The Grammy Awards this year opened with an extremely moving tribute to Michael as he was awarded a posthumous Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Celine Dion, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Smokey Robinson sang along with Michael as a 3D video presentation of ‘Earth Song’ played on giant screens behind them.
All five stars sang their hearts out, but Michael’s own voice soared above them all and everyone in the audience appeared to be very emotional.
At the end of the song, Lionel Richie introduced Michael’s two oldest children, Prince and Paris, who were accompanied to the stage by Tito’s sons, T.J. Tarryll and Taj, to a standing ovation. The children wore black suits with red armbands, and red stripes down the sides of their pants.
Prince accepted the award from Lionel Richie and gave a speech he wrote himself, saying; “We are proud to be here to accept this award on behalf of our father, Michael Jackson. First of all, we’d like to thank God for watching over us for the past seven months. And our grandmother and grandfather for their love and support. We would also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much because you were always there for him. Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity. Through all his hard work and dedication, he’s helped with many charities and donated to all of them. Through all his songs his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help spread the word. Thank you. We love you, Daddy.”
Paris, who delivered a moving speech to her father during the Staples Center memorial service last summer, closed out the speech with a brief message.
“Daddy was supposed to be here, Daddy was gonna perform this year,” she said, keeping her composure. “He couldn’t perform last year. Thank you, we love you, Daddy.”