On this day in 2009 I think everyone had their eyes glued to the TV as the King Of Pop Michael Jackson was laid to rest. The ceremony was broadcast worldwide with the biggest commemorative service ever at the Staples Centre in America.
The tribute led service featured some of the biggest artists in the world singing his greatest hits including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson and Lionel Richie. The memorial saw excerpts from what would have been his final ‘This Is It’ tour where he was scheduled to perform over 50 dates at the O2 in London. Set to be the biggest tour of his career, a future film of the show confirmed that he would never have been able to do the 2 month stint as he appeared weak, nervous and a shadow of the former man who could dance and perform all night long.
Just to prove how big the show would have been think about this, to rehearse the final stages of the show Michael Jackson and his team (which including High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega) hired out the Staples Centre (one of the biggest sports venues in America), just for rehearsals. The rest of use do with a dance studio or abandoned warehouse, he hires out the best venue in the USA.
The service on this day 7 years ago will be one that I will always remember as I sat glued to Sky News all day to watch performance after performance of world renowned stars paying their respects to the greatest entertainer to ever live as well as his family speaking about the star and even getting involved in the finale of the ‘show’. I keep getting the urge to say ‘show’ as that’s what it was, it wasn’t a service for him, it was a show of his life and how much he had crammed into it.
The singer was found dead at his home a few weeks previous and was returned back to Neverland Ranch before being laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in his own private tomb. This is a man that has influenced mine and so many other performers careers. He is still the King Of Pop.
Here is my favourite performance from the special Memorial Service at the Staples Centre: