Published on July 15, 2016
“Slave to the Rhythm” is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The song is the 5th track of Jackson’s second posthumous album Xscape.Despite not being released as a single, the song appeared on several notable music charts due to digital downloads and streaming. Sony Mobile used a snippet of “Slave to the Rhythm” in their advertising campaign for the Xperia Z2 mobile phone. It was performed live at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards with a “Pepper’s ghost” of Michael Jackson. Due to streaming of the “hologram” performance on Billboard, the song debuted at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Jackson a posthumous 50th entry on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was written and recorded in 1991, with L.A. Reid and Babyface during sessions for the Dangerous album, but didn’t make the final cut. In 2010, a version of the song remixed by Tricky Stewart was leaked. This remix remains unreleased officially, but a snippet was played on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in the weeks before the release of Xscape. In 2013, another version of the song leaked (produced by Max Methods), featuring Jackson’s vocals in a duet with Canadian artist Justin Bieber. In response to criticism over this remix, the Michael Jackson Estate had not authorized release of this recording, and has since made attempts to remove the song from as many sites and YouTube channels as possible.