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. JimCast

    For those people blogged here and criticized MJ and his daughter Paris, shame on you guys! You have no respect for people who are grieving! I hope all the negativity out there be out to stop. Let MJ rest in peace.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  2. Bill

    Thanks for a very sincere and very classy Memorial.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Austin Amadioha

    Sweet God, this broke my heart. Watching and listening to that little girl breakdown – guess Michael was human after all. This is very sad. God bless and protect those poor kids

    July 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  4. Benigna Marko

    Such a beautiful tribute to a man the shared so much love with all through his songs, and soft spoken interviews. MJ will never ever be duplicated and will never ever b forgotten. Michael's music will live in our hearts and head for all the years to come. As time passes, we will all remember growing up with the most amazing artist, performer, of anyone's life time. Michael Jackson looked so amazing in the videos of June 23, it seems surreal he i s gone. Michael Jackson is the greatest of all time.
    Benigna Marko

    July 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  5. Bonnie

    Such a sad day for family, friends, and fans of Michael Jacksons.
    Heart breaking moments as Michaels young daughter broke down as she tried so sweetly to convey her love and how much she missed her daddy. I could not stop the tears, my heart ached.
    He was much too young and far too talented to leave this world. He definitely left us with fantastic music, dance steps, songs that he had written, and a kind heart.

    It was a beautifully put together memorial. He must be looking down from heaven with Fred Astaire by his side and smiling, singing....and doing the old soft shoe.
    We will miss him always.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  6. Riki

    As Stevie Wonder said, "God wanted Micheal more than us."
    I feel that it is very true. Micheal Jackson's music really touched our hearts. He is a wonderful person with a passion for music.
    Micheal Jackson will be missed.


    July 7, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  7. Joanne Osinkowski Ontario Canada

    If the world ever doubted what kind of father M.J. was well after todays memorial and seeing the pain of his loss and how much his children loved him the doubts are put to rest. Micheal Jackson loved the children the way Jesus loves us all . Until we meet again in Gods new world sleep well Michael.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  8. Maggie

    Itunes prediction: Germaine's rendition of "Smile" will be one of the top downloads. Brought tears to this jaded spirit. Thank you Germaine.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  9. Anthony Manzano

    Anderson, the day was amazing, I had a very special perspective of the event as I briefly metioned to the CNN field reporter Paul outside. I was downstairs back stage all day and could feel the sensitivity of the moment. I can tell you about everything from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu, including just about all things happening back stage. I would like to give more details but feel I still may disclose many high security measures. The DAY was Beautiful........


    July 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  10. Alice NYC

    The most touching moment was Jermaine singing to his brother, i didn't think i would be watching the memorial, but when they started showing the family getting into the cars to go to the cemetary, it really hit me and I got a litte emotional and I had to sit a watch the rest.

    It was done with taste and I think Michael Jackson would have approved and would have been proud of his family and his wonderful children, When Paris spoke about her dad I fell apart. I was happy to see how genuinely close the children are to their aunts and uncles.

    God Bless them and I hope the Jackson Family can keep those children with them.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm |
  11. elaine

    it is noones business who's dna is in the children,,, noone's but theirs

    how disgusting it is for any or all of us to talk about it in the media...

    degrading the most basic humanity of a little child... cnn I hope you dont continue to talk about baby mommas

    July 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  12. Monique

    This memorial was extremely touching. I like many around the world balled my eyes out while watching the services. All I can think about is the impact you've had on my parents generation. You're precious music will continue to live on along with the influences that you have embedded within each of us. My heart and prayers go out to the Jackson family, especially to his children.

    Rest well and in Peace MJ.
    We love you!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  13. Jay Das

    What a sombre, respectful and uplifting day – when we consider ourselves as the 'citizens of the world' looking for love and peace all over our neighbor-hood that we call 'mother earth'.

    And I and my family – in our humble way – thank this opportunity to the Jackson family for sharing their beloved one with us. We love you Michael. We pray for you and may you RIP.

    Now... my question for that political leader(?) from NY... who said negativity about him .... Sir... what did you acieve in your life? How many people besides your family do you think will mourne your death?

    Please think beyond politics... as the politician think! Think as a human being and you will do good in life.

    Life is about giving and forgiving and celebrating about the goodness in us!

    We need to appologize for waht you said... and for rest of your life need to devote yourself for the service of the people... and not seek vote!!!!

    God bless all of us.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  14. Anne

    In five days the media has spent much more time covering Jackson’s death than the passing of a President. He’s always been a sensationalistic person and I’m sure ratings — and therefore advertising — soared. Yes, it was a great performer and musician, most notably Thriller, which I love.

