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. Stefanie Knorr

    I am so thankful for Micheal Jackson that he lived and he changed the world for the better. He was apart of my childhood and my youth years. he loved people like I do. I will miss him and his music will live on in his music and I will always pray for the Jackson's family and Micheal Jackson children. I will always love and miss him.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  2. tiaina marshall

    Well I didn't know micheal personally but I grew up listening and watching his videos. I would never think that he would leave us so soon but god calls on the people who are closer to him. Micheal was the most beatiful and talented person alive and I learned from him that know matter what people say about you just listen and keep your head up and never let anything distract you. Micheal had a lot of courage and was very strong for the simple fact that he went through so many thing that will make you do some crazy stuff but he always seem to keep his head up. He encourage me to be strong and to never give up. I learned that no matter what you go through there's always a happy ending and now that he in heaven with the angels he's even happier than ever he doesn't have to stress any more or go through hard times anymore. I just want to say that I love him and I hope his family is okay and for his daughters to keep there head up and know that there father doesn't have to stress or worry anymore. Love his #1 fan tiaina marshall, 19

    July 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  3. AS from NJ

    I see on TV that a lot of people of who mis-spoke of Michael in the past are changing their tone after seeing today's memorial service! That truly indicates how much most people did not know who really Michael was and judged him based on petty and superficial things.

    I sincerely hope that people now truly understand that Michael was also a "human", an extraordinary human who gave the world so much more than great entertainment, and treat him and remember him like a human being.

    R.I.P, MJ! We love you...

    July 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  4. amal from dubai

    I love mj and his famly and to me he is the best ever and I see the best thing now is we need to leve the famly alon they need some time alon R.I.P my love

    July 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  5. Linda

    There is no greater honor or tribute than your child telling the world what a great parent you were and how much they love you. Michael would have been so proud of his courageous daughter. I thought it was fitting that it came at the end of the memorial and truly humanized Michael. Something that many have had a difficult time doing through the years.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  6. David

    I think MJ was an amazing talent. I never bought his music. But I may in the future. It was a great funeral. But what Barry Gordy said... "Greatest Entertainer Ever" naa..... too many others that are good. And everyone says MJ bridged the gap between the races. I don't agree with that one either. Ray Charles did country music. MJ never did. I suppose everyone is caught in the moment. But God bless MJ and his memory and his family anyway. And as I leave this note... his daughter Paris... what an emotional moment. I cried.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Hillary

    I thought today's memorial service was beautiful. It was done with class and dignity. My heart goes out to the Jackson family and all of those close to them.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  8. sjcp819

    This has been a sad, historic, memorable day. THanks to CNN and AC360 for your coverage of the MJ Memorial Service.

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

    Today I saw the worlds greats entertainer ever graced this planet honored. I was 5 years of age when my father gave me my first Jackson 5 album. The sad thing is I cried more for Michael than I cried for my father who pass away on May 5th of this year. I saw sadness in Michael eyes all I could say is that he is in a better place and know that those say eyes would be filled with happiness Love you forever Michael.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  10. Michelle

    When I seen that innocent child share the love she has for her Father it was one of the hardest and most heartening things to ever see on live television almost as if I was intruding I too lost my Father so being a daddy's girl I truely know how she felt because a Father is a Father to a child no matter who the Man is or was. May God Bless the Jackson Children and may they always have the love for the World as their Father had.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  11. jarvis

    MJ was a class act for years, today his family put him to rest with class! Proud of the Jackson family I will truly miss Michael and love him forever

    July 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  12. Janet

    Micheal was not only an Icon,He was a heroe and a legend. We will keep him in our hearts for ever. We love u.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  13. samarra

    The service was really nice. May Michael rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Jackson's. May God Bless you all!!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  14. Brad S.

    Great bravery Paris in expressing your love to your dad as you did today. Being a single father of 6 young children, I would hope that my children would be as willing to share their thoughts of love and devotion to me as you did today towards your dad.

