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A Recap of the Michael Jackson Memorial Service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles

Aired July 7, 2009 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening again from Los Angeles, where an emotionally draining day is ending. A powerful and moving tribute to Michael Jackson is over. The expected crowd control nightmare ended before it ever began.

The crowds were somber. The Jackson family always private now back to grieving privately.

A draining day but also, uplifting. We're going to take you through it all tonight.

It began at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, a private ceremony, large by most family standards but obviously nothing like what would come later.

From there the procession eight miles or so from Forest Lawn to the Staples Center downtown; at the Staples Center people began pouring in. One and a half million people applied for tickets online and about 17,000 got them. But with thousands of seats reserved for family and celebrities, thousands of fans had to watch in overflow areas nearby.

Then, with an estimated 20,000 people inside the arena, Michael Jackson's casket was brought in and the ceremonies began.

That is where we begin the hour tonight.




QUEEN LATIFAH, SINGER & ACTRESS: I'm here representing millions of fans around the world who grew up listening to Michael, being inspired and loving Michael from a distance, all of you.

Somehow when Michael Jackson sang and when he danced we never felt distant. We felt like he was right there, right before us. You believed in Michael and he believed in you. He made you believe in yourself.

I loved him all my life. One of the first records my brother and I ever bought was "Dancing Machine." And I'll never forget the two of us trying to get the robot going, trying to be like the Jackson 5.

Thank you. Thank you.

Michael was the biggest star on earth. He let me know that as an African-American, you could travel the world. There was a world outside of America, other people, all you people who came here to pay respect to someone who you felt was one of you, a human being, first.


BERRY GORDY, FOUNDER, MOTOWN: Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down. Though it ended way too soon, Michael's life was beautiful.

Sure, there were some sad times and maybe some questionable decisions on his part, but Michael Jackson accomplished everything he dreamed of.

At 10 years old he had passion. He had passion to be the greatest entertainer in the world. And he was willing to work as hard to do whatever it took to become what he, indeed, became; the undisputed "King of Pop" the world over.

I must say, though, that, he did have two personalities. Offstage he was shy, softspoken and child-like. But when he took the stage in front of his screaming fans he turned into another person; a master, a take-no-prisoners showman. It was like kill or be killed.

I mean, Michael was awesome; totally in charge. In fact, 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 -- I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.


COOPER: And when we come back, more of the music to back up that statement.

Also the heartbreaking words and music of Stevie Wonder as our special 360 coverage continues.


STEVIE WONDER, SINGER & FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: And I do know as much as we may feel, and we do, that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Best-selling American artist.

MICHAEL JACKSON, "KING OF POP": Again, I say thank you and thanks to God. In the past I've gone from where is he to here he is again.


M. JACKSON: But I must confess it feels good to be thought of as a person and not as a personality.

Fame, fortune, they're all illusions...


WONDER: This is a moment that I wished 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.


KOBE BRYANT, L.A. LAKERS: Michael and his family came from humble roots. And Michael always cared very deeply for those in need. And beyond all of his records that he broke as a recording artist, Michael even made the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most charities supported by a pop star.

MAGIC JOHNSON, NBA HALL OF FAMER: So, I went over to his house to have dinner. The chef came out and said what would you like? And I said, some grilled chicken. So, as we began 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 you, Michael, for opening up so many doors for African-Americans to be on daytime 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 are praying for you, remain strong and may God continue to bless you, Michael.


COOPER: Magic Johnson talking about three kids who until their father's death we have only seen incognito. Our hearts go out to them. The Reverend Al Sharpton had a message for them at today's memorial.


REV. AL SHARPTON, ACTIVIST: I want his three children to know, there was nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with but he dealt with it.


COOPER: More next, including a touching performance from Jennifer Hudson. The words of Michael Jackson, himself, as our special 360 coverage continues.


M. JACKSON: In our darkest hour in my deepest despair will you still care.





M. JACKSON: In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care? Will you be there?

In my trials, in my tribulations through our doubts and frustrations, in my violence, in my turbulence, through my fear and my confessions, in my anguish and my pains, through my joy and my sorrow, in the promise of another tomorrow, I'll never let you part for you're always in my heart.

SHARPTON: 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. In the music world he put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the color curtain where 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. It was Michael Jackson that made us sing "We are the World" and feed the hungry long before Live Aid.

Michael rose to the top, he outsang his cynics, he outdanced his doubters, he outperformed the pessimists. Every time he got knocked down he got back up. Every time you counted him out he came back in.

