On what would have been his 54th birthday, some of the artists Michael Jackson inspired gathered to celebrate his birthday and the 25th anniversary of his iconic album Bad. Melanie Fiona, Ne-Yo, and Swizz Beatz were among those who paid tribute to the King of Pop by covering his Bad classics at the BAD25 Pepsi & Billboard Summer Beats Celebration at Gotham Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.
“Is the world ready to celebrate Michael Jackson?” asked Melanie Fiona, who served up a soulful set of her own hits plus covers of “Dirty Diana” and “Bad.”
Ne-Yo channeled his idol on “Smooth Criminal” and “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and dueted with his artist RaVaughn Brown on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” “You try Michael Jackson songs and hope that it works, so with that said I hope I made Mike proud just now,” said the R&B gent, who also performed new material off his upcoming album R.E.D., due in November.
A 25th anniversary edition of Bad featuring remixes, remastered hits, and unreleased demos will be released on September 18.
If you missed the live stream, you can watch some of the highlights below.
Ne-Yo – “Smooth Criminal”
Ne-Yo – “The Way You Make Me Feel”
Ne-Yo & RaVaughn Brown – “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
Melanie Fiona – “Dirty Diana”
Melanie Fiona – “Bad”
Melanie Fiona – “This Time”