Celebrity impersonators are usually fairly easy to identify when compared to the real deal, but Sergio Cortés has taken things to another level. For you see, this man bears a striking resemblance to Michael Jackson. And while numerous conspiracy theories have cropped up in the years following the singer’s death, a new one came to light after Cortés posted a video on Instagram in October 2019.
Following decades in the spotlight, Jackson passed away suddenly in June 2009 ahead of his highly anticipated “comeback” tour. The King Of Pop was 50 years old at the time of his death. And he had been held in such high regard that a special service was staged in Los Angeles, California, a few weeks later, as mourners celebrated his life.
To give you some idea of just how big this event was, more than 1.6 million people looked to grab a seat at the service. In addition to that, it’s believed that over 30 million individuals in America live-streamed it as well. However, as we suggested earlier, some conspiracy theories began circulating in the years after Jackson’s death.
Indeed, there were certain fans who thought that Jackson was still alive. And those theories were seemingly strengthened when Cortés posted his social media clip in fall 2019. With “Thriller” playing in the background, he shared a message to his followers, prompting calls for him to undergo a DNA test.
But before we dive into all of that, let’s take a closer look at Jackson’s career. The pop superstar was welcomed into the world in August 1958, joining his seven older siblings in Indiana. Little more than five short years later, the youngster was introduced to the music industry.
It all started in 1964, as Jackson became a member of his siblings’ group. Known simply as The Jackson Brothers at the time, the band eventually took on their The Jackson Five moniker after he joined up. Despite his youth, the future megastar was placed front and center as the lead singer.
Some five years on from The Jackson Five’s formation, Jackson and his brothers finally got their big break in 1969. During that period, the band were recruited by the Motown record label, which led them to relocate to Los Angeles. And later that summer came an opportunity which was to set the group on the road to musical stardom.
The Jackson Five took to the stage ahead of a performance by The Supremes, covering the song “It’s Your Thing.” In the wake of that appearance, the band laid down the now-famous track “I Want You Back” and the record hit the shelves in December 1969. Within a month, their careers had skyrocketed.
Indeed, “I Want You Back” reached the top of the singles charts at the turn of 1970. Furthermore, tracks such as “I’ll Be There,” “ABC” and “The Love You Share” also mirrored that success. So given how well things were going at the time, Jackson showed a real interest in launching a solo career.
On that note, Jackson’s debut record was released in 1972, titled Got to Be There. Later that year, his sophomore effort hit the shelves too, while two more albums came out in 1973 and 1975. Such was his talent, the singer still produced classic music with his brothers over the next few years as well.
However, Jackson’s career hit new heights in the summer of 1979, as fans were introduced to his newest record, Off The Wall. That album was a monumental success, reaching the top of the R&B standings. Meanwhile, it also earned him his first Grammy win for Best R&B Vocal Performance.
Jackson then followed that up with an even bigger hit in Thriller, which came out in November 1982. Incredibly, this record has been sold over 65 million times across the world, with no other album in history matching those figures. It picked up eight gongs at the Grammys too, setting a new benchmark.
But while Jackson’s fans had to wait another five years before he released his next album, he didn’t disappear from the public spotlight. In fact, the superstar began to hit the headlines for his changing appearance later that decade. As it turned out, he was suffering from a condition known as vitiligo.
This medical ailment essentially causes parts of your skin to lose some or all of their pigmentation. So in Jackson’s case, he started to look much paler than before. Yet despite all that, he still went on to release another massive record in 1987. Remarkably, Bad hit the top of the charts in 25 different countries around the world.
From there, Jackson made another three albums over the next 14 years, concluding with Invincible in 2001. That proved to be his last record, wrapping up a truly incredible career. But in 2009, the singer had some very exciting news for his fans, as he revealed that a new tour was in the works.
The concert series was named “This Is It”, with Jackson hinting that he would step away from the stage once and for all when the tour was finished. Just a few weeks ahead of the start date, though, his legions of followers were dealt a devastating blow. As we touched upon earlier, the Grammy-winner passed away in June 2009.
Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest while he was staying in Los Angeles, after taking a number of different medicines. Having examined the circumstances of Jackson’s death, the authorities eventually accused his doctor Conrad Murray of involuntary manslaughter, regarding the manner of the music star’s demise as homicide. In the end, the physician was jailed for just under two years.
Yet regardless of everything that had happened, several conspiracy theories sprang up in the wake of Jackson’s passing. For instance, songwriter Teddy Riley claimed that the King Of Pop was still around in 2010, with the musician Akon mirroring those thoughts. And the stories didn’t end there, as we’re about to discover.
In 2016 a figure held to resemble Jackson was captured on camera by his daughter. Alongside that, the superstar was supposedly photographed again when his nephew tied the knot the following year. But outside of those alleged and unsubstantiated “sightings”, some truly bizarre theories have come to light as well.
One of the conspiracy theories revolved around an individual known as “Dave Dave.” His full name was David Rothenberg, and he suffered some horrendous injuries when his dad set him on fire in 1986. In the years after that, he subsequently took on the moniker of Dave Dave, before developing a friendship with Jackson.
