"This is television history! Michael Jackson like you've never seen him before -- you do not want to miss it!" the network said in a news release, without offering details about exactly how the late pop star will factor into the May 18 awards show.
"Perhaps no musician has made a bigger impact on the music industry than Michael Jackson. He is the greatest entertainer of all time. His use of groundbreaking visual effects, story-lines and distinct, complex dance routines transformed the music video into an art form as demonstrated by the short film, Thriller. The impact of Michael's inventive short films helped catapult the art of music video into popular culture, and create for the music industry a profoundly effective promotional tool. Throughout his career, Michael popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the 'robot' and the 'moonwalk,' and he even designed and patented a special pair of shoes to accomplish an anti-gravity move. Through his use of spectacular imagery in his short films and orchestrated stage effects, Jackson launched a new era of innovation in live stage performances that continues to influence countless artists in hip hop, contemporary R&B, pop, and rock 'n' roll. The Michael Jackson world premiere at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards follows in the footsteps -- or dance steps! -- of Michael's most wonderful television moments."
Epic Records, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release XSCAPE, an album of new music Jackson recorded before his death, on May 13.
Jackson died June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. His personal physician was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering lethal doses of sedatives and anesthesia to Jackson in an effort to help the recording artist sleep.