Jamie Foxx Foxx and TV personality Fearne Cotton co-hosted the event in front of 50,000 attendees at the Millennium Stadium. The crowd roared when MJ’s three kids, Blanket, Prince Michael, and Paris, took the stage. The kids, dressed in attire reminiscent of their pop star dad, were only on the stage briefly. “We’re very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father,” 13-year-old Paris said onstage.
Performers during the epic evening also included Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Cee Lo Green and Jackson family members including La Toya, Tito, Marlon and Jackie. Robinson took the mic at one point and said the focus should be on the late star, not the ongoing trial about his death. He said: “This is a great counter-act to that. And it gives people something happy to do, rather than thinking about what’s going on in the trial.”
Ne-Yo’s comments echoed the sentiment: “It’s not about the controversy. It’s not about the trial. It’s not about his death. It’s about celebrating his life. It’s about celebrating his music.”
Aguilera took the stage in a black and gold pantless outfit and sang one of MJ’s favorite songs, “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin. Ne-Yo tackled the late singer’s hit “Billie Jean,” and even did his best moonwalk while he had the spotlight. The Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson were slated to perform too, but they backed out at the last minute.