Jay-Z performs at Dodgers stadium in Phoenix, AZ

Rapper Jay-Z took the stage Thursday night (Jul 2) at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, AZ to kick off his 5-city tour in support of his upcoming Blueprint 3 album, set for release this September. According to a review of the show, the NY native paid his respects to the late Michael Jackson at one point during his 90-minute set:

“Put your hands up for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson,” he said, as the video screens flashed images of the dead superstar in his early days with the Jackson 5 and the group’s hit “I Want You Back” was heard.

“I believe if we let him know how much we loved him while was he here, he’d still be here,” Jay-Z said of Jackson, who died at 50 on Thursday, June 25, in Los Angeles.

Jay-Z performs at Dodgers stadium in Phoenix, AZ Jay-Z performs at Dodgers stadium in Phoenix, AZ

Jay-Z performs at Dodgers stadium in Phoenix, AZ

PHOTOS: WENN