November 28, 2009

A Celebration of Michael Jackson´s Life -The Memorial Service

July, on tuesday7th,  family, friends and fans had to say goodbye to Michael Jackson. The Memorial Service took place at the "Staples Centre" - where MJ had spent so many hours of his last months of life with rehearsing for his tour "This Is It". On this day his golden coffin was placed  on front of the stage. More than 1.6 million fans applied via internet to attend the memorial event. About 8750 people were chosen and finally received a pair of tickets.

Millions of fans all over the world watched  the Memorial Service live on TV or the internet and cried an ocean full of tears.

I for mine have never seen anything like this before. The Memorial Service was perfectly organized and all the singers and speakers really payed tribute to MJ.  The Celebration was grand, in parts breathtaking - Michael will/would have liked it. The speakers brought some light as well as many  heartbreaking incedents  in mind and many, many people all around the world were breaking out in tears...  Michael connected people in his lifetime and let them share the same feeling - even after his passing. Getting very emotional and unable to hold back tears during the Memorial Service we will have felt what Michael Jackson once put: "We are all ONE."   Yes, we are - but we use to forget this time and time again and need dunning.

Reading and writing  about the Memorial Service made this event to me very present.

Michael Jackson Memorial

Performers and Speakers

Smokey Robinson opened the ceremony reading statements from Nelson Mandela and Diana Ross:

"It is with great sadness that we learned of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Michael became close to us after he started visiting and performing in South Africa regularly. We grew fond of him, and he became close -- a close member of our family. We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life.

Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry. And we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide. We also mourn with his family and his friends over the loss of our dear friend. He will be missed and memories about him cherished for a very long time. My wife and I, our family, our friends, send you our condolences during this time of mourning. Be strong."
~Nelson Mandela

"I'm trying to find closure, I want you to know that even though I am not there at the Staples Center I am there in my heart. I've decided to pause and be silent. This feels right for me. [...] Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my world, part of the fabric of my life in a way that I can't seem to find words to express."
~Diana Ross

Michael Jackson's golden casket was brought onto the stage

Pastor Lucious Smith spoke

"To millions around the world Michael Jackson was an idol, a hero, even a king. But first and foremost this man before us today was our brother, our son, our father and our friend. Michael Jackson was, and always shall be, a beloved part of the Jackson family and the family of man."
~Pastor Lucious Smith

Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz sang the Jackson 5 song " I'll Be There "

Queen Latifah read  a poem written by Maya Angelou

"I'm here representing millions of fans around the world who grew up listening to Michael, being inspired and loving Michael from a distance. Somehow when Michael Jackson sang and when he danced... we felt he was right there. He made you believe in yourself."
~Queen Latifah

Lionel Richie sang

Berry Gordy spoke of his memories of  MJ

"Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down. Though it ended way too soon, Michael's life was beautiful. [...] Sure there was some sad times and maybe some questionable decisions on his part, but Michael Jackson accomplished everything he dreamed of."
~Berry Gordy, Motown

 A video of clips of Michael Jackson played

 Stevie Wonder sang "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" at a piano

"This is a moment that I wish that I didn't live to see come. [...] But as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good and I do know that as much as we may feel - and we do - that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more."
~Stevie Wonder

National Basketball Association stars Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson spoke

„I met Jackie Jackson ( Michael’s brother) about 30 years ago and he was a season ticket holder for the Lakers as well as his brother Marlon. Jackie and I became friends and he began to invite me out to their home. Then I got to know the brothers and the sisters and his incredible mother and father. We love to play with fire crackers and just have fun. And Barry just like you lost to the Jackson’s in softball, so did I. And we had some incredible times together. Then Jackie invited me to go on tour with the brothers and then I got to see the genius of Michael Jackson. He was so incredible; he always had command of not only the band, his brothers but also the audience. I truly believe that Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever. From there, Michel called me one day and said I want to talk to you about being in a video Remember the Time. But I had to double check with Jackie to make sure it was really Michael because I was scared to death to go over to his house because this was my idol, he was everything to me. So I went over to his house to have dinner. The chef came out and said what would you like, I said some grilled chicken. So as we begin to talk about the video and what he wanted me to do, the chef brought me out the grilled chicken but he brought Michael out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. And I went crazy like wait a minute Michael you eat Kentucky Fried Chicken? That made my day. That was the greatest moment of my life. We had such a good time sitting on the floor eating that bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and I want to say this. This is a celebration of his life, of his legacy. I want to thank Michael for opening up so many doors for African Americans to be on day time shows, late night shows. He allowed Kobe and I to have our jerseys in people’s homes across the world because he was already there. And he opened all those doors for us. His three children will have the most incredible grandmother that god has put on this earth to take care of them. Michael’s three children will have incredible uncles and aunts to take care of them as well and they will have plenty of cousins to play with. So may God continue to bless this incredible family. We say that we’re praying for you, remain strong. We want to thank the city of Los Angeles for putting this on, AEG for putting it on as well and may God continue to bless you Michael.”~Magic Johnson

