LOS ANGELES — At the premiere of "Michael Jackson's This Is It," Paris Hilton is little more than a blip on the red-carpet radar when Will Smith is causing pandemonium nearby with a mere smile. But they — as well as every other celebrity in attendance, from J. Lo (as in Lopez) to J. Lo (as in Love Hewitt) — were eclipsed by the night's real star: Michael Jackson.
As his endless catalog of hits played from loudspeakers, the King of Pop's presence was felt everywhere, from his brothers' regal wardrobes to the light-up steps reminiscent of the "Billie Jean" video on the otherwise red metal platform that led to the Nokia Theatre, where "This Is It" made its world premiere. Strong winds blew leaves around as workers handed out sequined gloves in plastic packages to fans who lined the bleachers hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrities in attendance while paying tribute to their hero.
Michael's brothers, dancers, musical director and more were on hand, as stars across the spectrum shared memories of either meeting, working with or otherwise admiring him. Anticipation ran high for the film, which was culled from footage shot during rehearsals for his run of shows in London.
Smith, Lopez, Hilton, Hewitt (and boyfriend Jamie Kennedy), Adam Lambert, David Cook, New Kids On the Block's Joey McIntyre, Marlon Wayans, JC Chasez and a couple of members of the "High School Musical" cast were among the faithful in attendance, standing alongside living legends like Mickey Rooney, Sugar Ray Leonard and Motown's Berry Gordy.
"Michael wasn't afraid of just being himself," Lambert said of the icon. "Michael didn't conform to one style of music. He did his own thing."
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