    However, I don’t understand why a child molester deserves so much love. Ok, if he’s charged once, perhaps he isn’t. But this has been surfacing for years! And he's singing with the Heavenly choir?

    Michael Jackson is dead because of drugs and his screwed up life. His days as an extraordinary musician are decades in the past. I feel sorry for his family and especially his children. But even more my heart goes out to the children who were his victims.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  15. Eddie

    could you please stop playing MJ's doughters goody again and again on TV you insensetive morons, CNN just doesnt get that there is something called a over kill to play the money shot again and again and again. oh i forgot you would never read or post this remark because IT IS THE TRUTH. how low can you go CNN

    July 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm |

    if he had done all that was told ,he would have gone to jail and he would not have had his own kids and lets think about the parents of the kids they said he did things to, no real parent would take money as a hush hush and walk away if someone touched my kids i would be out for blood not a big pay day so i feel like this his fame and his money made him a target for any one who needed a pay out so ya know what i do feel he is in heaven and that is where he should be he was put through so much in life let the man rest let his family mourn.the only thing i see that was wrong with him was maybe he was trying to forget a father who he could never please or have a child hood that was taken away from him YOU may have the same problems except you may cut your self ,you may drink do drugs what ever you need to cope except unlike him your life was not played out on tv and news papers for all the world to see so people need to lay off . his kids did not see him as the king of pop just as daddy .

    July 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  17. Brian

    Love Michaels music. Sad that he is gone.But now enough.What is in the water over there.Way too much. GET ON WITH THE NEWS.


    London Ontario

    July 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  18. Christine

    A very sad, personal message about Michael Jackson from his daughter. I pray to God that his children will be let alone, this moment won't be exploited. Let the family grieve and have some peace.

    May God bless his soul and let him be in peace with Him.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  19. SpicaSeven

    CNN where can we get copies of the Memorial Service? Please. Thx!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  20. alexis

    I had to leave home toward the end of the service. but continued to listen to it on the radio..and when i heard Paris voice and what she said i couldnt hardly see the road i cried so much..i love you micheal jackson forever..

    July 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  21. sherry rodriquez

    Finally, the people in his life talk about who he really is. Why didn't they stand up for him before? It could have been so different. His daughter Paris showed all of us what a wonderful girl she was..because she had a wonderful father that loved her.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  22. Sharon Harris

    Email to Peter King 7/7/09:

    Congressman Peter King

    First of all, I will preface this email by acknowledging that you will probably not even read this although I unfortunately had the misfortune of seeing your rant on the news about Michael Jackson. That in my opinion was a waste of media time and resources. You are an absolute idiot and I am embarrassed by the fact that you represent my home state. Not to mention as a representative of the United States and supposedly upholding the Constitution and Laws of this land would outright and blatantly accuse Michael Jackson of being a pedophile, pervert etc... when you are supposedly innocent until found guilty, not with standing the fact that he was found innocent by a jury of his piers. I hope you never find yourself in the position that someone has made a false claim about you and your left defending your honor and integrity. This entire world is grieving the loss of the greatest entertainer in the world and the world has spoken and drowned out your foolish hateful words. You can only dream to be the humanitarian that Michael Jackson was and will continue to be. He has fed the hungry, housed the poor and made a world smile with him. He's dedicated his life to fund and find a cures for deceases that may one day afflict you God forbid. He has shown love, thankfulness and given encouragement to the men and woman fighting a war that a misguided administration has put them in the middle of. If anyone should be ashamed it should be you and your colleagues. It has been said "heavy is the head that wears the crown", it is because of the ignorance of people like you that oppression exists.

    Cc: CNN- Thank you for your coverage! Long Live The King!!!


    July 7, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  23. Tina Arige

    I loved the Memorial Service and I thank the Jackson family for allowing the world to be a part of the Homegoing Celebration for Michael Jackson. I agree with the majority of the comments written about Paris Katherine statement to her dad.

    The world looked at Michael as a entertainer. The words from Paris mouth....."my dad", showed the world he was human just like others dad. It does not matter about race. I have two adopted siblings one Cauasian, and one Hispanic. Our parents love us all the same, and the only parents we know. My family is a rainbow and the pot of gold at the end is my parent heart.

    Like my grandmother always said, if you feed a child enough they will start looking like you (smile).

    July 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  24. lisa

    Thank you, Anderson Cooper and to CNN, for broadcasting Micheal Jackson's wondeful memorial service.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  25. New Orleans

    God Bless MJ and his beautiful children.

    I watched his service and all three of his children are just gorgeous!
    Michael will live on forever in all of our hearts and through his
    wonderful children.
    Let us pray for these children that they may grow to be strong and confident and happy. That is what Michael wanted for them!

