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Apollo’s amateur show dedicated to Jackson

The Jackson edition of Wednesday’s Amateur Night show at the Harlem theater will feature a moonwalking contest and performances of his songs.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tributes to the King of Pop continued Wednesday at the Apollo Theater, where the weekly Amateur Night turned into a Michael Jackson celebration, with impersonators emulating his outfits and mimicking his dance moves.

Teenager Mike Rios was the first to demonstrate his Jackson jinks and jukes when the Harlem theater’s doors opened Wednesday night. The Elizabeth, N.J., boy wore a Jackson-inspired red jacket and pants and grooved to the 1987 hit “Bad.”

The crowd cheered on the 16-year-old, and a female audience member jumped on stage with him.

Celebrity impersonator C.P. Lacey paid homage to the pop legend, who died last week at age 50. Lacey arrived on stage dressed as Jackson of the latter years, sporting a black suit, white socks, black wig and sunglasses. As the crowd roared, he performed “Man In the Mirror” and “Billie Jean.”

Hundreds of people had lined up outside before the Amateur Night show, which also featured a moonwalking contest.

Brooklyn resident Marlene Villalona, 21, said she loved Jackson’s “style, his moves, his music.” She said she was excited about her first visit to the Apollo, where Jackson performed as a child.

Several young moonwalkers — too young to remember Jackson in his heyday — slid across the stage, showing off their best Jackson moves.

A young singer named Zaccheus, an Apollo regular, performed “Who’s Loving You” in honor of Jackson, who sang the Motown hit on the night the Jackson 5 won Amateur Night in 1967.

The event followed Tuesday’s Apollo memorial service. Thousands of fans including director Spike Lee watched a video tribute to Jackson and danced to his songs, including “Thriller.”