As part of the big push to promote his greatest-hits album HIStory: Past, Present and Future: Book I, [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] kicked off the 1995 Video Music Awards with an epic 15-minute medley of some of his biggest hits, including “Beat It,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Black or White” and “Smooth Criminal.”
Jackson was joined onstage by former [artist id="846"]Guns N’ Roses[/artist] guitarist Slash, who had previously recorded a number of tunes with Jackson on both HIStory and 1993′s Dangerous. The top-hatted star ripped through the songs with aplomb, while Jackson strutted and danced maniacally.
Jackson and Slash cut one of the classic silhouettes in the history of the VMAs: the pair standing downstage, wind machines blowing around smoke (and their hair), with Jackson dancing and Slash pulling off a blistering guitar solo during “Black or White.” When the performance was over, the crowd at Radio City Music Hall gave Jackson a deafening standing ovation worthy of the size and scope of the performance.
Later that night, Jackson collected two awards (one for Best Choreography, the other for Best Art Direction) for the video for “Scream,” his collaboration with his sister Janet. The “Scream” clip remains the most expensive music video ever shot, with an estimated budget of more than $7 million.
MTV will be paying tribute to MJ throughout the weekend with music videos, exclusive performances and calls and tweets from celebrity admirers and friends. For everything we’ve got on the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
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