One of the most-talked about performances of the night may well have been Michael Jackson appearing — as a hologram — at the Billboard Music Awards.
The performance started with a Mission: Impossible-type theme, with the King of Pop on screen with live dancers surrounding him. The screen was well done, and it looked like it could really be Jackson up there.
The hologram walked around the stage (or looked like he was) and sang MJ’s song “Slave to the Rhythm” from his newly released album Xscape.
The cameras showed audience members crying, and the Billboard Music Awards even saved a seat for Jackson. Dick Clark Productions, who were producing, called it a “history-making performance.”
While it was history-making, Twitter erupted with opinions on both sides. Some thought it was great to use technology to bring back Jackson, and some thought it was very tacky.
However, the performance itself probably wouldn’t have been up to Jackson’s standards. It was basically him singing and a few dancers, but nothing else. Jackson was about showmanship, and the performance itself didn’t offer much.
But the performance almost didn’t happen. A federal judge ruled on Friday that the BBMAs were allowed to use the hologram, according to the Associated Press. The court case was filed by Hologram USA Inc. and Musion Das Hologram Ltd., who said it would violate their patents on the digital technology.
Back in 2012, the companies won a case against Coachella, who had tried to do the same thing with images of Tupac Shakur.
“The court’s decision is not surprising,” Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Jackson’s estate, told the AP. “The request to stop this extraordinary Michael Jackson event was ludicrous.”