Although Micheal Jackson has been gone for years, it seems there’s no shortage of new musical material being pushed out of his Estate. On Monday, The Jackson Estate and Epic Records (the record label that has rights to most Jackson’s songs and albums) publicly announced that the King of Pop would be releasing a posthumous music video in a very “unique” way.
At 10 PM EST tonight, the music video for Jackson’s “new” single “A Place With No Name” is set to be released via Jackson’s Twitter account. It’s the first time Twitter will ever host a music video premiere. Twitter has long been a popular platform for artists to connect with fans about new music and videos, but new content is typically shared with a link. Videos are a relatively new addition to Twitter, and this premiere marks the first time and artist will debut a new music video within a single tweet.
To hype up the Twitter premiere, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance will air a preview of the video on tonight’s episode. The episode, a Micheal Jackson themed affair, starts at 8 PM EST, and will showcase 8 dance routines, choreographed by Travis Payne, Jackson’s former back-up dancer and choreographer. Each dancer will perform to a famous Micheal Jackson song, and the video preview will be aired near the end of the show. To add to this whirlwind of hype, the “A Place With No Name” video will dominate a massive screen in Times Square in New York City.
Apparently “A Place With No Name” is Jackson’s reinvention of classic rock band America’s hit single “A Horse With No Name.” It was first recorded in 1998. In order to finish the recording for “A Place With No Name”, the record label hired StarGate, a renowned production team known for work with pop stars like Rihanna (“What’s My Name”, “S&M”, and “Diamonds”), Katy Perry (“Firework”) and Beyonce (“Irreplaceable”).
The video premiere is sure to grab the spotlight tonight (not to mention amplify Twitter use and viewership of So You Think You Can Dance), but it begs the question: How appropriate is it to continuously release Jackson’s posthumous material? Is making millions off of a dead icon kosher? In 2010, the Jackson estate sold rights to Cirque du Soleil to create a live show centered around Jackson’s music. The act earned $325 million, making it the 9th biggest tour of all time. The same year of this tour, L.A. Reid, Michael Jackson’s former producer, X Factor judge, and the chairman of Epic Records, hatched an ingenious plan to save his label with Michael Jackson: the Xscape album. Obviously, the public doesn’t wan’t to let go of a beloved icon, and thus does it’s part to promote posthumous releases and tours. Still, something about capitalizing on Jackson’s music after his death strikes FDRMX as a bit tacky.