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. stefan

    michael was a true icon to me. he taught me that it's ok to be different and that even though you may be older its ok to feel like a kid in heart. my prayers are with his family. r.i.p. m.j. you'll be forever missed

    July 8, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  2. Cindy Craig

    The Lord sent Jesus his only son as an example to the world, he also sent another..., named Michael Joseph Jackson. He had his work cut out for him, but he SERVED the Lord because he knew his talents and gifts were like no other, just like jewels of the sea ~ untouched and rare. Michael gave love endlessly just as the Lord loved him to pieces and said to him, SON you've done wonders, time to come home. Michael I wrote you a letter that I found two nights ago when I was 10 years old. It never reached you but you reached me, and that is for sure. I was always quoted by my father that God works in mysterious ways is wonders to perform. Je t'aime Michael, my shining star.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:10 am |
  3. kevin

    It's a shame that all of Micheal's 'Champions' weren't quite as vocal when he was unfashionable .Too bad he had to die to regain his stature in the world.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:10 am |
  4. Rob Vernola

    I was diggin' the smiling Michael Jesus imagery behind Tito. The whole thing seemed like a telethon for the Jackson Family brand. One thing's for sure, after that performance, you can now officially file Tito's career under "RELAUNCHED!" The whole Jackson family will thrive after the boost this gives them, except maybe LaToya. In a way he is Michael Jesus because he died so that the rest of his talented family can be free from living under his freakish shadow, except LaToya. Congratulations LaToya, you are now officially the craziest Jackson!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:09 am |
  5. Susan - Canada

    Anderson....why couldn't the news about the investigation regarding Michael Jackson, etc., wait till tomorrow. Why couldn't today have just been a day of celebrating and honoring him??

    This news could have waited till tomorrow....there will be plenty of time for the media to "bring" him down and trash his legacy. One day wouldn't have hurt, especially after such a beautiful memorial. You media people are sometimes very insensitive...

    July 8, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  6. aqua (from Indonesia)

    I am from Indonesia, and we stayed up to 3 o'clock in the morning just to take part of seeing the memorial of Michael. I grew up with his music, I bought his famous red and white jacket, I took picture with his paper photo while I visited US years ago. All I can say is, Michael was a genius, he has the most genuine smile and heart full of passion. His music is simply undefeatable, too bad only his death revealed his good sides. I cried the whole night, will miss him for life ! Goodbye and thanks MJ.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Farewell Michael and god be with you and the family.
    All AC360 on one topic.
    Obama is in Russia, and the G8 ( or is 14, or 20) meet today, America is at war still in Afghanistan and Iraq, N.Korea is shooting missiles towards allies in Japan and S.Korea. The world faces the worst economic crisis since 1929 -1933. etc etc
    He was a great muscian and artist but this coverage is nonsense and frankly offensive,
    Please, please let him now rest in Peace! And the family repect his wishes without the glare of publicity.... we all know already that Money is the root of all evil!!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:03 am |
  8. Sam

    I Unequivocal can say ; one way or an other ; hat Michael Jackson has great contribution or it is one of the factors for Obama's rise to power .


    July 8, 2009 at 1:01 am |
  9. Joyce Maningo, MD

    I watched the whole coverage of Michael's memorial service and it really touched my heart. Paris is a brave girl and I pity the children for losing their father. Let us respect the grief of the Jackson family. Michael's legacy will forever be remembered. Long live the King of Pop!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:59 am |
  10. Marilyn

    The memorial was awesome and I still can't believe Michael's gone. I know that wherever he is now, he's got to be feeling the love of everyone after all those years of feeling no love at all.

    Anderson - one note - I was quite surprised at your story on the autopsy report as those stories have been all over the web for days now (i.e., the condition of Michael's body). Everyone else (including TMZ, for god's sake) has stated that information is not true ...

