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“The Playlist” Salutes Michael Jackson

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Angela Weiss / Getty Images

Initially this week’s version of “The Playlist” was going to be about Summertime, but then yesterday was the reminder of the loss of The King of Pop.  No better way to pay tribute by showing the influence Michael Jackson has had in music.

We all know the great songs that Jackson has done – from The Jackson 5 to his solo career – but he helped his family achieve solo successes, gave a leg up to stars who were unknowns at the time, influenced a young comic to become an Academy Award nominee because of his singing chops, and you may be surprised who has covered Jackson with success.

The 20 songs on The Playlist this week reflects that, and includes one Jackson 5 song you may have forgotten was not a MJ solo work, and one collaboration with a legendary rocker.  The rest shows why he may forever be The King of Pop.  Enjioy this week’s version of The Playlist:

OrianthiAccording To You (Michael’s guitar wizard seen in his This Is It film, and a Top-15 hit for “Ori” in 2009)

RockwellSomebody’s Watching Me (Michael is on backup vocals for this One-Hit Wonder that peaked at #2 in 1983)

Mariah CareyI’ll Be There (this cover went #1 in 1992)

Michael Jackson / Paul McCartneySay Say Say (admit it that when you first heard this you thought it was odd)

David CookBillie Jean (Cook covered Chris Cornell covering Jackson, and that helped him win Idol in 2008)

Will Smith Men In Black (Michael was an MIB as “Agent M”)

Janet JacksonRunaway (a Top-3 hit in 1995 has a sample of MJ’s “Remember The Time”)

Sheryl CrowStrong Enough (she was to be Michael’s backup vocalist for 2 years on his Bad tour)

Alien Ant Farm Smooth Criminal (the 2001 cover rocks out, and becomes a Top-20 hit)

SWVRight Here (uses “Human Nature” in 1992, and the song spent an unheard of 54 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100)

Eddie Murphy Party All The Time (impersonated Michael perfectly on his 1983 HBO special, then went on to record music with him in 1993)

Jermaine JacksonDynamite (Michael helped him co-create on this 1984 release that went Top-15)

ABCThe Look of Love (was this Brit-Pop group named after the classic Jackson 5 song?)

Weird Al Yankovic Eat It (one of the funniest parody songs ever!)

Rihanna Don’t Stop The Music (you hear Rihanna doing her Mama Say, Mama-Sa from Michael’s “Wanna Be Starting Something”)

UsherBurn (his style, moves, and dress has been ofter compared to Jackson)

The Jacksons - Shake Your Body Down To The Ground (you thought it was a Michael solo hit, but it wasn’t)

Chris BrownRun It (if you did not know better you would have thought it was a Michael Jackson song)

Rebbie JacksonCentipede (Michael wrote his sister’s Top-20 hit of 1984)

USA for Africa We Are The World (you could say this was Michael’s masterpiece next to Thriller)

Through music is how Michael Jackson may never die.  3 years after his death, his legacy just gets bigger.

 

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