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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Michael Jackson Tribute Brings Family Together

During Tuesday night’s (Oct 20th) episode of ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ the professional cast of movers and shakers used some fancy footwork to pay tribute to the late king of pop, Michael Jackson. Following a performance by Norah Jones, the crew expressed their adoration for the iconic pop star by performing a medley of Jackson’s biggest hits with complete popping-and-locking choreography in tow.

Several members of the Jackson family clan were present for the tribute, including Michael’s mother Katherine and siblings Jermaine and LaToya Jackson. In a pre-recorded interview for the special segment, Jermaine explained why it was so important to pay tribute to his brother. “Michael Jackson was a major loss to the entertainment community ’cause he inspired them to step up,” Jermaine said. “It just wasn’t about the movement, it was about the feeling. There will only be one Michael Jackson forever.”

Latoya, who was granted the honor of introducing the tribute segment, said that while Michael clearly had an influence on many dancers, most people didn’t realize that these dancers influenced him in turn. “Michael liked all kinds of choreography,” she said, “He liked Dancing With the Stars. He was a fan of the show.”

The tribute performance, which featured past DWTS champion Cheryl Burke covered a range of MJ songs, including the classic Jackson 5, “I Want You Back,” and two of Michael’s biggest hits, “Man in the Mirror,” and “Thriller.” “He was a huge influence for me in my dancing career,” Burke said. “I think a lot of us professional dancers can say the same. So we’re really excited about it. … ‘Thriller’ is one of my favorites of all time.”

DWTS host Tom Bergeon explained that organizing the tribute was a natural choice, in light of the fact that contestants had already performed to Michael Jackson’s hits 17 times during the show’s four-year run.

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