September 3rd, 2009
04:54 PM ET

Invitation to Jackson's private service

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/03/michael.jackson.burial/art.jackson.afp.gi.jpg caption="A private funeral for Michael Jackson will be held today at 7pm PST in Glendale, California."]

Tonight Michael Jackson will be buried during a private service at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California. Only his family and closest friends will attend the burial, but we'll have live coverage of the event outside of the cemetery starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Click here to see the invitation to Jackson's funeral.

Filed under: Michael Jackson
September 3rd, 2009
04:50 PM ET

Michael Jackson: LIFE photos

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He was lauded and ridiculed. He broke down barriers and built them around himself. He soared to heights unimaginable with his music, and he made the ignominious front page of gutter tabloids worldwide. For Michael Jackson, the spotlight was always present, and the rest of the world followed.

Go here to see a gallery of LIFE photos of Michael Jackson.

Filed under: Michael Jackson
September 3rd, 2009
02:54 PM ET

One More for MJ

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/10/jackson.thursday/art.jackson.2005.gi.jpg caption="Gotham Chopra was a long-time friend of Michael Jackson."]
Gotham Chopra

I thought long and hard about whether to go on CNN tonight and once again talk about my late friend Michael Jackson. Months ago when he died, I did a flurry of interviews, mostly on CNN and with Larry King and got a lot of positive feedback for some of the things I said about Michael. Viewers wrote to me in droves via email, facebook, and twitter; there were grateful that I had “humanized” him. It was natural to me to re-collect Michael more as a friend – I knew him from when I was just a kid on through my college years, my first few years out in the working world, getting married and becoming a father – rather than try to analyze the pendulum of his career from iconic rock-star to scandal plagued celebrity. I was close to him as he endured both phases and what was remarkable was that he stayed largely the same guy underneath, staggeringly intelligent and wildly irreverent, deeply spiritual but quintessentially cynical. Michael was cool, but he was also conflicted. He was forever a contradiction, a creative visionary that wanted to heal the world, but could barely keep his own life together.

Part of the reason I was ambivalent about going on TV tonight was because I’m not attending the memorial service/burial today in which he is finally being laid to rest. The reasons for that were various. To tick off a few: frankly because it’s really weird to me that he died 2.5 months ago and still had not been buried (in the Hindu tradition, the body must be disposed off within two days, and not that I am even very Hindu, but come on…); because I sensed the service would be more of the same – a circus of attention seekers and media – and I didn’t really want to be a part of it; and because, well, I don’t think I was really invited by his family or lawyers or post-death entourage, whoever is running the show. I’m not surprised, nor disappointed. I was good friends with Michael, not his parents nor many siblings, not his wonderful children, nor the many in his entourage who always seemed to be around, and appear just as plentiful and voracious in his death. On the former (the family), this has no doubt been a conflicted time for them as well. When I was with him the last few years, Michael intimated a deep respect for many of the members of his family, but he didn’t profess a real intimacy with them in recent times. He loved his brothers deeply but he didn’t ache to re-establish the famous fraternity the world once knew. Then again, what do I know?

Keep reading...

Filed under: Michael Jackson
September 3rd, 2009
11:42 AM ET

Dead stars and classic art will surround Michael Jackson

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/03/michael.jackson.funeral/art.jackson.afp.gi.jpg caption="A private funeral for Michael Jackson will be held Thursday in Glendale, California."]

Alan Duke

Seventy days after his sudden death, Michael Jackson will be interred in what may or may not be his final resting place Thursday evening.

Only his family and closest friends will attend the private funeral inside the ornate Great Mausoleum on the grounds of Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California.

The news media, which has closely covered every aspect of Jackson's death, will be kept at a distance, with cameras no closer than the cemetery's main gate.

Little is known about the planned ceremony, though CNN has confirmed that singer Gladys Knight, a longtime friend to Jackson, will perform. Her song has not been disclosed.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
September 2nd, 2009
05:38 PM ET

'Michael Jackson was a drug addict'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/02/walker.jackson/art.james.walker.jpg caption="James L. Walker Jr. says the evidence shows Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs."]
James L. Walker Jr.
Special to CNN

Michael Jackson died of an overdose, according to the preliminary finding of the Los Angeles coroner described in court documents. The King of Pop apparently was given a variety of drugs that included the powerful sedative propofol, according to authorities.

