The Weeknd—R&B's voice of nighttime lust—opened his third free album Echoes of Silence with a desolate and desperate sounding cover of the Bad classic. With this song, the Canadian singer-songwriter demonstrated he could drape the music of another artist in his world of atmospheric eroticism, too.
Tori Kelly just dropped her debut album Unbreakable Smile featuring hit single "Nobody Love" and her cover of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You" has received more than 23 million views on YouTube, but we're equally intrigued by her take on Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)."
It takes courage to take on the King of Pop, especially a cut from Thriller. But Kelly is fearless.
Just this week YouTube stars turned global sensations Pentatonix premiered their "Evolution of Michael Jackson" tribute medley. The six-minute long a cappella performance contains bits of 25 different MJ tracks, ranging from his early hits with the Jackson 5 to lesser known songs and of course some of his biggest hits.
It's hard to think of many people who are perfect to cover MJ, but Bruno Mars is, in fact, perfect. Check out this live version of "Billie Jean" from Las Vegas. It's not your typical cover—this one features Mars singing the lyrics over the music of Nirvana's "Smell Like Teen Spirit." The song eventually segues into "Dirty Diana." Creative!
Seventeen-year-old Brett Nichols of Turlock, CA, dazzled his school this year with the most incredible dance rendition of Micheal Jackson's "Billie Jean" since Michael himself moonwalked the earth. Someone uploaded a clip of his talent show-winning performance to YouTube, and it basically broke the Internet. Check out this shaggy-haired kid's moonwalk at the 2:57 minute mark! You'll have to watch it three times to believe it. The boy can move.
Melding the King of Pop's signature song with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2009 hit was a gutsy move, but the cast of Fox's Glee pulled it off in the recording studio and on the football field, playing zombified athletes dancing amid a championship football game. Did it make sense? Not really. Did it look and sound incredible? Absolutely.
The influence of Michael Jackson on the last chillwave musician standing, Toro Y Moi, is undeniable. Cool, sexy synths run rampant in "Human Nature," and in most of Toro's catalog. Basically this cover needed to happen, and we're glad it did.
Peruvian-American composer Tony Succar brought numerous stars together for a Latin music Michael Jackson tribute project called Unity. In the above track, salsa singer Michael Stuart and Succar recast the Jackson 5's disco hit "Blame It On the Boogie" as "Sera Que No Me Amas," a jazzy dance number that's impossible to ignore.