• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
10 MOS

17 Iconic Michael Jackson Shots in 'Love Never Felt So Good' with Justin Timberlake (Video)

THR highlights the not-to-be-missed moments of the late pop singer's career, as featured in the video for the Timbaland-produced single off "Xscape."

Justin Timberlake MJ Music Video Ellen Screengrab - H 2014
"Love Never Felt So Good"

Michael Jackson is making a massive comeback, thanks to "Love Never Felt So Good," the posthumous duet with Justin Timberlake off of Xscape. Since the single's release on May 2, the eight-track album is currently vying for the top spot on the Billboard charts, following its drop on Tuesday.

STORY: Michael Jackson's 'Xscape': Finger Snaps and Familiar Material Without Queen and Justin Bieber

While the mid-tempo groove retains much of Jackson's unaltered vocals (also included on the album), it's the music video that pays a careful visual tribute to the late pop singer's lasting legacy on future generations. Debuted Wednesday morning and directed by Rich Lee and Timberlake, the "Love Never Felt So Good" video features archival footage of the late pop singers many short films, strategically interspersed with frames of Timberlake and a crowd of young dancers who are singing along and attempting his most memorable moves.

The Hollywood Reporter deconstructs the four-minute-plus video's archival footage and iconic steps:

"Black or White"

Though neither Macaulay Culkin nor Tyra Banks ever appear, "Love Never Felt So Good" opens on Jackson's elaborate four-minute dance break from his 1991 eleven-minute video for "Black or White." The original sequence features the singer dancing in an empty street  -- with no music, so all that's heard are Jackson's foot taps, breaths and screams as he smashes car windows covered in racial slurs, before morphing back into a growling panther. The desert dance sequence is later shown. Watch the video below:

"The Way You Make Me Feel"

Eight seconds in, "Love Never Felt So Good" recalls Jackson's 1987 hit, "The Way You Make Me Feel," in which the singer attempted to win a woman over with none other than an impressive alleyway sequence of kicks, spins and thrusts, backed by a handful of other dancers. Watch the video below:


At the 16-second mark, a quick cut features Jackson reprising his movies in silhouette, against a slew of bright windows. Again, "Love Never Felt So Good" doesn't feature any cameos from Michael Jordan, Kris Kross and Heavy D, who appear in the original video. Watch "Jam" below:

"Speed Demon"

Up until this point, the video has only shown Jackson deep in dance, but his warm and glowing smile at the 19-second mark comes from the closing shots of "Speed Demon," his 1987 ten-minute short featuring clay-mation characters. Watch the original video below:

"Billie Jean"

The immediately-recognizable outfit at the 21-second mark -- red bow tie, pink button-down shirt and black leather jacket -- comes from "Billie Jean," Jackson's 1983 mega-hit. Later on, dancers have fun with the video's light-up sidewalk as well. Watch the video below:

"Smooth Criminal"

At the 33-second mark, a crowd of dancers collect in front of Jackson in "Smooth Criminal," the ten-minute short that sees him leading his own entourage while dressed in a sleek white suit and hat. They're all just warming up to attempt his iconic, gravity-defying lean later on in the video. Watch "Smooth Criminal" below:


The footage shown at the 56-second mark is pulled from "Bad," the 1987 video directed by Martin Scorsese and also featuring Wesley Snipes that brings the feud between two dance crews to a climax at a subway platform. "Love Never Felt So Good" has young dancers repeating the choreography atop turnstiles and simulated smoking grates. Watch a shorter version of the original video below:

"Remember The Time"

Another grinning Jackson moment at the 1:21-minute mark is pulled from "Remember the Time," the Egypt-themed, nine-minute short that has the singer visiting -- and aiming to entertain -- Pharoah Eddie Murphy and Queen Iman. After being introduced by Magic Johnson, Jackson appears dressed in gold, bejeweled armor and chainmail, and flashes the displayed smile before dissapearing from the scene. Watch the video below: