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. Fahizah Alim

    It was a fiitting tribute to a sacrificial vessel.
    Clearly life was too hard for the ethereal spirit and transcendent soul of Michael Jackson.
    Sharpton was so right when he alluded to what the world "did to him"
    Stevie sang it best. "They won't go where Michael goes."
    Michael is going back to God. And God is LOVE.. .

    July 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  2. Angela Savage Austin

    To Julie.PA nothing is free...nothing...people got paid...don't be so ignorant...nothing is free,,,not even freedom!!!!! Sorry you are not able to say (1) prayer just for a human being. Money is your God ..I guess that is what is more important to you than the lost of life. I will pray for you Julie...from PA...pray for me as well...maybe you know something I don't!

    July 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  3. denise

    Very disrespectful of Randi Kaye and her "source" (which i think is local police) to divulge the so-called condition of Michael's body. It's all considered hearsay since none of us were there or have seen his body. You people STILL don't get that Michael Jackson has young children that can find out every negative thing you've said. I hope that your children and family experience the same thing after your deaths to finally know what Michael and his family have gone through. LEAVE HIM ALONE. GET AWAY FROM HIS PROPERTIES. IT'S NOT THE MEDIA'S BUSINESS WHERE HE GETS BURIED.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  4. Carolyn Sierra

    Shame on the media for always presenting Michael Jackson is a way that caused many people to judge his life. Today his life was presented in a very different way, a way that brought people together. Yes he was a man and did he fail at times, yes, but who hasn't? I believe God wants us to take a step back and worry about our lives and leave the rest to HIM!

    Michael you are now free from all those who passed judgment on you and may we learn from today's memorial service that even though these entertainers share their "God given" talent with us, doesn't give us the right to "pry" into their personal life.

    Gone too soon.....never will we forget the greatest entertainer who ever lived – Michael Jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  5. Randy

    Thought coverage was great today. I was a little shocked at the media programs after the ceremony. Everyone is asking where the body had gone...that really isn't our business I wish we could let him rest in peace.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Lots of comments about what a humanitarian he was, and a good father. Let's not forget that the loss his kids will have all their lives was due to MJ's own selfishness in choosing to abuse drugs, putting himself before his family.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  7. Mike Riley

    It would seem to me appropriate to lower the nations flag on the capital tomorrow to honor the legacy of Michael Jackson by shouting his message of peace, love and giving around the world.There is nothing I can think of that would be a more powerful message to the world.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Christopher Walls

    CNN's coverage has been absolutely despicable and disrespectful while the family is grieving you want to talk about Alcohol, Demerol, Oxycontin pills, & molestation charges. Your negative coverages knows no bounds. Your wash-up anchor woman Campbell Brown called the Memorial strange today. And Anderson Cooper you are no better.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  9. Libby

    Michael, I love you and miss you. There will never be another one like you. The whole world is suffering a great loss. Wish it was me instead.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:59 pm |

    Constant replay of weeping Paris Jackson on both CNN and HLN. On Nancy Grace it was played after every commercial break. It' keeps getting rerun over and over. THIS IS VERY SICK and disturbing exploiting a grieving child like that to attract viewers. Very poor taste, Anderson. CNN is becoming more and more a vulgar news reporting outlet and I'm tuning out.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  11. Kathy

    I really feel for MJs children. How could MJs family not know of his dependency to drugs whether legal or illegal. We have a serous problem in the USA. I as a mother would move heaven and earth to save my child from drugs. The people around MJ were blind or what? There should have been an intervention to save MJ life. I really feel for his kids i guess i should forgive MJs for not taking care of himself knowing he had dependant children and it goes for all races the poor and the rich. We need to open our eyes to the drugs that are being given by so call doctors. Parents and other family members try to reach out and save lives.

    We need universal health care

    July 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  12. Tasha

    Thank you so much for your continuous coverage of Michael over the past days, especially the culmination of his memorial celebration. One person, Sharon, commented earlier about how Michael was a wonderful humanitarian. I wholeheartedly agree. What makes him so powerful and so memorable is that he not only had brilliant talent, but a huge heart. He has given more than most people could ever dream of. With that, the extensiveness of the coverage was appropriate. I wish some of it focued less on the negative. But in any event, I needed it. It helped me to greave. It helped me to realize that we will never have this moment again.

