Michael Jackson live at the Apollo in 2002; Audio now available!

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Audio from Michael Jackson’s last official performance in front of a live audience can finally be heard by fans.

On April 24, 2002 Michael Jackson lit up the stage at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre. Jackson was participating in a fundraising campaign as a favor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The campaign was launched in an effort to persuade American citizens to register to vote.

The King of Pop, 43 years-old at the time, was electrifying as always. Jackson treated the audience to spectacular performances of “Dangerous”, “Black Or White” and “Heal The World” on a night that raised nearly $3 million for the DNC.

The money would be used for the new “Every Vote Counts” campaign, the committee said. Members of the audience, which consisted of 1,400 supporters, paid up to $5,000 each to attend the all-star event. Comedian Chris Tucker and singers KD Lang, Tony Bennett and Diana Ross were among the talent on display.

Jackson’s performance from the event is one of the most sought after in the fan community due to it’s rarity.

For many years there has been only one video available – a short clip showcasing a portion of Jackson’s performance of “Dangerous” (see below). Excluding that solitary video, Jackson’s fans – other than those lucky enough to have been there on the night – had never seen or heard their idol’s performance from the night.

However, today I was sent a link to Wolfgang’s Vault – a website which proclaims itself to be “The World’s Greatest Collection of Concert Recordings”.

The website features an audio stream of Jackson’s FULL performance from the night – complete with audience interaction and vocal warm-ups – seemingly taken straight from the event’s sound desk. Crowd noise is at a minimum, usually only audible when Jackson’s live mic is switched on.

Listen to Michael Jackson’s full 2002 performance at the Apollo Theatre here.

Other than some very brief impromptu performances at awards shows – including the BET Awards in 2003 and World Music Awards in 2006 – Jackson’s April 24, 2002 appearance at the Apollo Theatre serves as his final curtain call as a live entertainer.

The greatest entertainer that ever lived.

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