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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. PamM

    ANDERSON AND CNN!

    You are missing a few very important contributions! The kid with the British accent gave one of the finest performances of the Memorial and you have not replayed it! I understand the need to include those who had a relationship with Michael, but did Mayer or Usher? This kid was UNBELIEVABLE and most of the world won't even have heard his performance. An unforgivable omission amongst your otherwise stellar coverage.

    ALSO, the names of some of the other finest performers were not given. Who was the amazing female singer (asian looking) who lead "We are the World"? And who was the amazing male singer who wore the hat (back-up and also strong in "We are the World")? Please provide this credit and coverage as it is surely due.

    Last, I think that the Rev Al Sharpton nailed MJ's contribution to society (providing a comfort level between the races through his artistic contributions) and that Brook Shields nailed his personality. I so appreciated all of the contributions (also LOVED Magic!) but these were among the most meaningful to me.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:16 am |
  2. marivic h-j. (Philippines)

    Even from this side of the globe Michael Jackson has touched our lives in many ways. Filipinos are talented with awesome singers and dancers, and MJ was a mentor and icon to many here.

    I grew up with MJ's music and am now so nostalgic. Because of the coverage and videos of the life of MJ from CNN and MTV, I cannot help but reminisce about my past as well. It's so intertwined and yet millions of us never knew him personally!

    Kudos to Katherine for breeding such a fine, sweet and talented human being, MJ adored you for this.

    Kudos to MJ for also breeding such beautiful and wonderful children. With Paris' heartfelt farewell to her daddy I am also reminded of John Kennedy Jr'.s last farewell to his daddy. Wow so touching . . . I also see the similarities of how Jackie O and MJ raised their kids in such fierce privacy in order to lead a normal life and yet were not shielded to mourn for their dad in public as any normal human being would. Now the kids can go on with no regrets! Kudos to the family!

    Thanks to CNN for a great coverage! And THANKS to the Jackson Family for sharing this special memorial that will be a lasting memory for the world. I am so elated to have discovered via the memorial that MJ was an even bigger humanitarian than I thought, imagine he even made in the Guinness Book of World Records for this! In his silence from the media over the years, he was helping the needy all along.

    Hail to the King of Pop! You are now our Angel. God Bless You MJ!

    marivic h-j.
    from the Philippines

    July 8, 2009 at 3:12 am |
  3. Diane Jones-Poulson

    Michael Jackson was in a class of his own. His presence was etherial.

    God blessed him with his talent and Katherine and Joe Jackson are responsible for discovering the talent of their children and they were gracious enough to share their talent and gifts with the world. Let us not lose sight of this.

    I never gave up on Michael,throughout all the allegations.If you looked into his heart you were able to see someone who tried to live his life in the likeness of God.

    My soul has been forever touched and for this I am grateful.

    RIP Michael and thank you for all the joy you have given us! You are and will always be the songbook of my life.

    Sincerely,
    Diane Jones-Poulson
    Pennsylvania

    July 8, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  4. sandy

    Yes, 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,,, for losing such a great entertainer who was determined to do the nest show for his kids. Memories are there and will never fade away coz he has left a foot print with his thrilling music. God give strength to his family and children to carry on the music as they grow and also be the stunning juniors of MJ's lineage Rest In Peace Brother.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:09 am |
  5. Aarati (from Antigua)

    I’m only 26 and I love MJ not solely for the music. For me he was a rare human being in his open-mindedness and his ability to approach people from all walks of life, cultures, colours, religion and nationalities with pure love in his heart. In this era where we often have to question the sincerity of those in the spotlight, I can always reflect on Michael because his dedication to the needs of the world and its people was completely genuine. People often wonder how he transcended so many barriers to accomplish what he accomplished. I believe it’s because he always behaved as a citizen of the world, in its truest sense. I think we all have a lot to learn from this gracious, aware, generous, fallible and flawed man because as high as he climbed, his very human vulnerability and frailty made him simply one of us. Thank you MJ and I’ll never forget.