    Thank you so much CNN. I love Michael Jackson so much and wish that he rest in peace.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  13. Heather

    I am so impressed by the coverage, the memorial service & the adoration, prayers & love that was shown worldwide for Michael Jackson. Great Job & thanks for the updates on everything regarding MJ. God Bless!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  14. Christine W

    King of Pop,

    Rest in Peace Michael you will be missed more than you know. Your children are beautiful, graceful & incredible ~ just like their daddy! Your time with us was too short so we must keep what you left in out hearts.

    May God Bless your children & family.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  15. bj

    The world will miss MJ for years to come. His brilliance in writing, producing, and performing music makes him the No. 1 Entertainer of the world. My heart goes out to his kids, his mother and the rest of his family. I agree with the comments that he left us too soon. May he rest in peace. I hope the kids so-called mother leaves them alone and do not fight the only family that they know for custody just because she has thrown away the previous millions of dollars that she got from MJ. The media has been too kind in reference to her. She shouldn't have any rights with regards to the kids. She has already proven that she prefers the $$$$ over the kids. The media needs to stop whitewashing her.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  16. crystie

    I couldnt believe paris would do such a thing like this ! dis is an unforgetable seen in public.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  17. Chris McDonald (from Jamaica)

    Yeah, I Watch The Whole Memorial Service of the Late Michael Jackson Until the Saddest Part From Paris, Michael's daughter Brought The Tears To My Eyes As I Cry,,, MJ, Rest In Peace Brother.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  18. Marie Virginia

    Today's memorial was a day that I was will always remember. The coverage, service, songs, speeches were so inspirational, touching and amazing. When I first saw the casket, my heart actually ached for such a tragedy. I keep the children in my prayers as they dearly loved their father. There will never be another Michael. What a touching tribute to a beautiful person inside and out. God bless....

    July 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  19. Karyn - Omaha, NE

    Michael is The Man! I have loved him for 23 years and in times of sadness & joy it was his music I would listen to always. God bless his children as they will very much miss their loving father. CNN, I am disappointed that once again, you couldn't keep your mouth shut about NEGATIVITY. Can't Michael & his family have just this ONE day at least. As Michael would do, we shun & turn our ears from your negative words & focus on truly beautiful things: Paris, Prince & Blanket & our own children.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  20. nordia

    The memorial service was most up lifting and spiritual ceremony I have ever seen televised. May perpetual light continue to shine on Michael and his entire family.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  21. Jeannie Regan

    I cannot imagine a more dignified, heart-felt memorial ever displayed! A tribute to the Jackson family as well as Kenny Ortega. From Michael's beloved family and beautiful children, his musical friends, and his fans spanning the globe, this tribute to Michael has touched a place in my heart I did not know was possible!

    I believe "Heal the World" speaks volumes of Michael's caring heart, not just for the children of the world but for all people everywhere. Kind of reminding us what we could be if we make the effort and keep love the main focus.

    God bless you sweet Michael. Say a prayer for us all, will you?


    July 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  22. Beverly Pearson

    Michael Jackson memorial was something that will be talked about for years to come. All the guest who spoke of the goodness of this beloved man, and how he have TOUCHED! so many lives. Rev. Al Sharpton spoke boldly about the human being that we all love. He is a child of God, God knew exactly what he was doing. Micheal was special, he came to do the work of the Lord. When his daughter spoke I broke down, this child and her brothers will never see their father again. My prayers are with them and the Jackson family. This was a celebration and they celebrated. Smile! Everyone!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  23. marcia

    I wish to express to Michael's mother Katherine and her family my deepest condolences, especially to his beautiful children always
    remember your father's love he had for you.... and that is all that really matters!!!!
    Katherine, John 5:28, 29, keep the faith...Jesus promise to us all. Love and Hugs.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  24. Michael

    Thank you for all of your giving, and time you gave to people all around the world. I will miss you god bless

