Inmates Stage Jackson Tribute
Idol's death moves inmates to recreate famous video
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2009 9:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Filipino inmates who shot to fame with a video recreating the Thriller dance swayed and stomped again today in a behind-bars tribute to Michael Jackson, the AP reports. The 1,500 prisoners hit the exercise yard as soon as they heard of the singer's death, practicing almost non-stop for today's show. "Even as a kid, he was already my idol," said the inmate playing Jackson's part.

The original video of the inmates dancing to Thriller has received more than 24 million hits on YouTube. The inmates "consider Michael Jackson as a god here," said the security consultant who had the idea of adding music to the jail's once poorly attended exercise sessions. "If not for Michael Jackson, they would not have this international recognition. The fame brought them back their self-esteem."