The life and music of Michael Jackson have been celebrated at a moving two-hour ceremony in Los Angeles.
Nearly a billion people around the world are estimated to have watched the star-studded event at the Staples Center – a spiritual memorial filled with song and glowing tributes.
Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy – the man who discovered Michael and signed the Jackson Five – described him as the greatest entertainer who has ever lived.
“Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down. Though it ended way too soon, Micheal’s life was beautiful. Sure there were sad times and maybe some questionable decisions on his part but Michael Jackson accomplished everything he dreamed of,” Gordy said.
The ceremony concluded with moving renditions of “We are the World” and “Heal the World” as fans, friends and family packed the stage where Jackson held what was to be his final rehearsal.
But perhaps the most profound moment of the evening was when Michael Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter, Paris, spoke of her father.
“I just wanted to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much,” she sobbed.