    I hope Michael is now left in peace...PLEASE!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  15. Mindy

    I thought his memorial was an excellent representation of his life...too bad we didnt know micheals personality before he passed...i think more people would have liked him had we heard the people that knew him best comments before his death...except Al sharpton whom i didnt think represented him well

    July 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Carol

    It is so sad to know that Mj did so much for the entire world and it only took his death for people to honor him.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  17. Stevie

    He loved children and it is really sad that his own little kids have now lost their Daddy. He was the best entertainer in the world; yet, to his three kids he was, Dad. For a special person like Michael, who as we know was so soft-hearted and sensitive, to not ever have been given a childhood of his own is a tradedy; I hope and pray that losing their Father does not take away the childhood of his children, God bless and keep them safe.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Joanne

    I found myself glued to CNN today -thank you for all the coverage.
    I grew up dancing to all MJ's songs.....thank you Michael and God Bless.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. roroe

    Michael Jackson as made history from a the age of 5 and continued doing so until he died. ='( He will always be remembered and loved by all of us around the world. He inspired us all in many different ways but most of all, he helped us realized WE are the world. TOGETHER we can conquer anything. And like MJ believed when it is said the sky is the limit, that was really his limit.

    Im praying for you Jackson family, the world is praying. Thank you for raising Michael Jackson in a way that he has been nothing less than a blessing.

    We love you. Try your best to be strong. Everything is done for a reason.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  20. Leslie Zatezalo

    Having had facial implant surgery, documented in US NEWS and WORLD REPORT MAG 7-29-02, I know many facial implant victim/survivors who are not addicted to pain medication, but addicted to pain relief. I am one of those, 30 years of living it, you grow quite a tolerance. I hate that the world will think he is a drug addict, he was not. He was a chronic pain patient with insomnia from all the meds. I have a friend Ellen in NJ who never sleeps more than 2 hours at a time. She's had 4 different jaw implants and suffers daily. I saw him in concert back in the late 80's, I remember Dirty Diana. I was proud when the poem from Maya Angelou (sp) mentioned Pittsburgh. That is where I am from. I know patients around the world who have had 40-60 facial surgeries due to the failures of the implant material. They had a congressional hearing over what happened to Ellen & I. Michael rest in peace, no pain, I'm envious of that. Go with God.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  21. marianne

    I sat here today watching the memorial for Michael with my 19 year old daughter, and 18 year old son. I can't see how anyone watching could not shed a tear. Michael's send off was very beautiful, it was definetly fitting for the King Of Pop. My heart and prayers go out to the Jackson family. Prince Michael, Paris, and Blanket, hold your heads high, your father was a great man and has done great things. If the people really listened to the words in his songs and followed them then the world would definetly be a better place. Michael may you find the peace that you so deserve now and perform like you did here on this world on that eternal stage. Love and blessings to the Jackson family

    July 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  22. m healey

    i think that micheals daughter paris made millions of people cry when she said goodby in that microphone. i bet it hurt her alot to have a famous father die

    July 7, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  23. Daniel M. Sarro

    I first heard the Jackson 5 when I was driving home from Adelphi University, Long Island, New York in 1973.

    I was 21 years old and heard Michael Jackson sing-"I'll Be There...

    Even then you knew then that he was an exceptional singer and unique entertainer.

    The entire world has lost a great musical icon and philanthropist.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  24. Evelyn

    Thank you CNN for the coverage. This was great for us who couldn't be there in person. We truly appreciate all the great work and keep up the good work.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  25. Sheila

    My heart aches for the Jackson family, but especially for his children. when Paris spoke i lost it. No child should have to witness that. the king of entertainment (not just pop) will live on forever and like Marlon said, maybe now they will leave you alone Michael. god bless

    July 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  26. Chelle

    Now the King of Pop and the King of Rock are singing together!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  27. CheesyMoo

    Feel bad 4 Paris.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  28. Cynthia (Baltimore)

    A perfect memorial for the King. I've not been able to stop crying. We love you. Thank you to the family for sharing your most intimate moment with us. My prayers are with you all.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  29. Dez

    It was just a little before 12 noon that i sat on the couch in the living room to watch the television, as Michael Jackson memorial service was to begin. To this day some 12 days after his death i am still in disbelief that this man with so much talent and love has died. But i guess that's the one thing that makes us all equal as human beings. Doesn't matter if your black or white, short or tall, rich or poor, at some point the father God is going to call upon us to leave this land.

    But there was something different about today about this man, to whom i have no personal affiliation because as i sat there watching it on my grandmothers television, i couldn't help but tear up. But why, who is Michael Jackson to me.