The news came as a shock to some. But the reality it pointed to was this: Michael Jackson was an addict.

A drug addict is a person who has become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance or drug.

I operate a halfway house and we deal with this struggle regularly with our men, who have become addicts, and they continually tell me how hard it is to overcome. They also tell me that people are vulnerable to addiction whether white or black, rich or poor: Drugs don't discriminate.

I am also an entertainment lawyer who understands the pressures of working in the music industry and the experience of insomnia that Jackson apparently complained about over the years.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Michael Jackson
September 2nd, 2009
02:33 PM ET

Judge orders estate to pay for Michael Jackson's funeral

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/21/jackson.burial/art.jackson.dancing.gi.jpg caption="Michael Jackson's burial will be at Glendale Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Thursday, September 3."]
Alan Duke

A Los Angeles judge Wednesday approved Katherine Jackson's request that the Michael Jackson estate be sent the bill for the cost of this week's funeral for her son.

The pop singer is to finally be interred more than two months after his death in a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, Thursday evening, the Jackson family said.

A short hearing was held Wednesday morning before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to consider Katherine Jackson's petition.


Filed under: Michael Jackson
August 31st, 2009
07:08 AM ET
August 25th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

Interactive: Timeline of Jackson’s sleepless night

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/24/michael.jackson.propofol/art.propofol.gi.jpg caption="YOUR The drug Diprivan, known by its generic name propofol, is administered through an IV as a general anesthetic. "]

Michael Jackson's final hours
Court documents released Monday reveal new detailsof the events on the day of Michael Jackson's death, as recounted by Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician. Read how the documents portray the pop star's final hours.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Michael Jackson
August 24th, 2009
05:21 PM ET

Documents: Read Conrad Murray search warrant affadavits

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Singer Michael Jackson had lethal levels of the drug propofol in his blood when he died, according to court documents.

Los Angeles' coroner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran reached that preliminary conclusion after reviewing toxicology results carried out on Jackson's blood, according to an affidavit.

The drug Diprivan, known by its generic name propofol, is administered intravenously in operating rooms as a general anesthetic, the manufacturer AstraZeneca told CNN.

Go here to see the search warrant affadavits.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
August 19th, 2009
05:18 PM ET

Coroner re-visits Michael Jackson's dermatologist

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Alan Duke

The Los Angeles Coroner's chief investigator re-visited the office of Michael Jackson's dermatologist Wednesday even though the coroner announced last week his "thorough and comprehensive" report was completed.

"We wanted some additional information and they provided it," Ed Winter said as he emerged 90 minutes after entering Dr. Arnold Klein's Beverly Hills, California, dermatology clinic.

Winter, who also visited Klein's office on July 14, said the doctor's staff and lawyers cooperated with his requests.

Garo Ghazarian - one of Klein's two lawyers on the scene - said the doctor did not meet with Winter.

"They had inquiries born out of information they wanted to corroborate," Ghazarian said.

Ghazarian said he was added to Klein's legal team "to take a look and see if there's any cause for concern in light of media reports" that investigators were considering criminal charges against him.

"I have seen no cause for concern on behalf of my client, Dr. Arnold Klein," Ghazarian said.

The coroner's office said more than a week ago that a "thorough and comprehensive" report into the death of Michael Jackson is complete, but police have requested that the report not yet be released because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

The coroner's office said it would abide by the request that "the cause and manner of death remain confidential," and referred all questions to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Winter would not say what prompted the coroner's office to re-visit its conclusions.

Jackson's June 25 death is also the focus of an investigation by Los Angeles police, the state attorney general's office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Klein, who treated Jackson for decades, denied in a CNN interview last month that he had given Jackson dangerous drugs.

"If you took all the pills I gave him in the last year at once, it wouldn't do anything to you," he told CNN's Larry King.

Jackson visited Klein's office several times in the weeks before his death, including one visit just three days before.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
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