Hold My Hand (Michael Jackson and Akon song)

"Hold My Hand"
Single by Michael Jackson and Akon
from the album Michael
Released November 15, 2010
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2008 (basic tracks)
2010 (additional overdubs & mixing)
Genre R&B
Length 3:32
Label Epic
Writer(s) Aliaune Thiam, Giorgio Tuinfort, Claude Kelly
Producer(s) Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Michael Jackson (co-producer)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Mind Is the Magic"
"Hold My Hand"
"Hollywood Tonight"
Akon singles chronology
"Move That Body"
"Hold My Hand"
Michael track listing
"Hold My Hand"
"Hollywood Tonight"
Music video
"Hold My Hand" on YouTube

"Hold My Hand" is a duet performed by American recording artist Michael Jackson and Senegalese-American singer-songwriter Akon, from Jackson's first posthumous album Michael.[1] The song was originally recorded by Akon and Jackson in 2008. The song was an international top 20 hit in nations such as Germany, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.


"Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)"
A Twenty-two second sample of Jackson's song "Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)".

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Co-writer Claude Kelly told HitQuarters that "Hold My Hand" was originally written with Whitney Houston in mind.[2] Akon and Kelly had been in the studio working on songs for Houston's I Look to You album and while on his own Kelly completed the song from a track Akon had left. After hearing the song later, Akon said that he loved it and wanted to keep it for himself, so he wanted to record his own version of it. Shortly afterwards Akon went to Las Vegas to work on what would have been Michael Jackson's next album. While there Jackson heard the song and loved it, and decided he wanted to contribute to it. When Kelly was asked what he thought it was about the song that struck a chord with both Akon and Jackson, he said that it was the song's theme of friendship and togetherness.[2] "Hold My Hand" was recorded by Jackson and Akon in 2008.[1] Akon finished the rest of his vocals for the song in 2010, a few days before the release.[1] A handwritten note from Jackson belonging to his Estate indicated his desire that “Hold My Hand” be the first single on his next project.[1] However, in its unfinished state, the song leaked out in 2008.[1] This would be the last new song leaked during Jackson's lifetime. Due to the leak, the song was subsequently pulled from Akon's track listing for his 2008 album, Freedom.[3][4]

Akon commented, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”[1] Before the official release of the song, Akon stated on Twitter that the final version would have more of Jackson's vocals. The song was released globally on Monday, November 15, 2010, at 12:01am EST. It was available to stream from Jackson's official website.[1] Jackson's nephew, Taj Jackson, posted a message saying that his uncle was proud of the song. "I'll never forget that smile he had on his face as the song played through the speakers [in his room] at the Palms Hotel in Vegas."[5] The song is the second collaboration between the two artists and the second consecutive duet single release for Jackson, following "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008". That song proved a commercial success and charted within the top 20 in several countries.[6]

Music video

On Monday, November 22, 2010, the filming for the official video began in Tustin, California, a main filming location being the airship hangars at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin. There was a casting call posted up on Jackson's official website, saying that they were "looking for his fans of all ages who want to be a part of this iconic event."[7] On December 4, 2010, a 30-second teaser of the video was released on Michael Jackson's official YouTube channel and the official website. It featured clips from Jackson's Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour DVD and clips of fans dancing.[8] The video debuted at midnight December 9, 2010 on worldwide websites, including MichaelJackson.com.[9] The video showed Jackson in concert (from Dangerous World Tour in Bucharest and HIStory World Tour in Munich), Akon singing and children dancing in the dress of Jackson, as well as sentimental scenes of children, families, and elderly people holding hands and a woman weeping.[9] The video was directed by Mark Pellington.

Critical reception

The song received mostly positive reviews in contrast to the negative reviews of the previous promotional single "Breaking News."[10] Ashante Infantry, entertainment reporter for the Toronto Star, called it a "catchy, well-meaning addition to Jackson's catalog." She also wrote, "Buoyed by strings and a backing chorus, the singer applies his angelic tenor to soaring phrasing that models the uplifting purport of the tune’s love and unity lyrics in the spirit of 1995’s "You Are Not Alone", Jackson’s last No. 1 hit."[11] Huffington Post commentator Joe Vogel praised it as "a simple, but powerful song that embodies so much of what fans loved about Michael Jackson... making the personal something more profound and universal", and Vogel stated as well that "With its catchy chorus and majestic crescendo it has all the makings of a big hit." Vogel also noted the first line of the song, "This life don't last forever," was a "poignant reminder of the transience of life."[12] MTV's Gil Kaufman stated that "the uplifting 'Hold My Hand' is one of Jackson's classic love ballads, a heart-stirring call to unity," and that it ended with "a majestic feel."[13] Newsday music critic Glenn Gamboa said that the tune "finds Jackson in fine voice." He also remarked, "Now this is more like it."[14] Gerrick D. Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times music blog wrote that the "mid-tempo uplifting track is classic M.J."[15]

Negative reviews however came from Yahoo! Music, where commentator Chris Willman argued that the single stole elements from the Hootie & the Blowfish song of the same name,[16] and Minneapolis City Pages where commentator Ray Cummings said "there's no way to reasonably avoid being disappointed and dispirited by its thinness."[17] Boston Herald critic Jed Gottlieb described the song as "an average, Auto-Tuned Akon croon" without "the snap, crackle and pop of a finished King of Pop product." Gottlieb also wrote, "Jackson is grumbling from his grave."[18] Jason Lipshutz from Billboard said, it "isn't a classic Jackson single," but Michael Jackson's "diehards should delight in hearing a stylish pop production that doesn't dwell on the singer's troubled life."[19]

Commercial performance

The song debuted at number 53 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart the week of November 27, 2010.[20][21] It also became Michael Jackson's 48th hit on Billboard Hot 100, and debuted at number 84.[22] It debuted on the Adult R&B chart at number 16 as the chart's highest start in 2010 the same week.[23] The song is Jackson's first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 since 2002's "Butterflies". The song debuted at number 24 on the Billboard Jazz Songs Chart on the week of January 15, 2011, as Jackson's first single on this chart, it peaked at number 16.[24] According to SoundScan, the song has sold 304,000 copies by the middle of January 2011.[25]

Track listing

European CD Single[26]
No. Title Length
1. "Hold My Hand"   3:32
2. "Hold My Hand" (Vocals & Orchestra) 3:44
3. "Hold My Hand" (Alternative Mix) 3:48
4. "Hold My Hand" (Instrumental) 3:32
Total length:
Promotional CD Single
No. Title Length
1. "Hold My Hand"   3:32
Total length:

Chart performance


Chart (2010–11) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[27] 37
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[28] 9
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[29] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[30] 8
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[31] 16
Czech Airplay Chart (IFPICR)[32] 13
Denmark (Tracklisten)[33] 3
Finland (IFPI)[34] 16
France (SNEP)[35] 27
German Singles Chart[36] 7
Hungary (Single Top 40)[37] 10
Ireland (IRMA)[38] 21
Italy (FIMI)[39] 4
Japan (Billboard Japan Hot 100)[40] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[41] 28
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[42] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[43] 9
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[44] 2
Polish Dance Chart (ZPAV)[45] 40
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[46] 17
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[47] 7
Spain (Airplay Chart)[48] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[49] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[50] 9
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[51] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[52] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 39
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[23] 33
US Billboard Pop Songs[53] 38
US Billboard Jazz Songs[24] 16

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
German Singles Chart 91
UK Singles Chart[54] 168
Chart (2011) Position
Hungarian Airplay Chart[55] 28
Spanish Singles Chart[56] 35


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Italy (FIMI)[57] Gold 15,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[58] Gold 20,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format
Austria November 15, 2010 Digital download
New Zealand[60]
China[66] November 17, 2010
Poland[67] November 18, 2010
United States[68]
Austria December 3, 2010 CD single
United Kingdom[26][70] December 5, 2010 Digital download
December 6, 2010 CD single
France[71] December 6, 2010 CD single


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "MICHAEL Press Release". Sony Music Entertainment. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  2. 1 2 "Interview with Claude Kelly". HitQuarters. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 24 Nov 2010.
  3. "Akon's New Album "Freedom" tracklisting is out". Retrieved 2010-11-20.
  4. "Michael Jackson Cameo Shocks Akon Songwriter". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  5. "Michael Jackson duet with Akon released online". CNN. 2010-11-15.
  6. "Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008 (chanson)". LesCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  7. "Casting Call for the "Hold My Hand" Music Video". Michaeljackson.com. 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  8. "Hold My Hand Music Video 30 Second Teaser". MichaelJackson.com. 2010-12-04. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  9. 1 2 Deutsch, Linda (2010-12-07). "Jackson's first posthumous video hits the Web, Video for album's first single, 'Hold My Hand,' to officially debut Thursday". Associated Press via MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  10. "New Michael Jackson Song Released, Gathers Buzz". ABC News. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  11. Infantry, Ashante (November 15, 2010). "Review: Michael Jackson back to form with Akon duet". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  12. Vogel, Joe (November 15, 2010). "Review: "Hold My Hand" (Michael Jackson and Akon)". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  13. Gil Kaufman (2010-11-15). Michael "Jackson's 'Hold My Hand' Debuts Online - Music, Celebrity, Artist News" Check |url= value (help). MTV. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  14. 'Hold My Hand,' featuring Jackson and Akon, released
  15. "Pop & Hiss". Los Angeles Times.
  16. Michael Jackson and Akon Get Hootie-esque and Hold Hands On New Single - Stop The Presses!
  17. Michael Jackson/Akon duet "Hold My Hand" less fake than "Breaking News" but bogus nonetheless - Minneapolis / St. Paul Music - Gimme Noise
  18. Gottlieb, Jed (November 24, 2010). "'Hold My Hand' (Epic): C+". Boston Herald. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  19. Jason Lipshutz (2010-11-19). "Michael Jackson (Duet with Akon), "Hold My Hand"". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  20. "Michael Jackson Music News & Info". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  21. Gary Trust (2010-11-18). "Weekly Chart Notes: 'Glee,' Black Eyed Peas, Susan Boyle". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  22. Silvio Pietroluongo (2010-11-24). "Rihanna's 'Only Girl' Rebounds to No. 1 on Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  23. 1 2 3 Gary Trust (2010-11-24). "Weekly Chart Notes: Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Beatles". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  24. 1 2 "Chart Highlights: Pop. Rock, Dance/Club Play Songs & More". Billboard.com. January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  25. Mitchell, Gail (2011-01-21). "Michael Jackson's 'Michael' Album Sales Pale Next to 'This Is It'". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
  26. 1 2 "Uk Single Download Release Date (Sun 5th Dec.) CD Single (Mon 6th Dec.)". MichaelJackson.com.
  27. "Australian-charts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  28. "Austriancharts.at – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  29. "Ultratop.be – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  30. "Ultratop.be – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  31. "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  32. "IFPICR week 2010/49".
  33. "Danishcharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". Tracklisten.
  34. Suomen virallinen lista - ylex.yle.fi
  35. "Classement des ventes de titres téléchargés en France du 15 novembre au 21 novembre 2010" (in French). Chartsinfrance.net. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  36. ":: MTV | Hitlist Germany KW 7 | charts". Mtv.de. 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  37. "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  38. "Chart Track: Week 50, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  39. "Italiancharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". Top Digital Download.
  40. "Hot 100 - Japan Chart - December 6, 2010". Billboard Japan. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  41. "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  42. "Charts.org.nz – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". Top 40 Singles.
  43. "Norwegiancharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". VG-lista.
  44. "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  45. "Dance Chart :: Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  46. "Archive Chart: 2010-12-18". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  47. "Spanishcharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand" Canciones Top 50.
  48. "Promusicae (Week: January 1, 2011)" (PDF). Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  49. "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". Singles Top 100.
  50. "Swisscharts.com – Michael Jackson duet with Akon – Hold My Hand". Swiss Singles Chart.
  51. "Archive Chart: 2010-12-25" UK R&B Chart.
  52. "Archive Chart: 2010-12-25" UK Singles Chart.
  53. "Pop Songs". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  54. "End Of Year Charts: 2010" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  55. "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2011" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  56. http://www.promusicae.org/files/listasanuales/canciones/Top%2050%20CANCIONES%20ANUAL%202011.pdf
  57. "Italian single certifications – Michael Jackson and Akon – Hold My Hand" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 2 January 2012. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Michael Jackson and Akon in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  58. "Spanish single certifications – Michael Jackson – Hold My Hand" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 2 January 2012. Select the "Chart", enter ' in the field "Year". Select ' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  59. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single de Michael Jackson - Télécharger Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single sur iTunes
  60. "Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single by Michael Jackson - Download Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  61. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single
  62. 1 2 Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single by Michael Jackson - Download Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single on iTunes
  63. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single von Michael Jackson - Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single bei iTunes laden
  64. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single by Michael Jackson - Download Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single on iTunes
  65. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single de Michael Jackson - Descarga Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon) - Single en iTunes
  66. 单曲 - Hold My Hand(Hold My Hand (Single)) - 谷歌音乐搜索
  67. News | The Official Michael Jackson Site
  68. Amazon.com: Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon): Michael Jackson Duet with Akon: MP3 Downloads
  69. "Hold My Hand (Duet With Akon): Michael Jackson Duet With Akon: Amazon.de: Musik". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  70. "Music CDs, DVDs, Games & More". hmv.com. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  71. "Hold My Hand : Michael Jackson & Akon: Amazon.fr: Musique". Amazon.fr. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
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