Black Music Month – Master Class: Michael Jackson. In remembrance, four iconic performances .

Michael Jackson© Michael Jackson / AP

Four years ago today, Michael Jackson died — but the trailblazing musical performances live on through the wonder of video sharing sites.

In his career, Jackson earned 13 Grammys, 26 American Music Awards and sold an estimated 400 million records worldwide. But his onstage performances were just as lauded as his in-studio ones.

In remembrance of the King of Pop, TheWrap compiled four iconic song and dance routines from the ultimate song and dance man.

The first video inspired a generation of fans to try to Moonwalk, but nobody did it quite like Jackson.

The crowd at the 25th anniversary of Motown show went crazy for the second or two that Jackson broke out his signature move for the first time.

Re-witness the original Moonwalk in this iconic performance of “Billie Jean”:

Jackson could captivate a crowd simply by standing there. No performer has ever wasted more time doing nothing during a Super Bowl halftime show, and still put on what is considered one of the greatest performances of all time.

Once more, it was “Billie Jean” that really got the California crowd excited, but the impressive set list also included “Black or White” and “We are the World.” It was certainly the highlight of the game for Buffalo Bills fans.

Here’s MJ at the Super Bowl:

Perhaps the King of Pop occasionally overdid it a little with the theatrics (and the pants), but the fans ate it up anyway. His catalog and performances spoke for themselves.

To date, nearly 22 million people have watched the following video — a Munich performance of “Smooth Criminal” from Jackson’s History World Tour — on YouTube. The clip features the incredibly angled forward-lean move that Jackson made famous (and would make a lot of amateur impersonators fall flat on their faces).

Here’s the Munich performance:

Slash of Guns N’ Roses joined Jackson onstage for this memorable MTV performance. It included lots of steam, lots of wind and lots of hits. Jackson also pulled out all of his best moves for the memorable set.

A winded Jackson took to the microphone to address the crowd in the middle of the following clip.

“Some of us like to play it safe and take each day as it comes,” Jackson opined, before he performed “Dangerous.” He concluded, “Some of us like to take that crazy walk on the wild side. So, for those of us that like living dangerously, this one’s for you.”

Here’s one last video of Jackson at his best:

SOURCE: TheWrap, Tony Maglio


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