Remember when Justin Timberlake disappeared from music for, like, five years? Well, this year, he completely flipped the script; his presence is now inescapable. He released The 20/20 Experience: Pt. 1 in March, went on tour with Jay Z in July, reunited with *NSYNC at the VMAs in August, and is set to drop The 20/20 Experience: Pt. 2 next week. Oh, and did we mention that he went and covered an old Jacksons track for the BBC yesterday?
JT has been earning MJ comparisons throughout the entirety of his solo career, and Pharrell has even admitted that tracks like “Rock Your Body” were originally written for Michael Jackson to sing. Timberlake has, understandably, shied away from the comparisons—it’s never a good look to put yourself in the same category as pop royalty too early in your career—but has made a wise decision with this cover. By covering “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” by The Jacksons—for those unfamiliar, they were the more mature, disco-era version of the Jackson 5—he’s tipping his cap to the King of Pop but not trying to one-up an untoppable track like “Billie Jean” or “Thriller.” Another wise career move from a guy who is, arguably, having the most successful 2013 of any musician on the planet.