Prince Jackson/Instagram Prince, Bigi, Michael and Paris Jackson
During the Thriller Night Halloween Party event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic album and single on Friday evening, the 25-year-old son of the late King of Pop opened up to PEOPLE about how much he misses the presence of his dad in his life after losing him over a decade ago.
“I think about him every day,” Prince told PEOPLE. “There are a lot of complexities in life that I feel parents teach their children [about], so without that, there’s some confusion there. And also, it’s a big legacy to uphold, you know? It would be great if I knew how he would like it to be upheld. So, in that way, I think about him every day.”
Noting that he regularly listens to his dad’s music, Prince — the oldest of Michael’s three kids — added, “So much of his personality, so much of him, is in his music. And what I miss probably the most about him, I was talking to somebody about it, are his hands. He had really strong, really big hands. Firm, but they were gentle. It’s tough to explain.”
The Jackson family has been hosting the Halloween event annually with an aim to raise funds for their charities — the Heal Los Angeles Foundation and the DeeDee Jackson Foundation.
“We have different focuses in our missions, but we’re essentially here to heal the community in whatever way that we can,” Prince told PEOPLE of the non-profits.
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Later in the party, Tucker, 51, and Steve Harvey were honored with the inaugural “Man in The Mirror” Award, which celebrates influential individuals using their platforms for good. (Harvey, 65, was not able to attend due to a scheduling conflict, but sent a video to thank the Jackson family for the recognition.)
This year’s event was also particularly special given that the Jackson family and fans are celebrating 40 years since the release of Michael’s best-selling album of all time Thriller, and the single of the same name.
“It is such an honor,” Prince explained of paying tribute to his dad’s music. “Like, you could feel the electricity in the air. I wasn’t born when Thriller came out, I remember the 25th anniversary, so for me to be here on this platform, able to celebrate my father and his achievements, there’s nothing like it. There’s really nothing like it.”
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Reminiscing about some of his favorite memories of the single and its famous music video, Prince shared, “The first time that I watched it, my dad told me it was real, and then he started to transform. So that was very traumatic, but afterward — when I was able to watch it and not be scared — he would walk me through it, and I got to see the making of ‘Thriller’ from his perspective, you know? And that’s just amazing.”
To honor the 40th year of the iconic song, Prince told PEOPLE that he has set out a new goal he wants to accomplish.
“‘Thriller,’ the single, never made it to #1,” he explained. “So our goal, we’re trying to do the ‘Thriller’ challenge right now, which is between Oct. 28 and I believe Nov. 1st or 2nd.”
He added: “We need to get ‘Thriller’ to No. 1 again, so my dad can break his own record of an artist having a No. 1 single in multiple decades, or something like that. So that would be a fantastic achievement.”