As birthday presents go, a personal shout-out from Justin Timberlake and 25,000 strangers is pretty hard to beat. Julian Delan got the gift of a lifetime on Monday, Aug. 11, when his parents took him to see Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience tour in San Jose, Calif., for his 8th birthday. Julian, who has a form of autism, is a big JT fan, and tried repeatedly during the show to get the “Mirrors” singer’s attention. Finally, with the help of some friendly fellow concertgoers, Julian got his wish, and then some.
Julian’s mom, Marika Rosenthal Delan, blogged about the incredible moment for The Manifest-Station. In her post, she admitted she had reservations at first about taking her son to the show, and that she worried both about how he would act, and about how others would react to him. Her concerns, it turned out, were for nothing.
In fact, the people around the Delan family joined forces to get the little boy noticed. “And then before we knew what was happening, the group in front of us that had turned out to be so incredibly kind all night to our birthday boy, and these gorgeous girls [next to us] who I was convinced would be totally annoyed by Julian, had captured Justin’s attention,” Marika wrote. “And then it happened. Justin Timberlake was singing Happy Birthday. They all were.”
Video of the touching moment — given to Julian’s family by some nearby fans and posted to dad Peter Delan‘s YouTube account — shows Timberlake joking around with the family from onstage, and then making a special dedication. “You know what, Julian?” he said. “This is for you.”
Marika was moved to tears by the gesture. “Everyone was embracing our boy in the way I was so afraid they wouldn’t,” she blogged. “Here we stood while thousands of people lifted him in song to celebrate the day he came into the world 8 years ago.”
Read Marika Delan’s full post about the experience here, and watch the video above!