    Michael sleeps at last...

    July 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  26. praxy,Houston

    Much as I'd have liked to, I find it hard to criticize anything about the coverage of MJ Memorial. It was simply FABULOUS! It felt so real, like if I was actually there.
    Congratulations on the good job CNN.

    Michael got a befitting tribute ,and I don't care what all the negative people have to say!

    July 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  27. chuckie (Denver)

    The memorial was stunning. I can't recall any entertainer receiving, upon their death, such orgiastic coverage. If you think it's over, think again. The fallout from this could last for years.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm |


    Thanks CNN for a DIGNIFIED and WONDERFUL memorial broadcast for Micheal Jackson.

    MJ, you are a soldier in my eyes that have done a GREAT DEED in life...Entertained thousands of people. I am loyal fan with many of the Jackson 5 OLD 45s. I want to thank you and your BROTHERS for a fantastic ride.

    Finally, I thought I had TIME to see you in CONCERT but TIME ran out but I was priviledged to see you at the NCO club at Yongson, KOREA.

    May GOD continue to shine on you, the JACKSON siblings and his 3 kids.

    You ALWAYS will be a "ROCKIN ROBIN in my eyes.

    Proud Retired Veteran

    July 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  29. Tina Arige

    To the Jackson's Family:

    Michael's earthly time is over but his heavenly time is just beginning. Michael said it best when he sang the song "Time Waits For No One."

    That is such a strong statement. Every second of ones life is worthy to be spend wisely, and Michael fulfilled his time exactly the way he wanted. Allow me a brief time to break down Michael's time with his family, friends, and the world. Michael was here for:
    50 years
    600 months
    2,400 weeks
    16,800 days
    403,309 hours
    241,985,448 minutes
    2,419,854,480 seconds
    24,198,544,800,000 tenth of a second

    I say Michael was here for quite a time. Whereas Michael's earthly time can be counted for, his heavenly time is countless. Sleep tight Michael and Good Night.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  30. victoria jckson

    paris beauty beauty beauty thats all u can say

    July 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  31. Donna Thomas from Canada

    Thank you Anderson and CNN for such a fine coverage of MJ memorial, As a fan from Canada could you please tell me were I could get a copy of the Memorial Program, if I can at all. Maybe Larry King could let us viewers know tonight on his show
    Thanks again
    God Bless

    July 7, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  32. Stan

    To Michael Jackson: You were simply the best who ever did it, thank you so much for sharing you life with the World. We love you Michael Jackson, rest in peace.

    God Bless The family and The Children

    The Johnson family

    July 7, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  33. cy

    they say "he does not want to be black" he changed his color and all that bull. and i ask, what do we say about the lesbians that change to become a man or men that change to become women. how much different is that from what michael did. and here we are throwing stones. he would have the last laugh. God bless your family and your kids.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  34. Sam

    I thank CNN for the great coverage but I am upset and disappointed in your news anchors who are calling his memorial "strange" yes that is what Campbell Brown called it. Who are we to judge another human being! I am sorry but this shows me how racism still exist in our world! You people don't get it, he was not found guilty of his charges leave him alone!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  35. Janine from PA.

    Maybe Mr. Jackson is meeting Colonel Sanders for a heavenly bucket of chicken. The coverage was good I would have liked all the channel logos and stuff like that to be removed from the screen or made more transparent. That is a slight annoyance for the nice coverage given.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  36. Dr Michael Pilon

    Your coverage of the Michael Jackson passing has been fair , sympathetic and respectful. Well done

    Michael Pilon

    Ottawa Canada

    July 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  37. jenny rome ga

    I walked in to my mothers house to check up on her this afternoon as I usually do several times a week. I walked in to find her in tears. The Jackson funeral was on the television. Paris had just finished speaking about her father. That beautiful child had just reduced my mother to tears with her declaration of love for her father. Now my mom was no Michael Jackson fan. She is an 80 year old white Southern woman who thought Michael Jackson ws awful and vulgar. She said “I never realized what a good man and father he must have been to those children.” Thank you Paris for allowing us all to see the man behind the mask.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  38. Adam...WV

    What gives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) the right to salute Michael Jackson? The salute is a respected military honor shown to a military superior. I think Senator Jackson needs to apologize to the men and women in uniform and their families, especially those who have given the ultimate sacrafice. When men and women are giving their lives to keep this country safe and not expecting anything in return, the least this country can do for them is to show them the respect shown to Michael Jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  39. Kathy, Andover

    To Patrick, I bet it was Michael Jackson's daughter's idea to speak out @ her father's memorial. She is 11. What did you want her to do? Stay home?

