Michael Jackson made his return to the London stage last night (November 15) – but fans were left disappointed.
The star was widely tipped to perform his classic ‘Thriller’ at the World Music Awards event at Earls Court, but only managed to sing a few lines of his charity hit ‘We Are The World’.
Jackson was at the ceremony to collect a Diamond Award for selling more than 100 million albums, as well as a Guinness World Record award for sales of his 1982 album ‘Thriller’. But fans outside the venue were left fuming when Jackson failed to greet them and then revealed he wouldn’t be performing – despite many reports stating he would sing live in the British capital for the first time in nine years.
In the end, Jackson did make it onstage to join a gospel choir performance of the 1985 UK Number One he co-wrote with Lionel Richie as a US response to Band Aid‘s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. But he only sang a couple of lines, leading to boos from the half-full arena.
After receiving his awards from Beyonce, Jackson thanked his friends, family and fans. He said, “I’m greatly humbled by this award. It was my dream that ‘Thriller’ would become the biggest selling album ever. I thank God and you for its success.
“There have been so many who have loved and stood by me for the 25 years I have been in the entertainment industry. I’d like to thank my children particularly. Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket (Prince Michael II) for their unconditional love. I love all my fans from the bottom of my heart.”
The main winners were:
Best pop artist – Madonna, ‘Hung Up’
Best pop/rock artist – Nelly Furtado, ‘Maneater’
World’s best rock group – Nickelback
World’s best R&B artist – Beyonce, ‘Déjà Vu’
World’s best rap/hip-hop artist – Kanye West, ‘Touch The Sky’
World’s best Latin artist – Shakira, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’
World’s best DJ – Bob Sinclair, ‘World Hold On’
World’s best new artist – James Blunt
Diamond award – Michael Jackson
Guinness world record – Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller’