Ne-Yo channels Jackson on late singer's birthday

Associated Press
FILE - In an Aug. 3, 2012 file photo, Ne-Yo performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York. Singer-songwriter Ne-Yo performed at New York City's Gotham Hall in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's "Bad" album for Pepsi and Billboard's 2012 Summer Beats Concert Series. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ne-Yo channeled Michael Jackson on the late singer's 54th birthday at an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the King of Pop's multiplatinum "Bad" album.

Ne-Yo performed "Smooth Criminal," ''I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "The Way You Make Me Feel" on Wednesday night at New York's Gotham Hall, imitating Jackson's signature dance moves and vocal tones.

The R&B singer said in an interview ahead of his performance: "You just don't do a Michael song, you try and do the best you can." He also said he learned how to sing because of Jackson and that the icon's musical influence was "tattooed" on his heart.

Singer Melanie Fiona also performed at the Pepsi and Billboard event. The Grammy winner belted covers of "Bad" and "Dirty Diana."