    Nothing really, he's not my father, my cousin, my uncle, not my brother nor was he my friend, i never even me the man. So then why did i cry who was he, ,why did sitting there watching this on T.V. take such a tole on me??

    He was a great man and even though like my mother and alot of other human being i can't say that i have been watching him since i was a little girl and that we grew up together. He had already make it big before i was even a thought, but Michael Jackson gave me something and that was hope. I mean this was a man who did all from just a little boy and made something of himself and not only did he make something of himself but he also brought change to America and by extension the world. This is so much more than just about his music this is about the life of this great MAN.........he brought change that change that Barrack Obama has now vowed to carry on.He touched and influenced alot of lives. Sometimes i wonder if he realised how much people really cared for him.

    I mean this was a man that just had a whole lot of love to share. Who beside all the things he did that people where thought to be weird he was a great human being, a humanitarian and a lover.
    But this little note that i write is really to talk about death in life. One must realise that from the very moment that we are born we begin to die and there is not one person that can escape that. We are all going to die no matter what. We don't know when, where or how so therefore we are to prepare for there is definitely life after death. This is not it people there is so much more than what we see today or what we saw yesterday. So repent and ask God for forgiveness for you never know when it'll be your turn. I am very sure that Mr. Jackson had no idea that he was going to die on the 25th of June, 2009. I'm sure he had no idea but i hope he prepared for when my day comes i would truly love to meet the man who was behind the beautiful music that has helped me to be a better human being but also a greater lover of music on a whole.

    Plan for life as though you were to live forever but live life as though you were to die tonight. Open your eyes and see the truth behind this people this man was sent on earth to do exactly what he did break barriers and bring the world together even if it was only for one second, or just for one moment this man, this music legend, this mastermind, this singer, this dancer, this beautiful soul was lived a full life and did his job and a job well done i must add.

    So like Al Sharpton said today during the memorial service i want to thank Michael Jackson also for all that he has done and for never given up dispite all the bad comments and criticisms. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! and Thank you! and may god truly bless you soul.

    See you soon MJ.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  30. Heather

    Those words read by Michael himself during Jennifer Hudson's Will You Be There were somber and powerful. It broke my heart to hear his voice like that. But his daughter's words made him so human. I have much respect and well wishes for his family. Heal the world.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  31. christine fournier

    I heart went out to Paris Jackson when she spoke about her father and her love for him. I am so sure that he is smiling down on her and realizes that she has his strenth of character in being able to get through terrible times. You can see his parenting in her just by being able to stand and talk and work through her emotions of grief. I agree with her, he was a good father, Rest in Peace, Michael.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  32. Marcy

    Thank you CNN for the great coverage and remembering the King of Pop. He is at peace with the King of Kings and his music will live forever.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  33. roderick,niajha,lydia gray

    Good bye mike the world love u.for those that say or have said bad things about him what do u think of him now the world does not care about the bad cause he has done so much good we all have done something in our lives,it felt like losein my brother over again,but as my mom a mother lost her child before his parents just think whats behind the smile of mrs,jackson& mr,jackson.I SEND LOVE TO THE JACKSON FAMILY.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  34. Tim

    I think Michael was a great musician and accomplished a great deal. With that said and with no disrespect to him, I feel that the whole MJ thing is overboard and shows that we have lost sight of our true values. There are so many men and women who sacrifice their lives each day for ALL OF US and this Country and they are laid to rest with little or no fanfare like we have seen with Michael. I am not just talking about our military but also our police, fire and public servants.

    My 12 year old son said this today, “Dad why are they doing all of this for Michael Jackson when first people die everyday for our country and our protection and secondly he may have died due to abuse of medicines. What kind of example is that for us kids?”

    I responded the best I could but he had very valid points.

    He then said ask me why there was so many questions about LA and the cost of this memorial. He said why not bill them(the Jacksons) like everyone else would be billed. He then said, “If you die while fighting a fire or saving someone, mom would still have to pay for you to be buried and they would not shut down the town right?” I said that he was probably correct.

    After that it really got to me that so much has been done regarding Michael’s death. It is unreal and again shows how out of touch our society has become with regards to our true values and basics of a society.

    Again this is not to be disrespectful to Michael but we need to change to solve our issues as a society.