    July 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  25. David

    He and his brothers were a group that we idolized as kids. We were able to identify with them being young Black boys growing up. He was amazing, and I will never forget him. He is the GREATEST! God bless him and all of his family.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  26. nayfielder

    I am so grateful to CNN for the coverage provided from Michael's death to the memorial service. I know some may feel the coverage was overdone but for fans like myself I needed to know what was happening. I appreciate the respectful manner that most anchor persons displayed. The wonderful service and final coverage allows me to have closure with Michael. I can get back to my life now with Michael's music in the background, as usual.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  27. Amber Burley

    I'm only 18 but I did grow up to know of Michael Jackson. I didn't know him personally but his music was like no other. It was like OMG!!!! There are no words to explain him. Despite everything they said about him I still liked him. I was like none of this is true. Not once did I doubt it. The moment that touched me was Paris. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard. I don't know what it was but it touched me. I'm still walking around the house saying OMG paris. And I thought it was soooo sweet how her aunt janet embraced her. My love and prayers go out to the family. especially the mom, kids and Jermaine jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  28. doreen

    Michael was an extrodinary entertainer and will be missed.
    I Am sorry for the children and if he loved and cared for them so much WHY all the drug use ?He was too young to go and leave the beautiful chidren he LOVED so much.
    I will pray and hope they will be o.k where ever they may be.
    A long time fan of his since one of his first very large concerts at the forum in Los Angeles.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  29. Laara Raynier

    I'm just so glad you have covered this all day. I have been watching
    cnn all day. There has NEVER been anyone like Michael Jackson
    he is the greatest entertainer the world has ever known. He more
    than any other human has changed our lives, color barriers were
    broken down, people worldwide have loved him, they know all the
    words to his songs even if they don't speak english. he is a genious.
    He deserves every second of coverage that cnn has given to him.
    people all over the world love him....we have all been influenced
    by him, from his music to his style to his love and caring for
    humanity. There is nothing more important in the world today than
    honouring one of the greatest humans the world has ever known,
    Michael Jackson. Thank you CNN.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  30. jamie hari

    My prayers are with his chilldren, and family, now and in the coming days. rest in peace

    July 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  31. Dean

    CNN thank you for rebroadcasting the Michael Jackson tribute to his live at 11PM Eastern time. The millions of Filipinos who loved him appreciate the opportunity to see it during the day and not at 1AM here when it originally aired.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  32. Mario Morin

    Dear friends.
    As always we miss the ones when they`re gone.M J was one of a kind.His memory will live on through his art.
    What a performer he was!What incredible songs he wrote.What a legacy!
    To his family,mother and father,brothers and sisters and finally his children I wish all the best for years to come.
    Michael,it`s now time to rest in peace at last.You deserve it.
    God bless you, man.
    Mario from Quebec.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  33. Bishop Lincoln Wright

    Earth has no sorrow that heaven itself cannot heal. Weeping may endure for a night but I pray that Joy will come you your hearts in the morning. Peace & Many Blessings to the Jackson Family.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  34. vicky

    MJ, Wow !! What a beautiful human being, your love for the people will go on forever as will our love for you and your children.
    God bless you friend..

    July 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  35. dwan carnegie

    Michael Jackson was
    An Artistic Angel
    Michael came calm
    but strong, Michael
    was gentle,humble,
    meek,sound at mind,
    and a real Man of
    The Lord. Thank You
    Father for another
    One of your precious

    July 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  36. Jackie O'Donnell

    My parents raved to me about Michael Jackson, however I did not grow up listening to his music. He truly sounds like the King of Pop when I listen to his songs. Like Brooke Sheilds said, we should smile and move on with a lasting memory of the fantastic Michael Jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  37. PJ

    Michael will live forever in our hearts. He was a musical god. He WILL be remembered.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  38. nancy m

