Friday Random Ten: Forever, Michael.

With today marking the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s untimely death, we decided to go digging through the crates – also, through YouTube and iTunes – for an appropriate way to commemorate the occasion.

We weren’t looking for any songs on “Off the Wall” or “Thriller.” And, ugh, certainly nothing from “Invincible.”

No, we were looking for covers from other artists – not all of them flattering to the originals – and more recent songs that included samples from some of MJ’s better cuts.

Per the regular title of the post, we’re limited to 10. But, if you’re a fan (or stan) of Michael like the rest of us, you know this is just a start:

1. Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm (Isabelle)

2. Beat It by Charlotte Church and Amy Winehouse (Brokey)

3. Billie Jean by The Bates (Jamelle)

4. I’ll Be There by Mariah Carey featuring Trey Lorenz (Monica)

5. Right Here (Human Nature Mix) by SWV (Blackink)

6. All I Do is Think of You by Troop (Alisa)

7. Smile by Janelle Monae (Belleisa)

8. The Lady In My Life by Ne-Yo (Brokey)

9. It Ain’t Hard to Tell by Nas (Jamelle)

10. Dirty Diana by Tahj Mowry (Blackink via G.D.)

Y’all didn’t know The Smart Guy went so hard, did ya?

As always, feel free to pay tribute to MJ in the usual spot. I only ask three things: 1. Will someone please explain to me why the Jackson Five put out a video for “Blame it on the Boogie” in 1978, three years before the start of MTV? (I asked this question last year too); 2. admit that Michael’s robot game was insane; and 3. please don’t try to force some LaToya or Jermaine on us today.

Remember it all begins and ends with love. Be wonderful to each other this weekend.

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