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THE SITUATION ROOM
Michael Jackson Memorial
Aired July 7, 2009 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Roland Martin has been standing by watching along with all of us, as has Jeffrey Toobin, our legal analyst, and a lot of others.
Let's check in now with Roland.
Roland, your thoughts upon what you have just witnessed?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This was truly a home-going service unlike any other we have seen -- reflective moments, tender moments, laughter, crying, but also moments of defiance.
You heard Berry Gordy say he was not just the "King of Pop," he is the greatest entertainer that ever lived. Then, of course, you had the Reverend Al Sharpton, who took on the critics and said daddy wasn't strange, he had to deal with strange stuff.
And, of course, Congresswoman Shellie Jackson Lee, a surprise to many of us, speaking today. It was very clear that her comments were targeted to Congressman Peter King for his comments about Michael Jackson when she said, "The Constitution says innocent until proven guilty."
And so certainly, a lot of personal moments, but certainly people who were making clear that if you want to criticize Michael Jackson, we are going to come back to you and hit you real hard. And so it was very interesting that she made those comments. And so we'll probably hearing those sound bites and Reverend Sharpton's for quite some time.
COOPER: Wolf Blitzer is about to join us as well for our continuing coverage. Kara Finnstrom is down in the crowd with some people who have been watching, along with everyone else.
Kara, what are their reactions?
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we just grabbed these people as they were leaving here. Police actually trying to clear out this area right now.
Carly (ph), you said you came up here from Arizona, you drove up here -- flew up here. Tell us what your reaction was to what you saw in there today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just very fortunate to be there. I felt like it gave a really human side to Michael Jackson. Before I actually attended the ceremony, I was looking at it more of a circus media. And then being there, and especially hearing his daughter Paris speak, it really put things in perspective for me as a parent, just really feeling sad for his family, feeling sorry for his mother for everything that's happened in his life, all of the bad things reported about him, true or false, good or bad. I'm just blessed to be here.
FINNSTROM: And Frisco (ph), what were your thoughts? You actually are from the Los Angeles area, right? So you didn't have far to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not far to go, but still, I also feel very fortunate to be here. The service was very touching.
I -- everybody I'm sure felt like they were part of the family. It touched me very deeply. The closest I have got to him before this was watching him live to on Pay-Per-View. So, yes, this was very special to me.
FINNSTROM: All right. Thanks to both of you.
Anderson, again, police starting to clear this area out right now. We can tell you that it's been a really orderly, kind of calm crowd out here. Lots of fans that said they just wanted to be part of something bigger today, they didn't want to watch it from home. They wanted to feel they were part of a tribute.
COOPER: A lot of people doing that both here on the streets of Los Angeles and viewing parties around the country and around the world, and online at CNN.com. A lot of people weighing in.
You can continue to weigh in there as you watch our continuing coverage.
Wolf Blitzer is also standing by.
Wolf, have you ever seen anything like this?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: This was an amazing sendoff to Michael Jackson, there is no doubt about it. And we're going to continue our coverage now here in THE SITUATION ROOM over the next three hours. We're not going to go away.
A lot of people have some thoughts they want to share with our viewers here in the United States and around the world. And among them, Donna Brazile is here. She was crying, she was very emotional as this memorial service was winding down.
Donna, why was this so poignant that tears were really coming down your cheeks?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I guess when Paris spoke, it just reminded me I lost my mother. I thought about, here is a girl who is not going to grow up with her father. And, you know, it was part of my childhood that Michael and the Jackson 5 made so special, and I just thought about my entire childhood, my sisters and my brothers.
It was a moving celebration of his life, his music. And the poem that Maya Angelou composed, "We Had Him," it was just a loving tribute to I think a wonderful human being.
BLITZER: You know, there was that moment when the daughter, Paris, came out. And I believe that's the first time we ever heard, Donna, from any of the Jackson kids. All three kids now -- all three kids without a father. And I want to play that clip, because it was such -- such a remarkable moment for all of us, certainly for anyone who has a child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARIS JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S DAUGHTER: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Her aunt, Janet Jackson, was right there to comfort her.
Soledad O'Brien staying with us as we continue our coverage.
Soledad, that was a moment that I think every viewer around the world will always remember.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, it literally just tore your heart out, Wolf. It was so painful to watch that little girl, 11 years old, with such composure.
There were a couple of times when there were moments of standing ovations. Paris would one of the first on her feet to cheer her father. Just to hear her stand at the microphone and say those words was really, really moving, really touching. And overall, it was quite a remarkable thing to see.
And people are really slowly moving out behind us here at the Staples Center. Very emotional, but also moments of levity. I mean, out and out laughter.
Brooke Shields very funny, telling stories about what it was like to be a child star, and kind of that discomfort in which she and Michael Jackson found themselves both experiencing which made them sort of fast friends. And then others talking about really just his life and his legacy and the importance of Michael Jackson.
I thought it was really interesting to hear the Reverend Al Sharpton talk about Michael Jackson as he relates to civil rights and all the doors that he knocked down by, first of all, I think, just financially supporting many charitable causes, but also just being a first and having such a high level, a high work ethic where he really set the bar for all these other performers and opened a lot of doors, certainly for black performers. And you heard the reverend talk about that. So, I thought it was quite an amazing, amazing thing to watch. And now, the heat of this afternoon. People are slowly making their way out.
The lucky few who had a chance to be inside coming out in front of the Staples Center, as you can see there. I'm sure you can hear over my head, Wolf, the helicopters, because this is being televised around the globe.
Michael Jackson was an international superstar. And there are so many people watching this today.
BLITZER: You know, Soledad, there's no doubt this was well organized. It went on for about two hours and 15 minutes. They didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare for it, but it went very, very smoothly.
CNN's Don Lemon is there inside the Staples Center.
Don, I'm not embarrassed to say I was emotional, I was moved. And knowing you as I do, I know you were as well.
Hold on one second. I think Don Lemon is just getting ready.
We are going to go to him in a moment.
Jeff Toobin is here. He was watching it, together with all of us.
You covered Michael Jackson, you covered the trial a few years ago.
Give us some thoughts.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I just thought that when you have great artists, they often lead complicated lives, and often troubled lives, but what lives on is their work. And that's what we will remember.
And I thought the service did a wonderful job of conveying the breadth of his work over time. You saw the Jackson 5 in the early '70s. You saw "Thriller" in the early '80s. You saw some of the later music.
Unfortunately, he wasn't as productive in later years. But Michael Jackson's work is going to live on, and that is what will really matter 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now. And it will be something to celebrate even then.
BLITZER: This is the motorcade that is getting ready to leave the Staples Center with the family.
We don't know where this motorcade is going to go, Donna Brazile. I don't know if you have any inside information. I assume it's going to go back to that home in Encino, but I'm just guessing. BRAZILE: It may go back to Forest Lawn. I don't know. But I can tell you this much, this was a very organized event in terms of getting everything out on time, and also, I think the way in which they put together the performances and the moving tribute.
Jeff mentioned his music. You know, Wolf, his dance will also live on, his movement, the way that he could just move his body, the way he reacted to rhythm and the music. So, there is so much of Michael's life that many of us will continue to talk about, and of course his many charities that I'm sure will continue to look for his love in his death.
TOOBIN: There was one moment during the service where there was a video tribute to Michael, and they showed a few minutes of when Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time in the 25th Motown anniversary. And you heard the crowd in the Staples Center started to clap, because that was such an electric moment which, you know, the moonwalk we now all take for granted.
No one had heard of it. No one even knew what it was called until that one broadcast. And, you know, that still remains one of the signature moments of all music on all of television.
BLITZER: We're going to replay that video. It was an amazing video, a montage of the great moments of his career.
We see the motorcade beginning to get ready to leave the Staples Center, and we're going to follow it. Those local affiliates have helicopters all over the Staples Center right now. We'll continue to watch where this motorcade will go.
I just want to remind our viewers, I know Soledad O'Brien is with us, she's at the Staples Center.
Just remind viewers what happened earlier in the day, before everyone came to the Staples Center. They went to Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills for a family gathering, it was called. And they took the casket from there to the Staples Center.
Soledad, for those viewers who weren't watching at that time, remind us what happened.
