At the start of this month, we learned that the late Michael Jackson was to be immortalized in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA to kick off the 3-week LA residency of Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour by Cirque Du Soleil. The big hand/footprint ceremony took place yesterday and featured MJ‘s 3 children — Prince Michael Joseph, Paris Michael Katherine and Prince Michael Joseph Blanket Jackson — doing the honor of signing his name, imprinting his sequined glove and a pair of his dancing shoes in cement. Many members of the Jackson family (including his mother Katherine and his brothers Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine) were also on hand for the event yesterday, alongside luminaries like Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson … and strangely, Justin Bieber. Click below to see some photos from yesterday’s event and watch video of MJ‘s children paying tribute to their late father.
The King of Pop’s children – Paris, Prince and Blanket Jackson – immortalized their late father in cement outside the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Thursday. The star-studded ceremony featured appearances by friends, colleagues, family and celebrities, including Chris Tucker, Justin Bieber, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Harry Shum Jr. of “Glee” and others. Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Katherine Jackson attended the event, which was held to celebrate the “Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour” by Cirque du Soleil. “This right here is his lifetime achievement award … This is what he strived to get and this is what we’re giving him today,” said Prince before he joined his siblings to make imprints of their father’s shoes and signature glove. Paris was first on her knees to write “Michael Jackson” in the cement, placing a heart in the middle of his name. She then cemented Michael’s sequined glove. Blanket and Paris stamped their father’s footprints with his black dance shoes. All three children made an imprint of their own hands as well. Throughout the ceremony, photographers shouted to get the children to smile more and look at the cameras. The event, hosted by Billy Bush, featured heartfelt dedications, interspersed with montages of performance footage. “What will be remembered about Michael is his music … he can never go away,” said Quincy Jones of the late singer, who died in 2009 at the age of 50. “That’s the legacy.” After Jones’ speech, all three kids smiled, stood up and applauded. “It’s a very good celebration, and I know if Michael was here, he would agree,” Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, told the crowd before introducing her granddaughter, Paris. Paris took the stage to introduce Canadian pop star Justin Bieber. “I want introduce a performer who also found stardom at a very young age, just like my dad,” she said, wearing a T-shirt, black jeans and a leather jacket. “We’re all very big fans of his [Bieber] and his music. I know I am. Everyone, please welcome Justin Bieber.” Before singing a rendition of “Rockin’ Robin,” Bieber said, “I don’t usually get nervous but I’m a little nervous right now … He was more than an entertainer. He was an inspiration. People are going to remember for his dancing and singing but people gotta remember him for the man he was … I want to be the best I can be. That’s what Michael did. He was always dancing. He was always practicing.” The theatre started the Walk of Fame honor in the late 1920s, with many film icons making handprints over the years, including Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Sidney Poitier.
While this “Immortal”ization event was timed in conjunction with the new Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour, the honor of having MJ‘s hand and footprints cemented in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater is LONG overdue. I understand that the plan was for MJ to leave his actual hand and footprints at Grauman’s before his death upon completion of his This Is It concert residency in London. It’s only right that his children have the honor of leaving his prints for him. Here is video from the event that gives a nice overview of the entire ceremony:
While it seems like almost anyone can get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is much harder to be chosen to leave your hand and footprints in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (tho sometimes, they do let any ol’ riff raff leave their mark at Grauman’s). When you think of Hollywood, you think of those famous hand/footprints. Michael Jackson is now immortalized in cement at Grauman’s for all time … a fitting and lasting tribute to the uncontested King of Pop.
[Photo credit: Reuters; Source]