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Justin Bieber explains Michael Jackon shout-out

Justin Bieber had a great night at Sunday’s American Music Awards. Not only did he perform his inspirational new track, “Pray,” at the big show, but he also walked away with four awards, including Favorite Male Artist, Favorite Album for My World 2.0, Artist of the Year and T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist.

But Bieber’s shout-out to Michael Jackson left some viewers confused: Taking the stage to collect one of his trophies, he said, “Without Michael Jackson, none of us would be here.” When MTV News caught up with the superstar later in the night, he laughed off the somewhat misleading comment.

“You know, I said, ‘Without Michael we wouldn’t have been here,’ but we would be here, but music wouldn’t be the same,” he explained. “I want to clarify that you’d still be born. Michael’s not your dad or anything. You’d still be here. He’s not your father.”

Bieber may be here without Michael Jackson, but he says that he really wouldn’t be here without his fans. “I think that my fans have been such a supporting factor that, I mean, I couldn’t be doing this without them, so this has just been amazing,” he explained. “I owe it all to my fans, my family, my friends.”

Bieber says that his dad is equally impressed by what the 16-year-old has accomplished. “He was just telling me how proud he was. I’m Canadian, so he was like, it’s like when he sees a hockey team score a goal and he jumps out of his seat,” he said. “He’s like, ‘Yes! That’s my boy.’ So it was great.”