Police had estimate that more than 250,000 people would jam the sidewalks outside the Staples arena to pay their final respects to Michael Jackson. Because of this estimate, more than 3,000 police officers were present. Helicopters followed the golden casket as it was driven over blocked-off freeways from Forest Lawn cemetery to Staples Center. The cost, as of yesterday, was$2.5 million, and rising according E!online.
“Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you,” brother Marlon Jackson said. “And a part of you will live forever within me, but also a part of you will live forever within all of us.”
Marlon Jackson said the world could not understand what his brother endured “being judged and ridiculed.””How much pain can one man take,” Marlon Jackson asked. “Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.”
Before the final words Jackson’s band members, family, children and celebrities filled the stage to sing Jackson’s “Heal the World.” The song followed a performance of “We are the World,” the 1985 hit written by Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise money for African famine relief.
Queen Latifah, saying she was on stage to represent “millions of fans inspired by Michael,” said “Michael was the biggest star on earth.” Lionel Richie then performed the song “Jesus is Love.”
“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,” Wonder said. “And I do know that as much as we may feel, and do, that we need Michael with us, God must have needed him more.”
Wonder then delivered an emotional version of his 1971 song “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.”
Singer Jennifer Hudson sang Jackson’s song “Will You Be There.”
John Mayer played lead guitar on the song “Human Nature,” from Jackson’s “Thriller” album.
An emotional Brooke Shields, said they bonded “because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, very young age.”
Smokey Robinson joked about his reaction when 10-year-old Michael recorded a song Robinson had written. “I quickly went over to him, because I wanted to see his birth certificate,” Robinson said. “I didn’t believe that someone that young could have a lot of know. You have to have a lot of know to sing that song.”
Earlier in the memorial Robinson read personal messages from several of Jackson’s celebrity friends who did not attend. “Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my life, part of the fabric of my life, in a way that I can’t seem to find words to express” Diana Ross said in a message read by Robinson.