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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 09:37 UK
Shaheen's 'surreal' Jackson tribute

British twelve-year-old singer Shaheen Jafargholi performs at the memorial service for music legend Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in LA
Shaheen Jafargholi flew to Los Angeles at the request of Jackson's family

Some of the biggest names in music performed at the Staples Center in tribute to Michael Jackson, but lining up alongside them was a rather less well known boy from Swansea.

The Britain's Got Talent finalist Shaheen Jafargholi joined legends like Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey in singing before thousands packed into the Los Angeles stadium.

The 12-year-old Swansea schoolboy sang a Jackson Five hit, Who's Lovin' You? while Michael's family looked on.

Newsbeat US reporter Jonathan Blake caught up with him afterwards.

What was it like for you to be a part of that memorial to Michael Jackson?

It was completely surreal. I'm so happy I got to say goodbye in an individual way that nobody else could ever do. It was really great to think I was a part of it.

It was an incredible setting - so many people there and millions watching around the world - were you nervous?

I was nervous. I think it was just the case that it was Michael Jackson's memorial and I had to get it right and I had to follow up so many great performances before me. It was really something special.

And what about the song "Who's Lovin' You?" When did you find out you would be performing and what you would be singing?

I found out on Friday.

What was your reaction when you knew that you would be singing there?

Singers Jennifer Hudson, Lionel Richie and Shaheen Jafargholi, winner of "Britain"s Got Talent," stand on stage at the Michael Jackson public memorial  service
Shaheen sang alongside Jennifer Hudson and Lionel Richie

I was just overwhelmed the Jackson family had asked me to perform. It was completely surreal, I couldn't believe it, I was so touched.

We saw you on stage paying tribute as well as performing. How important was Michael Jackson when you were growing up and how much of an influence has he been on you?

He's my idol. He's my hero, because of him I wouldn't be who I am today so it was really sad to say goodbye to him.

What was it like backstage? Who did you meet and what was the atmosphere like?

It was a weird atmosphere. I met some really famous people backstage and it was fun.

Is it all going to sink in when you go back home to Wales and speak to your friends and family about what you've done?

Yeah, I think it will be more real to me when I go back and think about it properly in more depth. I'm just going to enjoy LA now.

There are going to be a lot of people around the United States who've seen you and heard you sing now. Is that exciting for you?

Yeah it's pretty exciting. We'll just have to see what happens in the future now.

Is there one moment that will stick out for you?

I think it was just the whole experience of me singing and Michael Jackson being in front of me.



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