Michael’s 30th Anniversary Concert – Sept 7 and Sept 10 – Aired on TV Nov 2001
In November 2001, CBS television network aired a two-hour special in honor of Michael Jackson’s Thirtieth year as a solo entertainer (his first solo single, “Got To Be There”, was recorded in 1971). The show was edited from footage of two separate concerts Michael had orchestrated in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on September 7 and September 10, 2001. The shows sold out in five hours. Ticket prices were music’s most expensive ever; the best seats cost $5,000 and included a dinner with Michael Jackson and a signed poster. Jackson reportedly earned $7.5 million for each of the two concerts, which is over $150,000 per minute.
The last of the two concerts wrapped up just hours before planes ran into the Twin Towers of Lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center. The concerts featured in the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special were his last concerts….ever.
Opening the show was Samuel L. Jackson’s presentation of Usher, Whitney Houston & Mya, performing a rendition of Michael’s hit song “Wanna Be Startin Somethin”, from his 1982 album, Thriller. Among other performers and guests were Liza Minnelli singing “You Are Not ALone”; and James Ingram with Gloria Estephan singing Jackson’s 1987 ballad, ” I Just Cant Stop Loving You” (another #1 U.S. hit). Marc Anthony also sang “Shes Out Of My Life”.
The second hour of the show is by far the best remembered, featuring the exciting reunion of Michael and his brothers Jermaine, Jacki, Randy, Marlon, and Tito for a “greatest hits” medley, including their headlining songs “Can You Feel It”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save”, I Want You Back”, “Ill Be There”, and “Shake Your Body Down To The Ground”. As the crowd roared, it was evident that the Jackson brothers were enjoying themselves, possibly even more than the adoring fans of past and present. Following the reunion, Michael announced surprise guests for the Jackson 5 hit “Dancing Machine” by NSYNC.
Following a short intermission, Chris Tucker then appeared onstage, recalls a humorous conversation between him and Jackson (imitating his voice) before announcing a live performance of what is Michael’s most well-known tune: “Billie Jean” (The broadcast version is different showing The Way You Make Me Feel/Black Or White/Beat It and then Billie Jean). Michael Jackson once again hit the stage, this time flanked by scores of dancers dressed as gang members for an explosive version of “Beat It”. As Michael glided and danced his way across the floor, the crowd roared all the louder in appreciation. Immediately afterward, Slash was properly introduced for a powerful, whirlwind rendition of “Black Or White”. Then Michael Jackson was joined by Britney Spears for a performance of “The Way You Make Me Feel”. After, he performed his newest single, “You Rock My World”, from the recently-released album Invincible. Michael was joined at the end of the song by Usher, who performed a smooth robotic dance routine.(The broadcast version ends after You Rock My World). Near the end of the final song, Michael Jackson and Co. sang “We Are The World” onstage in an elaborate finale.
For a list of all performances:
- “Wanna Be Startin Somethin” Usher, Mýa and Whitney Houston
- “Angel” and “It Want Me” -Shaggy featuring Rayvon and Rikrok
- “Heal The World” – Mýa,Deborah Cox, Ray Digga, Monica, and Tamia featuring The Brooklyn Youth Choir
- “My Baby” – Lil Romeo featuring Master P
- “Shes Out Of My Life” – Marc Anthony
- “Bootylicious” – Destinys Child
- “I Want Candy” -Aaron Carter
- “Home” (from The Wiz) – Monica
- “You Can’t Win” (from The Wiz) -Jill Scott
- “Ease on Down the Road” (from The Wiz) – Monica, Jill, Scott, Al Jarreau, Deborah Cox
- “You Are Not Alone” – Liza Minnelli
- “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
- “Get Ur Freak On” – Missy Elliot and Nelly Furtado
- “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” – Dione Warwick
- “Midnight Train To Georgia” – Glaydys Knight
- “I Just Cant Stop Lovin You” – James Ingram and Gloria Estefan
- “Man In The Mirror”- 98 Degrees, Usher and Luther Vandross
- “Can You Feel It” – The Jacksons
- “ABC” – The Jacksons
- “The Love You Save” – The Jacksons
- “Ill Be There” – The Jacksons
- “I Want You Back” – The Jacksons
- “Dancing Machine” – The Jacksons and *NSYNC
- “Shake Your Body Down To The Ground” – The Jacksons
- “The Way You Make Me Feel” – Michael Jackson and Britney Spears *(Sept 7 concert performance only)
- “Black or White” – Michael Jackson and Slash
- “Beat It” – Michael Jackson and Slash
- “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
- “You Rock My World” – Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and Usher
- “We Are The World” – All Artists