Following Jackson’s death, Dave Dave joined all the other mourners at his funeral service, saying his goodbyes to the singer. However, one Reddit user was of the opinion that the latter didn’t actually exist. Explaining more about their bizarre theory, this person was interviewed by the website Vice in June 2019.
The Reddit user explained, “I think Dave Dave and Michael are the same person. They look quite similar. Their voices are identical.” That view was questioned when the interviewer said there were photographs of the pair in the same place. In response, the person replied, “You can do anything with computers.”
Moreover, the online user then revealed the reasoning behind their theory, touching upon Jackson’s time in the public spotlight. “People like you hounded him all his life,” they told Vice. “Journalists. He had enough. He needed to get away. He ‘died’ and became Dave Dave, and now he gets to live a proper life.”
After doing some digging, though, Vice discovered that Dave Dave passed away back in July 2018; when this piece of information was relayed to the conspiracy theorist, they had no explanation to offer. Meanwhile, a fellow Reddit user suggested that Jackson’s financial situation was behind his alleged faked death. For you see, in the final year of his life, he was said to have been in debt to the tune of about half-a-billion dollars.
So with that in mind, the user claimed that Jackson had fabricated his passing. They informed the website, “There’s just too many coincidences. He was too smart not to be able to work a way out of his financial problems. Dying really boosted his financial worth. There’s rumors he’s either living in Gloucestershire or Bahrain.”
Away from Reddit, another conspiracy theory emerged in the summer of 2017. This one was started by a man named Steve Erhardt, who had worked as a stylist for Jackson in the past. He took to Twitter over the aforementioned period, where he made a somewhat mysterious post about his former employer.
“You heard it here first, an announcement of sorts,” Erhardt wrote on the social media website. “And in a couple of months, or latest at the end of the year, you will be receiving some very good news. Not even the family knows. But I do!” Close to 12 months later, the stylist provided an update to his message.
Indeed, Erhardt posted a photograph of someone wearing one of Jackson’s famous outfits, capturing the lower half of their body. Alongside that cryptic image, he also wrote a short passage in June 2018. He said, “In a recording studio, somewhere in the world, in an undisclosed location, he’s coming soon.”
But while these conspiracy theories generally have limited levels of credibility, a number of Jackson’s fans have been drawn to someone else in recent times. As we mentioned earlier, Sergio Cortés is an impersonator of the King Of Pop. And in terms of his appearance, he’s a spitting image, sporting eerily similar facial features.
In addition to that, Cortés’ soft-spoken voice is much like Jackson’s as well, albeit with a Spanish accent. The impersonator hails from Barcelona, Spain, and makes regular posts across his social media channels. However, one particular Instagram post really stood out in fall 2019, when he shared a video.
Ahead of an event in Thailand, Cortés wanted to address his followers. In the clip, looking directly into the camera, he says, “Hello to all Michael Jackson fans, come and watch me perform at Pattaya on December 23. I love you guys and I’ll see you there. I am Sergio Cortés. I’ll see you soon.”
That short video clip has since earned more than 190,000 views on Instagram, with some users questioning whether Cortés was actually Jackson. On that note, two different people put forward the same suggestion in the comments section. Incredibly, they insisted that the impersonator needed to prove his real identity.
The first Instagram user wrote, “Oh my god, you’re not Sergio Cortés, you’re Michael Jackson. Someone get his DNA.” Those words were echoed by the second individual, who appeared a bit more apologetic with their response to the video on social media. They said, “I need a DNA test, I’m sorry.”
Elsewhere, there were a few other users who couldn’t help but marvel at the resemblance between Cortés and Jackson. “I love you Michael, my Michael has come back,” someone wrote. “We love you.” Alongside that, a fellow fan weighed in by saying, “I am convinced you are Michael Jackson himself.”
Despite all of the attention that came Cortés’ way, though, he confirmed that he wasn’t the real deal. In fact, he provided some background on how he got started as an impersonator on Facebook. According to the Jackson lookalike, his intriguing career began when a reporter noted similarities between the pair.
Cortés wrote, “When I was finishing high school in 1987, a journalist observed that I was similar [to Jackson]. And [he] asked me why I didn’t put on makeup like he did in a report for a magazine. I found it fun. Then, two weeks later, some Swiss producers who promoted Michael Jackson perfume called me to use my image.”
At that stage, Cortés then made a rather interesting point about what transpired next. He added, “It was all coincidental that my fanaticism has become my working life. Then [the Swiss producers] also weighed coincidences such as the vocal timbral. For the perfume, of course, [Jackson] had to give an approval.”
When looking at Cortés’ facial features, such as his nose and chin, you might think that he’d had some cosmetic surgery done. After all, given how much Jackson himself changed from 1987 onwards, his impersonator still looks just like him. Yet the lookalike blew off those suggestions, claiming, “Sorry, but I’m natural.”
Meanwhile, Cortés did come across Jackson back in 1997, around a decade on from the start of his unique career. As it turned out, the Barcelona native had been recruited to perform a very specific role. He revealed, “[I was] hired to be the double that waves from the hotel window.”
And in terms of the work that Cortés does, he’s certainly built a large fan base on social media. For instance, he boasts over 175,000 followers on Instagram and in excess of 58,000 fans on Facebook. Most recently, the Jackson lookalike performed in Kiev, Ukraine, in February 2020, proving how widespread his following really is.