Michael Jackson Makes Rare Public Appearance

Ah, the sights of the season! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sidewalk Santas ringing bells, carolers singing holiday favorites, and Michael Jackson wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

Yes, the King of Pop, who’s usually more elusive than St. Nick in July, made a surprise appearance at “Miracle on 34th Street” — the annual Christmas concert sponsored by New York radio station WKTU.

Jackson came onstage after appearances by Toni Braxton, 98 Degrees, Lara Fabian, Marc Anthony, Gloria Gaynor, Deniece Williams, Mel C of the Spice Girls, Brian McKnight, Jon Secada, and Destiny’s Child.

‘The Best Is Yet to Come’

As part of the grand finale, these stars started singing the Jackson classic “Shake Your Body (Down To the Ground),” before Jacko himself walked out to wild cheers from the audience.

Surprise presenter Whitney Houston jumped up and down and hugged him.

Jackson’s complexion was grayish-white, and he claimed he couldn’t sing because he had laryngitis, but he wished everyone a merry Christmas and said, “The best is yet to come” — referring, we assume, to his new CD that’s coming out in March.

Toni’s Troubled ‘Toys’

Braxton, who hosted the event, changed into at least 10 different outfits, each of which was plunging, high-cut, barebacked and very revealing.

Braxton was supposed to sing, but she couldn’t. Why? Because of her breasts. Toni’s implants recently ruptured, and she pointed to her chest as she told the crowd, “My doctor said I can’t sing because it might hurt my ‘toys.’”

Another surprise appearance came from actor Liam Neeson, who appeared onstage to introduce Houston — who looked fabulous. The diva then presented Anthony with the Gloria Swanson Award for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the entertainment industry. Houston and the Latin hottie performed a duet of “The Greatest Love Of All,” then Anthony sang his hits “I Need to Know” and “You Sang to Me.”

Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera also appeared at the event — in fact, Christina even joined McKnight in singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” But both stars were absent from the grand finale.

Backstage in the press room, the biggest announcement was that 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey had bought girlfriend Jessica Simpson “a ring” for Christmas — but he quickly pointed out that it wasn’t that kind of ring. So the two are not getting engaged. At least, not yet!

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