The BET Awards were all about Michael Jackson as stars paid tribute to him in their own ways.
The show opened with video of Michael’s appearance at the 2003 BET Awards when he hopped on stage with James Brown. From there, New Edition performed The Jackson 5’s famous medly from the Ed Sullivan Show.
Of course, host Jamie Foxx found a few ways to pay homage to the gloved one. First he came out and did his rendition of “Beat It” while rocking Michael’s costume from the video. Then he got decked out in a tux like the one MJ wore in “Billie Jean.”
And after Janet offered some words of thanks on behalf of the Jackson family, Jamie and Ne-yo took the stage to sing “I’ll Be There.”
With all his tributes and other musical numbers, Ne-Yo almost had as many performances as Jamie did last night—not that we mind, course. We especially loved his version of “Lady In My Life.”
Ciara took a note from Jamie and Ne-Yo’s book: She dressed like MJ by donning a sparkly black and gold military jacket while she sang “Heal The World” using nothing more than a mic, a stool and a spotlight.
Meanwhile, Keri Hilson decided to give props to The King of Pop through dance. The last bit of her performance borrowed heavily on his style. We were a little disappointed that she didn’t bust out with The Moonwalk, though.
Many of last night’s winners also mentioned Mijac in their acceptance speeches. Those that didn’t were probably wearing a shirt with face on it or borrowed some aspect of his signature style.
But in case you forgot who BET was celebrating on Sunday, pictures of Michael were nearly always emblazoned on the screen at the Shrine Auditorium.
— Sonya Eskridge