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Maxwell Performs Anniversary Tribute to Michael Jackson's Thriller at 2022 Billboard Music Awards

People logo People 5/16/2022 Jen Juneau

Ethan Miller/Getty Maxwell © Provided by People Ethan Miller/Getty Maxwell

Maxwell is marking Thriller's upcoming milestone anniversary.

The iconic album — the late Michael Jackson's sixth — turns 40 this November, and Maxwell, 48, paid tribute with a performance of the closing track "The Lady of My Life" at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday.

Wearing an eye-catching sparkly black suit jacket with matching gloves and shoes, Maxwell also donned aviator sunglasses as he strutted around the the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage to perform the memorable track, written by Rod Temperton. Backed by a full band, the "Pretty Wings" singer said, "We love you Michael Jackson," at the end of the tribute.

Ethan Miller/Getty Maxwell © Provided by People Ethan Miller/Getty Maxwell

Ahead of the award show, Maxwell spoke to Rocsi Diaz on E!'s Live from the Red Carpet about paying homage to Jackson.

"I'm feeling honored to be here, honored to be able to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Thriller, one of the biggest and greatest albums that's ever hit," he told the outlet. "I've been up since six in the morning trying to get everything together, and you know, just want to do right — it's Michael Jackson. There's nobody better, nobody greater, so I just want to do it well, and then do it with my own twist, but truly it's just an absolute honor."

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"When they called me and said, 'Hey, we want you to do this,' I was like, 'Really, me?' There's a lot of people that could probably do it better, but I'm just happy to be here to celebrate."

Maxwell's performance at Sunday's show comes alongside others from Miranda Lambert, Ed Sheeran, Travis Scott, Megan Thee Stallion and more.

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Video: Maxwell Excited to Honor Michael Jackson at BBMAs 2022 (E! News)

Alamy Michael Jackson's "Thriller" © Provided by People Alamy Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

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Sunday's tribute comes three months after Michael's two oldest children, Prince Jackson and Paris Jackson, attended opening night of MJ: The Musical on Tuesday, the Broadway show that celebrates the career of their late father.

MJ The Musical takes audiences inside Jackson's creative process, depicting the singer rehearsing for his 1992 Dangerous Tour.

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It features over 25 of the singer's biggest hits and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon, with a book by the Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage.

MJ The Musical is nominated for several Tony Awards this year, including best musical and best performance by a leading actor in a musical (Myles Frost).

RELATED VIDEO: Remembering Michael Jackson

Maxwell, meanwhile, opened up to PEOPLE last year about his experience as a first-generation American Brooklynite, his lasting music legacy and — of course — some of the meaningful life lessons he has learned through the years, ahead of his performance at the 2021 NAACP Image Awards.

"I think if we don't celebrate us, who will?" he said of the significance of the NAACP Image Awards, the show for Black people by Black people, which first aired on Aug. 13, 1967. "We need to show ourselves what we can be and the endless possibilities of what we can achieve."

"I think that's what the NAACP Image Awards stand for — being seen, being recognized by your community is like one of the greatest blessings that you can achieve for upward mobile movement," he noted.

Of his performance at 2021's show, Maxwell said, "I'm from Brooklyn, New York, and obviously New York has been through a lot during the pandemic, so the performance is a celebration of New York and how much it's given me and how much I hope to give back to the city that I'm from."

The 2022 Billboard Music Awards are airing live from Las Vegas at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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