O'BRIEN: Yes, it was not a very long private service that happened inside. And it was quite a surprising thing. I mean, really, we all sort of caught our breath when we saw the casket come out, the casket -- what Larry King would later describe as it looked like a solid gold casket covered in red roses.
And from Forest Lawn, they brought out the casket suddenly, and the atmosphere which, here at the Staples Center, has always been very light and jovial and just, you know, fans and people who love Michael Jackson, at that moment the three of us who were up here caught our breath because it just had this sense of finality and really just a sad, sad feeling. They brought the casket out and they put it in the back of a vehicle, and then they took the casket and did the 15 or 20- minute ride from Forest Lawn to the Staples Center. Larry King was inside and said he actually had no idea that there was going to be a casket brought down. He was completely surprised.
You know, I would like to, if I can, bring in -- Gotham, are you miked, Gotham?
Gotham Chopra is with us, and he was inside as well, Wolf.
And did you have that same feeling that Larry -- did you know that the casket would be brought down?
GOTHAM CHOPRA, JACKSON FRIEND: No.
O'BRIEN: What was the reaction inside.
CHOPRA: You know, I've been to the Staples Center many times for hockey games and basketball games. I mean, there was pin-drop silence, especially at that moment when they brought the casket. And I think except for the family, nobody particularly knew that he was physically going to be there.
O'BRIEN: What was the feeling inside? Out here, and as people were going in, it wasn't a somber mood. That kind of surprised me when I arrived. People were actually very jovial at times. They weren't (AUDIO GAP), not sad.
CHOPRA: I think it was really a mixed bag inside. I mean, there were certainly moments of great tribute, and Smokey Robinson cracked some jokes, Brooke Shields shared some really great stories. You know, the Reverend Al Sharpton gave some really inspiring -- I mean, it was all over the place.
At the end, it was very emotional, I think. You know, I think people went through a range of emotions. I know I certainly did.
O'BRIEN: Your family, your father certainly has been very close to Michael Jackson. Your father, Deepak Chopra, has been his close adviser for many years and spoke over the last few days a lot about the legacy that Michael leaves. And I know you were inside really representing the family.
Did you know him well, personally?
CHOPRA: Yes. I counted Michael amongst some of, you know, my best friends. And for me, it was coming -- I mean, this is a sort of strange place to come to say good-bye to a good friend, but that is how I thought of him first.
You know, that, and he was a mentor to me in many ways also. So, to come and celebrate his life is I think what we wanted to do, but it wasn't easy.
O'BRIEN: It was interesting to hear some of the comments. People talked about maybe they will leave him alone now.
CHOPRA: Yes. O'BRIEN: And the juxtaposition of Michael, in many ways, seems otherworldly. You know, of this world, and probably had more fans around the world than anyone else.
O'BRIEN: And yet, somehow not of this world at all.
CHOPRA: Yes. He lived a very complex and contradictory life. And if you knew him, he talked about that.
His life was, you know, a lot of agony and ecstasy. And unfortunately, I think for the last 10 years, except for his children, it was mostly agony.
And you know, that was painful to watch as a friend, and I certainly know for his family. But fortunately, he did have his children, who I think, you know, in some ways, he created a family that would just love him for being himself and not be the icon, but also not the sort of scandal-plagued celebrity.
O'BRIEN: Journalists have said that he -- the children saved his life, but he just had such tremendous love for those children.
CHOPRA: Yes. You know, we have been talking about it for the last week, ever since this happened. For many of us who knew him, this wasn't terribly surprising, unfortunately. It was somewhat shocking to hear about it, but knowing some of the...
O'BRIEN: He had a lot of struggles.
CHOPRA: Yes. And I think when he did have children, that sort of changed a little bit. I mean, he all of a sudden had something outside of himself to live for. And I think that was his solace the last few years.
And it was sort of interesting to hear all these tributes. And I don't know that even he knew in the last few years how much the world did appreciate him. And it is part -- you know, I felt sort of sad that, you know, maybe he didn't realize that.
O'BRIEN: There's something very sad in that, isn't it, that you have to die before you sort of figure out your place? And certainly, as an entertainer, just humongous, humongous.
CHOPRA: Yes. He touched a lot of people.
