July 7th, 2009
02:12 PM ET

Updates from inside the memorial service

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

12:41 p.m. PT

Paris is breaking my heart. Not a dry eye in the arena

12:37 p.m. PT

Touching moment: Paris hugging her little brother and making sure he is ok.

12:33 p.m. PT

Rev Jesse Jackson swaying along, next to Rev Al Sharpton.

12:32 p.m. PT

Spike Lee just jumped up on stage too. Paris is hugging Blanket. Just so cute

12:30 p.m. PT

Wait not her. Just a look alike
Lots of hugging on stage right now

12:29 p.m. PT

Britney on stage!!!

12:28 p.m. PT

Blanket is on stage with his program. Prince and Paris are singing along. Just adorable

12:19 p.m. PT

Kid from Britain's Got Talent on stage now. Amazing!!!

12:10 p.m. PT

Usher is standing just a few steps from Jackson's kids and mother. Really touching song

11:52 a.m. PT

Ok, I admit it. Jermaine made me cry. So touching Now Dr Martin Luther King's children are speaking

11:45 a.m. PT

It is evident that Brooke Shields cared dearly about Jackson. She is so genuine in her words.

11:39 a.m. PT

Anyone else pick up on the brothers wearing glitter gloves?

Crowd cheering Brooke Shields on. She is trying to keep it together.

11:31 a.m. PT

Rev Al Sharpton is preaching on in here. He has the crowd responding with cheers and tears, and we know it's sincere. He told me Friday night that he wants us to remember the legacy.

11:24 a.m. PT

How the heck did Jennifer Hudson not win American Idol? She is truly amazing and sounds even better in person than on tv!

11:21 a.m. PT

Magic and Kobe just hugged Michael's children

11:09 a.m. PT

I think the entire arena is feeling Stevie Wonder. Tears are starting to flow all around, and I hate to admit, I even teared up.

11:04 a.m. PT

Huge roar, loudest so far, for Berry Gordy. You can feel the electricity in the arena.

The big screens are showing the arena what you are seeing on TV as well.

10:58 a.m. PT

I'm sitting next to 4 of the rudest people...Talking on the phone, to each other. I can barely hear Berry Gordy speak!!!

10:51 a.m. PT

Main message from Latoya: Keep the magic going!

10:46 a.m. PT

Some woman is wearing a mask and white gloves. Can't figure out if it's to be like Mike or if she's a germaphobe Queen Latifah has the crowd laughing. You can tell she is emotional and doing her best to hold it together.

10:43 a.m. PT

There is a group of about 50 people in all white. Really a mix of people and fashions, so to speak

10:33 a.m. PT

Lil Kim just walked by my section. Amazingly, the crowd just waved a little and showed her some respect. She is in all black

A choir is is on the stage now. The celebration is beginning

10:27 a.m. PT

Family got a standing ovation when they walked in. Was very nice, and not raukus at all.

People are still filing in. There are a smattering of empty seats but it's mostly full.

10:16 a.m. PT

Complete silence when Smokey Robinson spoke, now waiting for what's next. Someone just yelled "We love you Michael". Some hoots but mostly shhhhs.

10:10 a.m. PT

I'm in! Gold 8×10 programs handed to all ticket holders. Special message from Latoya inside as well as pics throughout his career. Starting soon.

10:04 a.m. PT

The motorcade just arrived, so I am heading into the Staples Center. We aren't allowed to take photos but hoping to sneak some.

Hearing from credible sources to expect surprises. The fact that his casket will be there was one, so wondering what else is in store.

9:14 a.m. PT
After a week and a half, we are here...

The public memorial service will begin in an hour or so, and everyone outside Staples Center is gearing up for this celebration of Michael Jackson's life.

I'll be inside, hoping to update you on what you can't see on CNN during the service. Will check in later!

