Last Christmas Wham!
There's no denying Michael Jackson's music and electric moves inspired a whole new generation of performers from Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams to Peter Andre. So whether it's a moonwalk or cheeky crotch grab, all of our favourite popstars have paid homage to the King of Pop!
Justin Timberlake has made no secret about his love for Michael Jackson, and can often be seen nicking a few of MJ's moves on stage. Justin said: "[Michael] opened the minds of people about music. He opened the minds of people about culture. Even if it was this much in your conscious, he helped with segregation. His music did that and not a lot of people can say that. Michael was the baddest!”
Beyonce has become one our generations most electric performers, but she says she learnt all of her vocal athletics by studying Michael Jackson tapes. She recalled: "When I was just starting out my first producer used to make me listen to Michael Jackson’s live performance of ‘Who’s Loving You’. He would make me watch that for hours back to back. What he wanted me to learn was his soul.”
There's no hiding the fact Rihanna loves a cheeky grab of the crotch, a move which was made famous by her predecessor, Michael. Rihanna is a big fan of the late singer, and even sampled his track 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' for her 2007 track 'Please Don't Stop The Music'.
The similarities between Usher's dance style and Michael Jackson's are uncanny, and he is often seen striking a few of MJ's famous poses on stage. Usher said: "I wouldn’t be who I am today without Michael Jackson. They say if you ever want to be great, you’ve got to study who the greats studied, so, of course, I studied his moves — studied them down to a T."
Lady Gaga's eccentric style is undoubtedly influenced but he King of Pop, so much so that she once suggested his old clothes give her musical powers! She said: "I have his sweaters that I put on. When we’re mixing and finishing up the record I feel something from the clothing."
Britney Spears has often praised Michael Jackson over the years. Not only has she channeled the King of Pop in many of her performances, she actually got to perform with him during his Madison Square Gardens gig in 2001. Speaking of Michael, Britney said: “If you really think of the genius that he is, he is just brilliant.”
Pharrell Williams may be responsible for producing a string of hits for today's popstars, however he credits the late Michael Jackson's early works as inspiration. Pharrell said: "The Thriller album also changed my life. 'Billie Jean" changed my life. Michael was one of the most incredible performers of all time, and he was also by far one of the best beatboxers ever."
Is it just us, or has Bruno Mars been taking tuxedo advice from the King of Pop? The crooner's smooth vocals also mimics Michael's soft tone, and it's no wonder because Bruno always aspired to be like MJ. He said: “I feel like he set the bar for artists. Any artist, I don’t care what genre you do, you should always aspire to be like Michael Jackson.”
Peter Andre has never been shy about his love for Michael Jackson, in fact, he is such a fan he even dedicated a whole section of his 2010 tour to the King Of Pop after working with choreographers who collaborated with the star. Pictures by Andy Squire
Mariah Carey credits Jackson as a massive influence, and was devastated when he passed away in 2009. She said: "I have been listening to Michael Jackson's music my whole life. When I was a little kid I used to sing all his songs. The whole world suffered a huge loss. The world is going to feel this forever. I feel myself blessed to have known him."