O'BRIEN: Gotham Chopra, son of Deepak, who -- we send our regards to him. I know he wasn't able to be here, but we certainly appreciate you. And I'm sure the Jackson family also appreciates you representing the family inside at the memorial.
CHOPRA: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Wolf, I'll send it right back to you.
BLITZER: All right, Soledad. Don't go away, because we're going to continue our coverage.
You see the motorcade leaving the Staples Center. We're not exactly sure where they are heading right now, but we'll follow it and make sure our viewers are able to continue to see what's going on.
We're going to show you major highlights, the great moments from this memorial service, including Jennifer Hudson. She sings one of Michael Jackson's amazing songs.
We'll take a quick break. Our special coverage from Los Angeles will continue right after this.
BLITZER: The crowd at the Staples Center is now leaving. About 20,000 people were inside. They were the lucky ones to see this two hour and 15 minute memorial service to Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop."
One of the highlights certainly was Jennifer Hudson. She sang one of Michael Jackson's great hits, "Will You Be There?" from 1993.
Let's listen to Jennifer Hudson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER HUDSON, SINGER: We love you, Michael.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: "We love you, Michael." That's what Jennifer Hudson just said.
And so many of the other performers and those who spoke at this memorial service, we kept hearing those words, "We love you, Michael."
Hilary Rosen is joining us now. She used to head the Recording Industry Association of America.
And Hilary, that song has some history for you, doesn't it?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's such a beautiful song. And -- but what was so nice about her performance today was she has performed it with the dancers who were going to be performing it with Michael Jackson on the tour. And they performed it precisely that way.
That's why the screens you saw with the words, with his voice, were already prepared. They were ready to go for the London shows.
So, when you see something like that, and then when you saw the last number where they did the medley of "We Are the World" and "Heal the World," that would have been the show. It would have been an amazing concert. That's what I kept thinking. BLITZER: It certainly would have been. And we're going to replay that rendition of "We are the World" here in THE SITUATION ROOM, and so many of these other moments, Hilary, that are outstanding.
I'm looking at my notes. Usher, when he sang "Gone Too Soon," and Jermaine Jackson, when he sang "Smile," all of that we are going to have here over the course of the next two and a half hours or so, so we are not going to be leaving some of those beautiful, beautiful renditions.
Go ahead, Hilary.
ROSEN: Well, one point that was so obvious to me when the show started with Mariah Carey singing "I'll Be There," you know, that song was from 1970. And he had his last hit in 2008. I think it was the song he did with Akon, "Wanna be Startin' Something."
You know, that's 28 (sic) years of hit songs. For a guy who is only 50, that is pretty amazing. Twenty-eight (sic) years of hit songs.
BLITZER: It is amazing, and he was such a little boy. All of us were old enough certainly to remember the Jackson 5 when they just started. And that video, that video montage that they put together for this memorial service, we are going to play that.
ROSEN: Sorry, Wolf, it was 38 years. I got my math wrong. It was 38 years.
BLITZER: Yes, 38 years is a long time for someone to be in the spotlight like that, and people obviously do not forget Michael Jackson.
We'll will take a quick break, continue our special coverage, the memorial service for Michael Jackson and the aftermath. What's next, right after this.
BLITZER: The memorial wrapped up about 45 minutes ago. Folks are still leaving the Staples Center right now. We're going to have an amazing, gripping montage that was shown to everyone inside and people watching around the world.
You're seeing these live pictures of the motorcade getting ready. It's leaving the Staples Center and heading out. We're going to follow it to see where they are going with the family.
We'll get to that montage in a moment, but CNN's Kara Finnstrom is over there at the Staples Center. She has got some people who were inside.
Kara, set the scene for us, what's going on now and how folks are reacting.
FINNSTROM: Well, thousands of people are leaving right now. And Wolf, it's really kind of a quiet, respectful crowd.
As we talked to those who have the wristbands on, pulled them aside, many of them said they were very touched by this service. They were excited to come here, they were excited to celebrate his life, but they are leaving, you know, a little bit somber, definitely touched, and very much aware that this is a memorial and they are saying good-bye to someone that many of them really respected and wanted to pay tribute to.
