Quincy Jones Tears Up Hearing Michael's Music

06/29/2009 at 10:10 AM EDT

Quincy Jones Tears Up Hearing Michael's Music
Michael Jackson & Quincy Jones at the Grammys in 1984
Barry King/WireImage
Quincy Jones – the prodigious producer behind some of Michael Jackson's biggest hits – grew emotional at a London event on Saturday hosted by Will.i.am as club night turned into a tribute to the late singer.

"He got very upset when Michael's music came on – at one point his head was in his hands," a patron of Club W in Wandsworth tells PEOPLE. The club had booked the Black Eyed Peas singer to deejay and perform with his band – which was minus Fergie.

The legendary Jones, 76, arrived at Club W after midnight, just as Will.i.am was playing Jackson's 1982 smash "Thriller." "It was a total coincidence," says the source, "but [Jones] loved the fact that people were going crazy on the dancefloor. Quincy seemed genuinely touched."

Jones made a beeline to the deejay booth and greeted Will, who showed him the decks, and the pair "played around on the laptop for a few minutes" before the obvious topic of conversation came up.

Jones told Will "that he hadn't come to terms with it at all and that he really couldn’t bring himself to talk about Michael yet because it was too painful," says the club source.

Right after, Will.i.am told the crowd he would play a medley of Michael Jackson music. "The crowds were screaming and dancing, a few looked emotional but Quincy looked so sad, sitting in the VIP area," says the observer. "When 'Wanna Be Startin' Something' played, his eyes welled up, he had his head in his hands."

Jones then requested some time to himself to collect his thoughts, and was led to a vacant dressing room.

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