    July 8, 2009 at 3:01 am |
  6. Aman

    This is really sad and I cried watching Michael Jackson's funeral. I read the Hindu scriptures and they use to mention about the perfection of spirituality in comparison with a Brahmin or those who live like Brahmin, caring, loving, unselfish, ego less, and helping others in need. The spirit of the Brahmin is considered to be pure and to attain Brahminhood one must self-sacrifice a life for the happiness of others not themselves. Since u leave nothing behind, when u die...So, suddenly it dawn to me the words of the Hindu scripture that the death of Michael Jackson is like a death of a Brahmin. The world is left with tears as his spirit has risen to greater perfection.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:47 am |
  7. Marissa-South Gate,Ca

    Omg, todays Mj memorial was so beautiful and emotional. I will never forget today. From the begin of the memorial, when they entered with the casket to the end of the memorial when his daughter Paris spoke was so very emotional. It really did bring tears to my eyes.Im 23 yrs old, but i do remember growing up listening to MJ, all my family are fans of his. He's truly a insiration in my life. My Love and Prayers go out to the Jackson family. May god bless all of them and may MJ REST IN PEACE... I Will never forget him, and his music will live on forever. I LOVE YOU MICHAEL JACKSON
    Marissa-South gate,Ca

    July 8, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  8. Sharon H

    I think what Paris Jackson did at the memorial service is the same as JFK JR. saluting his fathers coffin. Each generation should be proud truly amazing

    July 8, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  9. Ganesh T

    Jackson's Music is very popular in my country. MJs untimely death saddens me a lot !!

    Ganesh
    Hyderabad
    INDIA

    July 8, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  10. Deborah-Mechanicsville Va

    CNN-Thank you for great coverage. Where can I get a CD of the whole service. I feel like Michael Jackson is a family member. I couldn't stop crying when I first heard about his death. Tears still run down my face just thinking that he is gone. Michael touched the world!!!! God created a wonderful,loveable,special person that's MICHAEL JACKSON...HE is in HEAVEN THE DOORS OF HEAVEN HAS OPENED FOR HIM. MICHAEL YOU WILL ALWAYS LIVE IN THE PEOPLE WHO HEART YOU HAS TOUCHED. LIVE ON MICHAEL AND I LOVE YOU ALWAYS. YOU CAN NOW REST IN PEACE AND YOUR FAMILY WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF. GOD THANK YOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL, LOVING PERSON,

    July 8, 2009 at 2:19 am |
  11. Milton Smith

    Wow Jackson's kid Paris looks pretty. She could be a star?

    July 8, 2009 at 2:18 am |
  12. dottie

    yeah! l weep through the entired service,
    l felt so sad,for the jacksons family.,
    but they must know God will see them through.,
    these tough times.
    l think the whole world weeps ,ours heart hurt , but at the end
    we all bid his farewell. with a smile.
    to, haters out there , michael say beat it.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  13. LeighAnn

    The image of Blanket walking off stage holding back tears, holding his father's doll, and chewing that big wad of gum broke my heart. (Look close to see him – he is in the lower right near the CNN logo)

    July 8, 2009 at 2:12 am |
  14. Robert Lee Bickle

    I never had the opportunity to see MJ in concert but knew I wanted to. He was the greatest in all he pursued in life. As far as his burial goes, he could continue to make his debt pay itself off by having his body placed somewhere on Neverland as a monumental tribute to him. He was all about children, and believe the amusement park re-open with reservations made to allow those interested in being touched by his spirit come to pay their respects while charging a nominal fee for entranceto Neverland. He would have wanted that mostly since he was truely into his fans to amuse them just one more time.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:08 am |
  15. bob tanner

    anderson can we please let go of michael jackson and get on with real news...the cnn poll taken tonight shows more than half of your viewers are getting sick of it...the press has crucified the man for the past 20 some years and now they are deifying him...yourself included...one needs to anchor a news team or run a tabloid...how much lower are you going to let the bar fall??? sincerely, bob tanner.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:08 am |
  16. Melvin Waters

    I am only 12 years old but through the 10 years out of the 12 years I always loved Michael Jackson.... I watched the whole memorial service and as much as I wanted to cry I didnt.. when i first heard that Michael was being rushed to the hospital 5 minutes later my friend told me that he was dead because of a heart attack now only really the family knows the cause of the death.. but although people say he used drugs and all of the other things they might say to make Him sound like he was a bad man we all still love him and although i never saw him in person i always loved him... and when i went to Detroit to a hotel with my mom and dad i got on the stage at a talent show and performed the Billie Jean and when i did this i was only 4 years of age.... But through all of the alligations and accusations people accussed him of myself and alot of other people still love Him.. R.I.P MJ and remember you will always be remembered..

    July 8, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  17. Nadine

    There will never be another Michael Jackson. He will always be the undisputed "ONE" in the entertainment world. His memories will always live on in our hearts forever. Michael, I grew up with you, your music and you have touched my life in a very special way. My heart goes to your children as you leave to meet our Father in heaven. Rest in peace now Michael. God bless your soul.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:01 am |
  18. Lisa Johnson

    I anticipated watching the memorial to Michael Jackson. I wanted to see that the memorial did not turn into a circus. I am glad that it didn't. The memorial was the most dignified memorial I have ever witnessed. Of course I wanted to see what celebraties would come out and perform or speak. I was happy up until the point when Brooke Shields came out and spoke of her friendship with Michael. I started to cry. She was very moving! I hope now that he is finally at peace with the world.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:00 am |
  19. Marty

    Leave him alone.
    Skip the gossip: If he is bald, lilly white, money, custody or overdosed, leave him alone.

