Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal Anti-Gravity Lean

Now that Michael Jackson has passed away, we can unlock one of his countless secrets… the Anti-Gravity Lean in the Smooth Criminal video. So, how’d he do it? The answer is more complicated than you’d think.

The effect in the video when Michael Jackson and the backup dancers lean forward was created by special harnesses with wires and magnets. Michael wanted to be able to recreate the dance move/effect in the live show, but the wires and magnets would be too much on stage. Michael and his choreography people created and patented a new innovative way to recreate the effect onstage in 1993.

The mechanism consists of pegs that rise from the stage at the appropriate moment, and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be thereby attached to the stage temporarily. These allow the dancers to lean without needing to keep their centers of gravity directly over their feet. Check out the video below…specifically the dancer getting caught in the pegs and almost busting his ass.
The patent expires in 2012 – so get ready for thousands of imitators – probably not – well, it was still cool at the time.

The King of Pop and the Best Honorary Titles Bestowed Upon Musicians

Honorary titles and nicknames often given to popular music artists by themselves, the media, fans, record companies and marketing teams. Some are given to legendary performers (The King – Elvis) others not so legendary (The Godson of Soul – Usher). These titles are not a testament to quality, but a testament to fun, longevity and creativity Here is a list of some of the most memorable honorific titles given to singers and bands. Are we missing anything?

Male Performers

King of Pop – Michael Jackson (Is it me, or he often seem to be wearing medals… him, maybe he earned them when he became the King of Pop.

The King – Elvis

Godfather of Soul – James Brown

Chairman of the Board – Frank Sinatra

Architect of Rock and Roll – Little Richard

Father of Rock and Roll – Ike Turner

Godfather of Funk – George Clinton

Boss – Bruce Springstein

Godfather of Grunge – Neil Young

Prince of Darkness – Ozzy Osbourne

Pope of Mope – Morrissey

God of Rock – Freddie Mercury

His Purple Majesty or His Royal Badness – Prince

King of the High C’s – Luciano Pavarotti

King of Reggae – Bob Marley

Prince of Motown – Marvin Gaye

Female Performers

Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin

First Lady of Song/Queen of Jazz – Ella Fitzgerald

First Lady of Country – Tammy Wynette

First Lady of Dance – Lady GaGa

Empress of Soul – Gladys Knight

High Priestess of Soul  – Nina Simone

Crossover Queen – Shania Twain

White Queen of Soul – Dusty Springfield

Queen Bee – ‘Lil Kim

First Lady of Hip Hop Soul – Faith Evans

The Material Girl – Madonna (she hates this nickname)

Bands

The Greatest Band in All the World – The Beatles

The Metal Gods – Judas Priest

The Only Band That Matters – The Clash

America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band – Aerosmith

The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World – Rolling Stones

England’s Loudest Band – Spinal Tap