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Aretha Franklin blesses Michael Jackson's soul at the Hollywood Bowl

June 27, 2009 | 12:59 pm

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During her Friday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl (full review here), Aretha Franklin made sure to pause and pay tribute to Michael Jackson.

Her first mention of the fallen pop star came when she asked her friend the Rev. Jesse Jackson to stand and take a bow, adding that he had flown into town "to be of comfort to the Jackson family."

Later, Franklin spoke of Michael Jackson as a "musical genius" and "a very kind and sensitive young man who never gave less than 150% when he hit the stage." Sitting at her piano, she bowed her head and said, "We do thank you, Michael, for every performance, for every kind thing you did, and we do want to take a moment in remembrance of Michael Jackson."

The near-capacity crowd then fell silent for several moments. Franklin concluded with a brief prayer, saying, "He moved on up, just a little bit higher now."

It was a touching offering from the Queen of Soul to the King of Pop.

-- Ann Powers

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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