Thursday marked the first iHeartRadio Music Awards, as well as the first time a posthumous Michael Jackson song was debuted through another human being. “Love Never Felt So Good,” a cut from the forthcoming XSCAPE, breathed its first breath over the sound system while Usher helped midwife the track with his best MJ-style footwork (which, to be fair, is very strong MJ-style footwork; moonwalking occurs).
(If that video dies, MTV’s got an abbreviated version.)
Usher doing an impeccable impression of Jackson’s moves is nothing new — but that at least one song on XSCAPE won’t be a weird, gross travesty is new! “Love Never Felt So Good” certainly feels more vital, whole, and, well, alive than the title track that leaked a few weeks ago. (The label has since said that version won’t appear on the album.) Jackson and Paul Anka wrote the song together in 1983, and the new version has a credit for John McClain, who is neither John McCain nor John McClane but the co-executor of Jackson’s estate.
On the album, a “Love Never Felt So Good” duet with Justin Timberlake will come as a bonus track. (Both are now on iTunes.) Mary J. Blige is also set to be featured on the album, as is production work from Timbaland.
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Johnny Mathis recorded his own version of “Love Never Felt So Good” in 1984. I don’t know if Usher has a dance to that one.
The iHeartRadio Music Awards also featured a big old montage from Pharrell …
… and Kendrick Lamar covering Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love.”
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