LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s rose-draped, golden casket was placed in front of the stage at his memorial Tuesday as a choir sang and millions of grieving fans said goodbye to the “King of Pop.” Several of Jackson’s older brothers served as pallbearers, carrying the coffin to the stage as the Andrae Crouch Choir sang the hymn “Soon and Very Soon.”
Jackson’s brothers each wore one white glove as they sat on the front row next to their parents and Michael’s children. Michael Jackson was known for wearing a white sequined glove in the 1980s.
The stage resembled a church sanctuary with a stained-glass backdrop.
Singer Mariah Carey was joined by Trey Lorenz singing Jackson’s signature “I’ll Be there” as a montage of Jackson photographs appeared on arena screens.
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.”
Motown founder Berry Gordy recalled how when he auditioned the Jackson 5 in 1968, 10-year-old Michael was talented beyond his years.
Gordy’s appearance was followed by a video montage of Michael Jackson songs.
Stevie Wonder took the stage next, sitting at a keyboard.
” Wonder then delivered an emotional version of his 1971 song “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.”
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who spoke along with former Lakers legend Magic Johnson, said Michael Jackson set a world record for the “most charities supported by a pop star.”
Johnson said he met Jackson when the singer was a season ticket holder for Los Angeles Lakers.
Jennifer Hudson, wearing a white maternity dress, sang “Will You Be There,” a song recorded by Jackson in the early 1990s.
A recording of an emotional Michael Jackson reading the lyrics to the song were played over the music after Hudson sang.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said Jackson brought “blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together.”
“It was Michael Jackson who made us sing ‘We are the World’ and feed the hungry long before Live Aid,” Sharpton said.
“Every time he got knocked down, he got back up,” the reverend said. “Every time you counted him out he came back in. Michael never stopped, Michael never stopped.”
Sharpton got the loudest applause when he said he wanted Jackson’s three children — who were in the audience — to know that there “wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what he had to deal with, but he dealt with it.”
Singer John Mayer took center stage at one point, but not to sing. He played lead guitar on the song “Human Nature,” which was on Jackson’s “Thriller ” album.
Actress Brooke Shields, who was 13 when she became close friends with Jackson, said they bonded “because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, The service turned to tears, though, as Jackson’s brother Jermaine sang “Smile,” a favorite song of Michael’s. After struggling not to cry through the song, Jermaine was hugged by his surviving brothers as he left the stage.
Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s children — Bernice King and Martin Luther King III — stood together onstage to compare Jackson’s impact on the world to their father’s.
Rep. Shiela Jackson-Lee, a Texas Democrat, said she introduced a congressional resolution to declare Michael Jackson “an American legend and musical icon.”
Usher stood near Jackson’s casket as he sang “Gone Too Soon,” a song from Jackson’s “Dangerous” album.
Smokey Robinson joked about his reaction when 10-year-old Michael Jackson recorded a song Robinson had written
Twelve-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi sang Jackson’s “Who’s Lovin You.” Jackson had invited the star from the “Britain’s Got Talent” show to his planned London shows, according to show director Kenny Ortega.
The public memorial ended with a group singing of “We are the World,” a song co-written by Jackson and Lionel Richie.
Jackson’s children sang along as they stood near their grandparents on the front row. Before she left the stage, Michael Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter, Paris Katherine Jackson, came to the microphone, fighting against tears, to say:”I love you Daddy, so much …”
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