    Choose some OTHER news.

    July 8, 2009 at 2:00 am |
  20. Jenny

    The Memorial service was filled with so many emotions, some real, some not so real, kind of like a playing a part of a concert (but that's my opinion). But one thing I can't understand is – why didn't Michael's brothers carried the casket with Honor? Why did they have to roll it in and out.... Such a shame! It doesn't matter how expensive and lavish was the coffin... They should of carried him honor. But at least now it's over. He can Rest in Peace. God bless.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:56 am |
  21. Adam

    Anderson enough is enough already!
    We have had it up to our ears with all this hoop la about this child molester Michael Jackson. There are other entertainers who have had great lives and given a lot to society. Why hasn't CNN spent any time on their lives? Why? Because they were not CHILD MOLESTERS who paid millions in HUSH money to keep things quiet. Move on folks that little pimp in the pink hat from long ago is finally out of our lives. Children can sleep peacefully at night now knowing that the child molester has kicked the bucket.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:55 am |
  22. Stephanie

    The Memorial Service was absolutely beautiful...You can tell Michael was loved by many people around the world. The children are clearly in the best hands possible, and if the court takes them out of this environment they are retarded. That would stupid to put them in a home with a complete stranger when they have all the love they need with their Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents. God Bless Michael and his family and friends.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:54 am |
  23. onasa mba

    only in a mans demise would you know his greatness...i tot i was the only person who loved micheal..

    July 8, 2009 at 1:54 am |
  24. Starla Christy

    I would like to thank the entire Jackson family for allowing the fans of Micheal Jackson to be a part of his families darkest hour. It is a great honor to celebrate Michaels life, and morn his death along with the rest of the world.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  25. Sue Stack

    I also FEEL LIKE A PART OF MY CHILDHOOD HAS DIED WITH MICHAEL. He brought back such good memories of the 80's. I can remember the day Thriller was released. I was with a group of friends and we played the entire album in awe. We couldn't believe how great the songs were and how good they made you feel.

    The Memorial Service today was beautiful. Thank you to everyone that contributed to this wonderful and tearful day. I hope Michael is smiling at us from that crescent moon. I will miss the joy and love he brought to our lives.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  26. Jamie D.

    I lost my job yesterday because i stuck up for MJ...it was well worth it and I would do it again, I love you Michael!!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  27. anna

    Andre and Patrick,
    May God bless you and soften your cynical hearts...those comments were sick and wrong. Leave that poor, grieving, heartbroken child alone!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  28. nicole

    Rev. Al said so much that was felt. The world we live in IS strange and choatic Micheal was not strange, but resolved to a creative solution that this world percribes to.... A world we all perscribe to. We love you Michael.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  29. Victor

    Michael Jackson's music is timeless and never gets old.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  30. kertisha tonge

    Omg how am I gonna keep living in this world knowing the person that I looked up to is no longer living.
    Even thought im only 14 years old I have listen to your music all my life wooow your really gone but no matter what you will always be my number 1 you will always be in my heart.
    I promise you im gonna live life for the both of the us.
    King of pop aka my husband for life michael jackson R.I.P MICHAEL :'(

    July 8, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  31. Elizabeth

    I found I was completely sucked into the memorial for Michael and was frequently moved to tears. I grew up with his music and feel blessed to have done so. He inspired me to dance and sing and express myself in a creative manner. I still cannot believe he has passed on. His entire family and friends are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this time with all of us and for touching our hearts.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  32. Andy

    I love his work …he was the best ….the charity work that he build was massive ….God bless him!!!
    I really consider that is not right when some journalists keep bringing on allegation about a trial that have declared not guilt , just because he was a public person this don’t give them the right to consider him guilty besides the law…… This is unfair, untrue and evil, nobody can live in a place where the justice is not sufficient to shut down the tabloids! He had some problems and eccentricities but tell me…. Who is normal if you look up close today??

    July 8, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  33. Katie

    Every body remember Michael always said I'll be there always remember that especially the family of Jackson!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:43 am |
  34. vOvO

    So with the continuous televising..over and over...same things.....
    No one followed the hurst and the casket after the family went to lunch????
    How can that be?

