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Jul 7, 2009

Michael Jackson’s Memorial

Michael Jackson’s memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles drew a huge crowd. See below for photos of Jackson’s memorial as well as videos of celebrity performers at his service.

The Michael Jackson memorial began with Smokey Robinson reading a letter from Diana Ross to the Jackson Family stating that she’s saddened by the loss of her friend and unfortunately won’t be able to make it to the memorial. She also revealed her willingness to take care of Michael’s kids if needed.
Robinson also read a letter from Nelson Mandela.

There were reportedly 20,000 people in attendance for Michael’s memorial service.

A choir begins singing as Michael Jackson’s casket was brought into the auditorium and placed among the flowers.

The pastor delivers his speech in which he calls Michael a hero, idol and king. He also calls him a friend, a brother, a son and a father.

Mariah Carey takes to the stage and sings one of Michael Jackson’s songs ‘I’ll be there’.
As she sings, she’s joined by Trey Lorenz, and photos of Michael are displayed on a huge banner behind her.

Queen Latifah talks about her MJ memories. She calls Michael ‘the biggest star on earth’.
She gives a beautiful poem-like speech about the beauty of Michael and his art.

Then Lionel Richie takes to the stage to sing ‘Jesus is Love’ with a choir backing him up.

Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, takes to the podium to give us his own portrait of MJ. He says that from the moment he met him that he was ’special’. He even says ‘Michael inspired him many times’.
Gordy says the ‘off stage, Michael was shy and childlike, but on stage he was awesome and totally in charge’. He also goes on to say: ‘King of Pop is not big enough for him, he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived’.

Then Steve Wonder takes to the stage and says that ‘this is a moment that he wished that he didn’t live to see come’.Steve performed ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer’ from his 1971 album ‘Where I’m Coming From’.

Now, Basket Ball stars Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson take to the podium.
They revealed that MJ broke the record for ‘Most charities supported by a pop star’.

A very pregnant Jennifer Hudson performs Michael’s ‘Will you be there’.

Rev. Al Sharpton is on stage now and he’ll sure be giving a lasting and touching speech. It was different world when Michael started, but he broke down the race barrier, because MJ kept dreaming, hoping and going, it’s not strange to see Oprah on TV and Tiger Woods play Golf! Michael never stopped!
He also addressed the children of Michael and said: ‘there’s nothing strange about your daddy, but it was strange what he had to deal with’. He ended his speech with ‘Thank You Michael!’

John Mayer plays his guitar and performs ‘Human Nature’.

Actress Brooke Shields speaks about her very close friend Michael Jackson. She met MJ when she was 13 and she says that they had a bond and their ‘friendship was very easy and natural’. When they were together, they were just ‘two little kids having fun’. She says that Michael ‘loved to laugh’.
Brooke then read a passage from ‘The Prince’. She revealed that MJ’s favorite song was one by Charlie Chaplin called ‘Smile’.

Jermaine Jackson takes to the stage to sing ‘Smile’.
It’s heart-breaking to see him tear up and hear his voice break as he sings …

Now the children of Martin Luther King -Bernice and Martin Luther King III- deliver a speech as well.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a congresswoman from Texas takes to the stage to emphasize ‘that people are innocent until proven guilty’! She also calls MJ a ‘Good Samaritan’. He never stopped giving.
She also calls MJ as an American legend, a music icon and a world humanitarian.

Usher takes to the mic to perform Michael’s song ‘Gone too soon’ … Usher even walks down the stage and walks over to the casket among the flowers. MJ’s gone too soon …

Smokey Robinson is on stage again to speak about MJ. He talks about meeting that little kid Michael Jackson and admits that MJ sang one of his own songs, ‘Who’s loving you?’, better! He was astonished that a kid that young, 10 years old, had so much feeling.

BGT sensation, 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi is on stage now and performs ‘Who’s loving you?’.

Kenny Ortega speaks now, especially about MJ comeback, which was scheduled for London.
And he presents a group of performers who perform ‘We Are The World’.
Janet Jackson, his brothers and even his three kids get up on stage as well to join in.
Lionel Richie and Usher and Brooke Shields and Rev. Al Sharpton and many other celebrities also join in.
Children from all races and ages come on stage, hand in hand and every one sings ‘Heal the world’.

Lights dim out in the auditorium and a huge photo of Michael Jackson behind a directors camera is displayed.

Jermaine thanks everyone on behalf of the Jackson family. Another one of his brothers, Marlon, also speaks, remembering his own MJ moments.His daughter, Paris, also tries to speak also but breaks down in tears and says ‘Daddy has been the best father ever. I love you daddy’.

The brothers then take Michael’s casket and wheel it away out of the auditorium …
Good Bye Michael … You’ll live on forever in our hearts through your music.

A Pastor closes the memorial with a prayer.

Michael Jackson’s Private Memorial Service

Prior to the upcoming public memorial service for Michael Jackson scheduled for later today at the Staples Center, close friends and family members gathered at Forest Lawn Memorial Park yesterday (July 6) to say goodbye to the late entertainer.

Siblings Randy and LaToya Jackson showed up around 7pm last night to pay their respects to their fallen brother, both looking stoic and emotionless.

It is believed that there may be a private funeral for Jackson this morning (July 7), giving the family a chance to say goodbye before the day’s festivities.

Singers Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Usher, and Jennifer Hudson are all scheduled to pay tribute to the “Beat It” hitmaker later today.

Stars Gather for Michael Jackson Memorial

The entertainment world was rocked when Michael Jackson passed away almost two weeks ago. And earlier today, celebrities and fans gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in memory of the late singer.

Always very vocal about the King of Pop’s influence on him, Usher arrived at the venue dressed in a black sweater/white shirt/black tie/black trousers combo to perform for the massive crowd.

Also in the house was “American Idol” songbird Jennifer Hudson, who was scheduled to give a performance as well.

In addition, longtime friends Brooke Shields and Ervin ‘Magic’ Johnson were in the house to pay their respects to Jackson, both dressed in black.

Michael Jackson’s Private Funeral Gets Underway

As expected, this morning (July 7) a private funeral for Michael Jackson was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

At 8:00am a number of Rolls Royce cars and Cadillac Escalade SUVs arrived from the Jackson’s Encino, California compound, carrying close family and friends.

Trying to get a shot of the grieving family, news helicopters hovered overhead as they guests made their way inside to say goodbye to the late singer.

As for the rest of the world, there will be a massive public memorial service later on today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, featuring performances by John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, and Usher