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October 30, 2014

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Late Michael Jackson ‘to perform and make TV history’ at Billboard Music Awards

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Joerg Sarbach / AP

Michael Jackson performs during his “HIStory Tour Part II” across Germany and Europe at the Weserstadion in Bremen, Germany, on May 31, 1997.

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Michael Jackson’s new album "Xscape" is available Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Cirque du Soleil's 'Michael Jackson One' at Mandalay Bay

Cirque du Soleil's Launch slideshow »

Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. The world premiere of Immortal was in Montreal, the location of Cirque headquarters, on Oct. 2, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Eight new Michael Jackson tracks secretly recorded while he lived on and off in Las Vegas will be released on the album “Xscape” today, including the first single “Love Never Felt So Good” that was sneaked last week along with a duet version with Justin Timberlake.

More incredible is that on Sunday at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena, the late King of Pop, who died on June 25, 2009, will make TV history yet again. He will be seen as he’s never been seen before.

None of my contacts at ABC or Dick Clark Productions will reveal even a hint of what to expect, but they do say that this “world premiere follows in the footsteps — or dance steps — of the King of Pop’s most wonderful previous television moments.”

Remember that Michael during his career popularized several dance techniques including the robot and the moonwalk. He even designed and patented shoes to accomplish those moves. His innovations for performances launched an era of inventive short films that catapulted the art of music video into pop culture.

Now the Estate of Michael Jackson has created a new experience from Michael’s vaults, and I’m assured that he will be seen like he’s never been seen before.

“He will continue to influence countless artists in hip hop, contemporary R&B, pop and rock and roll. The entire music world will be watching and waiting for this,” I was told. “This will once again prove that he is the greatest entertainer of all time.”

Incredibly, Michael’s new single coupled with a duet version with Justin has now hit No. 5 in the USA, No. 1 in 17 countries and No. 5 in 67 countries. Estate executor John McClain, Las Vegas regular Paul Anka and Michael produced the song.

Michael is still a big record seller, to date more than 1 billion worldwide. He still holds the record for 13 No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 Billboard charts. Cirque du Soleil still hits record box office sales with its “Michael Jackson One,” which premiered last May at Mandalay Bay.

The worldwide “Immortal” touring show is now back in the USA for its second return leg this week in Florida with dates through July 19. “Immortal” has generated more than $340 million in ticket sales since its October 2011 tour began, and the troupe returned to the USA two months ago in February.

Vegas DeLuxe will have a full preview Friday, plus Twitter coverage from the red carpet and backstage during the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, so be sure to check back often.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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