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Moonwalking his way to fame

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POSTED May 24, 2014 12:40 a.m.

The song that he was dancing to was 15 years older than he was.

But when Turlock’s Pittman High School student Brett Nichols donned the high-water suit pants and shiny black loafers in homage to the King of Pop at the school’s annual talent competition last week and turned in a dance performance worthy of getting praise from Michael Jackson’s estate, it didn’t matter when “Billy Jean” was released.

With almost 11 million views in just over 48 hours, the YouTube generation has a new face to put on the moves that took the world by storm more than three decades ago.

Less than a day after the video of Nichols hit the Internet and was picked up by popular bulletin board sites like Reddit he was already being talked about by the likes Matt Lauer and Al Roker who marveled at his encapsulation of one Jackson’s iconic performances on The Today Show.

Producers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show came calling. USA Today and The Detroit Free Press and even Glen Beck’s network had a story up. By the end of the day Thursday he was being whisked away in the back of a limousine – not unlike his idol – to do an interview with CNN.

 And while getting a tweet from Jackson’s estate praising his performance and congratulating him on the victory (he won the competition) the executors took it a step further 24 hours later when, according to TMZ, they invited the family out to Las Vegas to see the Michael Jackson ONE Cirque du Soleil show at Mandalay Bay.

“I always wanted to be famous. I just didn’t know it would take off in this direction,” Nichols said to the Turlock Journal Thursday. “I didn’t wake up thinking today would be like this.”

His Facebook page became so overloaded with friend requests that he had to start a fan page so that people could post their comments and well-wishes for the mild-mannered water polo player that had, for the most part, kept his Moonwalk a secret until the show.

It’s a secret no more.

And while 11 million hits is a staggering number of views for the video that encapsulated the meaning of “viral” it will likely climb even higher as it continues to circulate the web.

Nichols’ performance was part of a nearly four-minute long video prepared by Pitman High School’s audiovisual department to showcase the talents of all of the students that performed. The last two minutes are dedicated solely to him.

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