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Kay Jones • Michael Jackson
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. della reese edwards

    There's a song Holy Night – This was Holy Day – I know the tears won't bring Michael Jackson, back to us – the fans who loved him so much. Thank you, Jackson Family, for sharing your today with us. We will Never Forget Michael – No matter what – We will Never Forget him.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    My goodness Kay – you really provided a step by step review of the memorial service. Thanks for sharing!!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  3. Rochelle Stempel

    Where were all the original "We Are The World" artists? Dionne Warwick, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper? Those who were a part of the memorial today were great (Stevie, Lionel etc.) – but I wanted more of his contemporaries – more of 'our' contemporaries. Maybe I just wanted more Michael. Maybe for the first time since his death it became more personal than the loss of a world renowned superstar. Maybe I was suddenly struck by the loss of a chunk of my life. I needed to see more of the 50-somethings – I needed to cling on to something – I needed something to help fill the void – to help patch the hole that had finally found its way to my heart. I wanted. I needed. I yearned. Michael was more than Michael. He was a part of so many of us for nearly half of a century. And with his death, so goes an era. And even though I yearned for more of the originals today – I guess it's pretty cool to see how young and old, black and white, American and Asian...how the whole world has been influenced by him – a kind man, an extraordinary talent, a legend.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  4. JEAN

    l am 61 and l still cant stop crying this day l well all was rember it was the most out standening lv ever seen thank.s to the Jackson Family now let us help them pay for this because thay didnt have to do this but thay did it for us so we can be a part of M,J. THANKS WITH ALL MY HEART JACKSON FAMILY YOUR ALL GREAT AND A GOOD HEART LIKE YOUR MOM I II PRAY FOR HER SHE NEEDS LOST OF LOVE NOW M,J WAS HER BABY BOY. GOD BLESS YOU ALL YOUR IN MY HEART ALL WAYS . JEAN FROM CAN. ONT

    July 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  5. Pam

    Thanks AC and CNN as a whole for your respectful and tasteful coverage of this past week of MJ news!

    July 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  6. Martine from Philadelphia

    Its really funny that Michael's last performance on earth was They dont really care about us. Out of all the songs im sure he had to rehearse. Nothing is by accident . That was simply a message. Open your eyes people. They dont really care about us. Thank you Michael I get it.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  7. nuoka

    Michael we know there is a life higher than death.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  8. Teri Englbrecht

    This is for Congressman Pete King of NY in response to his U Tube submission:

    What a mistake to condemn Michael Jackson in public after he was found "not guilty" in a court of law.
    That tells me that you have no faith in the American Justice System. Being in the political position that you are, I'd think you'd be smarter than that and support our justice system rather than condemn it (as you have by saying you don't believe he is innocent).

    You can kiss any ideas of re-election goodbye.

    Good lord.. isn't it about time that people like you let this beautiful, loving, philanthropic man rest in peace?
    He's given us so much, so as Michael himself said "Heal the World". Let's start with you.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  9. gulinder

    What was the reason about Sikh Symbol ( KHANDA) in the back ground of the stars singing on Michael Jackson memorial. I think those golden signs were the religious signs. But I seen Sikh symbol was more highlighted.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  10. Daniel Rocky Greene

    That was the proper way to remember Michael. LA & the event staff did a great job in putting this event together. It was presented to his family & fan's the way he should be remembered. It was the right speeches & son selections. It definitely help me get the tears out & say goodbye! Outstanding job!

    July 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  11. Daniel Rocky Greene

    Thank you CNN for your outstanding coverage on such a spectacular event that will go down in history, as one of the best tributes I have ever seen.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  12. Wanza

    US Rep. Sheryl Lee Jackson, I applaud you for addressing the nastiness of Rep. Peter King w/out mentioning his name. I salute you, Rep. Jackson. I know that yours and Rev. Al's comments aren't news-worthy but I heard you and Michael heard you.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  13. Rena

    I have always loved Michael Jackson as a artist. I never believed anything negative that was said about him. Michael was a loving person. I got a chance see him in Memphis, TN on top of the Woolworth building. Michael, you will truly be missed. R.I.P.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  14. Shannon

    I watched the entire service, with great respect for the family and the production.

