It was billed as a comeback - but Michael Jackson's first British stage appearance in nine years in London fell completely flat, press reports said Thursday.
The fallen 'King of Pop' had been set to recreate his famous graveyard Thriller video at the World Music Awards in London late Wednesday.
But instead he joined a group of youngsters on stage to sing only a few lines of 'We Are The World'.
During the fleeting performance, his voice appeared to crack and falter on the high notes.
Jackson's performance finished when the musical accompaniment disappeared - it was not known whether this was intentional or not.
His big hit Thriller was performed by another US star, Chris Brown.
Jackson received a 'Diamond Award' for the best-selling album at the event.
"I dedicate this to the so many that have loved me and stayed by me throughout these years in the entertainment business," he said.
Giggling and breaking off from his speech, Jackson told fans: "I love you," media reports said.
Jackson, who has rarely been seen in public since he was acquitted of child abuse charges in the US last year, touched his heart and blew kisses to the crowd.
It was rumoured that the US star was driven the short distance from his dressing room to the stage at Earl's Court music hall.
The 18th World Music Awards - held in Britain for the first time - featured performances from Beyonce, Enya, Katie Melua and Nelly Furtado.
Former British army officer James Blunt, 32, won two awards at the ceremony for World's Best New Artist and Best-Selling British Artist.