Michael Jackson Tribute Concert: Kids, Stars Remember Pop Star

By Alicia Tejada

Oct 9, 2011 10:55am

ABC News’ Alicia Tejada and Linsey Davis report:

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.

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General atmosphere at the 'Michael Forever' concert to remember the late Michael Jackson at The Millenium Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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 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.

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