    As a life-long fan, I have my own memories of Michael and his awesome talent and humanitarian efforts.

    I didn't shed a tear until Paris Michael Katherine went to the microphone and said how wonderful her daddy is.

    As a daddy's girl myself, I know from personal experience that when Daddy dies you're never the same.

    Whether it be 9 years or 3 weeks: we are never the same, but we are still loved by them.

    We are their true legacy. Paris and her brothers know how wonderful their father was.

    As a life long fan– those negative events hurt me. I could never understand why people wanted to hurt such a gentle soul.

    The world is an emptier place without Michael Jackson's soul and spirit.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  15. Wanza

    To Pat: No one trying to belittle or degrade no single individual's trials or tribulations. Michael Jackson is a great man who entertained. He gave away millions of $$ to strangers. His contributions are no more or no less than anyone else. You don't get it and now I understand that as I write this. So forget that I even address this.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  16. Tara

    Well there shouldn't be a war to begin with, and that is his message. If you want war coverage look for another channel. Respect for CNN for honouring a real humanitarian.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  17. Isabel, Brazil

    Hey, Kay!

    Paris Michael spoke little, but she was the best of Memorial
    Paris is breaking my heart too.
    My co-workers to pretend to be working and not watching, they gave in with tears.

    The whole event was very well done. It was a beautiful tribute, well organized, in the tone and measure in some ...

    July 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  18. Elizaeth

    Thank you Kay for your accounts of being there at the service.
    Everyone was wonderful and it was a meaningful and geniune service. Loved the shoutouts 'We love you Michael'and the one who said 'We Love you More'! and we Do!

    July 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  19. JEAN

    it was the best thing his family did to day; am so proud he went out with a big bang because he is the best and to his children your daddy was a good man and had a big heart god bless the Jackson Family and M J. is looking over you all thank you for giveing me this day to see M J love Jean from brampton ont can. M J Chirldren are in good hands.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Wanza

    Today, all we think we know. We actually know nothing. With all of the speculation that's been flowing on every news media, had it wrong.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  21. nab

    oh my god !! the memorial left me heart broken, i couldnt stop crying in front of my tv.
    Hope you're in a better place Michael, i will always love you
    thanks for bringing peace and love to the world. We're all gonna miss you.
    i love you most

    July 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  22. elisa

    i just wanted to let you know that the boy shaheen....the boy who sang was from BGT and that was the song he sang for simon and the other ...on tv you said you had no idea who he was there you go....

    July 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  23. Kathie, Ontario. Canada

    The young boy who sang was on Britains Got Talent...

    July 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  24. Betsy Thompson

    Let me the first to day it... At the very end when they sung the last song for those few minutes Michael Jackson brought world peace to earth.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  25. claudio

    It would be nice that after watching MJ memorial;
    For 24 hrs we did not shoot, our fellow human beings,
    wars should stop, killings should stop, at least for one day, can we do that? One world

    July 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  26. viviane

    Has soon has the procession begain I started to cry and did not stop until was ended. I was deeply moved by it all. I will miss him very much. Love you Micheal

    July 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  27. Ed Gary

    Many, many, many thanks to CNN for their wonderful coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial. He will be very missed by us all. May his memory and music live forever.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  28. Monty

    I am a midwesterner like Mike born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, he in Gary Indiana. I am six months older than Mike, I remember seeing the Jackson 5 in a talent show at a local High school. Mike and I were about 10 years old. needless to say I grew up with Mike. I named my brother after Mike., my father whom died when I was 14, he and I always sang and danced to the music of Mike and his brothers. Mike like a lot of midwesterners, dispise the thought of anyone hurting a child. we would take aggression upon anyone who did. The accusations against Mike, are lies and by no means is he capable of such a horrific ordeal. I love you Mike and you will forever live iin the souls of many. I'll see ya up their one day :
    RIP, "Monty"

    July 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  29. Wayne H.

