As usual, I’ve been hunting around Youtube for K-pop MVs and old concerts. I came across a Michael Jackson tribute performance at the South Korean 2009 Golden Disc Awards in December. As the world sadly mourned the loss of the King of Pop, many artists around the world paid homage to Michael Jackson’s legacy. This breathtaking performance of MJ’s hottest dance hits by Super Junior, SHINee, and SNSD absolutely blew me away. It goes to show how much MJ influenced the world, and how much further international musicians listened and appreciated him right back. If only America can open up its arrogant ears to the greater talents the rest of the world has to offer? Then, maybe we can enjoy these amazing Asian popstars who have the flair and spunk to change the face of international entertainment.
Oh, my! The Superb Junior 슈퍼주니어 (Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, Sungmin) and SHINee (JongHyun, Key, TaeMin), how awesome is their rendition of “Beat It” and “Bad.” I adore the black-and-white suit style, the white gloves, and the mysterious fedora hat; the guys achieved the MJ look with an air of sex appeal. The choreography and the synchronization were all put together very cleverly. They make the Moonwalk and every dance move look so effortless. And (Girl’s Generation 소녀시대) SNSD’s dance to “Smooth Criminal” was a show-stopper. The girls (HyoYeon, Yuri, SooYoung, Sunny, SeoHyun) really mastered the
famous Moonwalk and robotic moves. I love their cute and clean tuxedo style, adding to that some attitude and spunk. Their technique and careful execution of every move are flawless. Now, this is the tribute to remember (SuJu, SHINee, SNSD).
MJ revolutionized dance and music before and during my generation. I’m not a huge fan of today’s music (rap, hip-hop, teen popstars, etc…), but I’ve always loved 80s-90s music. MJ started his career as a young kid in the Jackson 5, and peaked during the 80s with funky tunes like “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Bad,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean.” Some of my favorite soft songs include “We are the World,” “Black or White,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Will You Be There” (Free Willy theme). Even though his last decade of his life involved accusation, controversy, and crude humor, I still remember him as the soulful, versatile musician and dancer.
Unfortunately, his end came too soon back in June 2009. The NY Times alert in my Gmail came as a shocker. There I sat, in my dorm room, scrolling through my iTunes and listening to all his greatest hits that have made music so memorable around the world.
Here is 王力宏 (Wang Lee Hom) and his rendition of “Man in the Mirror.” He made it his own, thanks to his soothing vocals, oriental instrumentals, and his charm.
And lastly, I found this Taiwanese version of “We Are the World,” called “愛 (Love)” a few years back. This was originally Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s 1985 charity song for the Africa poverty relief effort. The Taiwanese version was recorded to support the Indonesia tsunami relief campaign in 2006, featuring 周華健 Emil Chau, 任賢齊 Richie Ren, 梁靜茹 Fish Leong, 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan, 阿 杜 A-Do, 5566, 張惠妹 A-Mei, 王力宏 (Lee Hom), 張韶涵 Angela Chang, 王心凌 Cyndi Wang, 范瑋琪 Fan Wei Qi, and more. All the artists sing with all their might and passion, a truly beautiful collaboration.