Friends, family and fans of Michael Jackson have been bidding farewell to the King of Pop at a massive memorial concert in California.
The two-hour event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles began with the arrival of Jackson’s coffin, borne by his brothers. Jackson’s sudden death on June 25 at the age of 50 shocked millions. Stars from stage, screen and sport and many personalities joined some 18,000 fans. Mariah Carey was among those who performed, singing a Jackson classic, I’ll Be There. Tributes came from the Reverend Al Sharpton, Queen Latifah, Magic Johnson and Brooke Shields – and Lionel Ritchie. Legendary music producer, Berry Gordy, the founder of Tamla Motown who signed the Jackson 5 when Michael was just 10 said: “The more I think and talk about Michael Jackson, I feel “the King of Pop” is not big enough for him, I think he is simply, the greatest entertainer that has ever lived.” Stevie Wonder’s performance of Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer touched the audience deeply. A musical finale of Heal The World filled the stage, followed by emotional tributes from the Jackson family including his daughter, Paris. It was the concert the family and fans wanted – a celebration of the man and his music.