    July 8, 2009 at 12:53 am |
  11. Michele

    It's too bad when someone so young dies. It is even worse when it could have been prevented.
    I think Michael Jackson was a brilliant musician and performer. He was talented beyond belief.
    Let's not forget though that he was a pediphile, a pervert and a drug addict. He did unfogivable things to little boys who trusted him. He was a wing nut who needed a lot of help. He tried to be white. He was a poor example of a black entertainer. He was ashamed of being black and I wonder why all these black starts want to ride his trail. He was certainly not proud of his black heritage. A sicko.
    A drug addict. Just that simple. What is so wonderful about that? Not a model for children or adults or anyone. He was into the heavy duty drugs and should have been committed to a hospital.
    It is really clear now just how little his family cared about hij. They watched as he spiraled out of control and did nothing to help him. Shame on the Jackson family. They are all a bunch of money grubbing losers.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:51 am |
  12. Rose

    Now there will be no distraction to do what you do best.....you can dance on the clouds... sing with the angels....and laught till your heart is contented.

    Thank you Micheal Jackson for the smiles you brought to countless faces all around the world. God bless you!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:50 am |
  13. JULZ

    To Patrick and those other ppl who think mj's daughter shouldn't have spoken.what's so fake about a girl paying tribute to her father? Come on guyz, this is an 11 year old girl who has just lost her dad. To us mj was an entertainer and the best at that, to these kids, mj was a dad. The closest person they had and sadly they,ve lost him. Surely, who are we to judge what's real and what's not?
    Thanks mj for making the world a better place for me.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  14. Priscilla

    I loved the memorial it was Beautiful and words can never express my deep sorrow for a wonderful man.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:39 am |
  15. Priscilla

    I was listening to Anderson Cooper earlier when they came out with a new report on the medical for the blessed Michael Jackson, and was wondering if anyone else has thought that Micheal had CANCER. He was such angel that was sent from heaven. I hope that all his medical issues come out to be just that he was really sick and just kept it from america. GOD BLESS HIM and HIS FAMILY!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  16. Sonia

    I loved the memorial service. I was so touched. Michael Jackson changed the world. He sacrificed to entertain the world. I join in the outrage over Pete King's comments. How incredibly ignorant and distasteful.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  17. Shilpee Shrestha

    I could not hold my tears! Paris is beautiful and a brave young girl!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:30 am |
  18. Gloria Beil-Phillips

    'Gone too soon". Man of pure love, misunderstood. Thank you for what you gave us. He will live in our hearts forever. Keep the music alive.!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:28 am |
  19. kathy

    I can't beleave MJ is not with us anymore.But, i know he will always be with us.I really hope they put him to rest at neverland . So, people can visite him there and they can raise money for charities that he cared so much about . that will help out his family and his kids. And because, he will never be forgotten we need to keep that property as it was when michael was living there.they did it with elvis,why not michael ? WE LOVE YOU MJ

    kathy from california

    July 8, 2009 at 12:28 am |
  20. janette

    Oh and AdamWV in answer ....Who did Shelia Jackson Lee
    think she is(?) because she gave a salute to Michael.She is
    a free citizen of these United States and an elected official
    and needs no ones permission to give whatever honor she
    pleases to a fellow countryman!!!!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:28 am |
  21. Mary

    As I watched the memorial service today, I couldn't help thinking what a beautiful, respectful, elegent event, fit for the King of Pop, and the beautiful person that Michael was. I know many of his detractors were expecting the event to be a "circus" and were surprised and left with a loss for words.

    As a resident of Detroit in the 60's and 70's, I am left with fond memories of the Motown sound and the Jackson Five. Listening to the beautiful music today brought back many wonderful memories of an era of great talent and sounds.


