The Billboard Music Awards resurrected Michael Jackson as a hologram Sunday for a performance of “Slave to the Rhythm,” a song from his new posthumous album Xscape.
Reminiscent of when Tupac Shakur “performed” as a hologram alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella in 2012, the King of Pop digitally danced (moonwalk included) and sang onstage as though he never left us. Jackson died in 2009 after suffering cardiac arrest.
The surprise stunt was spoiled earlier this week after a lawsuit, claiming product infringement and briefly describing a Jackson holographic performance, surfaced. Billboard had been teasing a Michael Jackson tribute when the lawsuit bubbled up.
This isn’t the first digital reincarnation since Tupac’s virtual comeback. This year, rapper M.I.A. and singer Janelle Monae both perform private solo concerts in different cities before teaming up at the end of their shows as life-sized 3D projections. Last year, hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan resurrected Ol’ Dirty Bastard as a hologram. Also in 2013, rumors of R&B group TLC reviving Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes as a hologram circulated but ultimately fizzled.
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