Jennifer Hudson sang Jackson's "Will You Be There"

 Reverend Al Sharpton gave a powerful speech
"I first met Michael around 1970. From that day as a cute kid to this moment, he never gave up dreaming. It was that dream that changed culture all over the world. [...] When Michael started, it was a different world. But because Michael kept going, because he didn't accept limitations, because he refused to let people decide his boundaries, he opened up the whole world. [...] He put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the colour curtain. When now our videos are shown and magazines put us on the cover, it was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. Michael made us love each other. [...]I want his three children to know, there wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. He dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us."
~Reverent Al Sharpton

John Mayer played a guitar and performed  M. Jackson's "Human Nature"

Brooke Shields spoke about her friendship with MJ

„Michael was one of a kind. I was thinking back to when we met and the many times that we spent together and whenever we were out together and there would be a picture taken there would be a caption of some kind and the caption usually said something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair’ but to us it was the most natural and easiest of friendships. I was 13 when we met and from that day on our friendship grew. Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date and that we would have fun no matter where we were. We had a bond and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight at a very young age. I used to tease him and I’d say I started when I was11 months old, you’re a slacker. You were what, 5? Both of us needed to be adults very early. But when we were together, we were two little kids having fun. We never collaborated together, we never performed together, or danced on the same stage although he did try in vain one night to unsuccessfully teach me the moonwalk and he just basically just shook his head and crossed his arms at my attempt. We never filmed a video or recorded a song, but what we did do was laugh. It was a competition to see who can make the other one laugh more or be sillier. Michael loved to laugh. His heart would just burst out of him when he was laughing. He adored it when I did silly imitations or told him stories about my life. MJ’s laugh was the sweetest and purest of anyone I had ever known. His sense of humor was delightful and he was very mischievous. I remember it was the night before Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding and he had called me prior and asked if I would join him, he didn’t want to be alone for all the festivities. And it was the night before the big day and Michael and I tried to sneak in to get the first peak of the dress and we were just giggling like crazy and we almost passed out in hysterics when we realized that Elizabeth was actually asleep I the bed. We thought she was in an entirely different room. And we had to laugh and sneak out and then at the point of the wedding when there was the first dance basically we had to joke that we were the mother and father of the bride. Yes it may have seemed very odd to the outside, but we made it fun and we made it real. When he started wearing the glove, I was like what’s up with the glove? I was like look if you’re going to hold my hand it better be the non gloved one because sequence really hurts me…it digs in. He would just shake his head and he would just smile. He loved to be teased. Seeing him smile made you feel like everything was going to be alright. To the outside world, Michael was a genius with unchallenged ability. To the people who were lucky enough to know him personally he was caring and funny, honest, pure, non-jaded and he was a lover of life. He cared so deeply for his family and his friends and his fans. He was often referred to as the King but the Michael I knew always reminded me more of The Little Prince. Thinking of him now I’d like to share a passage from the book:

What moves me so deeply about this sleeping little prince is his loyalty to a flower--the image of a rose shining within him like a flame within a lamp, even when he's asleep... And I realized he was even more fragile than I thought. Lamps must be protected. A gust of wind can blow them out.

Michael’s sensitivity was even more extraordinary than his talent. And his true truth resided in his heart. As The Little Prince also said… Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart. What’s most important is invisible. Michael saw everything with his heart. To his family, his brothers and sisters, Katherine, Joe and to his children, Prince, Paris, Blanket, my prayers are with you. Michael’s favorite song was not one of the countless masterpieces that he gave us but it was a song that Charlie Chaplin wrote for the movie Modern Times. It’s called Smile. There’s a line in the song that says ‘smile though your heart is aching.’ Today, although our hearts are aching we need to look up where he is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon and we need to smile.”
~Brooke Shields

Jermaine Jackson sang "Smile" wearing Michael's signature one white glove

 Martin Luther King III and Bernice King spoke

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee spoke about how the U.S. Constitution deemed people innocent until proven guilty, introduced a bill to recognize M.Jackson as a humanitarian

