Jermaine Jackson says he and his famous singing siblings were inspired by the over-the-top song-and-dance performances of Bollywood.
The Jackson 5 singer says it's a big reason he's taking part in a tribute to his late brother Michael at a glitzy concert Friday put on by the International Indian Film Academy.
Jackson told a press conference studded with Bollywood celebrities that his family watched Indian films every Saturday when they moved to California to make it big in show business.
"We were watching you from Day 1 as we were on the journey of becoming the Jackson 5," Jackson said Thursday after Indian movie stars including Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Boman Irani launched a three-day party commonly known as the IIFAs (pronounced "eye-fahs").
"We loved the dance, the costumes, the entertainment, the set design and that's what inspired us a great deal.... So I'm very honoured to be here."
Jackson sparked a media frenzy when he made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a press conference also featuring remarks from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Indian Consul General Preeti Saran.
He smiled as he was surrounded by a crush of reporters upon leaving the stage while Bollywood stars including Kapoor attracted their own smaller mobs after the press conference.
Jackson said he'll be honouring his late brother Michael by singing his hits Scream and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', as well as Can You Feel It, by the Jacksons.
Michael Jackson died in June 2009 at age 50 just as he was about to launch a comeback tour.
The tribute is part of the IIFA Rocks music and fashion showcase Friday, one of several performance-laden events meant to promote Indian entertainment stars.
The festivities will be capped with a star-studded awards show Saturday.
Jackson took the stage in dark sunglasses and a dark suit with a small badge with the initials "MJ" on his lapel.
"It's a wonderful opportunity because Michael loved India so much," Jackson said of his upcoming performance, which will include a duet with Indian singer Sonu Nigam.
"We love the food, we love the people, we love the music, we love the clothing, everything."
"The music always made us want to go visit India and just being here with the IIFA awards is a dream come true."
This is the first time the IIFAs have come to North America. The three-day carnival of South Asian music, fashion, celebrity and film runs through Saturday.
Friday's concert will be preceded by a business forum meant to help strengthen ties and investment opportunities between the two countries.
McGuinty said Canadian spectators should be "prepared to be awed, amazed, energized and moved" by the glitz and glamour planned for this weekend.
Pre-and post-awards show coverage will air on OMNI, while the gala will be available live via pay-per-view.
Jackson thanked Canadians for embracing his family over the years.
"Thank you Canadian fans for supporting my brothers and us since the Victory Tour in the early '80s. We love you and it's always a warm welcome here."
When asked if he planned to incorporate Bollywood dance into his performance, Jackson was coy, only saying he's planned "something."
"People forget now, I'm the bass player from the Jackson 5," he said smirking. "But we know how to move."
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