Michael Jackson’s Son Prince Talks About How His Father Influenced Him

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Michael Jackson died in 2009, but his son Prince said the singer’s legacy remains as strong as ever.

The King of Pop’s eldest son, now 19, told People magazine that his late father’s value system still guides him today.

Speaking to the magazine at a holiday party at the Boys & Girls Club, the Loyola Marymount University sophomore said that his famous father “taught me what it is to be a man.”

“He showed me what it is to be a father,” he continued. “For me, [I want] to pass that on to my kids, or to help someone else who has kids. My cousin TJ [Jackson]’s kids, I treat them as if they were my kids. I have fun with them, I love watching them.”

Philanthropy was also important to the singer, Jackson said. Recalling a visit to a children’s hospital when he was young, the teen said the sight of his father excited the young patients.

“[Giving back] is something that my dad always did, and he instilled that in me and my siblings to keep doing it,” Jackson said. “I think it’s just the way that I was raised, honestly.”

Now, Jackson works on campus with a group called Heal LA, which was behind the event at the Boys & Girls Club. His father’s song “Heal the World” influenced the organization’s name.

“I met the president [of Heal LA], and he said that he was a big fan of my dad, that my dad had inspired him to pursue a career in nonprofits and that he wanted to get started with a program, a service organization, on the Loyola Marymount campus. It would be called ‘Heal LA’ inspired by ‘Heal the World.’ Because one of my dad’s main focuses was children and hunger — and homelessness was another big thing — we decided to focus on that,” he said. “But because we are only based in L.A., we decided that we were going to call it ‘Heal LA’ in the hopes that we could start a ripple that could spread. … The more I do stuff like this, the more I realize how much of me it is, how big a part of me it is.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, Lesley Messer