And some of the folks joining us live right now, we've got a brother and sister who grew up listening to Michael Jackson together.
And I know you said you were particularly touched, as we have been hearing this morning from a number of people, by Michael Jackson's daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. At the very end, the family came up onto the stage and it looked like Janet was going to talk, but Paris took the microphone and started crying and saying, "From the day I was born, he was such a great daddy." And she started crying, and that was -- I was pretty much near tears most of it, but that got me. So that was the most touching part of to me, to see his daughter.
FINNSTROM: You two grew up listening to Michael Jackson together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
FINNSTROM: What was it like to be attending this memorial service together?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it was really nice to be able to come with my sister, because we did listen to, you know, the Jackson five when we were little, and, of course, Michael Jackson, too.
It was -- it was nice. It was nice to be there. It was very touching.
FINNSTROM: And I want to quickly bring in this mother and daughter -- lots of families here today. They actually came from the San Francisco Bay area.
You guys drove some five hours yesterday, starting at 1:00 in the morning. I know it has been a long turnaround, but you -- you mentioned as well that you were very moved inside. What was it that touched you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything did. When -- especially when they brought the casket in with Michael, that was very touching.
It was like, before, I didn't really believe he was gone. After today, I do. So, it was very touching.
FINNSTROM: And you're the one that got the tickets for you and your mom. I thought it was an interesting story about how you did so. You didn't win. You didn't register and win. Explain to us what you did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, actually, put up a want ad on Craigslist. And a lady by the name of Diane (ph) who lives in Alabama saw it and contacted me and said: "I -- I can't go. Do you want my tickets?"
And, of course, you know, I said yes, and we snatched them right up.
FINNSTROM: That must have been a very moving want ad. What did -- what did you say in there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can barely remember.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I know it was just something like, "I'm -- I'm saddened by how people are trying to sell their tickets, and I'm just a true fan who just really wants to go."
FINNSTROM: All right. Thanks, all of you, for joining us. We know you have to hit the road.
Wolf, lots of fans coming by here, all of them, as I -- again, I said, you know, telling us they're very touched, very moved, and touched by different things in the ceremony.
BLITZER: Kara, I want you to stand by and bring us some more of those fans as they leave, because their thoughts are -- are really important to all of us.
But, right now, I want to show our viewers who may have missed a very gripping emotional video, brought back lots and lots of memories, not only for me, but for a lot of people in the United States and around the world. This video was shown at the memorial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jackson...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The man in the mirror, Michael Jackson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bestselling American artist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This Video Pioneer Award is given to Michael Jackson.
MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: Again, I say thank you. Thanks to God. In the past, I have gone from, "Where is he" to, "Here he is again."
ELIZABETH TAYLOR, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I love you, Michael.
M. JACKSON: But I must confess that feels good to be thought of as a person, not as a personality.
Fame, fortune, they are all illusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: There was an amazing video reminding all of us what a talent Michael Jackson certainly was, not only a great singer, but an amazing dancer as well.
Donna Brazile made that point just a little while ago.
Donna, and when we were watching that video and watching him do the moonwalk and all those other dance steps, people forget that he was one -- one incredible dancer.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, when I first saw him on "The Ed Sullivan Show" back in 1969, the first thing I did was just got up on the -- in the den and started dancing.
Every time the Jackson 5 and Michael would come out with a hit record, we often had to learn a new dance step, because the music, you know, was different. Every song had a different melody, a different beat.
And, so, before music videos, you would just watch the Jackson 5, and say, OK, that's the dance I'm going to do on Friday night. That is what I will do at the wedding or the graduation, because Michael Jackson invented dance, as well as good music.
BLITZER: And many as -- great dancers have come since then, I don't think any of them can compete with Michael Jackson, I mean, in terms of the -- the style that he had and the -- the pizzazz.
BRAZILE: Well, you know, when you look at artists like Usher and some of the others, and they -- they are very good. They are very talented.
But Justin Timberlake, for example, I believe learned how to dance watching Michael Jackson. But Michael Jackson was a master of moving his body and -- and really teaching people how to feel the music, not just listen to the words.
BLITZER: And when we saw that video of the final rehearsal at the Staples Center, only that -- what, the night before he died...
