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Michael Jackson Immortalized at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Prince, Paris and Blanket carry the torch.

Written by Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif. – Michael Jackson’s star power shined bright as luminaries, fans and family members alike gathered on Thursday to honor the memory of the King of Pop in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, ushering in a new era of Jackson’s legacy and his extraordinary contributions to the world of music and dance.

“For me, and I think I speak for him as well, this right here is his lifetime achievement award,” said Jackson’s oldest son Prince, standing tall and proud in front of throngs of fans and media beneath Southern California’s sunny blue sky as fans cheered from the grandstands of closed-off Hollywood Boulevard.  His voice strong, firm and steady, Prince added, “This is what he strived to get, and this is what we are giving him now today.”

Prince, Blanket and Paris Jackson carried the torch of their superstar dad, literally in his footsteps, immortalizing him with their their father’s signature sparkling glove and dancing shoes imprinted in cement not far from Michael Jackson’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

The star-studded event marked the kick-off of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour opening tonight at the Staples Center (January 27-29) in Los Angeles.  Joining the ranks of stars paying homage to the late icon were Justin Beiber, Smokey Robinson, Quincy Jones, comedian Chris Tucker, along with Glee cast members and Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush who emceed the festivities.

Amid cheers, Bieber, introduced by Paris, took to the stage, reflecting his late great predecessor, aptly singing his own a cappella rendition of Jackson’s youthful hit song of the 1970′s Rockin’ Robin.

“He was more than an entertainer, he was an inspiration,” said an exuberant Bieber, who said he wished he could have met his pop star idol in person.

Michael Jackson’s children were accompanied by their grandmother, Katherine Jackson and uncles Tito Jackson and Jackie Jackson, former  members of the famed Jackson 5, enjoying the festivities as much as the fans.

Along with Bieber’s performance and other celebrity appearances, the event featured a colorful preview of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The Immortal, with fedora and feather clad troupe members showcasing an electrifying medley of Jackson’s unforgettable hits.

Ticket Information for Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour can be found by visiting the Cirque du Soleil website at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/michael-jackson-tour/tickets.aspx