World Music Awards Honor Michael Jackson, Diana Ross


Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and Grammy winner Natalie Cole host the 1996 World Music Awards, honoring the world’s best-selling musical artists, from the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo.

The show can be seen Monday night at 9 on ABC and is produced by Gary L. Pudney.

“Our awards are all based on sales--no juries, no surveys, but by the record-buying public,” Pudney said.


“The rest of the world accounts for 70% of record sales. The United States is only 30%. And we’re proud of the fact that we’re the only music show airing in China and Russia.”

This is the eighth year for the World Music Awards, which is seen in more than 100 countries, but only the fourth year that it’s been on American television. Proceeds from tickets sold for the awards benefit the Princess Grace Foundation.

The awards presentation, taped earlier this month, concludes three days of festivities associated with the World Music Awards and is presented under the patronage of Prince Albert of Monaco, who with his sister Princess Stephanie, is among the presenters.

She presented the award for the world’s best-selling album (“Thriller”) to Michael Jackson, one of five awards he received. He also received awards as best-selling male pop and R&B; artist and offered his new recording, “Earth Song.”

Diana Ross received the Legend Award for her career achievements and performed a medley of her hits. As lead singer of the Supremes, she recorded 14 consecutive No. 1 songs.

Other celebrities included Hootie & the Blowfish, Seal, TLC and Shania Twain. Presenters included Julian Lennon, Naomi Campbell and Tony Bennett, last year’s Legend Award winner.