BRAZILE: Yes. BLITZER: ... we saw he still had those moves. He certainly may have been frail, he may have been sick, but he still could dance. That was obvious.
BRAZILE: Let me just tell you, I may have to go home and get myself a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Like, I was listening to Magic Johnson when he shared that story that he, you know, ordered, what, some...
BLITZER: Kentucky Fried Chicken.
BRAZILE: No, he wanted some baked chicken.
BRAZILE: ... I guess the healthy kind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, right.
BRAZILE: And Michael came out with a bucket of fried chicken. And, again, it just made us all smile and laugh that he was human. He was, you know, yet someone who lived his life and enjoyed it.
BLITZER: And the picture you are seeing is the motorcade.
The family has left the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The first car is carrying the mother of Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson. And we are not exactly sure where they are going, but we will continue to watch and see where the family is going.
We assume they are probably heading back to the home in Encino near Los Angeles, but we will watch it very closely and show what you is going on.
We have a lot more coverage coming up and many more of the highlights, the amazing highlights from this two-hour-and-15 minute memorial service at the Staples Center.
Our coverage here in THE SITUATION ROOM of Michael Jackson, the memorial, will continue, after this.
BLITZER: Michael Jackson's fans are leaving the Staples Center, although many of them don't want to leave. They want to savor this moment and remember the king of pop.
The motorcade, though, has left with the family, and they are heading somewhere, we assume, to the family home in Encino. There you see the motorcade. The first car includes Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's mother. We will continue to watch the motorcade and see exactly where they are going.
But CNN's Don Lemon was inside the Staples Center for this memorial service.
I'm sure, Don, knowing you as I do -- and I'm not embarrassed to say I was moved throughout the two hours and 15 minutes. I know you were as well.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was moved, Wolf, I mean, honestly.
Well, Wolf, why do you always do this to me?
LEMON: Wolf, you know, you're kind of -- you're kind of like a dad to me.
Yes, I was absolutely moved. I thought about my childhood. I was writing people about it. I was talking to my mom during the service. I thought about being a little boy in church when my dad died, when my grandmother died, when my -- when my real father died as a kid and listening to those hymns and all those songs.
When I was a kid going to church on Sunday, all I wanted to do was get out of church and go play the -- my Jackson 5 songs and dance. I didn't want to be in church when I was a kid. But now I realize the importance of this. So -- but enough about me, because this is about a lot of folks.
And this lady, young lady, stopped me on my way out. And she said -- thank you for your compliments about my reporting on this. I do -- I'm sure you recognize her, Wolf. This is Cicely Tyson, the actress extraordinaire, icon.
We have been talking. She was particularly moved -- moved, Wolf, by Brooke Shields. And I was, too.
They loved each other. They were really good friends.
CICELY TYSON, ACTRESS: Well, the -- the incredible thing is that she was able to recant the moments that they had together, the love that they shared, the -- the sense memories that they had, the joy, the sorrow, because they really, the two of them, experienced the same thing.
They got into the business...
TYSON: ... at a very young age, so they were deprived of their childhood.
So, when they had those moments to play together, to laugh together, to cry together, they were real meaningful. And she was able to make us all feel that today. LEMON: And you knew it was real from the humor. She is like, "What's up with the glove?"
TYSON: That's right.
TYSON: Wow. I mean, you know, it is interesting, that glove, because my designer, whose name was Bill Whitten, also designed for Michael.
And, all of a sudden, he said to me, "I'm doing this glove for Michael."
Well, Michael was beginning to develop, you know...
LEMON: The vitiligo, yes.
TYSON: ... the vitiligo. And it started on his hand. And the glove was to camouflage it. That is how that glove came into being.
LEMON: How do you know this stuff?
TYSON: Because I was there when he was creating it. Bill Whitten created it.
LEMON: You know, I have talked on the air about this, about there is a -- there appears to be -- the polls and the studies show that there may be a racial divide when it comes to the interest in Michael Jackson among African-Americans than among other people.
But you said he belonged to the world. It doesn't matter.
TYSON: Of course he belonged to the world. It is very evident that he belonged to the -- look at the turnout of people from all over the world. It didn't matter what color they were, what their gender was, what their religious was. He transcends all of that.
