The late Michael Jackson was honored at a mostly official tribute concert called Michael Forever in Cardiff, Wales last night that was performed in front of an almost sold-out house. Performers like Alicia Keys, Jamie Fox and Christina Aguilera were among the performers who appeared live on stage while folks like Beyoncé provided pre-taped performances. Members of Jackson‘s family were in attendance as well … with the primary focus on the in-person appearances by MJ‘s children Prince, Paris and Blanket. Other members of the Jackson family were purposely NOT in attendance because they were not on board with a tribute concert to MJ happening at the same time that Dr. Conrad Murray‘s manslaughter trial for the death of Jackson is underway. Click below to see some photos, read some deets and watch some video from the Michael Forever concert performance last night.
It was a tribute fit for a king. About 50,000 people gathered at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in Wales Saturday evening to celebrate the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The star studded event included performances by Jamie Foxx, Christina Aguilera, Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green, and Ne-Yo, who kicked off the celebration with a version of “Billie Jean” complete with Jackson’s signature dance moves. Organizers aimed for fans to turn their focus to remember the star for his music rather than his death. His music has been overshadowed by the trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray. Jackson died in June 2009. “It’s not about the trial. It’s not about his death. It’s about celebrating his life. It’s about celebrating music,” Ne-Yo told the Associated Press. It wouldn’t be a Jackson event without its fair share of controversy. Jackson’s family was divided over the timing of the tribute as some were concerned that a celebration of Michael Jackson’s music legacy should not have occurred during the manslaughter trial. His sister Janet and brothers Jermaine and Randy were noticeably absent and opposed to the tribute coinciding with the trial. Marlon Jackson said he respected his siblings’ decision but said he was sure Michael would have approved, the AP reported. “Each one of us grieves differently,” he told the AP. “We want to celebrate the positive side of his life, the positive things that he did.” Still, the show went on and even featured an appearance by his children, 13-year-old daughter Paris and her younger brothers Prince, 14, and Blanket, 9. “We’re very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father,” said Paris. She wore a replica of the red and black “Thriller” – style jacket her father wore. Blanket, who appeared shy and uncomfortable with the spotlight, wore a suit with a red armband reminiscent of his father. Jackson’s mother sat and watched the performances while some of the original Jackson 5 sang “Blame It On The Boogie” along with a British boy band. Latoya Jackson even took to the stage in what was her first performance since the 90s and Jackson’s nephews were also part of the superstar lineup. The show ended with Gladys Knight performing “Gone Too Soon” before a very emotional performance of “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough,” which brought most of the performers and the Jackson children back on stage.
Here is video of MJ‘s kids introducing Beyoncé‘s pre-taped performance of the song I Wanna Be Where You Are:
Obviously, Bey‘s performance was killer because it was pre-taped … but the intro made by MJ‘s children is spot on! She does carry the MJ torch. On the other hand, last night’s tribute concert also featured, well, not so great performances … for example, Xtina Aguilera. I mean, there is no easy way to say this but … she looked terrible last night:
She didn’t sound too great either:
La Toya Jackson, who was among the members of the family who decided to endorse this tribute with her appearance, looked pretty amazing I think:
It sounds like the show was a pretty mixed bag. Yes, I know that MJ‘s legacy should be honored and paid tribute to but … why now? The manslaughter trial of Dr. Murray is going on here in LA right now. This concert took place RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the trial … why? Why not over the Summer before the trial began? Why not a few weeks later after the trial is concluded? It’s just so … odd. But … whatever the case may be, I know that in the hearts and minds of fans, any time is the right time to honor MJ‘s legacy. I don’t personally know if this was the best way to honor the man but … there you have it. What do y’all think? Was this the right way to pay tribute to Michael Jackson?
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source, Source, Source]