Grammys Recruit Usher, Hudson for 3-D Michael Jackson Tribute

January 20, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson and Celine Dion will take part in the Grammy Awards' 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson live on January 31st. The Recording Academy is honoring the King of Pop with a Lifetime Achievement Award on music's biggest night and premiering previously unseen footage from his planned This Is It concerts that was filmed to accompany his performance of "Earth Song." The musicians will sing along with a recording of Jackson's vocal as the 3-D mini-movie that was meant to be the centerpiece of This Is It rolls.

Look back at Michael Jackson's life and career, in photos.

"It was one of the most important portions of the concert tour to Michael, and when Michael saw the film for the first time at his last rehearsal, there were tears in his eyes," Grammy co-executive producer and Jackson's friend Ken Ehrlich said in a statement. The "Earth Song" footage, which expresses Jackson's intense concern for the welfare of the planet, was shown in part in concert film This Is It, which is due out on DVD five days before the Grammy Awards, on January 26th. Jackson had big plans to bring 3-D to the concert experience, shooting a new "Thriller" video using the technology, as well.

CBS, the network airing the Grammys live, is teaming with Target to distribute millions of 3-D glasses so viewers can experience the Jackson tribute at home. People attending the awards live at Los Angeles' Staples Center will also receive a pair of 3-D glasses. The event will mark the first time a sequence is broadcast three-dimensionally during an awards show.

Jackson's career was previously celebrated at MTV's Video Music Awards, where Madonna gave a speech about her special relationship to the King of Pop and Janet Jackson assembled an all-star crew of choreographers to pay tribute to her brother's groundbreaking dancing. Stars also honored Jackson at the BET Awards, which took place just days after his June 25th death.

Check out all of Rolling Stone's essential Michael Jackson coverage.

As Rolling Stone previously reported, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Green Day, Pink, Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi and the Black Eyed Peas will also perform at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Related Stories:
Michael Jackson's Final Dreams Come to Life as "This Is It" Film Premieres
Michael Jackson to Be Honored With Lifetime Achievement Grammy
Green Day, Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Join Grammy Lineup

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