Stevie Wonder, who was asked to open the 30th Anniversary of the Montreal Jazz Festival, saluted Michael on stage before he began started to sing. “I want for us to celebrate the life and the legacy of Michael Jackson,” he said, before he began to criticise the “gossip mongers and vultures” who are exploiting Michael.
“We can continue to keep the life and spirit of this man’s music alive forever,” Wonder added, before opening a generous two and a half hour show with ‘I Can’t Help It’, the song he co-wrote with Michael for the ‘Off the Wall’ album.
Wonder also stopped the show three times to play Michael’s recordings while he and his fourteen member band simply grooved along. At one point, he directed everyone to sing “Michael, we love you so, never, ever, ever gonna let you go.”