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Stevie Wonder Breaks Down During MJ Tribute

12/2/2009 9:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Stevie Wonder broke down and nearly cried in the middle of a major televised performance -- and it was all because of Michael Jackson.



The emotional breakdown occurred on-stage at the Rock and Roll 25th Hall of Fame Anniversary Concert -- which aired on HBO this weekend.

Wonder was singing Jackson's, "The Way You Make Me Feel" -- when Stevie, still distraught by the death of his good friend, suddenly chokes up, hunches over and puts his face in his hands ... while the music continues to play.

It all goes down around 1:35 into the clip.

Stevie eventually pulls himself together and finished the song -- and ultimately received a hug from John Legend and a huge ovation from the crowd.

114 COMMENTS

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91.

Mandy    

Oh man...was great to hear him do an interpretation of the way you make me feel but too sad...there's no other like M.J.

1762 days ago
92.

entremedieu    

We all love him....Michael you are forever!

1762 days ago
93.

jenn    

LATOYA SEE WHAT REAL LOVE IS. YOUR DEVIL HUSBAND MADE YOU LIE ABOUT YOUR BROTHER OR HE WOULD KILL YOU. ALL FOR MONEY. WAS IT WORTH THE HELL MJ WENT THROUGH?

1762 days ago
94.

nan    

lakadavia ...stvie wonder was on a pay station called hbo or home box ofice ..it was a special four hour concert out of new york going through the decades of music ..i think it was called legends of rock and roll ....rock and roll part one and rock and roll part two..stevie was in part one..its playing til janurary 4 on hbo ...other parts might be on youtube as well

1761 days ago
95.

nan    

truth ...i am waiting for a tabloid to offer an aquaitence of the chandler kid to come foerward and say he told them he didnt do it...maybe if they sweetened the pot by offering hundrds of thousands of dollars like they did to poor mj some one of his friends will come out

1761 days ago
96.

SoFRNL    

This is old.... I saw this months ago. But of course he cried, Stevie Wonder doesn't judge people the way they look.

1761 days ago
97.

Cher    

Beautiful One...
I have to say I am just so grateful to get away from that Jermaine/suicide story I don't know what to do! I know this story has been up for awhile but frankly, I've been putting off dealing with it because I knew it would be way emotional for me...and it is. There are Michael books with pics from the pre-"Off the Wall" days where he's in the studio with Stevie simply observing the Genius/Master at work--it's amazing, the fact that these 2 huge mega-artists were together in this moment. You can see the total concentration on Michael's face almost as if he were a fly on the wall! Michael has often stated how much Stevie and his art meant to him. I think as far as vocals are concerned, Stevie probably made the biggest impression on Michael not in the Motown era, but if you listen as early as "Off the Wall", you'll hear Stevie's influence. Matter of fact, the last time I saw "This Is It", I thought of how much Michael sounded like Stevie when he started doing those riffs at the end of "I just can't stop loving you"--L.O.V.E'd it!
It really warms my heart to know that Stevie had tried to get stars from Michael's past to check in on him, but it really hurts my heart that he had to ask them. Sad because maybe if enough of them had reached out to him, there would've at least been someone for him to tell his troubles to.
TMZ, thanks for sharing this story with us--we needed it after those others. Great to see one person from Michael's past who wasn't out to steal, kill, destroy or profit from his name.
BTW--anyone see the Tohme Interview on Larry King? Please share.
-Also, I read that LLCoolJ wants to do a MJ Tribute on the Grammies and has asked them to let JT, Usher, Chris Brown and others perform Billie Jean on the show. The Academy president says he will take this request seriously and stated: "Michael Jackson is important to us. Michael is iconic." Of course, they'll consider it because they know the public is expecting it. What is this year's Grammies gonna be anyway besides a lot of pandering to Taylor Swift and Jay-Z. Not exactly the most exciting entertainers in the bunch. They probably realized they're gonna need something to bring in the ratings--MICHAEL to the rescue!! Hope he's somewhere laughing and enjoying his domination of the Music world this year. Unfortunately, Michael wasn't nominated for Grammies this year because the soundtrack to "This Is It" was released after the 8-31 deadline. I'm sure many artists breathed a huge sigh of relief on that note but I'm unhappy about it because Michael's music has dominated the charts this year. One good thing--you can now see "The Number Ones", "Thriller", "Dangerous", "the Essential Michael Jackson" and some of the J-5 CD's on Billboard's Hot 200...how's that for SIMMERING!!
Peace--MICHAEL/ILUVU2INFINITY

1761 days ago
98.

A.B.    

The wound is deep.

1760 days ago
99.

Cher    

Ahhh, I love, L.O.V.E. the above pics of Michael!!
God, I miss him!
Peace--Michael/ILUVU2INFINITY

1760 days ago
100.

Cristina    

Oh, I'm crying too....:(

1760 days ago
101.

Nightflower    

Stevie is just being human like Michael also was. Respect Stevie!!

1759 days ago
102.

Marla    

Love Stevie, but WHEN IS CONRAD MURRAY GOING TO TRIAL? I certainly hope he has a very lousy Christmas and a very miserable New Year!


1758 days ago
103.

Ryan in CA    

I dont' think he's crying. I think he lost control of the high notes and had to take a breath. John Legend should have helped him out.

1757 days ago
104.

Slut    

Stevie did a FABULOUS job with that song; he sang it even better than Michael.

1755 days ago
105.

Darlene Chulak    

To Stevie Wonder: In addition to your musical genius, as evidenced in the way that you were able to perform Michael Jackson's song, your display of emotion over the death of your friend as understood, identified with and admired. Yet, you were true artist who still managed to forge ahead and finish your outrageous rendition of Michael's work. Michael will remain with you in spirit. Friendship never dies. Sincere thanks for this performance.

1754 days ago
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