‘Lip Sync Battle’ Honors Michael Jackson With Big Tributes From Taraji P. Henson And Others

In case you missed it, Spike TV is no more, as the channel has now been re-christened Paramount Network, effective last night. The network ushered in this new era with a special episode of Lip Sync Battle, which featured a live, hour-long tribute to Michael Jackson (who would have turned 60 years old later this year) from some high-profile performers.

The special featured Taraji P. Henson dancing along to “Beat It,” complete with red and black leather attire and a bevy of background dancers. Elsewhere in the episode, Neil Patrick Harris donned all white for a performance of “Smooth Criminal,” Hailee Steinfeld got wet for “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and Laverne Cox used some rising platforms for her “Dirty Diana” display.

In a pre-show interview, Henson relished the opportunity to perform live:

“I chose this song because I feel like it’s one of his most popular songs. It’s just a good chance for me to be on a platform to pretend I’m Michael Jackson. Instead of in the shower or in my mirror, I get to do it in front of actual humans. […] I want to show the world that I know how to moon walk.”

Watch the clips from the Michael Jackson tribute above.