Live: Pepsi Throws A Birthday Party For Michael Jackson; He's Unable to Attend

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Bad 25: Ne-Yo, Melanie Fiona, Swizz Beatz
Gotham Hall
Wednesday, August 29

Better than: an easy hair-burning joke.

"You just don't do a Michael song—you try and do the best you can." So said Ne-Yo, dabbing at his forehead, having sweated through his "Smooth Criminal" costume. On screens behind him, Michael spun and stopped on pointed toes, a smile and a wink, leaning so far forward you thought his nose and heels would somehow both touch the ground. Here and now stood Ne-Yo, effort running down his face and shirt and pooling around his back; his red shirt stained ombre. He'd just sung three songs off of Bad—tracks 10, 8 and a brisk version of 2—in a performance completely reminiscent of Tupac's hologram. He continued his thoughts on Michael Jac-karaoke, saying, "You attempt and pray it works," before beginning the EDM portion of his own catalog.

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