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An Emotional Final Farewell To The King of Pop

An Emotional Final Farewell To The King of Pop

Fans, family and friends said goodbye to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on Tuesday with a two-hour emotional public service held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Fans, family and friends said goodbye to Michael Jackson on Tuesday with a two-hour emotional public service held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, according to the LA Times.

The memorial produced by AEG - originally scheduled to stage Jackson's 50 concert in London - was transmitted live around the world.  Fans globally, from China, Australia, Russia, England, Germany to Spain, Lebanon and France,  all tuned in to watch the final farewell to the King of Pop.

The memorial which paid homage to the life and work of Michael Jackson was nothing short of heartbreaking moments and incredible performances. From Jermaine Jackson's rendition of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile", Michael's favorite song, a tearful Usher singing "Gone too Soon", Jennifer Hudson's powerful performance of "Will you be there", Mariah Carey's "I'll Be There", to Stevie Wonder's acoustic-piano classic of "They Won't Go When I Go" and the heartrending grand finale interpretation of "We Are the World" and "Heal the World," the tribute concert left the audience with chills, tears and gratitude.

Many of the high notes of the memorial also came during the speeches: Brooke Shields choking with emotion, recalling asking her childhood friend, "What's up with the glove?", Smokey Robinson, Magic Johnson, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), a sobbing Marlon Jackson, one of Michael's brothers, acknowledged Michael's difficulties "being judged, ridiculed - how much pain can one take? Maybe now they will leave you alone," and especially Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Jackson, who at the very end of the show, before breaking into tears and falling into the arms of her aunt janet, took the floor and said: "I just wanted to say ... ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him - so much."

But perhaps no one lifted up the image of Jackson more than the Rev. Al Sharpton who addressing Jackson's three children said: "There wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. But it was strange what he had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us. Some came here today to say goodbye. I came here to say thank you."

Yet, while Jackson's star-studded Los Angeles memorial drew praise from fans who felt it an appropriate tribute to the King of Pop, on the other hand, certain media opted to criticize the Jackson's family arguing that Jackson's  daughter should not have been placed in front of the world's cameras.  Nevertheless, the LA Times captured the final, posthumous performance of Michael Jackson the best, stating:  "They brought Michael Jackson to the one place where his life always made sense - beneath a spotlight and in front of his adoring fans."

Prior to arriving at the Staples Center, Jackson's casket was taken from Forest Lawn Hollywood  in a motorcade on freeways cleared by police. It then was carried into the Staples spotlight by his brothers -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy -- who each wore a solitary sequined glove. According to the LA Times "excluding invited guests, the estimated 17,500 attendees were selected from about 1.6 million who sought entry."

Michael Jackson leaves behind three children, Prince Michael II, 7, and Prince Michael Jr., 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11, who are now in the legal custody care of their grand-mother, Katherine Jackson.
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Mona Elyafi