Michael Jackson was resurrected from the dead in hologram form, singing and doing his famous moonwalk in front of a star-studded Las Vegas audience.
Jackson performed his new hit “Slave to the Rhythm” off his posthumous album “Xscape” — which debuted last week at No. 1 in 50 countries.
In a show-stopping act produced by the Estate of Michael Jackson and broadcast on ABC, the “Thriller” singer appeared on stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to wild cheers and more than a few tears.
The number started with a group of dancers dressed as storm troopers lining the stage, their chests emblazoned with the initials M.J. The curtain parted to reveal a digitally resurrected version of Jackson sitting on leopard-print throne.
Soon Jackson was in the spotlight, his high voice bouncing off the walls and his feet gliding across the stage as the crowd roared.
Dressed in red pants and a sparkly gold jacket sporting military epaulettes on the shoulders, Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50 from a drug overdose, appear creepily real.
As the audience watched, some people dabbed their eyes, perhaps wishing the image was real.
At the end of the performance, the crowd gave Jackson a standing ovation.
Like all things Jackson, the moment came with controversy.
On Friday, a federal judge in Nevada dismissed a lawsuit brought by Hologram USA and Musion Das Hologram Ltd. to stop the performance. The companies argued the awards show didn’t have permission to use it patented technology to bring Jackson back to the stage.
It was not the first time a dead performer has been technologically raised from the dead.
In 2012, a hologram version of rapper Tupac Shakur, killed in a 1996 Las Vegas shooting, performed at the Coachella Music Festival in California.
Similar technology was used in 2007 to make it possible for Celine Dion to sing a duet with Elvis Presley on “American Idol.”