Michael Jackson’s public memorial service showcased musicians of all ages, from MJ’s older brother Jermaine to Jennifer Hudson and Usher. But the youngest of the entire event was 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi , performing a cover of the Jackson 5’s “Who’s Lovin’ You.”
While Jafargholi is not well known in America, he rocketed to fame in the U.K. earlier this year when he competed on “Britain’s Got Talent” shortly after Susan Boyle made headlines with her performance on the show. During his first audition, he sang Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” but was quickly cut off by judge Simon Cowell, who dismissed the song choice. Jafargholi then jumped into “Who’s Lovin’ You,” wowing the audience and launching himself into the finals of the show. He eventually lost to the dance group Diversity.
But the King of Pop took notice and invited Jafargholi to take part in his upcoming concerts at London’s O2 Arena, as the director Kenny Ortega told the crowd during the memorial tribute. Of course, Jackson passed away before the sold-out 50-show stand could begin.
Minutes before Jafargholi took the stage, Smokey Robinson, who wrote “Who’s Lovin’ You,” told a funny story about being unable to believe that Michael was just 10 years old when he pulled off a mature rendition of the song in 1969. Then Jafargholi sang that very song for a worldwide television audience estimated to number 1 billion people.
Even before his appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent,” Jafargholi had a connection with MJ: He played a young Jackson while touring the U.K. with a musical tribute show called “Thriller Live.” He’s also appeared on several British TV shows, such as the BBC’s “Torchwood.”
Before ceding the stage to Jafargholi, Robinson spoke directly to Jackson. “I love you, my brother. I celebrate your life, and I’m glad I had the pleasure to know you,” he said.
And right after his performance, Jafargholi spoke of his love and respect for MJ and his music.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
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