Michael never stopped. Michael never stopped. Michael never stopped.

I want his three children to know, there was nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with but he dealt with it. He dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us.

Some came today, Mrs. Jackson, to say goodbye to Michael. I came to say thank you. Thank you because you never stopped. Thank you because you never gave up. Thank you because you never gave out. Thank you because you tore down our divisions. Thank you because you eradicated barriers. Thank you because you gave us hope. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Michael.


COOPER: The Reverend Al Sharpton.

When we come back our special coverage of the Jackson memorial continues with a long time Jackson friend who fought back tears as she took the stage.

Brooke Shields knew the pop superstar as few others did.


BROOKE SHIELDS, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: 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.




SHIELDS: 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 that 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 from a very, very young age. I used to tease him and I'd say, "You know, I started when I was 11 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. 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? Look, if you are going to hold my hand, it better be the non- gloved one because sequins really hurt me." 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 all right.

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.

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 Chaplain 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.



COOPER: Jermaine Jackson mourning the loss of his brother and honoring his life in an emotional performance. There are many other musical moments to remember as well. We're going to show them to you in this hour.

Including Usher, who idolized Jackson, who brought many to tears with his cover of the song "Gone Too Soon." You'll hear it ahead on this special 360.





SMOKEY ROBINSON, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I wrote that song. I thought I sang it. I wrote that song back in -- and a few years later here comes this little kid, he's 10 years old.

And Berry had this gathering at his house. He said, "Come on, I want you to see somebody very special." I go over there and these five young guys are there and they sang and danced up a storm.

A couple of weeks later they recorded my song. And I heard it. I thought to myself, now they have pulled a fast one on us because this boy cannot possibly be 10 years old. This song is about somebody who had somebody who loved them but they treated him bad. They treated them so bad until they lost them. And now they are paying the price of wanting somebody back that they treated bad and lost.

How could he possibly know these things?

I quickly went over to him because I wanted to see his birth certificate. I did not believe that someone that young could have that much feeling and soul and know. He had a lot of know. You have to know something to sing that song like that.

It was wonderful, though. As a songwriter, man, that is a dream come true to have somebody sing one of your songs like that.

I, myself, I never thought I would be here on today. That's my little brother over there. You just don't think that you are going to see or you'll live to see him gone.


COOPER: Smokey Robinson, one of many in the entertainment business who thought of Michael as family.

Coming up, the emotional goodbyes from Michael Jackson's family, including brothers Jermaine and Marlon and from Michael's daughter, Paris.


PARIS JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S DAUGHTER: I just want to say ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say to say I love him so much.


COOPER: Also an on stage performance by family and friends of one of the many hit songs written by Michael Jackson "We are the World."








I stand here trying to find words of comfort, solace, trying to understand why the Lord has taken our brother. To return home from such a short visit here on earth.

Michael, when you left us a part of me went with you. And a part of you will live forever within me, but also a part of you will live forever within all of us.

Michael, I will treasure the good times, the fun we had, singing, dancing, aughing.

I, also, Michael, remember a time when I went into the record store and there was this man purchasing a lot of CDs, and he would go and grab another batch of CDs. And he was an older gentleman. He had a short afro, crooked teeth and his clothes were rumpled.

I walked up behind him and said, "Michael, what are you doing in this store?" He turned to me and said, "Marlon, how did you know it was me?" I told him, "You're my brother. I can spot you anywhere regardless of your makeup. I know your walk, I know your body language, and those shoes do not help." Michael wore the same shoes wherever we went.

But I guess that was his way of trying to experience what we take for granted.

We would never -- we will never understand what he endured. Not being able to walk across the street without a crowd gathering around him. Being judged, ridiculed; how much pain can one take?

Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.

I have one request, Michael, one request. I would look for you to give our brother, my twin brother, Brandon, a hug from me.

I love you Michael. And I will miss you.

P. JACKSON: I just wanted to say ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much.


COOPER: Michael Jackson lived just five decades; four of them in front of our eyes. Frequently controversial, some times otherworldly in the way he acted the things he said; certainly in the way he sang. He was also painfully human.

His fans will forgive him the shortcomings; detractors will keep the flaws alive. Authors will immortalize the mystique, but for those who simply felt better whenever they heard his music, it's different. And that goes double for his family, young and old.

For them, Usher maybe said it best in just three words when he sang about a 50-year-old man, "Gone Too Soon."

Thanks for watching.