The late King of Pop is known for making his version of the dance move famous, although the moonwalk existed before him, and Brown takes credits for showing him the ropes.
Bobby recollected that the King of Pop had invited him and New Edition over to his house and while they were hanging out, he asked Bobby to show him how to do the dance. “We were just starting out, and I had just come from Alabama learning how to do the real moonwalk,” he recounted to Fat Joe over Instagram Live on Tuesday (July 28). Joe paused their conversation to make sure that he was hearing him correctly. Bobby was adamant “this is a true story.”
“I’m not insinuating. I’m letting you know what happened,” he affirmed. “This was how the moonwalk was formed.” At this point, Joe could no longer contain his incredulous shock at the revelation and let loose a scream. For anyone questioning his recollection of the events, Bobby said they were free to run it by his fellow New Edition members.
“We can bring Ralph Tresvant, [Michael Bivens, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ricky Bell]...they were all there at the time when I was showing Michael how to do this. We were in the foyer of his house” Bobby insisted.
Despite that, Bobby had to hand it to MJ for perfecting the moonwalk. “I only used it for dance battles. I used to do dance battles. I was a breakdancer.” As for where he learned the move, Bobby said that a young man in Alabama taught him by gliding through the move with sand spread on the ground.
This isn’t the first time Brown has made the claim. Back in 2017, he recounted the same story to The Cipher and said it was his “signature move.” MJ first widely known public performance of the moonwalk was during a 1983 performance broadcast on television for the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever “ anniversary special, according to the Huffington Post. Since that time, many others have stepped up to claim responsibility for teaching him the move.
After his death years later, Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel told TIME he was the person who taught the pop icon the move. Then, in 2018, professional dancer Derek “Cooley” Jaxson took partial credit, telling ABC News that Jackson approached him to learn how to do another move, the “backslide,” which he incorporated into his spin on the moonwalk.
“He wanted to feel that slide. He wanted to feel like he was moving forward but going backward. And once he got the feel, from my understanding, that's when he performed on ‘Motown 25.’”
(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)