    July 8, 2009 at 12:28 am |
  22. Clark

    Why is the city of LA paying anything for the memorial of MJ? If my son dies .... my family and my church will pay for and do everything for the memorial. If people want to chip in to help the multimillion dollar Jackson family pay for MJ's memorial ... that is admirable. But the city of LA and the taxpayers should not be involved. A memorial is a religious activity (otherwise we would just through the body away) ... and government and religion is supposed to be kept separate.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:25 am |
  23. janette

    My sentiments have been echoed repeatedly.Todays
    memorial was awesome it was tastefully done and it
    wasn't dragged out.Jackson Lee spoke elequently.I
    think we all picked up the message she was sending
    to the rude Senator King.Michael did good – no one else
    compares to him.And yall HATERS keep HATIN' cause
    there is nothing you can do to him,he's safe now with
    the Lord.And his sins are forgiven.Amen!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:19 am |
  24. Kat

    My heart is so saddened at this time of the lost of Michael Jackson the greatest icon of our time.I grew up with his music and just loved him so much. The service was done so beautifully fit for the King of Pop he would have been so proud. And as for the children he was a good father because the children are really well rounded and he was a real human breathing person like us all. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and the children at this time, he is now singing, dancing and smiling with the angels. He will always be the brightest star in the heavens and will always be with us always.No you can R.I.P. now Michael but you will remain in our hearts always. We love you!!

    July 8, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  25. Cynthia in Washington

    The memorial service was a lovely tribute to Michael. We should be grateful that the family chose to share this time with us, I know I am. The producers obviously gave the planning of this event care it deserved.
    His music has been part of my life from the time Michael was part of the Jackson 5 through his solo career.
    I understand his children will never completely recover from the loss of their father, but I do pray that the rest of their lives are full of love and blessings.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  26. Connie

    During the time that "Thriller" was released, I bought my son Brad the album. At that time, he contracted mononucleosis and spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital. Once he was released from the hospital, all he wanted to do is perfect Michael's moon walk. I still have pictures of his love for Michael Jackson. Currently, he is a Seargant in the Army Nationial Guard and requests to return to active duty in Afganistan. Michael didn't quit pursuing his goals, and my son won"t either.

    July 8, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  27. erika

    thank you CNN that we could follow and see the memorial of Michael hier in Belgium!!!!!

    we love Michael, he will live forever in our harts, and his music and voise touches our harts and souls

    his concert in Oostende (Belgium) was for me the crown of his work, and he let us feel that we also belong in his live

    Michael, thank you for the wonderfull music, you will live forever in our harts, and we will never forget such a special person
    our harts are bleading, but we hope you have found the rest and peace jou have dreamed of

    good night

    July 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  28. Divya Kumar

    Thanks so much for the incredible coverage that enabled all of us who weren't able to pay our respects to Michael Jackson in person have some closure. I think the ceremony was beautiful–very apt for the beauty of the person it was celebrating. My only wish is that the world stops jusdging the beauty of a person by their external appearance but rather by their ability to enable each of us to feel such rich and deep emotions. I feel truly lucky to have overlapped sometime in my life with the time that Michael Jackson lived on this planet, as I think it is rare we see such beautiful people.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  29. Ally

    I thought the memorial was well done and moving. There were numerous touching moments. I did not appreciate much of Soledad O'Brien's commentary. Most of the time there were positive things being said, and she would always try to insert a comment of negative connotation. She commented about his skin color, but why is there no discussion of the skin disease of which he was diagnosed. I also join in being outraged by Pete King's comments -very ignorant and lacking any credibility.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  30. john

    ok. not a wedding... a funeral. you get it!

    July 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  31. earl eckles

    to jermaine loved your rendition of "SMILE" and i will try to do so,god bless

    July 7, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  32. Claudia

    If you want to report on talent & generosity. Report on Michael.
    If you want to report on Crazy. Report on Palin

    July 7, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  33. tj

    I remember te first time i heard mj( on free willy and thriller)i fell in love with him and always wished i could met him and even dreamed of marring him but most of all he was and is the greatest voice i ever heard! He is a wonderful man at heart and loved by many but is family will love him more. His children are so beautiful and will on threw them. He is in my heart now and forever and my heart and blessing go out to his closest friends and family! I wish you all the best and one hope to meet his family and children because he was and still is the only person i ever wished to meet . I love u MJ, may u rest in peace .

