Though Michael Jackson fans probably wouldn't consider Ne-YO the 'next best thing' to seeing the King of Pop in action, they seemed happy enough with the rapper's version of 'Smooth Criminal, 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel' at a New York gig this week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Michael's multiplatinum album 'Bad'.
The show, which also fell on Jackson's 54th birthday (August 29, 2012) saw Ne-Yo imitating the late singer's dance moves and vocal tones. In an interview ahead of his performance, the Arkansas native told Billboard.com, "You just don't do a Michael song, you try and do the best you can". He also revealed that he learned how to sing because of Jackson and that his enduring musical influence was "tattooed" on his heart. As well as Ne-Yo's Michael Jackson tribute singer Melanie Fiona tackled covers of 'Bad' and 'Dirty Diana' and DJ and producer-rapper Swizz Beatz whipped the Gotham faithful into a frenzy with tracks including Rihanna's 'We Found Love' and favourites from Dmz and Rick Ross.
Michael Jackson's 'Bad', the follow-up to 'Thriller', spent 38 weeks in the Billboard Top 10 upon its release. An anniversary issue hits shelves on September 18, 2012