Jackson tribute band has Triangle connection

Posted July 7, 2009 5:33 p.m. EDT
Updated July 7, 2009 7:28 p.m. EDT

— Since the death of singer Michael Jackson, tribute band Who's Bad has seen a boom in concert bookings.

“I feel like now we have a greater responsibility to just, like, carry that musical torch,” Who’s Bad founder Vamsi Tadepalli said of the group, which pays homage to Jackson’s music.

The group started performing in 2006, when Tadepalli was a senior at the University of North Carolina.

“There’s so many hits,” he said. “Someone needs to be out there paying tribute to his music.”

Tadepalli knew the most challenging part of forming the band would be finding someone to fill the role of the “King of Pop.”

“You’ve got the mixtures of the vocal and then the dancing," he said. “To do that live, I don’t even know how Michael did it.”

Through the years, the band has had five lead singers. Joseph Bell, of Atlanta, is the group’s current lead singer.

Tadepalli said he never imagined his band would someday be as close to Jackson as some audiences could get.

“I just thought he was always going to be around,” he said.

Last year, the group played 150 shows across the country. They are playing in Raleigh Saturday night at Foster’s in Cameron Village.