Ahmad Ebadey – Michael Jackson’s impersonator from Semporna, Sabah

By Mohd Afiq Zulkifli
KUALA LUMPUR: Mention the name Michael Jackson and surely many will remember the King of Pop with his slick dance moves, inimitable singing and offbeat fashion style.
He’s been gone since 2009 but he is definitely not forgotten.
His fans still remember his dance moves.
Malaysia is no exception. The one, nicknamed the ‘Gloved One’ definitely has a huge following here. His fans can sing the songs of the late entertainer extraordinaire while some are also able to dance nimbly like Jackson, complete with almost identical costumes.
Ahmad Ebadey Ahmad Salleh, 24, from Semporna, Sabah, appeared who have a talent for dancing and singing like the legendary performer so much so that the video of his performance earlier this year that went viral on social media, garnered praise.
Wearing a hat, black jacket and gloves like those worn by Jackson, Ahmad Ebadey executed the backsliding ‘moonwalk’ dance during the performance, just like Jackson did.
 Ahmad Ebadey when met by Bernama recently said that he had studied Michael’s singing and dance style since the age of nine.
“It started with my dad often playing Jackson’s songs. Indirectly, that sparked an interest in me to learn how to dance like him and I practised on my own at home.
“Jackson’s dance video clips inspired me a lot. First, I learned the movements and then the singing. It took me years before I could master both the dancing and singing,” he said.
The former factory operator in Shah Alam, Selangor also said it never crossed his mind that a video of his performance at a restaurant in Bandar Sunway would go viral and get thousands of reaction.
He said it was made just for fun and was meant only to entertain the public.
He also said that he started performing live in public in November last year after receiving an offer from the busking band, ‘Project-X Band’ which performed regularly at the restaurant.
“Initially, I was a regular customer at the restaurant where the Project-X Band normally performed. After work, I would go to the restaurant to hang out with my friends there. I would also sing sometimes.
“So when the band (Project-X) realised that I had quit my job, they offered me to join them and busk full-time. This to me, was the opportunity that I was waiting for,” he said and made Klang Valley his home since 2019.
Ahmad Ebadey, who is still a bachelor, said he bought the clothes like Jackson’s as he wanted to be as authentic as possible when singing the pop icon’s songs.
Among Michael’s songs which Ahmad Ebadey would sing during performances are ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Faculty of Music senior lecturer, Rizal Ezuan Zulkifly Tony said Ahmad Ebadey stood out as he managed to infuse excellent music and dance steps, and he looked really comfortable imitating Jackson’s style, unlike some others who looked awkward.
“Psychologically, Ahmad Ebadey appears to be comfortable singing and dancing like Jackson as he had trained himself since young to focus on doing two things (singing and dancing) simultaneously. This is coupled with his interest, talent and hard work,” he said, adding that Ahmad Ebadey’s talent could be developed further with formal training in music.

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