Michael's Last Rehearsal: 'I Feel So Alive'

Photog, friend reveals Jackson's excitement at performing again
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 9:51 AM CDT
In this handout photo provided by AEG, pop star Michael Jackson rehearses at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Kevin Mazur, AEG/Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The photographer who captured Michael Jackson’s image at his last rehearsal reveals the singer was upbeat and energetic on his final night. “He was totally there—100% there in fact,” Kevin Mazur tells the Mirror. “You would never suspect this would have ever happened—especially after his performance.” He says Michael told him, “I feel so alive—can you feel it? This is where I belong.”

“This is me. The true me. I feel as though I want to perform forever,” Jackson said. The rehearsal ran until midnight and was “incredible,” Mazur said. “I have never seen him so happy.” Jackson sang 12 songs, including a Jackson Five medley, Smooth Criminal, and Black or White. But he really shone when performing Thriller: “You could see in Michael’s face how much that particular song excited him.”