When we found out this weekend that a Michael Jackson hologram would be performing at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, it was a sign that we’d be getting something a little weirder this year. Turns out many of the night’s other appearances echoed that sentiment, from Lorde’s stark rendition of “Tennis Court,” to the Flaming Lips and Miley Cyrus doing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” to Iggy Azalea and Charlie XCX’s peppy performance of “Fancy.”
As for MJ’s hologram, it was even creepier than you’d imagine. Clad in Dangerous-era clothes, the 3D image gave a mostly faithful interpretation of some of the King of Pop’s famous dance moves, but as with all the hologram performances we’ve seen to date, it was only faithful enough for the whole thing to be really unsettling. A five-piece band and a bunch of living dancers assisted on “Slave to the Rhythm” from the new XSCAPE album.
Elsewhere Miley and Wayne Coyne’s celebratory Beatles cover, as well as straight-ish takes on recent singles by Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, and Lorde, offered a healthy injection of the bizarre into a usually staid industry event. Thanks to Mr. World Premiere, you can check out the Michael Jackson hologram above. The rest are below, including a killer rendition of Ariana Grande‘s new single “Problem” and the debut of new Robin Thicke song, “Get Her Back.”