Tristan 'Mack' Wilds' Michael Jackson Remake, Plus 7 Other Flawless MJ Covers
It's one thing to mimic Michael Jackson’s moon walk and nab yourself a zipper-embellished jacket to make up for the one your parents refused to buy you back in the day. But unless you’re Ciara and can do it like a pro, you should probably only practice your crotch thrusting and other MJ moves in the privacy of your own home. The same goes for singing Michael Jackson’s songs. When it comes to remaking the King of Pop's music, amateurs need not apply.
He's not exactly a newbie, but let's all send good vibes to actor-turned-singer Tristan "Mack" Wilds, who told MTV News he's hoping to release a remake of Jackson's "Remember the Time." Hopefully the Grammy nominee can pull off a version that lives up to some of the previous Jackson covers, of which there are many. Everyone from pop singers to rappers and rockers has put their spin on an MJ classic. Here are seven remarkable Michael Jackson remakes:
Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal"
One word for this MJ remake: infectious. You can't not love this. It feels like the energy drink version of the original and it takes off out the gate. We don't know if Annie's OK, but one listen to this song should make everything alright.
Fall Out Boy "Beat It"
No one can deny the strength of the recognizable guitar intro for "Beat It," and fortunately Fall Out Boy nailed it on their remake of the 1982 hit. But shortly after Jackson's death, Pete Wentz announced that the band would no longer play their cover out of respect for the late pop icon. However, they brought it out of hiding last year during their first-ever SXSW set. There's also another version featuring John Mayer.
The Weeknd "Dirty Diana"
Even though it's so similar to the original, The Weeknd's take on "Dirty Diana" is one of my favorites. His voice somewhat resembles Jackson's and despite a couple of flimsy falsetto notes and a pleading delivery that seems a little more watered down than MJ's aggressiveness, it still works.
Mariah Carey "I’ll Be There"
Long before she emancipated Mimi, Mariah Carey recorded a beautiful rendition of Jackson's "I'll Be There." Backed by singer Trey Lorenz and his pitch-perfect high notes, Carey managed to transform what was already a number one hit into a chart-topping song of her own.
Imogen Heap "Thriller"
First off, Imogen Heap gives me LIFE if life were a utopian world of electronica music filled with anagrams like iMegaphone and breathy lyrics delivered softly in a British accent. And then there's her cover of "Thriller," which features Heap's vocals over a piano. It's almost unrecognizable until she sings the chorus, and is noticeably missing the urgency of the original. I wish she'd put her electronica spin on it, but her version still works.
Chris Cornell "Billie Jean"
Cornell just may be the only person in history capable of singing his way out of a DNA test. On his rock version of "Billie Jean," he belts out the line "the kid is not my son" with so much conviction that he could convince Maury Povich that he is not the father.
R. Kelly "You Are Not Alone"
No stranger to controversy, Kelly's rendition of "You Are Not Alone" came with rumors that he plagiarized the song. Nevertheless, Kelly included his modernized take on the track on his 2010 album Love Letter.