Some of Michael Jackson’s most famous fans and family members gathered to celebrate the iconic career of the pop legend at a tribute show in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday (Oct. 8). “Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert,” which was sanctioned by Michael’s mother Katherine Jackson, featured superstar sets from Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Leona Lewis, and more, with hosts Jamie Foxx and Fearne Cotton. The Jackson family, including Michael’s three kids, took the glove-shaped stage before tens of thousands of devoted fans at Millenium Stadium. Among the highlights…
• Ne-Yo kicked off the four-hour extravaganza by channeling the pop icon during “Billie Jean” and “The Lady In My Life.” He thrilled with MJ’s signature moves in his iconic glittery jacket and glove.
• Michael’s children Prince, Paris, and Blanket introduced Beyoncé, who appeared via satellite. Rocking an Afro, B performed one of her favorite Jackson records “I Wanna Be Where You Are.”
• Emotions ran high as Christina Aguilera belted out MJ’s favorite ballad “Smile,” kicking it up a notch with “Dirty Diana.”
• Britain’s “X Factor” champ Alexandra Burke delivered the Jackson 5’s “Who’s Lovin’ You” and “Scream,” Michael’s collaboration with his sister Janet.
• Cee Lo Green toned down the flash, performing “I Can’t Help It” from Off the Wall, wearing a simple white T-shirt.
• Michael’s nephews 3T reunited for the Jackson 5’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Why,” a duet with their late uncle.
• Leona Lewis was joined by ballerinas for “Stranger in Moscow.” “What an electric experience!” she wrote. “Honoured to be a part of the show.”
• La Toya Jackson hit the stage for the first time in 20 years, performing “In the Closet” and “Jam” with Heavy D.
• Tears streamed down fans’ faces as Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson dueted on a beautiful cover of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.”
• Ne-Yo, JLS, and members of the Jackson family came together on stage for the all-star finale of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
Previously announced performers the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson pulled out of the show. “To my uk fans that were coming to the mj show in wales. I will no longer be attentding due to major production issues,” tweeted Hudson. “I would have thought they would have informed you all by now, so since they did not, I am. Thank u for your support.”
Brothers Jermaine and Randy boycotted the event because of its timing with the Jackson manslaughter trial, while Janet explained that it would be too painful to perform amidst the court proceedings.