    THE KING OF POP- never forgot!!!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  34. Dprado

    tired of hearing about michael jackson. it's a loss but it's over. feel sorry for his kids.. it's hard for kids to loose their parents.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  35. Donita

    I was pretty strong throughout the whole service for Michael until the very end when the Jackson brothers and freinds surrounded Michael's casket and the music "Man In the Middle" played – incredible, . . . planned? – coincidence? incredible.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  36. Tracey

    Thankyou CNN for the coverage of the memorial.

    I still cant believe that MJ the King of Pop has passed away. And the memorial was really moving and everytime I see the repeat coverage and hear Jermaine sing Michaels favourite song and Paris speak I cant help but cry. Michaels children are beautiful and my heart goes out to them and also the Jackson family.

    RIP Michael you will be dearly missed

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  37. Carol Weigand

    MISUNDERSTOOD. Michael's love for children was pure. At the end of the day, I believe those who still believe the unproven, greed based accusations, do no understand the very special person that Michael Jackson was. Some took advantage of the access Michael trustingly gave. Some will never understand who Michael Jackson was.

    Michael's legacy, beyond his incredible professional body of work, are his countless, selfless acts of kindness. His abiding love for mankind and his yearning for his lost childhood are written in his songs. I pray that someday he can be rest in peace at NEVERLAND. Neverland is about Michael's lost childhood. At Neverland, he opened up his heart and home to children. MICHAEL BELONGS AT NEVERLAND. Perhaps above ground, in a monument at Neverland, this beautiful man, who remained a boy at heart, can somday rest in peace at the place he loved most.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  38. lisa s

    Thank you CNN for honoring MJ with your coverage

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  39. ANKA

    Pray that God will give Michael the peace and restful sleep that he longed in his pure, sad, unfinished life.

    He had the life of an angel and death of a martyr.

    May God rest his sweet, gentle soul in peace and may his legacy live forever

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  40. Rachelle

    I am truly grateful to have been able to see the memorial on TV. I would have liked to be there to share their pain but I understand that there is only a certain amount of people that can go.

    I never believed that MJ molested children. I think that some people wanted to make money off him and did not care about hurting him. I am glad that at least after his death justice is on the making.

    I lost my mother when I was 12 years old and I can empathise with Paris losing her dad.

    I have many meds to take every day. If I don't take them I am bedridden and have to be bathe, fed and on bedpan. I don't consider myself a drug addict. People who are not sick don't understand what our life is with chronic pain or chronic disorder. Not everybody is blessed with health.

    I am the same age as he is and I have been terribly sick for 8 years. I never expected he would leave before me. I feel part of me is gone.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  41. Jesse M. ,watertown ,s.d.

    Erica, cnn coverage of MJ memorial very good.I,d really like to know about the blonde girl that played guitar on MJ,s rehersal video and mem. show today,she sang a few bars at first of Heal the World' . also the tall,slim black girl that sang lead on Heal the World. both very talented. who are they??? jesse

    July 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  42. Gracie

    I wanted to mention that CNN handled the memorial extremely well. I always enjoy knowing Andersen Cooper and Larry King are on a story because both are men with integrity. Thanks, CNN!

    July 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  43. Norlesha

    From the island of ANGUILLA Michael Jackson also have fans. The first time I came across MJ music was through the movie Free Willy and I think I was 7 years old, since then I became a fan. I told my great aunt at the time he would be my bf and he will be the one to teach me to swim. To young at the time she just laugh and said I'm so funny. My whole household love MJ. I never was scared of any scary movies growing up because of the video thriller it makes me so energetic and not afraid . Its really his music and dance move, and his charm that make me fell so deep in love with this guy, I only wish so badly that I have meet him and that is one wish I know will never come through. His Mom and family is strong. I'm not even blood related but felt like I lost a member of my family. I pray that MJ mom would get his kids permanently so that they can raise in a loving , caring and manner environment. My love for Michael and his family will never fail. From my family to his we love you all Jacksons Family. MJ I hope the world let your soul rest in peace and your music live forever. From an Anguillian fan xoxox 🙁