    Finally for someone to call for a “National Day of Mourning” for Michael is unreal. If we have that then we need to have one everyday for every person that dies defending OUR FREEDOM, COUNTRY, and FAMILIES!!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  35. mike

    This memorial should show that "King" figure that Michael Jackson did more than he could ever imagine

    July 7, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  36. Brittany & Courtney

    michael you are our world, now you can finally live on peacefully

    July 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  37. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    As John Mayer said during LKL tonight, today's memorial "humanized" MJ. His rendition of MJ's "Human Nature" was one of my favorite moments. Thanks CNN and AC360 for your excellent coverage of this remarkable event!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  38. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Hi, Maureen!!

    Michael Jackson's memorial service was beautiful, exciting and unique! For me it was worth leaving the work aside to watch!

    Michael Jackson brought us many good moments in my life.

    I danced a lot with him; I admired him a lot as a girl trying to imitate “Moonwalk”.

    Over the years he was asleep in my childhood memories. But with his passed away, the memories came to light bringing a mixture of nostalgia of childhood, loss of someone who has so long part of my life (the best time of my life). And the pain was inevitable. Pain that he ido a so unexpected.

    Thank you Michael. Thanks for the music, and the force field in the dance, thank you for your sensitivity in that plays us forever.

    See you!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  39. Jayetha

    Micheal Jackson has been a blessing to our hearts.
    I think Jesus really loves him so he took him a little early.
    May God bless Micheal Jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  40. MeMe

    I had a paradigm shift today & recognize Michael to be the All-time world's greatest enternainer – above Elvis. Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Beyonce, JT, etc. I didn't know he was such a global philanthropist!
    I realized that while we may have thought he a man in retreat due to all the allegations – that same amount of time was a gift to spend such important years with his children. While I don't understand his lifestyle and choices he certainly did give us his best beyond our wildest dreams! Each of the presentations were gifts of love today.

    I will say I did not care for Al Sharpton's as it appeared self-serving and no different than every other camera op he grabs. At one point at the end the camera panned Al and it looked like he realized it and then started to join in w the others to clap hands and sing.
    Michael was truly a genius, a huge entertainer and above all like each of us ....a human being capable of so much & he chose to give back to the world the best way he knew and loved to do! Katherine you done good w/Michael!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  41. Desperately seeking to be informed

    Thanks CNN for such a great coverage. However, could you please spend some time covering other news? Whats going on in Iran? Are the protests over? How about the situation in China? I feel out of touch with whats going on?? Please help. Don't get me wrong, I am a MJ fan, but c'mon!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  42. Yazzy

    I may just be the same age as his son, but I know what MJ has contributed and how great it was.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  43. Josie

    If Michael Jackson was supposedly buried at 8:00 am this morning, I would assume that the casket in the Center was empty. Is this correct Anderson?

    July 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  44. Brittany & Courtney

    michael is our world and now he can finally live on peacefully

    July 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  45. nick gervay

    We àll feel like he belonged to us so it must be okay to poke fun and be cynicalas was the case on some social networks.This unknowingly is insensitive to what an enormous example he was to african americans – his success and acceptance by white america.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  46. Susie

    Was that a Michael Jackson doll that Blanket was holding at the service? I hope so. It was wonderful to see all the family there. Such fabulous tributes from everyone and organized in such a small period of time.

    I think Michael would have been pleased. I was. Thank you for sharing your life with us Michael. RIP

    July 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  47. Sam

    Great job everyone at CNN on today. What a powerful day for all. It will live within each of us forever. His gift has been handed to our hearts and souls. Make use of it wisely and Heal the World.

    RIP Michael.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  48. Teresa, OH

    @sherry r. re: "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. "

    I couldnt agree with you more. I only remember a few of his "friends" speaking up for MJ and taking his side during his troubles. Perhaps they all did it behind the scenes? Something that struck me was most of the peoples memories were from very far back and almost NONE were from the last five years. That says something, sadly.

    He definitely is : The Greatest Performer EVER.

    And no one paraded Paris around: she was with her family... this memorial was as much for her as it was for us fans. She will never regret having said that final farewell to her beloved father. I'm sure it is a moment she will cherish forever.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm |
  49. Watcher09

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


    July 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  50. john

    r.i.p the service was very touching today now he has gone to a poeple of pace so need to to be very the lord knows best we are just passing though we are nothing in this world we need to just move on with our life he is gone but we are not.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6