    As a little girl i
    michael jackson i
    had just about
    everything that had to do with him and
    what he was about
    at one point my
    mother asked me
    when are u gonna
    take that glove off lol when i look back it was so funny how really no other
    singer mattered as i got older i started to understand the
    words better and
    realized how allhis music tuched hearts and all his music was mostly something to do with reality real life he was truly a
    beautiful person
    he is a shining
    star in the sky now my heart go's out to his family and most of all his kids the
    momorial was
    beautiful as so was everything that had to do with him always went of his way to
    the people happy i will alway remember
    him and all the
    hearts he touched
    along the way we
    love you michael

    July 7, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  39. Kontor

    Anderson, my girl friend call and said your daughter is crying after you left home, I spoke to her and asked why are you crying and she said to me Daddy Michael broke my heart, I miss Michael so much, she asked Daddy will my heart be fix? and i said to her Michael love you too and he will fix your heart in Heaven. I cant believe a 3 year old can say something like that. Michael's death is heart broken to everybody, my prayers goes to his three children.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  40. shamim

    For me and everyone who ever loved music, its Micheal Jackson... the singer whose music i practically grew up with.... thats how i always want to remember him... a truly beautiful singer.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  41. Jasmine Shareem

    Since I was born, Michael Jackson was the essence of American culture. My family came from Afghanistan, and the first thing my mother bought was a MJ T-shirt. Since then, from a very young age, I've been obsessed as the world has been. It is hard to cope, as many fans all across the world know, but I know he has peace now. I wish I could have gone to a concert, met him, but I was born in '89, and by the time I knew what a concert was, Michael was done. I was looking forward to the "This Is It" tour, but it never happened. I will pass his music onto my children in order to have him live on forever. I hope his family is doing well, because to them he wasn't just the greatest entertainer ever, he was their brother, son, father and more.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  42. Tammy & Ariel Star & Family

    Dear Jackson Family, Our HEARTS go out to you, our prayers are with you all today and forever. Paris we are so proud of you and your brothers we love you all very very much. I grew up listening to MJ's music and always wanted to dance with him( smile ), but I truely feel like we have lost a family member as well, because I felt like he was my brother in the spirit. Michael was the example of the love of Christ and we will never forget what he stood for or what he did for humanity... My daughter Ariel 16yrs old wrote a powerful and touching song for him, it is a sure HIT to say the least it made me cry and touched all of our hearts, maybe one day God will bless her to sing it for you all, be blessed and stay strong ..... Love the Lawrence family

    July 7, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  43. Alice Maynez

    Michael Jackson is a genius.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  44. bittersweetmemories

    i dont know what loosing a father feels like but after seing michaels daughter break down .i felt her pain it was almost as if he was my father.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  45. Robert Satterwhite

    Music is the universal language. Michael, through his music paved the way for so many. He is much more than the king of pop to so many people around the world. He opened many doors for all people of color . Michael, may you rest in peace.

    I will miss you

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  46. Queeneice

    Today's memorial service was EPIC, in true Michael Jackson fashion. It was a moving celebration of a beautiful life. Michael Jackson was and always will be a legendary entertainer. May his spirit rest in peace among God's angels. My deepest thoughts & prayers to his children and family.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  47. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Tim, your 12 year old son is smarter than over 1 billion MJ fans. He's no hero, and to call him one is to mock everyone who has given their lives in real service to their country.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  48. Dean

    Only now in death Michael Jackson's true legacy is being understood. More people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds loved Michael than anyone ever in the history of the word. God sent him to perform his miracle and took him when his job was done. I'll miss the new songs and performances he could have created, but all I have to do is play his songs and I will relive those feelings I always had when he performed.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  49. Taunya Gusti

    Thank You CNN and Anderson for your coverage of the memorial service. You guys go above and beyond for every event and your dedicated fans say "Thanks!"

    It was a very touching ceremony.

    To listen to his daughter today was so moving. What an amazing little girl. I too lost my father when I was very young and it's a very difficult thing to deal with at such a young age. Time will never take the pain or memories away but will help them to gain the strength to face the world. My prayers are with his chilldren, and family, now and in the coming days.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  50. earl eckles

    to the jackson family we feel your pain as if michael is our family member he will be missed not only by the jackson family but also by his worldly family words can't explain how my heart hurts for your family.i am and will always be a fan no matter what.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
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