Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

A memorable memorial

Posted in Obituaries by Jacob Zinn on July 7, 2009

It was a funeral fit for the King of Pop.

At the public memorial service for Michael Jackson, a select 17,500 people filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles while an estimated worldwide audience of one billion watched at home.

The memorial was broadcast worldwide by CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CBC, as well as many other networks such as MTV and VH1. Before the memorial, CNN showed dozens of satellite trucks parked outside the Staples Center.

A handful of musicians, actors and athletes took the stage to pay their respects, including Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Reverend Al Sharpton.

Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson all performed songs in tribute to Jackson. Partway through the service, a montage of his accomplishments was shown with footage of him performing, accepting awards and clips from his music videos.

It also showed him making newspaper headlines and on the cover of tabloid magazines through the years, a brief reminder of the controversies surrounding his private life.

The Jackson family was on-hand to attend. Brothers Jermaine and Marlon Jackson each spoke at the funeral while fans wept, but it was Michael Jackson’s daughter who gave the most heartfelt speech an 11 year-old should never have to make.

“Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” said Paris Katherine Jackson through tears.

“I love him so much.”

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