Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson - Memorial Service - Speeches and Songs

750 million viewers watched Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding, 400 million watched the Live Aid concert. But an estimation of more than one billion people watched Michael Jackson's Memorial Service yesterday (Tuesday) in Los Angeles.

About 20,000 people were present in the Staples Center in LA to attend the memorial service for Michael Jackson, to pay their last respects to the greatest entertainer of this era. People were there to celebrate MJ's life and the legacy he left behind.

People who assisted the Michael Jackson Memorial service such as Usher, Chris Brown and the Kardashians received a Program booklet that contains pictures of the King of Pop along with quotes from family and friends. I wonder if more will be printed for sale. It certainly is a collector's item for fans of MJ.

At the memorial service, friends and family paid tribute either with a speech or a song of one of Michael's hits. Mariah Carey sang I'll Be There joined by Trey Lorenz, Usher sang Gone Too Soon. Others who performed included Lionel Ritchie and Stevie Wonder. Jermaine Jackson, one of Michael's brothers, sang MJ's favourite song, Smile, written by Charlie Chaplin for Modern Times.

Queen Latifa gave a speech tribute and a poem while Brooke Shields told of her friendship with Michael. Kobe Bryant, the NBA star, highlighted that MJ made history (as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records) as the entertainer who made contributions to the most number of charities. Perhaps the most moving of all the tributes is the speech his (MJ's) own daughter made.

Here in Malaysia, besides being able to watch it live on the Internet, people with cable tv had the chance to catch it on CNN and E! Entertainment channels. Even Channel 8 (free network) carried it live so you can expect many people here stayed up late watching the memorial service from 11-nish right up to around 4am in the morning. I was one of them and I had both the tv and the Internet on at the same time, and with Kleenex in hand.

As anticipated, there are lots of reports, videos and photo galleries of the memorial service this morning. Fans, friends and family paid tribute to the King of Pop. The tribute that will be remembered for years to come is the one from Michael's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. For more details, you may want to read the following articles.

Evening Buzz: Jackson Farewell - AC360

There were a lot of tears at Michael Jackson’s memorial service in Los Angeles. Perhaps the most emotional moment came when Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter stepped up to the microphone to talk to the crowd. Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, the second of Jackson’s three children, was surrounded by her grandmother, aunts and uncles and two brothers as she spoke near the end of the service.

“Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine”, Paris said sobbing. “And I just want to say I love him so much.”

At Jackson Memorial, Music and Mourning - New York Times

Thousands of fans — selected by lottery from the 1.6 million who applied for seats — came dressed on Tuesday in variations of Michael Jackson’s famed costumes over the years, but mostly in black. They cried, swayed, laughed and gawked in a memorial service that was religious pageant meets awards show.

Daughter Paris Pays Tearful Tribute to Michael Jackson - US Magazine

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris, 11, paid tribute to her father at the end of the singer's memorial Tuesday at L.A.'s Staples Center.

Fighting back tears, she approached the microphone with the help of Janet Jackson (who told her gently to "speak up").

"Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," she said.

Before leaving the stage, she added: "I just wanted to say I love him so much."

One Last Big (Yet Moving) Show for Michael - Time Magazine

The coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial began early on cable news this morning, with nonstop helicopter video footage from a "private" ceremony for Jackson's family, while commentators vamped for time and guessed at what was going on behind closed doors.

It was symbolically fitting: Jackson, after all, spent most of his life in the public eye while his private life remained mostly a mystery. Fitting too, that his farewell ceremony should be a gaudy public spectacle—with Jackson himself onstage, in a flower-shrouded golden coffin—since he seemed most comfortable engaging the world through spectacle.

Spectacle, though it was, though, the Staples Center memorial ended up being more tasteful, moving and apt than the week and a half's media circus that led up to it.

Of course, some skeptics are saying that MJ faked his death. Perhaps some fans are wishing that he is still alive but the fact remains that Michael Jackson is dead, died at age 50 at 2:26pm on June 25 2009 . Gone too soon, indeed! A death certificate would put to rest any doubt or speculation about his death and confirm that we shall never see Michael Jackson moonwalk again.

However, there is still no indication from the family as to where Michael Jackson's body will be buried. Will it be at Neverland where they have just obtained a permit or will it be at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills where other celebrities lay in rest.

Tell me, in your opinion which do you think is a more fitting burial ground for a King of Pop?



  1. Anonymous2:50 PM

    I missed it on tv. Are they showing it tonight?

  2. Mei Teng, CNN mentioned about it being repeated but not sure of the timing. However, shots of it are still being shown. You may also want to check out YouTube for segments.

  3. I'm watching it again on 8tv now! Haha! Maybe it's not right for me to say this, but I love it! I enjoyed the performances and the speeches!!

    I didn't watch till 4am yesterday, cos need to go to work next day! So I missed the part where MJ's daughter Paris gave her touching speech. But caught it on YouTube and going to watch it again now : )

  4. I like Usher's performance of "Gone Too Soon" - very touching. When he wept after he ended his song, I felt like crying too!

    I enjoyed listening to Brooke Shield's sharing her personal experiences with MJ. She did a great job! : )

    Btw, I think it's more fitting to bury MJ in Neverland.

  5. Anonymous11:17 AM

    I managed to watch the re-run on tv last night.

    I must say that mysterious singer named Judith Hill caught my attention with her good vocals.

  6. Foong, I agree that the memorial service was enjoyable though sombre. This must be a first such event with a body in a casket in attendance. For a change, MJ was able to watch a full concert in his honour and listen to his own songs sung by his friends. What a blast! Wonder if he thought the same. haha..

    MJ had been a great inspiration to Usher. Noticed he was the only one who went down and touched the casket? So sad.

    Yeah, Brooke's speech was funny in parts. Her speech revealed the human side of MJ that we would not have known. Magic Johnson did the same.

    I'm with you about Neverland being his resting place. If so, Graceland would have company, sort of. If that happens, more jobs would be generated - tour companies will need updates to their guide-books and itineraries. Printers would be busy and a host of other ripples to follow. And we would have a new attraction to visit when we go to California. Eh?

  7. Mei Teng, good that you managed to catch the repeat.

    Judith Hill was, until yesterday, a complete unknown. Now the world knows her. She is half-black and half-Japanese and whose parents met in a funk band in the '70s, and was scheduled to be one of Michael's backup singers during his shows in London.

  8. Oh, yes! Definitely Neverland will be THE place to visit! But I just read in papers today La Toya said MJ would not be buried in Neverland.

  9. Yeah, I read about that too. I guess, it's really up to MJ's wishes and the family's.