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'So You Think You Can Dance' cancels Michael Jackson tribute plans

By Christopher Rocchio, 07/10/2009 

So You Think You Can Dance's attempt to organize a Michael Jackson tribute has been thwarted.

Executive producer and lead judge Nigel Lythgoe announced that plans for a Jackson tribute during an upcoming So You Think You Can Dance broadcast have been canceled.

"Unfortunately we had some bad news yesterday. We thought that we would do a Michael Jackson tribute and put all of Michael's music together," said Lythgoe at the beginning of Thursday night's live fifth-season results show.

"We put the music through to Sony and said, 'Sony, can we clear this music?'  Yesterday, we got a note back -- whether it's Sony or the [Jackson] family estate, I don't know -- but they would not clear the music for us." 

Jackson passed away late last month after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest in his home.

The day after his passing, Lythgoe used Twitter to reach out to American Idol judge Paula Abdul and several So You Think You Can Dance choreographers in an effort to help organize a Jackson tribute in an upcoming episode of the Fox reality dance competition.

Despite the willingness of Abdul and choreographers Wade Robson, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio and Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo to contribute to the tribute, it was apparently scrapped due to issues with the music's rights.

"It's very sad," said Lythgoe.  "For some reason, we can't do the show."

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