Madonna interrupted her own set of songs to play a medley of Michael Jackson classics at her O2 concert in a heart-felt tribute to the King of Pop saying: ‘He was the king of pop who inspired us all.’
Immediately after singing ‘Holiday’, a huge picture of Jackson as a child was beamed above the stage. A Jackson lookalike, clad in sequined jacket, black hat and trademark white glove, then emerged on a platform from under the middle of the stage. Madonna stepped back to be with her backing dancers while the impersonator moonwalked across the stage to a short melody of Jackson’s greatest hits, including Billie Jean and Wanna Be Starting Something. She will also told the crowd: ‘Give it up for one of the greatest artists the world has ever known – long live the King!’
The 50-year-old superstar had dedicated her concerts to Jackson, who died last week. She said: ‘I am so terribly sad about Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t know what artist wasn’t inspired by him. To be able to do what he did at such an early age was unearthly, everybody grew up in awe of him. To work with him and become friends and hang out with him was exciting for me.’
Both singers became huge solo performers in the 1980s and each performer was renowned for their on-stage dancing, huge fan following and extravagant lifestyles. Madonna told the Sun: ‘He was a real paradox, one of the world’s greatest performers and obviously very confident on stage, but in real life he was very shy and you really felt for him.’ She said: ‘When I heard he was going to be performing at the O2 I offered to do something with him. I don’t know what we could have done together, I could have carried his bags for him maybe.’
Those who attended the concert said the tribute to Jackson was a “fitting” way to remember the star, who died on June 25 after suffering a suspected heart attack. Many also said it was the highlight of the show.