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Janet rocked the house at Sunday night’s 2009 MTV Video Music Awards as she helped lead a tribute to brother Michael, who died in June at the age of 50. And while the tribute to Jackson was previously announced, it opened with a huge surprise, a moving, nearly eight-minute speech by Madonna, who fondly recalled her first private meeting which Michael.

The tribute opened with Madonna, giving a tearful recount of her experiences with Michael and how they eventually lost touch and how she “left him behind.”  

Madonna told the crowd, “Michael Jackson was born in August, 1958, so was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest, so did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters, so do I. When Michael Jackson was 6, he became a superstar and was perhaps the world’s most beloved child. When I was 6, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick.”

Read the entire tribute and more on the VMAs at