Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial – What a Show

When news of one of the most talked about entertainers passed away, the media buzz over shadowed the true sadness of the moment – a person’s death.

But maybe that was made up for during the star studded memorial to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 07:  Musician Smokey Ro...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Estimates of over a billion people (one fifth of the world’s population) watching from living rooms, workplaces, and big open public spaces such as New York’s Time’s Square witnessed quite a show, to say goodbye in tribute of one of the world’s greatest entertainers.

Thousands stopped along highways and roadways along the route from the family’s private ceremony to the Staples Center, where the tribute ceremony was to take place. Police officers blocking traffic, saluted the long motorcade, as Michael Jackson’s casket made the 18-minute road trip.

Opening with a Smokey Robinson, reading a handful of tributes from Dian

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 07:  Musician Smokey Ro...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

na Ross and Elizabeth Taylor, the 10,000 lucky people that managed to get armbands to get into the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, the show appeared to have what many live shows have, a technical glitch. After Robinson’s opening, there was nothing but the quiet hum of an audience in the dark; literally, as a whole 15-minutes passed before anything happened.

Brought out like a true king, Michael Jackson’s gold encrusted coffin was brought out by an honor guard composed of his brothers, all wearing his trademark dark sunglasses, and one sequined white glove, as a hymn was sung by a church chorus up on stage.

Famous face after famous face appeared on stage, either singing Michael Jackson songs, or speaking their tributes to the global audience. Many of these famous people, breaking down and actually crying, as they paid their final respects.

Brooke Shields was almost in tears for most of her speech, eventually letting go as she wrapped up her dedication to a dear friend, she said she had known since the age of 13.

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson via last.fm

Michael Jackson’s brother, Jermaine did break down after singing his tribute, when he went off stage and warmly hugged his brothers, who were equally as taken back by the whole affair.

Singer Usher stumbled through the middle of his song, almost crying, but managed to complete his performance.

Stevie Wonder received a long and loud roar of applause, as he was led up to the stage. He gave a brief statement about how he missed his brother and his friend, and then sang a moving tribute for his fallen friend.

The 10,000 people at the Staples Center and possibly billions worldwide, stood up, to sing as one, as the memorial concluded to a group singing of We Are The World, which Michael Jackson co-wrote with Lionel Ritchie back in the 1980’s to raise millions for famine relief in Africa.

Brother Marlon Jackson retold a story about him and his brother Michael shopping for records when they were kids, saying he was the voice of our angelic trumpets, and that he loves him and missed him, and said that Michael had finished his work on Earth, and now the Lord had called him to work with him.

“I thank you Michael, for all that you have done . . . I have one last request, I want you to give our brother, our twin brother Brandon, a hug for me.”

One of the King of Pop’s own children, Katherine Paris Jackson, tearfully told the crowd: “Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. I just want to say I love him so much," reminding us all, that although Michael Jackson will be remembered for his music genius, his constantly changing image, and all the media hype, underneath it all, he was just a man, with a family, and friends, just like us all.

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