The King of Pop had many succesful albums in his arsenal, but none so great as Thriller.
Released in 1982 as Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller quickly became the best-selling album of all time (having only been surpassed by The Eagles’ Greatest Hits album in August of this year). The collection introduced popular songs like “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “The Girl is Mine”— but with its 14-minute long video, “Thriller”, the album’s title track, became a veritable fan favorite.
Throughout the years, many artists have produced covers of “Thriller”, but this collaboration between Wayne Brady and Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) definitely takes the cake.
For those who are unfamiliar, PMJ is described as a “rotating musical collective” founded by pianist Scott Bradlee. They became popular for taking modern songs and reworking them into beloved vintage genres— most notably swing and jazz.
Their YouTube channel boasts over one billion views and 3.6 million subscribers— and after hearing a bit of their work, it’s easy to see why!
If you’d like a little preview, here’s a PMJ waltz-style cover of Madonna’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”:
Last year, PMJ viewers got a special treat when they learned PMJ had collaborated with Wayne Brady for an unforgettable 1930s jazz rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
On their website, PMJ wrote: “It was an honor to have Wayne Brady join PMJ. He’s a modern-day renaissance man, and although he’s known mostly for his success on television, he’s also a Grammy-nominated vocalist with tremendous ability and musicianship.”
“We just turned the camera on and he gave this incredible performance, all live and in one take.”
The unbelievable jazz cover has been viewed over 3 million times.
Walking on to the stage in a sleek, all-black tuxedo, Wayne Brady pays homage to 1930s singer Cab Calloway as he croons ‘Hi-De-Ho” before launching into the most amazing “Thriller” cover of all time.
Entertainment Weekly notes that Calloway was actually turned into a ghost during a famous 1930s Betty Boop cartoon, crediting PMJ and Brady for linking “past traditions with the more modern vibes of ‘Thriller”‘.
The video, replete with tap-dancing zombies and catchy jazz beats, makes it hard to look away.
Brady’s voice is absolutely gorgeous as he brings “new” life to this classic song— plus, as per usual, his charisma is unlike any other. In a statement, he later said: “I’ve been a fan of PMJ and Scott’s for quite a while.”
“They’re the complete package of musicality and good, old-fashioned, old-school fun!”
“I’m glad we got to Cab Calloway ‘Thriller’ together and am looking forward to more songs to collab on.”
As mentioned, the unique performance has been viewed more than three million times.
Comments on the video read:
“This cover makes me realize that I need more tap-dancing zombies in my life. Excellent cover. Hats off to Wayne Brady and PMJ.”
“Didn’t think 1930s Jazz and Wayne Brady would ever go together, but I’m in love with this.”
“Best version ever. I think Michael Jackson would feel proud of this! Just shocking.”
Watch the incredible performance below.
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