July 7th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Jackson Farewell

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/07/michael.jackson.wrap/art.daughter.aeglive.jpg caption= "Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11, said goodbye to her father at the close of the memorial service."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

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."

Tonight on AC360°, we'll bring you some of the key moments of today's memorial service at the Staples Center.  What did you think of the tribute to Jackson? Share your thoughts below.

With an estimated crowd of 20,000 people inside the arena and millions watching around the world, the pop singer's casket was carried in by his brothers, who each wore white sequined gloves as a tribute to Jackson.

Then throughout the nearly three hour service, one by one, singers and speakers paid tribute to the "King of Pop". Jackson's three children sat in the front row at the arena along with other family members.

Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and Jennifer Hudson were among the many who said farewell to Jackson by singing at today's service.

One of the most touching performances was by Michael's brother Jermaine, who sang the song "Smile".

Just before he took the stage actress Brooke Shields, a longtime friend of Michael's, explained why the song holds such special meaning.

"Michael's favorite song was not one of the countless masterpieces that he gave us, but it was a song that Charlie Chaplain wrote for the movie 'Modern Times.' It's called 'Smile.' There is a line in the song... 'Smile, though your heart is aching.' Today, though our hearts are breaking, we need to look up where he is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon and we need to smile," she said.

Another special tribute in words came from the Rev. Al Sharpton, a friend of the Jackson family.

"It is not about mess. It is about his love message" he said. "As you climb up steep mountains, sometimes you scar your knee. Sometimes you break your skin. Don't focus on the scar. Focus on the journey. Michael rose to the top. He outsang and outdanced and outperformed the pessimists. Every time he got knocked down, he got back up. Every time you counted him out, he came back in. Michael never stopped. Michael never stopped, Michael never stopped."

Sharpton didn't stop there.

"Some came today, Mrs. Jackson, to say goodbye to Michael. I came to say thank you. Thank you, because you never stopped. Thank you because you never gave up. Thank you because you never gave out. Thank you because you tore down our divisions. Thank you because you eradicated barriers. Thank you because you gave us hope. Thank you, Michael, thank you, Michael, thank you, Michael," Sharpton said followed by a big applause.

Then towards the end came the all-star versions of "We are the World" and "Heal the World." Both songs were performed by backup singers for Jackson's London "This is It" comeback tour and family members and friends came on stage to sing-along.

We'll show you all these special moments tonight on 360°.

At end of the service, Jackson's casket was taken out of the arena. As for the family's burial plans, we're trying to get those details confirmed tonight. We'll have the latest for you starting at 10pm ET. Hope you can join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Donna

    I woke up this morning feeling so disturbed. I watched highlights of the Memorial to MJ (amazing) and shed several tears. But I can't seem to forget how deep Michael was sinking over the last 10+ years (obvious to me who doesn't know anything about him or his family situation) and how he could be 'allowed' to sink so deeply when he was so loved and had such a big 'loving' family. How could this happen? This man destroyed himself, and in the end was hardly recognizable as that person that was so loved around the world and gave so much to the world. It deeply saddens me and I wonder if there was ever any attempt at intervention? Who was there for him in the end? The guy with the IV drip? It breaks my heart. Near the end of his life I thought he looked like death and now know why. Anderson's physical description of MJ last night has haunted me and is in stark contrast to the wonderful Memorial we witnessed for such an amazing man.

    July 8, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  2. Joanne Pacicca

    This was a beautifully orchestrated tribute. God Bless Michael and his family for sharing the tenderness of the moment and the tragedy of his passing with us.

    July 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  3. Garey

    All Family members was present at Michael Jackson's funeral except Reebie. Where is she?

    July 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  4. winston urquhart

    The impact M.J. has on generations is nothing short of being great. The evidence is there to see.

    July 8, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  5. Mulligan NTALI

    A Tribute to
    Jackson, Micheal Joseph

    Your childhood was fantasy
    Your music, an ecstacy
    Your colour, a mystery
    Your life, a controversy.
    You created records
    You sold records
    You broke records.
    A big voice without
    A small voice within.
    Your face was bad
    Your fans always scream
    Your songs remain a thriller
    Your dance very invincible
    Without any blood on the dance floor
    Eventhough it was dangeorous
    But now you are off the wall
    And will for ever remain history
    Very friendly and loved without
    Adieu Wacko Jacko
    Adieu MJ
    Adieu the Gloved One

