Slave To The Rhythm

Album: Xscape (2014)
Charted: 45

Songfacts®:

  • This song was originally written and recorded by Michael Jackson back in 1989 during the Dangerous sessions and first appeared on the net in 2010. An unauthorized reworked version, which added Justin Bieber's vocals to the mix, was leaked in 2013 supported by a series of Bieber tweets. It was quickly removed following a copyright claim and the version that appears on the Xscape album is Bieber-less.
  • L.A. Reid, chairman of Epic Records who executive-produced Xscape, worked on the original base track in 1989 with Babyface. He recalled to Billboard magazine that Jackson recorded his vocal 24 times. "And it was not once and fix the bad note," he said. "No, he sang the song from top to bottom 24 times without a bathroom break, without a water break, without a 'Give me a moment.' He would sing the song and say, 'OK, give me another track, I can do it better,' and he'd do it again. 'I can nail this. Give me another track,' and he'd do it again."
  • Sony Mobile used a snippet of the song in a 90-second ad for the Xperia Z2 mobile phone.
  • A hologram of Michael Jackson appeared on stage to perform the song at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The illuminated image stole the show by accurately mimicking the late King of Pop's famous dance moves.
  • The song marked Michael Jackson's milestone 50th Hot 100 hit.
  • This marked a return to the Hot 100 for L.A. Reid as a songwriter after a 20-year break. He last charted in 1994 with Toni Braxton's "You Mean the World to Me," which peaked at #7. After co-penning numerous hits for the likes of Braxton, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men and Bobby Brown, Reid started focusing in the early 1990s on his then-role as co-president of LaFace Records.

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