Las Vegas Pays Birthday Tribute to Michael Jackson

08/30/2009 at 08:00 AM EDT

Las Vegas Pays Birthday Tribute to Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Brian Rasic/REX USA
Michael Jackson spent some of his final years in Las Vegas and now he'll forever be cemented in the city's legacy.

The King of Pop was posthumously awarded a star on the Palms Casino Resort's Walk of Fame Saturday – which would have been his 51st birthday – while his father, Joe Jackson, and a smattering of fans looked on.

"I wish he was here to see this take place," Joe Jackson said of the son who died June 25. Police have labeled the death a homicide.

With the sounds of "Thriller" coming from the speakers and a drum line playing, the patriarch of the Jackson family smiled and posed for pictures as the star was unveiled in front of the Brenden Theatres.

The ceremony was actually two years in the making, organizers said, adding that Michael Jackson wanted to coordinate the unveiling with some type of major event.

"The plan was that Michael would accept the star after the run of London shows," said emcee Robin Leach.

Meanwhile, further west on Saturday night, at the Hollywood Bowl, Liza Minnelli said at her concert, "Today would have been Michael Jackson's birthday. And I loved him with all of my heart, and I will miss him for the rest of my life."

She then dedicated her rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" to him.

Additional reporting by SCOTT HUVER

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