How Michael Jackson's Billboard Performance Was Pulled Off

The late pop icon appeared to be live at the Billboard Music Awards with a new song.
3:15 | 05/20/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for How Michael Jackson's Billboard Performance Was Pulled Off
Back -- Michael Jackson showed up at last night's billboard music awards to perform his new salt. And he's not the first dead celebrity to make a surprise appearance. ABC's David Wright explains how. The King of -- Walks again. That the billboard music awards last night this brand new Michael Jackson number stole the show. Some of the fans working. Magical -- -- the best way to explain -- -- Michael match. 3-D avatar performing on stage -- Not a hologram the virtual Michael Jackson -- producers. I like to call it an illusion because it is really the -- -- and the magic and -- and for me that's the essence and the energy of Michael what is really brought to life. Not just Michael some of the dancers are avatars to. Others are real -- probably were still in diapers when thriller was at the top of the charts the majority he's got it right we'll probably born around. Thriller. The -- -- -- superstars but becoming a thing from Elvis performing a duet with Celine Dion. -- -- -- -- with Snoop -- at Coachella. Politicians are trying to already a virtual Al Gore -- -- the earth summit in Tokyo. Romeo and speak -- and telegraph. And the new Indian prime minister made several campaign stops this way. -- -- Garnett -- have been met that guy won any election -- basic technology an illusion that predates television. -- -- -- I didn't -- -- this is -- the other -- an old nineteenth century magic trick but with state of the art digital technology in theory you could bring anyone back from the dead or just have a conversation with yourself. The illusion created by an invisible -- positioned at a 45 degree angle the image called Pepper's ghost. Floats on the screen. Up his ghost is an Angel technique however this is the 21 century application all of it. We -- this at a rival company not involved in the MJ performance. -- hockey David says the technology used last night was similar to this. Jackson estate insist -- process was different but in theory the sky's the limit you can have a -- Greet everybody coming -- yankees did or run a hundred meters against -- single in theory could be possible to bring back all sorts of iconic moments. Judy Garland from the other side of that -- -- -- Frank Sinatra from the far side of the -- Song. Or as we saw last night Michael Jackson a bit of musical magic making someone who's already immortal seemed to come back to life. -- I'm David Wright for Nightline in home. There's kind of an east.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"3:15","description":"The late pop icon appeared to be live at the Billboard Music Awards with a new song.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"23789186","title":"How Michael Jackson's Billboard Performance Was Pulled Off","url":"/Nightline/video/michael-jacksons-billboard-performance-pulled-off-23789186"}