    July 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  44. Penny Howell

    My Tribute to Michael Jackson
    By Penny Howell

    I have cried when I didn’t expect to. As I watched them bring in his body and the choir sang “We Are Going to See the King,” To the world that does not know the King of Kings; they probably thought they were singing about Michael Jackson, and that they, the fans, were coming to see the king. But, I knew they were singing about Michael going to see the King of Kings.
    Michael Jackson was very special and had several gifts. We got to enjoy and marvel at his talent and abilities. His greatest gift was to reach our hearts with his compassion for man, his desire for a peaceful existence, his love for children and childhood that showed in every part of his life. Sadly, because of his tender heart there were those who would take advantage and sometimes provide a negative influence. What would he have accomplished if he had surrounded himself with those who wanted to give to Michael and not take from him? I do not refer to catering to fleshly desire, but to help him remain grounded and use wisdom in dealing with fame, fortune, adversity, and life.
    The world watched as accusations were brought against Michael Jackson and we saw the many attempts to destroy him slowly takes its toll and suck the energy from his demeanor. Although his accusers were never satisfied, the hurt showed. His amazement that anyone could think of him as anything other than a loving, generous, creative soul was evident in every interview. He defended himself but he never gave in to the temptation to lash out or respond in hate. He practiced what he preached and gave away his fortune to benefit others.
    Michael Jackson’s contributions to music are overwhelming when all of them are condensed and presented like a resume´ reminding us of all he has accomplished. We want to soak it all in and let it make us feel all of emotion that Michael felt when he created the moving words of love and change. But Michael felt the pain of the world and that is what he shared with us. Whether he was the originator of the words or not, when he chose to sing a song it was magic.
    Hopefully his gifts will live on to inspire hope and encourage us to treat each other with love, compassion, and respect. These are the same lessons we were taught by our King Jesus and it was clear that Michael understood. Maybe, just maybe, God is saying to Michael, “Well done thy good and faithful servant."

    July 7, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  45. chastoms

    Michael Jackson will forever remain the Messenger of Love for our generation. He will forever be our 'soul brother' for all time. If there is an afterlife, I hope to meet him there one day! He may be out of our lives, but he will forever remain in our hearts. A gift to humanity, an inspiration to all.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  46. Annie

    What a Memorial Service that will always be remembered in our hearts.

    What's with the gum chewing with Joe Jackson???

    July 7, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  47. May

    Michael – I love you like my brother. I will miss you like me friend. I will remember you as a legend. God bless you and trust that he will protect your children.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  48. Diane Brand

    Today's Memorial for Michael Jackson was incredibly beautiful, filled with passion and honest, heartfelt feelings. Only thing, I kept wishing Michael could be there, sitting with his children and family, smiling broadly, feeling much joy and pride, touched by the love coming his way. I miss knowing that he is somewhere on this earth–there was a comfort in that thought. God bless his children. May they be allowed to stay forever with the Jackson family. Clearly, they all adore Michael's children and will love and protect them always. To Michael, Godspeed and may you find peace at last.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  49. Alina

    Dear Anderson, thank you for the great coverage and recognition to MJ's life and death. I just hope this won't be the "This Is It", I hope the world and the good media (CNN) keeps his legacy alive, that people answer the real call of his death. This man was so great that even on the day of his death he put all the world together to pray, laugh, cry and sing, and in my hearth that is his legacy, love and harmony, like the majority of his songs screamed high and loud.
    I haven't had a such a painful and good cry like today's events, very touching and moving.
    God hold him and his Children on a bond of love forever.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm |

    micheal i will miss that handsome smile, and wonderful voice. your parents will miss there son and your siblings there brother but more you children will miss there father. as an angel you can watch over them in a way you could not on this earth please know we loved you and will never ever forget you nor let your memory die.....

    July 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
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