On a night full of musical weirdness at Sunday‘s Billboard Music Awards, either magic was made or blasphemy was committed — depending on who you ask. A Michael Jackson hologram was debuted in a surprise performance of “Slave to the Rhythm,” a new track off his posthumous album Xscape.
Reports are mixed across the board, but to these eyes the performance was nothing short of breathtaking. The song is a strong new track, but the performance itself — complete with a hologram moonwalk — was a fluid performance by a technological “ghost” that somehow translated beautifully to the screen. Jackson’s legendarily impressive dance moves were on display, and while the hologram face seemed stuck somewhere between mid-nineties MJ and a wax countenance, the rest of the presentation was nearly flawless. Tearful applause among audience members offered confirmation.