Hollywood Tonight

Songfacts®:

  • Originally written during the recording of 2001's Invincible album, this song warns about the dangers of chasing your dream in Tinseltown.
  • Teddy Riley produced the song. The '80s New Jack Swing pioneer had worked with Michael since his 1991 set, Dangerous. Riley also wrote the song's spoken bridges, which are performed by Michael's nephew, Taryll Jackson.
  • The song was finally completed in 2010 and included on Jackson's first posthumous album, Michael. It received its television debut on December 3, 2010, when talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres premiered the tune on The Ellen DeGeneres Show while dancing throughout the audience.
  • Brad Buxer also has a songwriting credit on this track. Buxer is a keyboardist, producer, arranger and touring musical director who worked with Jackson on many projects. In February 2010 the musician claimed that he was owed over $47,839 for "music development, production and performance," and filed a claim with the executors of Michael's estate.
  • Riley told Billboard magazine that he had Jackson's more danceable hits in mind when concocting its sound. "I was looking at just doing the next level of 'Billie Jean' meets 'Dangerous' or 'Doggin' Me Around,'" said the producer." "It's like one of those driving bass lines that you will remember."
  • The song's music video was directed by Wayne Isham, who also helmed Jackson's 1995 clip for "You Are Not Alone." It was shot at the sidewalk and the street in front of the Pantages Theatre at Hollywood, California and stars Algeria-born female French dancer Sofia Boutella, whose look and outfit was based on Jackson's style. The storyline charts the journey of a young woman arriving in Hollywood from an American small town with her dream to be a star; though her ambition is to be a dancer, her story represents the struggle for every artist or musician struggling to make it in the world.

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