Michael Jackson Memorial @ Staples Center 7th July 2009

Note: Long post

Anyone watched Michael Jackson Memorial held at Staples Center two days ago? Well I did. I was on my couch from 12am to 4am. From the moment his casket was brought to the Forest Lawn Cemetery for the family private goodbyes to the moment his brothers marched off with his casket from the Staples Center stage and a closing speech from Pastor Lucious Smith, I watched it all.

Michael Jackson’s hearse on the way to Staples Center.

Scene at Staples Center. Note the throng of medias stationed at the center (lower right). There were 2 long rows of medias reporting this event to all over the world.

Michael Jackson Memorial Program Book. Click here for a peak.

Michael Jackson
King of Pop
A Celebration Of The Life Of Michael Jackson

This program book was sold at US$5000 at eBay (the highest sale so far). Sigh. I would hold on to it for life if I own one.

The opening screen for Michael Jackson Memorial At Staples Center.

I didn’t know what to expect before the memorial began. Had a horror feeling that maybe the showcase of stars slated to perform will overshadow Michael’s last limelight on stage. The memorial began with Smokey Robinson reading tribute letters from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela followed by a few minutes of silence.

Then came the song Soon and Very Soon from a Gospel choir while Michael’s brothers served as pallbearers carried the casket on stage.

There lies Michael Jackson…

It was followed by an opening speech from Pastor Lucious Smith. I was still okay then.

So when Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz emerged from the center stage singing I’ll Be There, I was overwhelmed with sorrow. Tears starting to form. I’ll Be There is my favorite song from Jackson 5. When I heard this little kid with the sweetest voice on earth singing this song years ago on the radio, I didn’t know it was Michael Jackson then.

Queen Latifah came on stage and pays tribute to Michael. She read a lovely poem from Maya Angelou ‘We Had Him’. Yes we had him and we never appreciated him until it was too late. πŸ™

It was followed by Lionel Richie, performing Jesus is Love and speech from Motown Co-founder, Berry Gordy. Seriously Berry Gordy’s tribute was over the top except when he said “I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.” which I couldn’t agree more.

Stevie Wonder took the stage with a short & sweet tribute to Michael Jackson before singing Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.

This is a moment that I wished 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 with us, God must have needed him more. ~Stevie Wonder

Kobe Bryant & Magic Johnson were next to pay their tributes. It was nice to listen to Johnson’s KFC story. πŸ™‚ Jennifer Hudson sang Will You Be There and followed by tribute from Reverend Al Sharpton.

I want his 3 children to know. Wasn’t nothing strange about your Daddy. It was strange what your Daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it. ~Reverend Al Sharpton

I thought the sentences above are a little bit controversy.

Joe Jackson wanted to shake Sharpton hands after that but he ignored him. Hehe

It was then John Mayer playing Human Nature on the guitar. Followed by Brooke Shields tribute to Michael Jackson. We get to hear another side of Michael story. Thank You Brooke Shields.

There’s Nothing That Can’t Be Done If We Raise Our Voice As One ~Michael Jackson

Smile was Michael Jackson’s most favorite song according to Brooke Shields and Smile was the song Jermaine Jackson sang next.

An emotional Jermain Jackson singing Smile. Ohmy his voice is almost same like Michael.

Martin Luther King III & Bernice King and Representative Sheila Jackson Lee were then on stage for Michael’s tribute. Followed by a teary-eyes Usher singing Gone Too Soon and touching Michael’s casket!


Smokey Robinson then take on the stage again giving his personal tribute to the King.

I’m glad I lived in an era where I got the chance to see what everybody’s been coming up here saying the greatest entertainer of all time. ~Smokey Robinson

It was Shaheen Jafargholi (Britain’s Got Talent contestant) turn performing Jackson 5’s Who’s Loving You which he sang so beautifully. Kenny Ortega informed that Shaheen was to join Michael’s This It Is concert… but of course πŸ™

The last 2 songs to be heard on Michael Jackson Memorial are We Are World and Heal The World.

Michael Jackson’s children join in as well.

Jermaine & Marlon Jackson pays a final tribute to their brother Michael.

The biggest surprise of the memorial service was hearing Paris Jackson speaking for the first time.

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. ~Paris Michael Katherine Jackson

Isn’t that the most tear-jerking moment? Yes more sob after that for me.

Pastor Lucious Smith delivered a closing prayer to end Michael Jackson Memorial service.

By the end of it, my nose were block. My eyes were red. I’ve a headache. But no matter. I cannot miss this. I didn’t miss it. It’s a passing of a king tribute. This is an event to remember. And that’s why I took pictures of the moment right from my TV set as you can see.

Today is exactly 2 weeks since his death and yet I know many of us still can’t believe he’s not here anymore (physically) – I feel the same way too. But as long as we live, he will live in our memories & hearts.

I’m glad that we are able to mourn and celebrate his life. Thank You Michael Jackson’s family and THANK YOU MICHAEL JACKSON.

p/s: All pictures taken through the eyes of Che-Cheh’s lens.

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  • Reply Dawn July 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I missed MJ’s memorial big time. Thanks for the great write up on it. I heard about his passing about 2 days after his death. There was no English channel in that particular hotel we were at in Pingyao.

  • Reply Che-Cheh July 10, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Dawn, hey you’re back! Missing in action for so long la. :tongue: If you have the chance do watch the repeat memorial.

  • Reply xin July 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    i watched part of the replay, and was thinking abt how fragile life can be πŸ™

  • Reply Che-Cheh July 11, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Xin, that’s why we must enjoy life and do what we dream to do. And don’t forget enjoy food!!! Hehe

  • Reply jam July 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I didn’t stay up to see the memorial. I think Paris’ quotes on MJ was really touching…

  • Reply Che-Cheh July 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Jam, she stumped the world.

  • Reply foongpc July 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Wow! You stayed up till 4am to watch? No need to work next day or took MC, is it? LOL!

    I watched till 2am then had to go to sleep. Luckily managed to watch the repeat the next day. It may not be very appropriate for me to say this, but I enjoyed the whole memorial thing!

    Firstly, my idol Mariah Carey was there! Yay! She sang that beautiful song “I’ll Be There” with Trey, although I think she sang it better last time. Maybe she’s holding back her tears and choking cos her higher registers seem to suffer a bit.

    I particularly enjoyed listening to Brooke Shields. She gave a very personal account of MJ and I loved it! Especially what’s up with the glove. Haha!

    When Usher wept after finishing the song “Gone Too Soon”, I felt like crying too! So touching!

    And MJ’s daughter Paris gave a heart rending speech that touched everyone’s heart despite it being just a very short speech.

    I don’t mind watching the memorial all over again πŸ™‚

  • Reply philters July 14, 2009 at 11:27 am

    caught the repeat on 8tv while i was in sarawak. sho sad :__(

  • Reply Che-Cheh July 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Foongpc, yeah like you I don’t mind watching again. I realized that for the repeat they ‘cut’ a lot.

    Philters, yeah πŸ™ πŸ™

  • Reply AL ;D July 26, 2010 at 3:05 am

    OMG I saw it all. It was so touching. I cried when people at the stage cried,but when Paris said what she said I couldent help it I start screaming and cry. My eyes where red and wet. RIP Michael Jackson. I just rememberd that today its 1 year and 1 month since MJ passed πŸ™

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