Jackson children dance to his music at tribute gig

Sat Oct 8, 2011 6:01pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of fans rocked to the hits of Michael Jackson on Saturday at a tribute concert his brothers hoped would put the spotlight on his musical legacy after so much controversy.

The late singer's children -- Prince, 14, Paris, 13 and "Blanket," 9 -- appeared on stage briefly to address the crowd and at the end joined other family members dancing to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

"We're very happy to be here on this special night to honor our father," said Paris, dressed in a red jacket similar to the one worn by Jackson in his groundbreaking "Thriller" music video.

The "Beat It" star, one of the most successful yet troubled artists of the pop era, died in 2009 aged 50 while rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts.

The "Michael Forever" tribute in Cardiff, Wales, coincides with the involuntary manslaughter trial of the singer's doctor in Los Angeles, drawing criticism from some fans and members of his family.

Brothers Jermaine and Randy boycotted the event because of the timing, while sister Janet said it would be too painful to perform in Cardiff during the trial.

But it had the blessing of his mother Katherine, who was at the gig, and Michael's older brother Marlon said it should be seen as a celebration of Jackson's music.

"They (the fans) have the right to (protest)," he said backstage. "I think they have the right to do whatever they feel, but we're celebrating the positive side of our brother's life.   Continued...