Michael Jackson isn't the first posthumous recording artist to be reconstituted by light projection -- Tupac got there first -- but it didn't stop the assembled crowds at the Billboard Music Awards whipping themselves into a frenzy during the performance. Naturally, it all coincided with Jackson's Xscape album, launched earlier this month, but the surprise was spoiled a few days early by litigation between several holographic companies over the tech being used. We've embedded ABC's coverage after the break although the performance looks a little flat on video. And don't worry: there's moonwalking.

It's unlikely to be the last holographic performance from a music artist that's no longer with us, but the notion of holographic music shows is gaining traction beyond that, whether it's for the fictional computer-generated (and Vocaloid-powered) Hatsune Miku, or even an entire attraction dedicated to K-Pop performances in Seoul, which, like the Billboard performance today, attempts to meld holographic video with real-life dance performers.

[Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]