'Mystery singer' at Jackson memorial identified

Judith Hill was to be backup singer for Jackson's next tour

Millions of fans watching the Michael Jackson memorial Tuesday were left wondering who the woman was who delivered a memorable performance as the lead singer on Jackson's "Heal the World."

According to Rolling Stone and various celeb Web sites, the mystery singer was Judith Hill, a California vocalist who was recruited to be a backup singer for Jackson's planned concert tour.

Hill's performance was widely praised as the equal of any of the superstars who performed at the memorial and left viewers Twittering Wednesday about who she was — the handouts at the Staples Center didn't identify her.

According to her official Web site, "Judith was born in Los Angeles and raised in a family of musicians. Her mother is an immigrant from Japan who met her father in a funk band in the 1970s."

She is described as having grown up in a deeply religious household and attended Biola University in Southern California, a Christian college.

The Web site says Hill has performed in Europe with French singer Michel Polnareff.

After returning from France, Hill begin work on her own album and became a crew member on Jackson's massive This Is It! tour, which had been scheduled to begin July 8 in London.