    We were blessed to have Michael for the short time there he remained with us. God gave Michael great talents to see what Michael could do with them. God gave us Michael to see what we would do with him. Let us never forget the contribution that Michael Jackson gave to the entire world.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  30. Evie

    I watched the memorial today, and have to admit I cried like a baby.
    I loved micheals music, he was one of a kind, a talent that has never been seen or will be seen again. Many of us never believed the stories we heard about child molesting, what parent would take money over justice if they truly believed he had molested their child.
    I,t in my humble opinion was people out to make money off his kind innocent heart. And the media and people who pursued it with gusto for their own reasons, racism, jealousy whatever. They today will see their cruel behaviors haven't touched him and he is loved by those that matter his family and his fans and his children will grow up to know their father was the worlds greatest entertainer.
    Micheal was above black or white, this is even more evident when you look at those he lovednmore than anyone, his children are white. Color isn't important, it is what is in the heart micheal didn't just believe that HE LIVED IT! a true innocent spirit!!!! He will be missed by so so many people.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  31. karen mango

    Did you notice that Jackson's daughter stood up and clapped when Al Sharpo stated her father was not a freak.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  32. Aaron

    To all those who take this time to speak badly of Michael Jackson I want you to know this...he was someones son someones father someones brother and there is a reason why millions of people are grieving over his passing...so those of you that have that hate in your heart ask yourself this how many people will grieve when you are gone?

    July 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  33. Aaron

    This is the most incredible thing i have ever seen...I don't think Michael Jackson knew how much he was loved....but I am sure he does now

    July 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  34. Gloria Valvasori

    I thought this was supposed to be a memorial? Why is Sheilah Jackson Lee "preaching?" She is almost shouting at the audience!! as did Al Sharpton.... Uggg... stop the preaching !!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  35. maggie

    i am at work and do not have jave so i cant stream it in...sux! hopefully my bf has been recording this.. i luv u mj...

    July 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  36. karen mango

    Why did Al Sharpon make a comment about Jessie Jackson not being their today?

    July 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  37. Julie

    Why is the Local New Edition breaking in constantly with local news. So far I have missed most of Barry Gordy and of Martin Luther King II and his sister Bernice. This is absolutely ridiculous! Is the telecast going to be reshown for those of us who have local stations who are so inconsiderate as to break in to tell us about news that has now relavance or importance next to the service?

    July 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  38. karen mango

    Brook Shields was the most sincere and emotional of the speakers. She spoke from her heart.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  39. carrie

    in Queens,NY god is crying. Its raining here. How strange. RIP Michael J.

    July 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm |

    Who killed Michael Jackson...Michael Jackson killed Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson made up his mind to die. He couldn't stand getting older and being a shadow of his past self. He was a savvy enough businessman to understand that if he died at 60 or seventy the world's adoration wouldn't be their. He would just be an old entertainer that passed away. With death at fifty he would be frozen in time..a Global Icon. His fans would have memories for what he was and not what he has become.
    Allen Gutwirth
    Author " How To Renovate Your Innerself

    July 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  41. Melissa

    Brook Sheilds had the most beautiful things to say.

    July 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  42. Reba Marr-Harrington

    I grew up on the Jackson 5. I remember my family watching Michael Jackson on the Ed Sullivan Show. It seems I have loved him and his family forever. He is a star among stars, the greatest entertainer ever, and a loving person. Michael Jackson will be missed. I know I will miss him. Too soon, too soon. I find solace in knowing he is in the bosom of God. My prayers are with his family.

    Reba Marr-Harrington
    Battle Creek, MI

    July 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  43. carrie

    as the memorial service started,the weather got cooler inmy living room. strange ,don't you think? i do not even have my ac on(airconditioner0

    July 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  44. sharon-new mexico

    "What you are may help others in ways you may never know. Your influence, like your shadow, extends to where you may never be." Michael's influence will live on...we miss him.

    July 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  45. Courtney Shackelford

    I am so sorry to say this, but I really don't like Rev. Al Sharpton. He seems so FAKE & he seems to only support all things black and that isn't how your supposed to go through life. He needs to support multicultural things... On another note... RIP MJ 🙂

    July 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
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