The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, received what will likely go down in history as the most powerful and sobering memorial for an entertainer in recent years. Featuring kind and at times lighthearted words about the King of Pop’s life both as an entertainer and humanitarian, Tuesday’s memorial began on a high note with news that Jackson’s body would be brought to the memorial. Originally believed to be out of the question, as was talk of a funeral processional, news broke early Tuesday that the family would indeed travel behind a hearse containing Jackson’s body. From the moment Jackson’s body began to travel through Downtown Los Angeles, bridges, pedestrian overpasses and sidewalks were filled with waving well wishers hoping to catch a glance of the over fifteen vehicle processional. Once inside the Staples Center, where a total of 20,000 people were awaiting the memorial, Smokey Robinson opened with kind words from South African leader Nelson Mandela. Shortly after recording stars Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and later Jermaine Jackson took the stage to pay tribute to the man that essentially redefined music, Michael Jackson. Grammy Award-winning icon Stevie Wonder performed a stellar tribute to Jackson after stating “This is a moment I wished I didnât live to see come.” He later went on to say “We can’t help but love you forever Michael”. But the memorial’s three seemingly unforgettable moments came from Al Sharpton, Usher and Jackson’s daughter Paris. Sharpton, often met with criticsm and controversy, earned a thunderous applause from the audience during a moving speech about Jackson’s life, legacy and effect on culture around the world. Among a series of profound statements, Sharpton shared the words “‘There Was nothing strange about your father. It’s strange what he had to deal with” with Jackson’s children. Usher, clearly shaken by the King of Pop’s death, performed and later walked down and briefly touched Jackson’s casket before breaking down at the end of his tribute. He was consoled immediately by the Jackson family including Janet. While many moments were defining throughout the memorial, the shining moment in most eyes was when Jackson’s daughter Paris took the stage. Sharing the words “Ever since I was born daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine,” Paris held onto her aunt, Janet Jackson. “And I just wanted to say I love him so much,” she continued before being consoled by Janet and exiting the stage. At press time it was not made clear just how many attended, viewed and took part in the memorial however, the event was most certainly the proper way to send off the King of Pop. Motown founder Berry Gordy simply summed up the memorial with the words “He is not just the King of Pop, heâs the biggest entertainer that ever lived.” For video of select performances, including Usher and Jennifer Hudson, click HERE. For reaction from fellow entertainers including Omarion, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams click HERE.
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