LEMON: I mean, I'm in awe just listening to you.
TYSON: How can you say that? I mean, it's so evident. Anyone who does not see it simply doesn't want to see it or acknowledge it.
You shed tears today?
TYSON: I will tell you when I really shed a tear. I shed when Brooke started to talk. But, you know, I loved him so much. And I will play his C.D.s all the time. When he recorded "Human Nature," I played it from sunrise to sunset.
TYSON: I was married to Miles Davis.
And, one day, he came to me, and he said to me, "Why in the world are you playing this thing all day, day -- every day?"
I said, "Well, you don't record anything I can sing and go along with."
He said, "Sit down."
I sat down. And he took his trumpet, and he started playing "Human Nature."
He said, "That's for you."
So, he recorded "Human Nature" for me. And, when it started to play, I just to war. I went to war.
TYSON: Because I had, not only Michael, but Miles, too.
At the end, though, too, the family on the stage, I -- I -- you know, a lot of people couldn't take it. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
TYSON: Not -- not one, and understandably so.
You know, when you anticipate that someone is going to go, because they have had a long illness, then you sort of expect it. But this was so shocking.
I was sitting in my apartment listening to the news, and I heard that he was rushed to the hospital.
TYSON: Lois (ph), my assistant, was on the phone. And I said, "Oh, Michael was rushed to the hospital."
She said, "No, Terry (ph) said he is dead."
I said: "Oh, don't be ridiculous. Can't you hear them? They're saying paramedics have rushed him to the hospital."
TYSON: And we were going back and forth. I didn't believe it. I had -- you know what I did? I jumped in the cab. And I said to my friend, "I'm going up to the Apollo."
And I went up to the Apollo. And I wiggled myself in and out of the crowd before they realized that...
TYSON: ... that I was there. And so I was able to get the marquee and all the people that were there at the -- the very...
TYSON: ... beginning to pay homage to this -- this will never happen again in my lifetime. I didn't expect it to happen in my lifetime, but it will never happen again. There's only one.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
TYSON: God bless you.
LEMON: We appreciate you joining us.
TYSON: God bless you.
LEMON: God bless you. Thank you so much.
TYSON: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. We appreciate it -- Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: All right, please, Don, thank Cicely Tyson for all of us. What a remarkable, remarkable lady she has been.
We are going to get back to Don Lemon. He is going to have more special guests from the Staples Center.
One point, though, that I want to highlight right now, Jackson, the brother of Michael Jackson, he pointed out that his favorite song, Michael Jackson's favorite song was the song "Smile" that was written by Charlie Chaplin a long, long time ago.
And, even though the song is entitled "Smile," there probably wasn't a dry eye in the house when Jermaine Jackson performed this beautiful song.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I love you, Michael.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: According to Jermaine Jackson, that was Michael Jackson's favorite song, "Smile." And he did a beautiful rendition of that song as well.
We have a lot more of the very, very touching highlights coming up here in our special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.
You're looking at these live pictures, folks still staying at the Staples Center. Many of them don't want to leave this memorial, even though it wrapped up more than an hour ago.
We are also going to play for you "We Are the World." It was a special rendition of "We Are the World." And you will hear that. You will see that. You will also hear from the daughter, the 11-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson, a very touching moment, indeed -- much more of our coverage of the memorial after this.
BLITZER: You're looking at these live pictures of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. We now know the Jackson family has gone to a reception there, a private reception, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
They left the Staples Center just a little while ago. They are inside this hotel in Beverly Hills. And we are going to continue to monitor what's going on.
Certainly, one of the most moving, if not the most moving, moments at this memorial was right at the very, very end, when Michael Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris, spoke out about her dad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. JACKSON: I just wanted to say...
JANET JACKSON, SISTER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Speak up, sweetheart. Speak up.
P. JACKSON: ... 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11 years old, the first time I think we have ever heard from any of the three kids, the Jackson family. And that was quite a moment, indeed.
Another moment that really stood out for me and so many of our viewers in the United States and around the world was this rendition of "We Are the World," the very important song that Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson wrote and performed. Quincy Jones produced it.
And it had such a profound impact on humanitarian fund-raising in Africa and elsewhere around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)