Remembering Michael Jackson on 5th Anniversary of His Death: 5 Great Cover Versions of His Hits!
Many of us remember where we were on June 25th, 2009, the day that Michael Jackson tragically died of cardiac arrest as a result of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication.
And while we’re still sad to have lost him, the late King of Pop’s legacy will continue to live on forever through his music.
On the fifth anniversary of Jackson’s death, we celebrate his life with five amazing cover versions of his hits, proving that his influence is still strongly felt anywhere music is played.
1. “Bad” by Glee’s New Directions & Warblers- The title track from Jackson’s 1987 album served to distance him from his squeaky-clean image. And on the hit show “Glee,” the rivalry between the New Directions and the Warblers comes to a head with a parking garage cover reminiscent of the original music video. Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Naya Rivera and Grant Gustin all take stellar solos as well.
2. “Billie Jean” by the Civil Wars- Though writing a song about a supposed love child may seem a bit strange (especially for the 1980s), Michael scored a huge hit with “Billie Jean.” Decades later John Paul White and Joy Williams changed it up as the acoustic duo The Civil Wars, much to their fans’ delight.
3. “Beat It” by Fall Out Boy- Widely considered the consummate 1980s chart-topper, “Beat It” proved that Jackson can rock with the best of them (with the help of guitarist Jennifer Batten, of course). And Fall Out Boy (featuring John Mayer) added a little polish to the classic, along with music video cameos from Donald Faison and Tony Hale.
4. “Gone Too Soon” by Usher- Adding some heart to his 1991 album Dangerous, Michael got vulnerable as he dedicated this song to the memory of his friend Ryan White. And on July 7th, 2009, Usher sang “Gone Too Soon” through tears at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during the Michael Jackson memorial service.
5. “Man in the Mirror” by James Morrison- Extolling the virtues of examining one’s own heart, Jackson took this Glen Ballard-written track all the way to number one. It’s still one of the most popular MJ tracks of all time. And English singer/songwriter James Morrison made “Man in the Mirror” one of his live performance staples, lending his own flavor to the melody with his raspy voice and acoustic guitars.
BONUS- “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” sampled by Rihanna. To take her own hit song “Please Don’t Stop the Music” to the next level, Rihanna brought in the well-known “Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa” section from “Wanna Be” for the bridge. And it worked out perfectly!