As the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray continues, the Michael Forever Tribute Concert took place last night in England.
Among the many singers who came to honor the King of Pop, Prince, Paris and Blanket made a guest appearance.
The late singer’s three children attended the concert held in memory of their father on Saturday evening, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Prince, 14, Paris, 13, and Blanket, 9, went on stage briefly to address the public and were accompanied by other members of the Jackson family, who danced to the song made famous by their dad Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
The children wore outfits evoking their father’s famous styles – Paris most strikingly, dressed in a red jacket similar to the one worn by Jackson in his Thriller music video. Blanket appeared shy, but the older children smiled and looked confident in the spotlight.
The trio introduced a special video performance by Beyoncé, who sang Jackson ‘s hit I Wanna Be Where You Are.
“We’re very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father,” Paris told the 50,000-strong crowd at Cardiff ’s Millennium Stadium.
The stars attending the event included Christina Aguilera, British group JLS, Motown legend Smokey Robinson House, British stars Leona Lewis and Diversity and soul music legend Gladys Knight, with Fearne Cotton and Jamie Foxx hosting the event.
Ne-Yo opened the festivities by climbing up on the stage in the form of a white glove.
“It’s not about the controversy,” the singer-songwriter told the AP regarding the timing of the concert. “It’s not about the trial. It’s not about his death. It’s about celebrating his life. It’s about celebrating his music.”
The concert was also marked by dissensions within the Jackson family. MJ’s brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie organized the event but siblings Jermaine and Randy boycotted the event, while sister Janet said it would be too painful to perform in Cardiff during the trial.
The concert was an occasion for La Toya Jackson to perform for the first in the past 20 years.
“I had absolutely no intention of performing,” she told Reuters. “I was hesitant about this and at the last minute I said you have to do it for him … and I did, so I’m happy that I did. It’s worth honoring him this way.”
Towards the end of the concert, photos of the singer were projected on giant screens and the Queen of Soul Gladys Knight performed Gone Too Soon, accompanied by a gospel choir.
Earlier, she was joined in a duet of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You by Motown great Smokey Robinson.
“There will be many mimics, but there will never be another Michael Jackson,” Robinson told Reuters.
According to Reuters, reactions of the audience were divided. Although many were excited, some were left “unimpressed” by the artists’ performances, saying that they should have rehearsed more before getting on stage and complaining about the long breaks between songs.