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Michael Jackson's memorial service: An event to remember

By: By: Raymond Ronamai
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All roads in Los Angeles led to the Staples Centre yesterday. Perhaps the largest media event the world has ever witnessed, the memorial service of Michael Jackson was spectacular, emotional and unbelievable. The King of Pop was given a king's farewell with many popular personalities coming together to pay their last tribute. Former South African President Nelson Mandela and singer Diana Ross sent their condolences to the Jackson family.

It was an event to remember, a celebration of Michael Jackson's life. Hearts melted as the mortal remains of the singer was carried to the stage in a $25,000 bronze casket covered with flowers. Mariah Carey started the memorial service with the song “I'll Be There", which she sung along with Trey Lorenz. Many big names in the world of music like Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Usher performed at the event.

Paying his tribute to Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie sang the song “Jesus is Love". “We need Michael here with us", said Stevie Wonder before singing the song “Never Dreamed You'd Leave". Jennifer Hudson sang “I'll Be There" and John Mayer played music to the song “Human Nature". Usher sang “Gone Too Soon" and Shaheen Jafargholi, the 12-year-old finalist of Britain's Got Talent, performed “Who's Loving You".

Many big personalities like singer and actor Queen Latifah, Motown record label founder Berry Gordy, Rev. Ai Sharpton, actor Brooke Shields, Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, singer Smokey Robinson, Director of Michael's tours Kenny Ortega and basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson spoke at the event and paid tribute to the King of Pop. The audience stood up and remained so for a few moment when Berry Gordy said 'Michael is the greatest entertainer ever lived'.

A video of Michael Jackson performing as a kid was flashed on the big screens, making the audience go nostalgic. Giving a family touch to the event, Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson sang the song “Smile". 'Smile even though your heart is aching, even though it's breaking....' went the lyrics of the song.

As the memorial service was about to conclude, Jackson family and dignitaries sang two of Michael Jackson's most popular numbers “We are the World" and “Heal the World" on stage together. Emotionally choked Marlon Jackson shared his cherishing memories with his brother and Jermaine Jackson thanked the audience and fans. Michael's daughter Paris Jackson broke down on stage as she said 'Daddy is the best'.

Michael Jackson's parents Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson and Katherine Esther Scruse, his children Prince Michael Jackson I, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II, and his brothers and sisters attended the memorial service. Thousand of fans from all over the world, out of which 17,500 were allotted tickets through online ballot, paid tribute to the King of Pop.

The 50-year-old singer, who died of suspected cardiac arrest on June 25, would be laid to rest at a private funeral ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.

May his soul rest in peace!

Michael Jackson's memorial service
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