Jessie J and Justin Timberlake Perform at Rock in Rio Lisbon - Rolling Stone
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Jessie J and Justin Timberlake Perform at Rock in Rio Lisbon


On the final night of the Rock in Rio Lisbon festival Sunday, British pop diva Jessie J invited headliner Justin Timberlake to duet with her on her new song, “Keep Us Together.” That didn’t happen… but later in the evening, her impromptu duet with another, less famous man turned out to be just as memorable, in its own way.

[Photos: Rock in Rio Lisbon 2014]

Jessie took the main stage at Lisbon’s Parque da Bela Vista in front of 70,000 fans, looking like a fabulous Vegas showgirl in a flapper-fringed onesie, although she paired her glamorous outfit with a pair of wedge sneakers. (“If I fall over, please put it on YouTube,” she joked.) And it was a good thing she’d decided to wear those semi-sensible shoes, as this allowed her to run a mid-show lap around the festival grounds to get up-close and personal with her audience. It was then, while singing her self-empowerment anthem “Who You Are,” that she had an encounter with one of those 70,000 spectators that neither she nor the fan will likely soon forget.


Jessie was slapping the outstretched hands of front-row festivalgoers when for some reason, she stopped to serenade one emotional man who was passionately belting along to her every word. “Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart/But tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising/There’s nothing wrong with who you are,” Jessie sang directly to the man, gripping his hand, then sweetly wiping away his tears when he understandably became choked up.

It was a lovely example of the power of live music to heal and unite, as everyone cheered the touching moment when it aired on the festival’s Jumbotron screens. Jessie later tweeted the clip to her nearly 7 million Twitter followers around the globe.


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