The world of music tuned in yesterday to see how BET would commemorate the greatest entertainer of all time. With the unexpected death of Michael Jackson on Thursday, June 25, 2009 BET execs had only 3 days to revamp the show and put together an event that celebrated the life and music of the legendary music icon.
Michael Jackson broke barriers, boundaries, and records unparalleled by any other artist to date so it is only fitting that BET (Black Entertainment Television) paid a moving tribute to one of the most influential pop artist of all time. Rather than have one segment dedicated to pay tribute to the King of Pop the entire show was a dedication to the musical genius’ contribution to pop culture.
Jaime Foxx opened up the show with a dance performance of “Beat It” while New Edition (all 6 members on hand) was the first musical act to perform a medley of Jackson 5 songs. Throughout the night artists like Ne-Yo, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, and Keri Hilson acknowledged either through their performances or during acceptance speeches the influence that the legendary singer had on each of them. It truly was a night of celebration, with Jaime Foxx emphatically telling the crowd “No need to be sad. We want to celebrate this black man,” and celebrate they did.
Ne-Yo, who’s music is often said to have that “Michael Jackson” feel to it, gave a flawless performance of “Lady in My Life” and Stevie Wonder, Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx’s rendition of the Jackson 5 classic “I’ll Be There” was by far the most emotional performance of the night. Joe Jackson was also present last night telling reporters “I just wish he could be here to celebrate himself,” he said. “Sadly, he’s not here, so I’m here to celebrate for him.”
The most touching moment of the night however, was when sister Janet addressed the crowd of A-List celebrities and said “My entire family wanted to be here tonight but it was too painful. To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family and he will forever live in our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself thank you for your love and support. We miss him so much.” No one expected Janet Jackson to be present but it undoubtedly was for me the best part of show. As a Michael Jackson fan I was very pleased with how BET paid tribute to the King of Pop. It was for me by far the best awards show that I have seen in a very long time. Good job BET.