want to make a difference and Michael Jackson was the perfect artist who spoke to all of us,” said Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid, who serves as the album’s executive producer. “He tapped us on the shoulder and said, ‘Would you just do me one small favor and remind people that I’m the greatest?’ And we all said yes.”

Timbaland added, “Michael was one of the greatest entertainers. I felt like I had to dig in to a place where it’s deeper than just music.”

Rodney Jerkins, who worked on the title track with MJ, admitted that he was hesitant at first. “I worked with Michael before and I knew what his expectations were, what his standards were,” he said. “Once L.A. played me the music, I was all the way in.”

The behind-the-scenes clip is part of a documentary, which is available on the deluxe edition of Xscape, due May 13.

Read the rest of this entry »