MANILA, Philippines – Michael Jackson’s 2 eldest children accepted his posthumous lifetime achievement award at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
Prince and Paris Jackson were accompanied by their cousins Tarryl, TJ and Taj Jackson of music group 3T when they accepted the award from presenter Lionel Richie.
Prince and Paris wore black suits and red armbands, reminiscent of their father's style. They were greeted by a standing ovation as they walked hand-in-hand onstage.
"Thank you. We are proud to be here to accept this award on behalf of our father, Michael Jackson," the 12-year-old Prince said. "First of all we'd like to thank God for watching over us for these past 7 months and our grandma and grandpa for their love and support. We'd 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 has helped 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 the world. Thank you. We love you daddy.”
Paris, 11, added: “Daddy was supposed to be here. Daddy was gonna perform this year but he couldn't perform last year. Thank you. We love you daddy.”
Jackson’s third child, 7-year-old Prince Michael II also known as “Blanket," did not go onstage.
Heal the world
Richie, who co-wrote “We Are The World” with Jackson, also opened the Grammys’ tribute to the late King of Pop.
“My friend, Michael Jackson, once said, ‘In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to believe. In his too short time with us, Michael dared to believe in our power to make this world a better place,” said Richie.
The tribute featured the performance of the “Earth Song,” which was sung by Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson and Celine Dion. Jackson’s recording of the “Earth Song” was incorporated in the performance. Attendees at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California gave a standing ovation.
The 3-D short film, which was to accompany the “Earth Song” performance in Jackson’s “This Is It" tour was shown during the tribute.
Jackson won a total of 13 Grammy Awards, plus the “Living Legend Award” which was presented to him by his sister, Janet, in 1993.
He died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 following a cardiac arrest.