On what would have been Michael Jackson’s 54th birthday, fans of the pop legend had a thriller of an experience yesterday when they joined members of Michael’s family—including his three children—for a vigil outside of his children home in Gary, Indiana.
The fans danced to his music and lit up 2300 Jackson Street—the improbably perfect name of the street where they grew up and lived until 1969. The street was immortalized in a 1989 song by The Jacksons called, simply, “2300 Jackson Street.”
Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket (also named Prince Michael II), signed autographs outside the home before the vigil started. Earlier in the day, Paris and Prince were given Team Gary t-shirts by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson as they posed for pictures at a casino overlooking Lake Michigan.
Michael’s mother Katherine, in addition to his sister Latoya, attended the vigil and mingled with fans.
LaToya spoke to the crowd and said the family’s musical fame started in Gary in “this little house.” Latoya said, “We all love you, Michael,” and folded her hands and looked to the sky.
The celebration will be an all-weekend affair, as the family will hold a dinner on Friday and a concert on Saturday.
Katherine Jackson now shared custody of the children with Michael’s nephew, TJ Jackson, according to an arrangement just approved last week by a Los Angeles judge.
TJ Jackson had been made temporary guardian last month when Katherine disappeared in Arizona, leading to one of the most embarrassing dramas in the history of this private family, as accusations flew back and forth between siblings warring over Michael’s will and the care of his children. Much of it was fueled by Paris, sending out missives through Twitter.
Jackson was incommunicado during a stay at an Arizona spa with relatives.
Events planned by the family in Gary include a dinner Friday and a concert Saturday.
Before the vigil, Jackson’s children, 14-year-old Paris and 15-year-old Prince Michael, were given blue Team Gary T-shirts by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson as they posed for pictures at a casino overlooking Lake Michigan.
Paris and Prince Michael didn’t speak during the brief presentation. Later, in the moments before the vigil was to start, the two, joined by Jackson’s other child, Prince Michael II, signed autographs outside the Jackson home.
Jackson’s sister LaToya told the crowd the family’s musical fame started in the city, east of Chicago, and in “this little house.” After saying, “We all love you, Michael,” LaToya folded her hands and looked to the sky.
Last week, a Los Angeles judge appointed the pop star’s nephew, TJ Jackson, to share guardianship responsibilities for the late singer’s three children with family matriarch Katherine Jackson.
TJ Jackson was appointed a temporary guardian last month when Katherine Jackson was incommunicado during a stay at an Arizona spa with relatives.