Michael Jackson Comes Back From the Dead at Billboard Music Awards… Well, Sort Of

A holographic image of Michael Jackson performs onstage during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Kevin Winter/Billboard Awards 2014/Getty Images for DCP)
A holographic image of Michael Jackson performs onstage during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Kevin Winter/Billboard Awards 2014/Getty Images for DCP)

There’s really only one reason to tune in to the Billboard Music Awards: the spectacle.

The annual celebration of radio and sales rainmakers isn’t about who will win. It’s about what happens onstage, and viewers of the telecast Sunday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas were promised “a once in a lifetime” experience from the late Michael Jackson: a hologram of the King of Pop.

The closely guarded secret had been spoiled days before the ceremony — on Friday a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit from tech companies alleging the hologram would violate their patents — but the performance remained the night’s most anticipated moment. And just like Tupac Shakur before him, Jackson was brought to life by the wonders of technology.

Amid a bevy of dancers (both beamed in and in person), Jackson’s eerie hologram image sang his tune “Slave to the Rhythm,” lifted from his recent posthumous album “Xscape,” as audience members wiped tears. The performance divided social media as fan reaction ranged from shock and awe to disappointment.

Jackson’s resurrection was the night’s most talked-about event, but the award for most viral moment went to Kendall Jenner. The reality TV star fumbled an introduction for Australian pop group 5 Seconds of Summer.

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SOURCE: GERRICK D. KENNEDY 
The Los Angeles Times

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