To celebrate the life of Michael Jackson, there are so many ways. He was an icon in fashion, fortune, pop culture, and most of all, dance.
Michael gave birth to choreography in a way that had never been seen before, and daresay, never to be seen again, despite the many people he has touched with his music and movement. But with artists like Usher, Chris Brown, Jason Derulo, Ciara, and even The Weeknd, his inspiration and life breathes through them.
To commemorate Michael Jackson's birthday, we have found some of the most iconic replications, influences, and designs that have shaped the artists we know and love today to share, knowing full well that he would be in awe of the children that have come after him.
We start the pack with a woman because she's been so forefront on her dancing skills. This clip below was taken at one of her shows, in which she chose to honor Michael. And that, my friends, is a pretty flawless Moonwalk.
Usher (and Chris Tucker!):
He had multiple extra ordinary experiences because he personally knew Michael and got the opportunity to dance with him. Watch this clip of the pair dancing together, and then Chris Tucker comes out and surprises Michael - which was always hard to do.
And speaking of Chris Tucker:
He was also influenced by Michael, surprisingly. He cast him in his music video "You Rock My World," in which Chris was taught the choreography. After the instruction, and the study of MJ's moves, but also facial expressions, Tucker paid homage to him in one of the funniest scenes of Rush Hour 2.
Chris also shared some stories about MJ in his 2015, and how he missed his friendship:
If there's anyone who can embody the style of Michael's dance, it's definitely Chris Brown. He's brought down the house quite a few times in tributes - take a gander. Brown also has a breakdown when he begins singing "Man in the Mirror," feeling so impacted by the performance.
This video sealed the influence argument for me. Combined with how amazing Jason moves and the similarities, the way this video was directed was reminiscent of the creativity Michael has brought to tons of his music videos. This particular one has some tastes of "Ghosts," a longer featurette. The mansion, and the ghostly figures/paranormal activity, which was one of Michael's favorite subjects was very parallel, along with the choreography, which had hints of "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal." Derulo's singing style is also pretty on point, as he's one of the artists out there that can hit soprano bars.
The younger sister of Michael was also amazing with her own choreography, but you can tell that with her brother by her side, she was invincible. She has her own style, but she can move just like him, in perfect unison. Must be in the blood. The talent is so thick, Janet was able to stand next to her brother VIA screen after his death, and nail the dance in a tribute.
The Weeknd rounds out this list, showing that not only does his voice NAIL an MJ cover (see "Dirty Diana"), he also throws down a few dance moves, something he's not known for, in this music video for "I Can't Feel My Face." Of course, the fire parts are CGI, but you see his feet moving and counting out the beat prior to the lighter.
Amy Cooper is a writer and pop culture fact nerd, and on multiple occasions has been referred to as a “Walking iPod.”