Michael Jackson fans gathered at a temporary monument to pay tribute to the King of Pop, in London, on what would have been his 60th birthday on Wednesday, August 29.
The late 20th-century music icon’s record label, Sony Music, erected a giant crown on London’s south bank by the River Thames to celebrate his legacy.
British fans Mayah Thomas and Pez Jax met Jackson in 2006, where he accompanied a group of fans to a West End theatre.
“He took a group of us to see Mary Poppins at the theatre and in the interval we got to shake his hand and say hello. It was very brief, but it was a life made from that moment,”30-year-old Londoner Jax, told Reuters.
Thomas and Jax have known each other for 15 years, united by their shared love of the American superstar.
“The first time I saw him in person, I was 18-years-old, he came to London and it was just manic. There were thousands of fans, the streets were lined all the way up by the Dorchester hotel in Hyde Park.
Michael was just such a sweetheart. Really shy, but really really personable. He would always try and make the fans comfortable,” Thomas said.
Despite rain falling fans celebrated Jackson’s legacy performing dance moves and moonwalking in front of the crown.
Jackson, famed for hits like “Bad” and “Beat It”, had been rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts scheduled in London before his sudden death in 2009 at the age of 50.
He died at his home in Los Angeles on June 25 that year.
“I flew for seven hours here that night and he passed away. I basically came here on the 25th of June, because of his concert, I had tickets and he passed away that night,” said Ilia Mizani, who had traveled from his native Georgia.
The crown monument will be on London’s south bank for one day only, the King of Pop’s birthday.