Court Recording: Michael Jackson Dreamed of Building a Children’s Hospital

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Reuters

“I loved them because I didn’t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain.” A recording of Michael Jackson, sounding weak and drugged just six weeks before his death, was revealed to jurors during the involuntary manslaughter trial of the singer’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, on Wednesday.

The four-minute recording of Jackson speaking with Murray was found on the doctor’s iPhone by Stephen Marx, a forensic computer examiner, and was recorded on May 10, 2009. Jackson’s voice was reportedly “barely intelligible” and a transcript of the conversation was shown while the recording played.

(MORE: Jurors Shown Jackson’s Promise, Pain)

Jackson is heard telling Murray of his big plans for his comeback concerts in London and his desire to use the money generated from the tour to create “Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,” a hospital that would be “the biggest in the world.” He’s heard promising game rooms and movie theaters in his hospital, saying children are sick because they’re depressed, calling them his “angels.”

The singer sounded hell-bent on creating the best show possible, telling Murray, “Elvis didn’t do it. Beatles didn’t do it. We have to be phenomenal. When people leave my show, I want them to say, ‘We have never seen nothing like this in my life. Go.”

“I’m going to do it for them. That will be remembered more than my performances,” he says. Going on to say he relates to sick children in that he felt he, too, was robbed of a childhood, he says, “I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it. ‘Heal the World,’ ‘We Are the World,’ ‘Will You Be There,’ ‘The Lost Children’— these are songs I’ve written because I hurt, you know, I hurt.”

After a long 13 seconds of silence, Murray asks, “You OK?” Another eight seconds go by before Jackson responds, “I am asleep.”

Murray maintains his innocence and says Jackson self-administered the fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol and sedatives. The recording, however, seems to be helping the case of the prosecutors who claim that Murray was aware of the severity of Jackson’s condition, and was warned by his manager about needing to closely monitor Jackson’s health just five days before the death. If convicted, Murray is looking at four years of prison time.

MORE: Crying Kids and CPR: 5 Standout Details from Conrad Murray’s Trial

Aylin Zafar is a contributor to TIME. Find her on Twitter at @azafar. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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