EXCLUSIVE He isn’t dead five years, but Michael Jackson is coming back to perform on TV. I’m told that Jackson will appear on the Billboard Music Awards as a dancing, singing hologram to promote his new “Xscape” album. Sources say Jackson will appear “through an amazing new technology.” The show airs on May 18th. Is it exploitation or just something cool? Or ghoul?
The technology for this “once in a lifetime event” that was referred to in a press release this morning may be coming from a Japanese company in which Sony Music is an investor. There are already hologram music videos on YouTube. There’s also been speculation that soon holograms would be used by living performers. But dead ones? The possibility of seeing Elvis and all other deceased stars is a startling one at best.
Something similar was done with Tupac Shakur as a CGI kind of hologram at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012. But as far as I know, no one’s done that on TV.
Production staff associated with the Billboard Music Awards have been sworn to absolute secrecy– and say they haven’t been told very much at all. But an insider tells me that the description of Michael as a hologram “is not wrong.”
It’s unclear whether Jackson’s hologram or technological self would perform alone or interact with someone from his new album– like Justin Timberlake. Timberlake was grafted onto a 30 year old recording of Jackson singing a Paul Anka song on the new album. I guess anything is possible.
And how will Jackson’s family feel seeing their father, son, brother back on stage?
Here’s the Tupac ‘holgram’: