Michael Jackson Version
Singer Michael Jackson recorded the song for his 1995 double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It was planned to be released as the eighth and final single from the album in 1998 but was canceled days before its release date. Only a few copies from the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa (where the record distribution was started previous to the withdrawal) were saved as the other copies were withdrawn. The rarest pressings include the CD maxi single (estimated value over €500) and the single track promo (The promo single CD was going for $1,725.00 Au In February 2011).
The remixes on this release have never been released commercially since, but some can also be found on the "Is It Scary" promotional 12" records from the UK. The "Downtempo Groove Mix" is the rarest mix of this song because it was only released on the maxi. The remix was uncredited, but was actually done by Eddie Arroyo.
Jackson had never performed this song live; an HBO special was once planned with the song being performed, but Jackson collapsed during the concert's rehearsals. During the final concerts of his HIStory World Tour, the song was played at the beginning of each concert in memory of Princess Diana. In Living with Michael Jackson, he mentioned the song while at Neverland Ranch and sang it while he was in Las Vegas.
Around November 2005, a number of bootlegged 12" records appeared on eBay and some record fairs in Germany and The Netherlands. This explains why the 12" presses are the most common, although the original is still considered the most rare. The short version of "Smile" was later re-issued on the deluxe United Kingdom edition of King of Pop in 2008.
Michael Jackson's brother, Jermaine Jackson, sang "Smile" at his memorial service on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, shortly after Michael Jackson's friend Brooke Shields mentioned it had been Jackson's favorite song. He also sang it in an interview with Today at Neverland before the memorial and only days after Michael had passed. During the internationally televised public memorial, Jermaine switched the words "gladness" and "sadness" in the lyrics, possibly in an unintentional flub of the lyrics.
The song has since charted at #74 in the UK, #71 in Germany, #70 in Switzerland and at #56 in Australia.