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Behind The Scenes At Last Night's BET Michael Jackson Lovefest

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Buddy of ours who played in one of the bands at last night's star-studded BET Awards show called this morning with a few tidbits about the glitzy, somewhat tacky, affair.

Our pal had been considered at one point as a player in the band that was slated to back up the late Gloved One on the 50-date London gig starting next month, but it didn't happen (the gig or my friend's place in it).

Natch, he says, everyone was talking about Jacko and the unexpected, yet completely expected circumstances of his Elvis-like demise.


As gushing as everyone was on camera about Michael, talk backstage was a mite different: One popular hip-hop star, who shall remain remain nameless, referred to the longtime show-biz pariah as "that poor little freak," and another singer--this one a female--tried in vain to find the word "eunuch," before giving up and saying something about a he-she.

My pal was curious about the seemingly unavoidable presence of the toxic Reverend Al Sharpton, who spent some time in the Valley of the Sun last week.

Seems that Sharpton got backstage in search of Jackson's not-so-beloved dad Joe before the pair ended up sitting together at the show.

Sharpton was the most obnoxious person back there, according to my guy -- loud, demanding and, worst of all, speaking incessantly in the dreaded third-person. Apparently, his don't-you-know-how-I-am demeanor made `Lil Wayne look a humble gentleman. 

The classiest, according to my not-necessarily-so-classy-himself source: Maxwell, a Marvin Gaye-style singer on the cusp of making his own comeback.


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