„I’m Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and I hale from Houston Texas but I come to you on behalf of the many members of the United State’s House of Representatives. I come to you on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee, a Californian. And I come to you as every man and every woman for I cannot write music, or dance or sing but I do know an American story. To Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and his wonderful families of brothers and sisters and cousins, to Michael, Joseph, to Katherine and Paris, Prince, all of these wonderful, beautiful symbols of America. And I can tell you as a member of the United States Congress. We understand the Constitution. We understand Laws and we know that people are innocent until proven otherwise. That is what the Constitution stands for. So I mourn today, I come too to thank you. For many people don’t understand the heats of entertainers. They don’t know how big their hearts are. They don’t know how they heal the world on behalf of America. When we’re at war our icons like Michael sing about healing the world and so he called us into public service. It did not matter whether we were black or white. He even told us to beat it, beat the violence. He told us to look at yourself in the mirror because it meant that if you were going to make a difference look at the man or woman in the mirror. I come to you today to say thank you. Some of you come from all faiths and we respect that here in America. But there is a story whose theme is so symbolic of this young and beautiful man. I love the story of the Good Samaritan because it talks about those who walk by the diminished, the devastated and the poor. This was a broken and beaten man lying along the road. No one stopped except someone called the Samaritan. It could be in any faith. It’ all about charity and love and I call Michael Jackson the Good Samaritan. I call him Michael Jackson who cared and loved for the world. It bothered me, I grew up with him as all of us and so many did. And so what an honor and a privilege to see him up close. When he came to the United States Congress in my office and looked some 15 African ambassadors, representatives of heads of states. Sitting in an office listening to Michael Jackson talk about caring and fighting HIV Aids. They looked at him, he had a twinkle, they listened, he listened. What a miraculous experience to be able to listen and see Michael in action. You know there were words cast about but I wonder if anybody was on his shoulder when he walked into Walter Reed Hospital and he walked along the aisles and the rows in the hospital rooms. This was in the mist of the Iraq War, doctors stopped, nurses stopped, and individual solders who had lost limbs stopped and were in essence moved and touched as Michael was by his desire to come and thank them for their sacrifices. So don’t tell me what an American story is all about; it is assault of the earth. With this family took the talent that God had given them and made it into a miraculous and wonderful story for America. I come today for you to recognize that the flag flies and the people who have spoken have spoken to the people’s house. They recognize and they speak and those of us who serve in elected office we respond to the people. Michael fought for the tolerance of all people. In fact I am reminded although I speak in the tongues of all faith that Michael fought the good fight. He was someone who understood and I hope Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and the family will know that the lord is our shepherd and we shall not want. Michael Jackson you got to know his story and it has not been told by all of what you’ve heard. He was someone who understood if he was burned, he built a burn unit. If a hospital needed beds, he built those beds. If they needed money for developing countries, Michael gave. If he was in…he went to orphanages. Michael never stopped giving and he touched those whose lives could be reconstructed, because the king, yes the king, the king stopped and said I care about you. That is why on the House floor on January 25, 2009 congressional black caucus and members of the House of Representatives stopped, stopped, stopped and had a moment of silence for this wonderful legend and icon. And so to the family let me simply come and someone that wishes she was long lost Sheila Jackson Lee but I’ll keep looking and seeing by coming to say to you that America appreciates and thanks you for Michael Jackson’s life. For that reason we have introduced into the House of Representatives this resolution 600 that will debate on the floor of the house that claims Michael Jackson as an American Legend and musical icon a world humanitarian. Someone who will be honored forever and forever and forever and forever and forever. We are the world and we are better because Michael Joseph Jackson lived. On behalf of myself and the people who have spoken, Michael Jackson, I salute you.”
~Sheila Jackson

Usher sang "Gone Too Soon"

Smokey Robinson returned to the stage to speak again

Shaheen Jafargholi sang "Who's Lovin' You" and thanked M. Jackson for blessing him with wonderful music

Kenny Ortega spoke and introduced the many artists who joined to sing "We Are The World" and "Heal The World"

My name is Kenny Ortega…thank you and I was Michael’s partner in the creating and directing of many of his tours including This Is It. And Shaheen was invited by Michael to join him in London for the show so I just wanted to introduce him to everybody and to say thank you for coming all the way here to join us Shaheen. We were here, we were right here a little less than a week ago and Michael was with us. And the band, and Michael Bearden, and the singers and the dancers and our choreographer and our crew, we were all here and we were a family. This was our house. So when the Jackson family and Randy Philips asked Ken and I to help put together this memorial we knew we had to do it here. We knew w had to invite the world to join us here in Michael’s house. We were immediately surrounded by countless family, artists and friends and dear hearts that unconditionally made this day possible. As we came together as a team we knew we had to celebrate Michael’s life through his music as well as commemorate his passing."
~Kenny Ortega

 Members of the Jackson family thanked fans for their support and reflected on his life

„Fans, friends, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, I would like to thank everyone for coming out. As you know, I'm lost for words. I was his voice and his back bone. I had his back, so did the family. But we thank you, that's all I can say, we thank you very much.”
~Jermain Jackson

"I will treasure the good times, the fun we had, singing, dancing, laughing. I remember when we used to come home from school and grab a quick bite to eat and try to watch The Three Stooges - as much of it as possible before mother would come in and say it's time to go to the recording studio. [...] I also remember a time when I went into the record store. There was this man purchasing a lot of CDs. He was an older gentleman, he had a short afro, bucked, crooked teeth and his clothes were rumpled. [...] I walked up behind him and said 'Michael, what are you doing in this store?' I told him 'Michael, you're my brother, I can spot you anywhere regardless of your make-up.'"
~Marlon Jackson

Paris Jackson tearfully described 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."
~Paris Jackson

Pastor Lucious Smith closed the ceremony with a prayer

 (sources:,,  and , where you also will find all the videos and brilliant photos from this very special event. Alas, because of copyrights currently the video library can only be streamed within the United States. )

quotes from the Memorial Service added on 11/30/09
                          further quotes added on 12/04/09


Post a Comment