Spike Lee, boro honor Michael Jackson at block party

Pretty young thing: A pint-sized Michael Jackson fan channeled the late artist at Spike Lee’s annual block party honoring the musician in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

This party was fit for a king!

Hundreds of Michael Jackson fans danced the day away in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday at a block party where celebrants paid homage to the King of Pop’s singular sound — and style — according to one eye-catching attendee.

“An original is worth more than a copy, you have to be yourself, that’s what Michael did,” said Lam “Legend Already Made” Sanchez, who stepped out in a red top hat, Victorian collar, and chartreuse jacket. “A lot of my style has to do with Michael, whom I watched as a kid.”

Sanchez, who came out with his older brother, Jed “Walkaway Smiling” Sanchez, and girlfriend, Darcy “D3” Dawson, joined hundreds of revelers who packed the pavement on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street for the eighth-annual Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson block party hosted by borough-bred filmmaker Spike Lee.

Smooth criminals: Gaston Franco, left, and Amy Sutherland donned matching jackets similar to that worn by Michael Jackson at the 1984 American Music Awards.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

The dapperly dressed 26-year-old, who described his look as “chevalier,” traveled all the way from his home in Texas to attend the event for a third time after first going in 2016, when he missed a flight to make the bash — a last-minute decision that led to a meeting with Lee, a longtime idol, who has warmly welcomed him back ever since, Sanchez said.

“I ended up meeting Spike that year, in 2016,” he said. “Now he points me out and brings me on stage every year. It’s such a dream come true.”

Local disc jockey DJ Spinna manned the turntables as Lee and other entertainers — including singer Erykah Badu, who with the host led a special tribute to the recently deceased Aretha Franklin — pumped up the spectators, some of whom joined him to bust a move on stage like Sanchez, while others broke it down on the street, which the city in 2015 co-named “Do The Right Thing Way” after the director’s movie, which he filmed on that block of Stuyvesant Avenue.

Another fan who dressed to impress at the party, held days before Jackson’s Aug. 29 birthday, said he went to great lengths to show up in his getup — a sequined red band jacket with a lone white glove modeled after the late musician’s iconic outfit at the 1984 American Music Awards.

Rocked their world: From left, Jed Sanchez, Lam Sanchez, and Darcy Dawson showed off their out-of-this-world outfits.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

“There are costume websites in China where they do celebrity jackets,” said Queens resident Gaston Franco, who coordinated with pal Amy Sutherland on their matching ensembles for the soiree. “I gave my measurements, and they made it.”

Franco — who in October is hosting his own bash honoring Jackson and still-living director Tim Burton, a pair he said never worked together in life, but “maybe could in the afterlife” — hailed the annual party as a reminder of the legendary performer’s artistry and influence, which he said prevails over popular music nearly ten years after he died in 2009.

“You can change the rules of the game, but nobody will beat the talent that Michael had,” he said. “That is hard to beat, and is still considered the best.”

Didn’t stop till he got enough: Block-party host Spike Lee, left, and a co-host got the crowd on its feet.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

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