The show reached a climax with Knight performing the poignant “Gone Too Soon” before a rousing finale that brought most of the performers _ and the Jackson children _ back onstage for the exuberant “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough.”
The concert has divided the King of Pop’s family and followers. The three brothers, sister La Toya and vocal group 3T _ composed of three of Michael’s nephews _ all performed, while 81-year-old matriarch Katherine was in the audience.
But Michael’s brothers Jermaine and Randy and sister Janet have stayed away, saying it is wrong to hold the show at the same time as Murray’s trial.
“Each one of us grieves differently,” he said. “We want to celebrate the positive side of his life, the positive things that he did.”
Some fan groups around also criticized the show for ticket prices that started at about $100 and for what some regard as an out-of-the-way location in Cardiff, 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of London.
“I believe it should wait, not only because of the Murray trial,” said Wesley Noorhoff, president of a Dutch Michael Jackson fan club. “If you do a tribute to Michael, it has to be the best there is, just like Michael.”
But those who came to Cardiff said it was a fitting antidote to the grim courtroom spectacle in Los Angeles.
“There’s a lot of negativity in that courtroom,” said Ronnie Lee, a 32-year-old truck driver from Pembroke, Wales, sporting a “Thriller” T-shirt. “This is a chance to say, ‘Thank you Michael’ and celebrate the music.”
As the crowd poured out of the stadium, opinion was divided.
“Rubbish,” said Sophie Stockdale, 23. “If you wanted to watch Beyonce on video link, you could do it on YouTube.”
But Sophie Morris, also 23, said she’d loved it.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I actually cried three or four times.”
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