    The Jackson Family is to be commended for having this public memorial. It must have been extremely difficult on them. If it was me, I couldn't have done it. I would've stuck with a "private" service. I put private in quotes, because I think it's practically impossible for them to have privacy in anything! The media is relentless.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  40. Pia Saavedra, MNL, RP

    This is a great story, too, AC360.

    ...Thank you Michael for the music, the story, the songs, the history, the inspiration. we remember the good and the bad–because you are you.

    You are, for so many, a star, but you are first and foremost, human. thank you for sharing that humanity with us.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  41. Sandy Lusk

    To the family of Michael Jackson
    Peace and serenity a vision come true,
    now a haunting reminder of where the whistle once blew.
    A place to grow old, a place to stay young,
    a place for kids to run having their fun.
    A place called home, an inspiration for songs,
    where the Man in the Mirror, created his story book Thriller,
    then saw things in life just a little bit clearer.
    A place that held a genius mind foreseeing things, I think, way before their time.
    Whether you were sick or poor, you felt at home, from the rolling hills named after his mom.
    Now there shall be no more sadness, no more harm, because he is playing in the sunlight of his Neverland farm.
    Running through the trees in a gentle breeze, Michael will now
    have all the sleep that he'll ever need.
    So always remember that in the land of never,
    his dreams did come true.
    The moon did rise as Michael, walked through.
    He held out his hand reaching out to you
    until the day that the angles flew.
    Michael Jackson
    By: Sandy Lusk

    July 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  42. André

    The whole business with MJ's daughter's speech at the end is a bit fishy. She was smiling and singing along carefree during the last song, but then she suddenly decides to speak up right at the end and chokes up. Please check again: she doesn't even have any tears in her eyes, and then shuts them on purpose!

    I don't want to be a cynic, but she seems like she was just looking for attention...

    Sorry if this sounds insensitive...

    July 7, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  43. Watcher

    Thank you, Anderson & CNN for such great coverage. This was so important to me although many others cannot understand. Much of the world was watching. Part of the reason why it was so important was because he never got that kind of recognition while he was alive – and I know he was hurt by that. People say it was over-the-top but I felt it was just right for a man denied so much (recognition, normal life, presumption of innocence, etc) while he with us. Again – thank you and Don Lemon and Soledad O'Brien and just everyone for the coverage of Michael Jackson's life. I love you guys.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  44. Patrick

    Give me a break! MJ spent the last twelve years shielding his kids from the public and the first thing the family does after his death is to parade his daughter Paris in front of the microphone to perpetuate the Jackson brand. How disappointing and disgusting. All for the sake of increasing the video stream and revenue opportunities.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  45. JASON

    Its funny how I remember MJ from the 70's. Times were very simple then..as a kid growing up. He allways acted in a respectful way and allways showed respect and admiration to the generation before him.

    He was and still is the Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly of my generation...think of the collaboration that might have been...

    " NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE MJ..your music lives in us ALL"

    July 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  46. Julie...PA

    In regards to the cost to the city of LA for security, etc... Is there any reason his estate & family isn't billed for these services??? Isn't that who pays for every little item for any other funeral/memorial???

    July 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  47. H M Smith

    the touching and tearful words expressed by Michael's daughter Paris can only be compared to the young JFK jr saluting his father's casket as it passed in front of where he and his mother and sister were standing so many years ago.

    For me I can say I watched both of these events. A president taken too soon and now a great talent also taken too soon.....both leaving behind young children who loved their father very much.

    Like young JFK jr, Paris gave her father a tribute that will be remembered around the world for years to come

    July 7, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  48. Monique Mackey

    Anderson-if you haven't already been informed, the child (Shaheem) who sang was the child on the show "Britain's got talent". It was said that he was Susan's Boyle's most staunch competition.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  49. Annie Kate

    I have 2 favorite parts – when his daughter spoke; her tears and her words reminded me that even though he was a world famous entertainer when you came down to the essence of Michael – he was a father and a much loved father at that. I wish the best for his children and his family.

    My other favorite part was his brother singing "Smile". I've heard that song all my life and the memories it brought back were awesome.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Jackson's farewell memorial was very well done and put together. The musical guests were excellent and I loved the video montages that they would play ever so often. The speakers also did great speeches. The most poignant of all obviously was when Paris got up and spoke about her dad, how great he was and how much she loved him. That was a tear jerker for sure!! If you didn't cry then something has to be wrong with you!!

    I just hope that all of this hoopla will die down now and that Michael can finally rest in peace...well that is when they finally bury him!


    July 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6