At the MTV Video Music Awards, which took place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York on August 29, Michael Jackson received a special award. At the beginning of the MTV show, singer Britney Spears came on stage to present the award. As it was Michael Jackson's birthday there was a huge four-layer cake, white with black musical notes and silver stars positioned in the back. The award, a silver treble clef, was on the table with the cake.
Britney Spears started with the following words:
I am thrilled to be here with you in New York on such a special night. And it's more special because it just so happens to be someone special's birthday. This is someone who's inspired me and just about everyone in this room and the world. I consider him the artist of the millennium. He's a true innovator who pioneered the true art of music video, broke down countless barriers and sold more records than any other artist along the way. So, happy birthday my friend, the King Of Pop.
Then Michael came on stage to the intro to Billie Jean and received a standing ovation from the audience. He hugged Britney Spears, took the award from the table with the cake and walked to the microphone for his acceptance speech:
Well...um...God Bless you. Um...I love you too [to the fans yelling at him]. Thank you very much, Britney Spears you're wonderful. If... when I was a little boy in Indiana, if someone had told me... if someone had told me that one day I would be getting, as a musician, the 'Artist Of The Millennium' award I wouldn't have believed it [laughs]. This is really amazing. I can't believe it. Thank you so very much.
But there's a couple of people I have to thank who made this possible [he reaches into his pocket for a piece of paper, and unfolds it]. First I'd like to thank God who makes all things possible. My mother, Joseph Jackson, Katherine Jackson, Trudy Green, Howard Koffman, the genius of John McClain, John Brenka, Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Quincy Jones, I love you. David Blaine your magic is real and I believe in you. And I'd like to thank... I think James Brown is a genius. And all the fans around the world, I love you. God bless you. Thank you.