While most people are closely watching the trial of Conrad Murray in hopes of finding some justice in Michael Jackson’s death, tens of thousands of fans and a string of A-list performers showed up in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday to celebrate his life.
"It's not about the controversy," Ne-Yo, who kicked off the show with a rendition of "Billie Jean," said. "It's not about the trial. It's not about his death. It's about celebrating his life. It's about celebrating his music."
Many performers took to the glove-shaped stage, including Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis and Cee Lo Green. The Black Eyed Peas pulled out of the lineup earlier this week citing "unavoidable circumstances" and Chris Brown was denied a visa to attend the event.
Other performers included Jennifer Hudson, LaToya Jackson, Gladys Knight, Alien Ant Farm, Craig David and Smokey Robinson. Beyoncé also performed via satellite video. The tribute concert was hosted by Fearne Cotton and Jamie Foxx.
One of the most memorable moments of the evening came when the King of Pop's three children — Prince, 14, Paris, 13, and Blanket, 9 — took the stage to pay tribute to their late father.
"We're very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father," said Paris, who wore a replica of her father's famous red and black leather jacket from his "Thriller" music video.
The concert has divided Jackson’s family and followers. The three brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie, sister La Toya and vocal group 3T — composed of three of Michael's nephews — all performed, while 81-year-old matriarch Katherine was in the audience.
But Michael's brothers Jermaine and Randy and sister Janet have stayed away, saying it is wrong to hold the show at the same time as Murray's trial.
Before the show, Marlon Jackson said he respected his siblings' decision, but said he was sure Michael would have approved.
"Each one of us grieves differently," he said. "We want to celebrate the positive side of his life, the positive things that he did."
TRENDING IN NEWS