    July 8, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  6. Judith

    To the Family of Michael Jackson

    While I mourn the passing of your precious Michael, I feel compelled to say to you....It is my belief, as deeply as this all hurts that Michael was on loan to us all here on earth. He was an Angel often confused by so many for his good deeds, goodwill, love and caring of all, mostly children that drove so many to believe he was the devil in disguise. God sent him down to us to Unite the World, cultures, colour, rich and poor, sick and healthy. Hence his music. I will always believe that Michael was here for that purpose. To not take from the other 4 brothers of the group, think about it....he went on, he aspired, he inspired and was loved. From such a young age he was different. God took him back home when he realized he could no longer allow his Son to endure the pain and ridicule of so many. Michael did what he was sent to do withstanding and pushing through barriers to accomplish God's work. To do this, Michael suffered silently. To those who ridiculed, judged and berated him, shame on you. I was born in the same year as Michael and grew up from day one of his start in the entertainment business. I feel so close to him because of that. Through all his changes, I never, never, never, stopped believing in him, stopped loving him for who he really was (is). I never will....We need more Michaels in this world. His time was too short and I will miss him terribly. Michaels Soul was hurt. It is no wonder he became as he was (is). A soul can only endure so much before God says to his child it is time to come home.

    I love you Michael Jackson as a person, an entertainer,

    RIP always


    July 8, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  7. will

    Michael Jackson, where shall I begin... I've grew up on Hittsville (Motown) Records I loved the Temps, Lil Stevie, Dina, but there was something about the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson... He has touched my soul with lyrics, and my heart with his voice... He was truely a child/man before his time.He was most deffently ahead of the error of music. It finally hit me when I seen his casket, I haven't wittness a Memorial ever in life of that magnitude, it really touched me... He will truely be missed. RIP Micahel Jackson

    July 8, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  8. Jude Loka Dili

    Why is congressman Peter King livid with so much hate even for a dead man? Is character distortion and misinformation endemic to GOP? Meanwhile their governors are either misappropriating public fund or globe-trotting with women who are not their wives.

    July 8, 2009 at 6:01 am |
  9. Cliff John (Lynnwood, WA)

    Rest in peace, Michael !!!


    July 8, 2009 at 5:58 am |
  10. jane

    to ms kathy andover, nothing the Jackson family does is with any sensitivity for MJ or what he would have wanted Clearly he would have NOT wanted his children in the spotlight! And YES Paris should not have been there. She was truly devastated and it was shameless of them to push her to speak up. This spectacle was for the public and for the Jackson"s to re-ignite there failing careers. You wait to see just how long it will be till they run on the road to put on a Tribute show to capitolize on MJ's death..
    they are vultures.. that's why MJ hated them, they all wanted hand outs..
    they have stooped to a new low!! NO TASTE, NO TACT, NO FEELINGS
    cold heartless people!!

    July 8, 2009 at 5:25 am |
  11. jane

    i am truly shocked and disgusted that the Jackson family is so insensitive and disrespectful to Michael Jackson. I am sure he is rolling over in his coffin, not grave because they haven't had the decency to bury the man, due to the fact they paraded his children in the spotlight when he hid them from it. It broke my heart to see his daughter on stage, with a mike shoved in her face and pushed to speak up and talk, when it is plain to see this child is in terrible pain She did not lose a entertainment icon, SHE LOST HER FATHER!!! and she HAS NO MOTHER. She needed to be in the privacy of a loving caring family to tend to her broken heart, not make her part of a media circus.
    What a bunch of monsters!! No wonder Michael distanced himself from his family, they are like vultures!! Even using his children as bait.

    July 8, 2009 at 5:15 am |
  12. Lena

    My sons and I like and loved MICHAEL, for his music dancing and talent. We love you Michael and will miss you dearly, your music will be played and your legend will last for ever.
    Today, I watched the memorial service and I did not know that he did more than whhat the Media would allow us to know. All they spew is OLD Non guilty charges of child molestation info and drug useage. I'm sure some of them are on something themselves but that won't be aired on AC360 . Texas Congress woman Shiela Jackson Lee, gave us great info and details about other Wonderful things Michael did but, the Media Never explained nor told that Story– HUM I wonder why? Its funny how quickly People Judge you , but they forget that they will also be judged. Everything you all do and say about Michael and anyone for that matter you will all have to answer to God , according to the Bible–You know the word of GOD read it lately?
    I pray for Michael family to find Love and peace in their home and hearts. I pray that they will have the privacy they need to properly grieve with out all the Media hoopla. I pray the Media will show more positive things about Michael Jackson, AND HIS MANY OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS BESIDES JUST MUSIC.ELVIS DIDN'T DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS NOW DID HE?

    July 8, 2009 at 5:10 am |
  13. Robin Dyson

    What a Beautiful Memorial it was Thank You to the family for sharing Michael Life and Death. I like to also like to state Thanks for the beautiful Music, Dance and sharing of your life Michael with me and many many others around the World. You will be for ever remembered in my heart!
    Their should be exceptions to the rules and laws in some extraordinary cases as this Death of a Legend such as Michael. Let him be at rest and be at Peace at his Neverland Ranch. He deserves his resting place where he was most comfortable and safe until it was raided and tainted by the Police. Let him have his Sanctuary back!

    July 8, 2009 at 4:53 am |
  14. Kayci

    I Watched The Whole Michael Jackson Memorial Service I Cried In A Lot Of The Speeches But To My Heart I Was Happy That They Had The Public Memorial For Michael As Everyone Knows He Was Loved By His Family And Friends And His Kids And His Million Of Fans No One Will Ever Forget The King Of Pop And No One Ever Will Be Able To Forget His Smile His Laugh Or His Music!!!!!

    R.I.P Michael Jackson

    July 8, 2009 at 4:48 am |
  15. Jes

    Mr. Al S. said he was the movement in to blacks in pop, in rock, down to Obama for president. Then why in the heck was he trying to be white. why not reconigze the true black heros in this time and explain all the weird things and unexcveptable things he did. He might be the king of pop, but is he really a true hero for all our white/black young males to look up to. Is that who we wan't in our society?

    July 8, 2009 at 4:26 am |
  16. Brit from portland,ore

    We all love you MJ. You have a beautiful heart that is full of love for everyone. You will be greaatly missed. May God watch over your children and keep them safe. You are the Greatest Entertainer that ever has walked the face fo this earth. God Bless You!! We love y

    July 8, 2009 at 4:14 am |
  17. Brit from portland,ore

    We all love you MJ. You have a beautiful heart that is full of love for everyone. You will be greaatly missed. May God watch over your children and keep them safe. You are the Greatest Entertainer that ever has walked the face fo this earth. God Bless You!! We love you!

    July 8, 2009 at 4:11 am |
  18. PamM

    Need more on the amazing kid from Britain! No replay of his performance. He was amazing! I want more.

    Also, who was the Asian woman and the man in the hat and glasses (Elvis Costello look-alike)? Both need credit.

    MJ would have wanted us to know.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:54 am |
  19. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hi Maureen, Anderson, Soledad and Don.
    I like to say thank your for coverage Live Memorial of Michael Jackson last night, it was really beautiful service, including Jackson families, I had work last night I took taped video to watch. I know he's up the heaven right now. My heart goes to the Jackson families, My thoughts and prayers with his children. That was my favorite " The Thriller" he was dancing so awesome on moonwalk! I will miss him so much, Rest in Peace. Thanks Anderson!!!

    July 8, 2009 at 3:47 am |
  20. Coo

    The service for MJ was beautiful. I showed he was more then the King of Pop or the World's Greatest Entertainer, he was a VERY generous humanitarian, he was a loving father, son, brother, and friend to many, many people. He influenced our culture in many positive ways, especially for African Americans. In the late 1960's when our country was so painfully divided by racism, riots and human rights issues–young Michael came into the picture and help many see beyond the color of skin. He touch our soul with his Godly gifts. And made a positive difference in more peoples lives then we'll ever know.

    It's heartbreaking to think his death may have been caused by greedy, star struck, medical professionals whom allegedly took hippocratic oaths to "above else do no harm." To those that blame MJ for being an addict–his abusive childhood and the isolation of stardom predisposed him. Remember every time he asked for drugs he was in fact asking for help, the medical professionals erred by giving him drugs instead of getting him into rehab. I hope they are criminally prosecuted AND his family sues them all for malpractice!

    There are a lot of people spewing hate at this man because the media tried to destroy him. Remember innocent until proven guilty–which he never found guilty. And it's not his fault that the media is only focused on him at this point in time. So, stop disgracing MJ because the TV producers are obsessed.

    Perhaps, it's another lesson we can learn from his passing–how lopsided the media can be, so make sure you don't based all your thoughts, beliefs and judgements of others strictly on what you see on tabloid TV and start doing some thinking on your own. Thank you God for MJ.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:47 am |
  21. Aarati (from Antigua)

    oh and for the record he IS the greatest entertainer of all time, the numbers and the broken records prove it 🙂

    July 8, 2009 at 3:23 am |
  22. Daniela

    Thank you Jackson family for sharing the beautiful memorial service with the entire world today. From my living room I cried and prayed and sang along with you and everybody who watched it. There was so much love.
    God bless and protect his beautiful children.
    Michael is in peace now. His art and his lessons will forever be with us. Michael was a beautiful gift to humanity.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:20 am |
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