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11 June 2021, 12:32 | Updated: 11 June 2021, 16:06
Michael Jackson made his final public appearance at an announcement for his 'This Is It' Tour in front of a crowd of screaming fans in London on March 3, 2009.
Michael Jackson's This Is It tour in 2009 was going to be the final time the King of Pop would perform in London, but the day never came.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the huge 50 night residency at the O2 arena, the star's hysterical fans didn't know this would be the last time they would ever see their idol on stage.
The night of March 3, 2009 had only been billed as a "special announcement" by the star and despite not knowing what was going on, fans and press alike were alight with the buzz that Michael would be announcing a new tour.
Fans gathered in front of a stage with a huge red curtain and at 5.25pm a montage of Michael Jackson's videos were shown on a screen to the eagerly awaiting crowd.
Introduced by presenter Dermot O'Leary, Michael Jackson then stepped up to the podium to the delight of screaming fans, his long dark hair and black aviator sunglasses obscuring his face.
Accompanied by roars from the crowd Michael walked to the front of stage waving at fans and smiling as he took in the atmosphere.
Then after confirmation from Dermot, the star took the the podium to speak to his adoring fans.
“I love you so much. Thank you all," he began.
The crowd then began chanting ‘This Is It’ and Michael responds to this by chanting along with them "This is it! This is it!" he cried.
After the crowd dies down, MJ begins again: "I just want to say these, these will be my final show performances in London."
Over roars from the crowd he continues: "This is it, this is it and when I say “this is it” it really means this is it because erm…I’ll be, I’ll be performing the songs my fans want to hear.
"This is it, I mean, this is, this is the final curtain call okay? And, erm…I’ll see you in July.
His fans then begin to chant: “We love you Michael!”
To which he replies: "I love you. I really do. You have to know that, I love you so much, really, from the bottom of my heart.
"This is it and see you in July!”
The King of Pop then turns away and walks away from the podium, disappearing behind the red curtain as his fans go wild – little did the world know it would be the last time Michael Jackson would ever speak in public.
Watch the video of Michael Jackson's final public appearance below:
The singer died just a few months later in his Los Angeles home on June 25, 2009 when he was just 50-years-old, with video later emerging of Michael Jackson dancing on stage just 48 hours before his untimely death.
In a bizarre twist the video of Michael Jackson's last public appearance later became the subject of a wrongful death suit against This Is It promoters AEG in 2013.
MJ's children Prince and Paris Jackson and their grandmother Katherine Jackson are said to have claimed the man standing beside Dermot O'Leary was a lookalike hired by the promoters because the singer wasn't 'fit enough' to be there in person.
Body language expert Bianca Cobb added: "In my opinion, the man in the clips isn’t Michael Jackson."
"The walk is cockier and had more bounce than MJ’s typical stride. He tended to walk with his head down."
The family reportedly appealed for the alleged lookalike to come forward to give evidence, with a source saying: "Paris and Prince and their gran believe a fake Michael was involved. They have hired detectives to track him down."
However on October 2, 2013 a jury determined that promoters AEG were not negligent in the death of Michael Jackson and would not have to pay damages to Jackson's family.