    July 8, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  35. Wendy

    He is just awesome, the memorial today was just so heart wrenching, I've cried most of the day. I grew up with the Jackson 5 and with Michael and I their music and his. You or anyone else on this earth will ever make me believe he did anything to any young boys. He loved children because he was a child himself. Only people with filthy minds think that way. He was pure at heart and could never hurt a child like that. His kids are adorable and deserve for their father to be treated with respect for the wonderful man he is and always will be. You'll be missed Michael, god bless you and keep you.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  36. April Thompson

    Michael, you will be missed! My thoughts and prayers are with his children and family.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  37. Claire Marie - Philadelphia

    My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Jackson family and especially Michael's Mom, children and sibblings. Rest In Peace Michael – the PEACE you so well deserve and has come at a tremendous loss to your family and fans but a long time coming for you. Stevie said it best – God apparantly needed you more. Your children now have their own "Personal Guardian Angel" who will for sure, be watching over them and protecting them.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:30 am |
  38. Katie

    I know everybody loves Michael especially his daughter Paris what a wonderful speech .I give the best wishes to the Jackson family especially the kids Good Luck Guys

    July 8, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  39. Lori

    From 8 tracks to ipods from Hyphy to downloads this special man will be remembered forever.

    I truly believe that this angel was given to us and we broke him and God took him back.

    I challenge an other artist to be just as big as a humanitarian, or a philanthropist, as much as Michael was.

    Gob Bless the entire Jackson family. And God Bless those great kids!!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  40. michael

    to the jackson family and michaels children, you will continue to be in my prayers and thoughts. thanks for allowing america to be a part of michaels memorial, thank you michael for all the memories...you will not be forgotten for all the good you have done!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  41. BRENDA, NC

    Today's memorial service for Michael Jackson was one that will be remembered for many years to come.Realizing what a Kindhearted , caring, generous person Michael Jackson really was is enlightening. It says volumes about his upbring, by that I mean his mother's influence.Her being a Jehovah"s Witness lets me know she understood her role as helpmate to her husband, and him being the head of the family. If you are not familiar with the teachings ,you proberly won't understand. So I'm sure she played a very important role in Micheal's values and teaching him the ways of Jehovah. Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart. Michael may have changed his religious preference once he was an adult but it is obvious that he still believed in treating people with love .
    ,I'm not saying that other beliefs do not practice love, but when you know the TRUTH nothing else matters. Sleep on Brother Michael until that Great Day when the dead in christ shall rise , and we wake up to a new Earth. May Jehovah keep your family . Brenda

    July 8, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  42. Kathy

    Hi Anderson this is Kathy And Destiny from Baton Rouge LA,we watched your brodcast of MJ's memorial.It was beautiful except, why did the whole family wear sunglasses in the building? Are they afraid to show how they feel? If you cant see someones eyes there is a lie there and thats what i beleive. I wanted to see some real tears because they hid there compassion we cried all day and we told our friends not to come over because our eyes were swollen and red. I just think love should be shown.I think it was tacky.What are they really hiding from? I think his fans and friends loved him more than his own family. Love Kathy and Destiny

    July 8, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  43. Susie

    I bid MJ farewell this manchild that I watch grow up. I saw him when he was child and as man. He will always be the King of Pop. And all that he has done will be around forever. Rest be at peace sing for God now. God bless this family of talent and keep his loving arms around this family.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  44. james h.smith( bay city tx.)

    it felt good hearing people speach good about MICHAEL JACKSON.Paris the thruth is the light because you let us know just how you feel.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:24 am |
  45. Willie G.

    The world will miss a great human being , but his family will miss him more, God bless you all..........................................................................

    July 8, 2009 at 1:24 am |
  46. Chris Mc Evoy

    Rest in peace Michael. I love you man I really do. You and your music will live on forever and ever.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  47. Leslie

    Michael Jackson is a legend. People that are cynical and cannot see the sadness here for him or his family need to SHUT-UP and keep the ugliness away.

    One of the last shots on the stage was "Blanket" clutching a plastic doll looking at the camera with Michael's eyes. That has to be MJ's biological child. I can see Michael's shyness and spirit in "Blanket's" eyes.

    RIP Michael

    July 8, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  48. Lori

    From 8 tracks to ipods from Hyphy to downloads this special man will be remembered forever.

    I truly believe that this angel was given to us and we broke him and God took him back.

    Gob Bless the entire Jackson family. And God Bless those great kids!!

    July 8, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  49. Chris Mc Evoy

    Rest in peace Michael. I love you man. I really. You and your music will live on forever and ever.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  50. mekdes

    hey everybody i just wanna say that Machael Jackson is one of the best artist out there in the world. i love him so much i dont even have the words to say it. but i know God is on his side right know and his family too. so MJ rest in peace man.

    July 8, 2009 at 1:19 am |
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