Long before Paula Abdul was a pop star or an “American Idol” judge, she worked with the Jacksons on their flashy dance moves. While she was still in her teens, she was called upon to choreograph the group’s legendary 1984 Victory Tour. At the premiere of “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Abdul recalled how much she learned from Michael.
“There were so many memorable moments,” she told MTV News. “I was still a [Los Angeles] Laker girl and I was summoned to work with the brothers. I was 18 years old and I got to see entertainment at its finest. [I learned that] you’re only as good as the last thing you’ve done. He was just amazing.”
Abdul wasn’t the only “Idol” alum to grace the carpet to pay tribute to the late, great pop icon. Adam Lambert, who sang the Jackson classic “Black or White” on the show, was also there and he shared how Jackson’s legacy has influenced his own career.
“Michael wasn’t afraid of just being himself,” Lambert said. “Michael didn’t conform to one style of music. He did his own thing. That’s the thing that makes me tick.”
David Cook also paid homage to Jackson during his time on “Idol,” performing “Billie Jean,” using ex-Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell’s arrangement of the song. “I actually borrowed it from Chris Cornell and, being on the show, you want to do songs people know — and who doesn’t know Michael Jackson?” Cook said. “It’s incredible to be here to honor Michael Jackson.”