Brooklyn Celebrates MJ’s Birthday Through Rain and Shine
Today (Aug. 29) would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday and you better believe that Brooklyn partied like it was Michael Jackson's birthday.
Cops predicted a turnout of about 10,000 for Spike Lee's celebration in honor of the late king of pop in Prospect Park today, and although journalists aren't always proficient with numbers, suffice to say that it was a dance party of epic proportions. The event, which was originally scheduled to take place in Brooklyn's Fort Greene park, kicked off around noon, keeping solid on the promise of fun through rain or shine.
Power 105's Ed Lover played host to a crowd that came prepared with umbrellas and rain boots, while Tracy Morgan rocked out on stage under cover from the persistent showers. MJ impersonators pulled out their best pop-and-lock moves, surrounded by crowds of children sporting white studded gloves and zombie-painted faces a la "Thriller," accompanied by adults rocking flashy fedoras and Michael Jackson tees, flags and posters.
To keep things lively during the 5-hour stretch, Ed Lover and company turned the dance party into an MJ karaoke event, displaying the lyrics -- most of which the crowd already knew -- to his biggest hits, including, "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "You Rock My World" on the overhead screen. And to maintain crowd participation, posters with lyrics like the always entertaining "Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa," were distributed to energetic fans to be thrown up on queue, during their respective songs.Naturally, singing, dancing and general revelry are always signs of a successful celebration -- but what's a birthday party without cake?
With one hour left to party, event hosts rolled out MJ's birthday cake, covered in white frosting with the words, "Happy 51st Birthday, Brooklyn <3's U Michael Jackson," scrawled on top. After the crowd wrapped up their "Happy Birthday" rendition, the DJ cut to the Jackson 5's classic, "Never Can Say Goodbye," and with peace signs in the air, the throbbing crowd continued their sing-a-long tribute. Finally, near the 4:30p.m. mark, the sun finally peeked through the gray clouds, and Ed Lover looked out at the celebrating crowd to say, "Ya'll see the sun coming out right? That's Michael smiling at us."