The crew that worked with [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] while he prepared for his 50-show This Is It concert run in London had no idea about the unfortunate events that were to come; in fact, many of the people involved felt that the final rehearsals were incredible and a sign of what was to come from the King of Pop.
"Michael stood out in front of the stage with me and looked at the rehearsal and said, 'This is the dream. This is the dream, good Kenny. You did it,' " director Kenny Ortega told MTV News. "I think there was this feeling in the room, in the air — we all could feel like you were on the plane, you were packed. We were going. You could see London; you could smell it."
Choreographer Travis Payne, with tears in his eyes, remembered saying goodbye to Jackson the way he always had. "The last thing we said to each other, as we always do as he's leaving, I said, 'Love you' and he said, 'Love you more. See you at 2 o'clock.' And that was the last conversation we had."
Payne then recalled where he was when he heard the tragic news of Jackson's passing.
"You know, I was driving towards Sunset Boulevard ... when the phone rang and it was my cousin in Atlanta, then my mother, then it was on the radio and then I called Staples. I spoke to Kenny and he goes, 'You know how that goes — you know how the media is.' "
Music supervisor Michael Bearden also heard the news from his mom, but couldn't believe it was true. "My mother called me. I hadn't spoken to her in a while and she said, 'Well, I heard something about Michael.' She heard it on gossip channel," he said. "I said, 'Don't believe that. I just left Michael. I just saw him. He's fine.' And then I started getting call after call."
Unfortunately, the news wasn't gossip — the King of Pop had in fact died. Ortega broke the news to the group. "We became silent," Payne said. "We prayed and then we ultimately got the call. They said he had passed, and that was very hard."
Check out everything we've got on "Michael Jackson's This Is It."