The message was Heal the Kids, but at least one teen fainted when Michael Jackson made a rare public appearance Wednesday at Carnegie Hall.
Jackson was in New York City launching his Heal the Kids campaign, a charity to boost children’s welfare, but the appearance was also a chance for Jackson’s fans to show they still worship him.
According to Reuters, fans traveled from as far as Japan and Europe to see Jackson, whose speech was frequently interrupted by shouts of “I love you.” Hundreds of screaming fans — many dressed in Jackson outfits — rushed the stage to touch the singer after his speech. A 19-year-old student from Berlin fainted when Jackson took a poster from her.
Jackson, whose failed marriages to Lisa Marie Presley and Deborah Rowe (the mother of his two children) and child-molestation allegation have been widely exposed, said a generation that nurtured children a decade ago is now clouded with a “dark and terrible noise.”
Heal the Kids will help “adults and parents realize it’s in our power to change the world our children live in,” Jackson added.
Jackson, 42, said he would talk more about balancing love and family when he speaks March 6 in England at Oxford University’s famed Oxford Union debating hall.
Jackson’s panel at the Heal the Kids event included lawyer Johnnie Cochran, professor of psychiatry Dr. Stanley Greenspan, TV personality Mother Love, Dr. Drew Pinsky (of “Loveline” fame), publisher Judith Regan and “Temptation Island” host Mark L. Walberg, all of whom addressed the difficulties of balancing family and career. Walberg filled in for Chuck Woolery after the game-show host pulled out of the event at the last minute.
Heal the Kids is a branch of the Heal the World Foundation, which Jackson founded last year with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author of “Kosher Sex” and “Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments,” according to Reuters.
Jackson is scheduled to release his first album in a decade this summer. R&B hitmaker Rodney Jerkins, R. Kelly and former Jodeci member DeVante have produced tracks for the as-yet-untitled project (see “Michael Jackson Nearing Completion Of New LP” ).
Greatest Hits HIStory Volume 1, a re-release of disc one from 1995′s History: Past, Present and Future — Book 1 with new artwork and a 28-page color booklet, will hit stores on February 27. The 15 remastered hits on the album include “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and “Thriller.”