Justin Timberlake’s performance of The Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge is going viral. Debuting just before his appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, the performance is the latest example of how much the King of Pop has influenced the former *NSYNC member.
The fedora and bowling shoes are perhaps a nod to Jackson’s showmanship, which Timberlake has called unparalleled in the past. In July, some critics said Timberlake’s single “Take Back the Night” echoed Jackson’s Off the Wall album and “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” And Timberlake claims he learned to sing growing up by imitating the legendary musician on the radio. Rolling Stone has aptly described the similarity of the two artists’ paths: “Start out as the cute one in a precious, loveable boy band, gradually develop a personality that eclipses and then surpasses your fellow group members, and finally launch an ambitious and wildly successful solo career.”
Timberlake’s album The 20/20 Experience 2 Of 2 can be streamed online now before it is officially released on September 30.