On stage with Michael Jackson aged 13

By Edward Gay

New Zealander Olivia Miles fondly remembers walking out on stage to sing with Michael Jackson.

Ms Miles was 13 years-old at the time.

She was picked to go on stage by the King of Pop at a Dublin concert in 1997 and remembers being in the children's choir that sang Heal the World.

Ms Miles said the day started with rehearsals led by Jackson's assistant and choreographer Taco.

"During the day Taco went around all the kids - about 15 of us in total - and took photographs of them on a polaroid camera and wrote our names and ages below," Ms Miles said.

She said she and two boys were chosen to meet Jackson backstage, to say "hi".

"He was dressed up in his silver space suit, it was just the most unreal experience seeing him live," Ms Miles said.

She said the three children were given "goody bags" that contained posters, a Michael Jackson hat, lollies and a tour booklet.

She said during the concert she was dressed in rags which came off during the concert "as if Michael Jackson had saved us".

She said she has been a big fan ever since.

"I think he is just so talented. I will always be very loyal to him. I think he got a bad wrap in the press," Ms Miles said.

She said Jackson genuinely cared for children and she was shocked to hear the news of his death.

Ms Miles is planning to hold a Michael Jackson dress-up party on the weekend with friends where Jackson's music will be played non-stop.

- NZ Herald

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