7/07/2009 03:59:00 PM

A tribute fit for a King! My review of MJ's memorial; pics.

Posted by SouthernGurl

How beautiful was Michael's memorial?! It couldn't have been better. It was classy, well-planned and memorable. The organizers even when as far as including Michael in his own memorial by using taped recordings. Hearing his voice really made it feel like he was there in spirit. I also loved how the audience was so respectful of the Jackson family during the tribute. And what a tribute it was! I honestly didn't want it to end. I laughed a little and thanks to Usher, Jennifer, Marlon and Michael's daughter Paris, I cried a lot. At times I found myself clapping along with the audience...especially after Rev. Al Sharpton's speech. I thought he was going to start preaching when he began talking about Michael. He said, “Every time he got knocked down, he got back up.” I believe that was in reference to how the media treated and negatively portrayed Michael during his life and even after his death. I smiled when Rev. Sharpton told Michael's kids, “There wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with!” That comment is pretty much self-explanatory.

I knew the service would be emotional for me. But when the Andrae Crouch Gospel Choir started singing Soon and Very Soon and I saw Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy wheel their brother's gold casket to the front of the stage, I ain't even gonna lie: I lost it. However, as wonderful as the memorial was, I don't see myself watching it again, even though it will remain on my DVR. Watching the show wore me out! Did yall know that you can become physically tired if you cry long and hard enough? The bittersweet tears I shed were in the same class at the tears I cried when my mama whoop my ass back in the day. True story.



Anyhoo. The vocal performances. As my niece Jana would say, 'OMG!' Lionel Richie sang his Commodores song Jesus Is Love. Let me find out I still knew the words to that song. And let me also find out that I forgot Jermaine Jackson knows how to sing. As I reported earlier, he sung Michael's favorite song: Smile, from the Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Stevie Wonder's I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer tore me apart too (just read the title of the song) especially when he sang, 'Michael, why you didn't you stay?'. Jennifer Hudson's performance of one of my favorite songs by Michael, Will You Be There was so beautiful. And even though she didn't sing the whole song, I was still moved. Her voice is incredible; and she looked good too.

Maya Angelou's poem for Michael, 'We Had Him', which was read by Queen Latifah brought a smile to my face. "We are missing Michael Jackson," the poem read. "But we do know we had him, and we are the world." Then Berry spoke. For a minute, I thought he was going to get his Don Cornelius on (if you watched the BET awards, you know what I'm talking about) but the more he spoke, the more I wanted to listen to what he had to say. He deemed Michael as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" and if that ain't the truth, I don't know what is. He went on to say Michael "was driven by his hunger to learn...to confidently top himself, to be the best, the consummate student. He studied the greats and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar." Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Smokey Robinson also spoke.

But one of the best moments during the memorial was when a tearful Marlon expressed how much he missed his baby brother. He said,"we will never understand what he endured, never being able to walk across the street without a crowd gathering. Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone." He went on to ask Michael to give his twin brother Brandon (who died at birth) a kiss for him. Also, if you looked closely, Michael's oldest brother Jackie could be seen in the background breaking down in tears as well.

It's been reported that the family members and close friends left Staples Center and headed to the Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel to attend a private gathering. It's most likely what we common black folks would call a repast. As for Michael's final resting place. From what I've read (on a reputable website), the details of the location will continue to remain undisclosed. Some folks thought he would be buried at the celebrity-filled Forest Lawn Cemetery, but that's untrue. His body will be interred somewhere else pending final burial--but like I said, the location is unknown.

Below you'll find clips from the memorial as well as many, many photos. And can someone tell me where the hell they found Wesley Snipes?! And as you can see, Chris Brown was also in attendance. For the second time in two weeks, lil dude has gotten shut out again out of doing a tribute to Michael. Right about now, it must really suck being who he is.

Jermaine Jackson sings his baby brother's favorite song, 'Smile.'

Stevie Wonder sings 'I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer.'

Rev. Al Sharpton


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