Yes, we've all heard Michael Jackson's 1983 mega-hit, "Beat It," which features Eddie Van Halen on guitar. But have you seen Eddie perform the song live with Jackson and his band? We hadn't—until we stumbled upon this pro-shot (but 50th-generation, apparently) video.
Here young South Korean guitarist Sungha Jung digs into a fingerstyle rendition of Michael Jackson's “Billy Jean.” Jung started playing at age 9, and as you can see, he’s progressed to prodigy level. His YouTube covers collectively have hundreds of millions of views.
With an incredible catalog of songs accumulated over the course of his lifetime, Michael Jackson’s music was something that transcended different genres and influenced a generation of listeners. Growing up, I remember not only being glued to the TV watching the Jackson 5's cartoon show, but also being on the front lines for the Thriller and Bad album phenomenons (The former still ranks as the biggest selling album of all time).
Throughout his career, Michael Jackson employed an endless series of amazing guitar players for studio and stage work, including Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Jennifer Batten and Steve Lukather. In 2009, Jackson was set to embark on his "This Is It" tour, which would've consisted of some 50 shows kicking off that summer and ending the following spring. Unfortunately, Jackson's tour would never take place; he died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, at age 50.
You could go back and forth for years trying to choose the best Eddie Van Halen guitar solo on any individual Van Halen album. But to try to pick his best guitar solo ever? Damn near impossible. But that's exactly what we asked you to do two weeks ago.