Michael Jackson Tribute Triumphs at MTV VMAs
Take a group of truly talented dancers performing the most iconic dances in music video history, add Janet Jackson's electrifying choreography alongside her late brother, and stir in a heartfelt speech from an artful Madonna, and the result is a memorable memorial for a fallen music icon.
Madonna's deep respect and admiration for the late King of Pop radiated throughout her insightful tribute, which she began by noting, "Michael Jackson was born in August 1958. So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was six, he became a superstar, and was perhaps the world’s most beloved child. When I was six, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick. I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood. And when you never get to have something, you become obsessed by it."
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show may have had more salacious moments, but it had none to be prouder of than the magnificent tribute to M.J. It's rare these days for the Real World Challenges of 16 & Pregnant on The Hills network to produce quality music television. While Lady Gaga's bloodied performance may have been intended to be affecting, it was easily forgettable compared to Kanye West's stage rush/highjack during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. (And on that note: The level of outcry against Kanye West is a little surprising. It was what it was: not very nice. But but for an industry where Chris Brown still has a career after his transgressions to suddenly claim to be so mindful of manners -- c'mon.)
Seeing Janet Jackson dance her talented little heart out with her
legendary brother’s magical movements projected behind her was
celebratory and cathartic. It brought the event’s biggest stars, from
Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez, to their feet, screaming with childlike
enthusiasm and grinning with glee.
Imagine if Mr West had saved his opinions on the Best Female Video
category until after the show, and the Michael Jackson tribute had
remained the rightful press highlight of the awards program? Kanye
upstaged an evening that almost managed to be about the grand
entertaining spectacle of music performance and made it about
celebrities’ minor misbehaviors.
Tell us: What was the most memorable moment of the VMAs to you? Wouldn't you rather watch Janet Jackson burst onto the stage and get chills as she re-creates the “Scream” video in front of Michael's larger-than-life image? Or do you want to see an egomaniacal rap superstar step over a puppy-dog-eyed country cutie?
Images courtesy of Getty