The 29-year-old actress opened up to ET’s Kevin Frazier at the Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration on Wednesday, where she revealed she met Michael Jackson more than a decade ago while on tour with the cast of High School Musical.
"I remember meeting Michael because of Kenny [Ortega] here in Vegas because of the High School Musical tour. It’s crazy that we’re all here again celebrating Michael,” Hudgens tells ET, referencing High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who also directed Jackson’s documentary, This Is It.
Hudgens described the meeting as “kind of crazy,” noting, "He’s just the ultimate icon and rebel in a way. It was just really inspiring. He’ll always be loved like that.”
Hudgens, who attended the event in a sparkly black, long-sleeved romper by Galia Lahav, also opened up about the late singer's kids, Paris and Prince Michael Jackson, who were also at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas to honor their father on what would have been his 60th birthday.
"It’s so special, like their dad was the ultimate icon, I keep saying this, but he really was,” she said. "He paved the way for so many artists and will 'till the end of time because he is such a special and unique individual. I think everyone here is keeping him alive.”
Paris, 20, and Prince, 21, also spoke to ET about their father’s legacy, with Prince saying, “He did so much for the music industry, but I think he put emphasis and importance on the charitable contributions to humanity that he really used his platform to [support].”
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. He was 50.
Here's more of ET's exclusive interview with the King of Pop's kids: