Michael Jackson has still got the moves, even from beyond the grave. Maybe it shouldn’t be huge news — after all, stars living and dead have been doing hologram performances for a couple years now — but MJ’s eerie performance at the Billboard Music Awards last night has been making internet waves today.
In a bit of delicious irony, the song BMA producers chose for the holo-puppet to perform was “Slave to the Rhythm,” which Jackson wrote about his feeling of powerlessness within the music industry despite his status as a megastar.
The unreleased song was almost never performed, according to CBS, which reported that the company that owns the hologram technology that allowed the late rapper Tupac Shakur to come alive at Coachella two years ago tried to get the Jackson performance blocked. However, that claim was denied and the show went on without a hitch.
If you like the song, you can catch more previously unreleased Jackson material on “Xscape,” the King of Pop’s second posthumous compilation album featuring eight new songs. It’s already out, but gets an official American release June 10.
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails