July 7th, 2009
02:49 PM ET

Sharpton brings crowd to its feet

Say what you will, but the Rev. Al Sharpton spoke forcefully and eloquently about the King of Pop. He tells Michael Jackson's children that it "wasn't nothing strange about your Daddy. It was strange what your Daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway."

Give Sharpton some credit for acknowledging that some people did not like Jackson. Sharpton confronted this issue by being poetic, words that brought the crowd to its feet.

These A-list speakers have had time to craft their final words. Some have used humor. Some have tearfully told their personal relationship with the pop icon, like Brooke Shields. Some, like artist John Mayer, carefully take one of his songs and give their own tiny twist as if to tell Jackson, "Your songs cross music genres." That they do.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Roxana

    i love you Michael Jackson!and i agree with everything Sharpton said.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. mja

    Most people might have thought it was a beautiful service but I thought Al Sharpton played the race card way too much. I mean really. Michael Jackson is the reason we can watch Oprah and have a black President?? Come on. He opened the doors for all black people?? So no more excuses about the 'white man keeping you down' cause apparently Michael has opened all those doors for you now. He was a washed out singer trying to make money to get out of debt. And before everyone celebrates him as a great black man who did everything to bring the black race forward let's not forget he spent the better part of his life trying to erase the fact that he was a black man....such as his skin coloring, plastic surgery, and hair

    July 7, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. master

    Al sharpton was perfectly classless, as always, just like mj.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jen

    I wish he is still alive so he can see how people all over the world loves him.

    I wish we made him happy when he was alive.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ann Williams

    I just saw the interview on Lou Dobbs show with Campbell Brown sitting in, and the question was asked about Rev. Al Sharptons' comments. While some would comment "GIVE ME A BREAK," I would say as an African American Rev. Sharptons' made a valid point. I believe Rev. Sharpton was trying to show sensitivity to Michael Jackson's children. Once the dust clears the children will have to understand why American turned their back on their Dad. Where Campbell Brown’s guest thought is a useless comment those who love Michael especially in the auditorium understood and accepted what was stated with an ovation and applause. It is sad that America was unforgiving of one of their own; they were the ones who thought he was STRANGE! It is sad how we only show praise him now. It is sad the awful things that will be stated about this legend in the days to come.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zazal Jones

    It was so disrespectful of Jeffery Tobin to speak about Micheal sleeping with little boys after listening to Rev. Sharpton speak to Michael's children. He could have waited for that another day. Mr. Tobin you have no class. You are A-typical of the people Marlon was speaking of. The man is dead, "JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE"

    July 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Saunitha

    I have a different kind of respect for Al Sharpton after his speech.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eana1

    Have never been that big of a fan of the Rev. But I have to give it up to him today. He really hit a homerun, and I wanted to jump up and shout "AMEN!"

    My favorite moment, however, was when Usher instinctively made his way down to lovingly lay his hand on Michael's casket while singing "Gone Too Soon". He probably just thought he was doing it for himself. But in fact, he did it for all of Michael's fans around the world, and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts.

    (((Michael))) Rest in peace, friend. You've EARNED it. We'll do our best to carry on without you, and to try to remember all that you shared with us-promise. But it's NOT going to be easy... 😦

    July 7, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marvin J.

    I agree with "Wow." I was never a big fan of Sharpton, but he rose to the occasion on this one. "There wasn't nothin' strange about your daddy...." Those are my sentiments exactly.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elle

    Al Sharpton – you are a genius! you spoke the truth. Some may ridicule MJ, but remember, without him, MTV would not have the dominate in the media it does today. Without MJ, Naomi Campbell would not have been on the front cover of Vogue, Oprah would still be a reporter on some small regional tv station, Usher would still be street dancing. The list could go on. People really do not understand the vast contribution Michael Jackson made not only to the music industry, but to social politics, the environment – it is only now that he is gone, that we are now begining to realise just the what the world has lost. I suppose it is like the song lyrics, "We don't know what we've lost, till it gone".

    Even today, some UK papers are trying to have a last dig at the late, great Michael Jackson, in order to sell their trashy rags. They are just jealous of a man who out sang, out danced, out performed and out classed those haters around him. But whereas these awful papers become land fill tomorrow, and the equally awful so called journalists are forgotted, Michael Jackson, and his message will live on.

    Thank you Mr Jackson for your words, music, laughter, joy, hope and kindness. You were too good for this world, so the Lord called you, to be by his side.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. carolyn

    I don't think they should of had Al Sharpton talk. He is always looking to stir up trouble between whites and blacks just like Jesse Jackson. It is time for those two to sit down.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MJ fan from day one

    I wonder why there was no one from Sony that spoke about micheal during this time since his passing?
    Guilt perhaps?
    sharpton told it like it is....

    July 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Melissa

    It may have brought the crowd to their feet but I muted it. I cannot stand preachers.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mercedes

    I feel like that his speech , was remarkable and spoke on things that everyone in America may not have known about Micheal. So for him to speak on how caring,loving, and what all the things that our King of pop did for blacks as well as other races was good for him too say. But because of him, I'm going to make sure that I become some in life and make sure that my kids know about Micheal Jackson and what kind of man he really was. Not what the media or press said about him but the real man that touched so many in his lifetime!

    -Mercedes J. ; 15 yrs old

    July 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rose

    The whole ceremony was truly beautiful and will leave many special memories in our hearts. From Brook Shileds "What's up with the glove", Jermaine singing Smile and then dropping his buttoniere on top of the casket to Paris tearful expression of love. What really blew me away was the very obvious and deliberate snub from Al Sharpton to Joe Jackson. He was not the only one to close Joe Jackson out of the group hugs as speakers came off the stage but Al Sharpton spoke specifically to Mrs. Jackson & the family and when the brothers went to shake his hand and hug him as he came down the steps he turned his back on Joe Jackson, then proceeded to those sitting to shake hands. Joe Jackson was again deliberately snubbed when Sharpton withdrew his hand and again walked past the seated Joe Jackson. How can a man who "preaches" love and inclusion and equal rights be so hostile to the father of the deceased especially as he is only a family guest. I realize Joe Jackson did some mean things to Michael and has perhaps not exactly conducted himself as the ultimate grieving father with promoting his own business ventures. However, many will agree families often only truly get together at two occassions, Weddings, and Funerals. These are especially poignant times when old hurts heal and families mend relationships. Shame on Al Sharpton for his hostility toward Joe Jackson regardless of the reasons at such a time. Practice what you preach.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  16. pamela

    I was great and inspireing surmon! I was moved when he spoke to MJ's kids. He received a standing ovation for stating that Michael was not strange, rather the things that he was forced to deal with were strange. I began clapping-I was already crying. Micheal meant so much to so many millions of people-It's a real same that he did not receive this adoration while he was living. Love you much Michael, I have been a fan since I saw you on the Ed Sullivan show and I will be a fan for life.......God bless your soul and your family...

    July 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  17. gwenro

    Rev. Sharpton, in the speeches I've heard from him this was indeed your very best. He rose to the cause.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  18. stephanie

    Mr. Sharpton Thank-You so much for everything you said today...I was truly inspired to hear your words and remembrances of this great legend....Thank-You so much for your fitting tribute may God Bless you and May God be with the Jackson Family

    July 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  19. C

    Love and peace to the Jackson family. May God fill you with his love, peace and grace as you grieve the loss of your son, brother, father, uncle and loved one. Props to Rev. Al Sharpton for the eloquent words in his moving eulogy. Let's follow Michael's advice and "take a look at yourself and make a change." Focus on the talent, the humanitarianism, the gift of Michael Jackson. Thank you Michael for everything you gave us. Your talent will never be replaced and you are truly missed.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Beth

    I am very moved after having seen the Michael Jackson Memorial live in its entirety without interruption on CNN today. It has made me realize, besides his music, how much MJ contributed and gave of himself to humanity; how to look in the mirror at ourselves before judging others; and to be true to yourself and follow your dream, never give up. He has definitely left a legacy behind that will always be remembered.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ntiense

    MJ will be greatly missed. Rev. Sharptons speech was very apt. Someone once said that when you point an accusing finger at someone, 4 more fingers are pointing at you. To those who call MJ a pervert- who try to use this situation to attract attention to yourselves, shame on you. This is a man noted in the guiness book of records for his generousity to strangers- what have you done to bless others in need. Like most of us, MJ had his faults. The difference is , he was in the spotlight. MJ never said he was perfect. He said "I'm Bad !!" but he did a lot of good. It is true that good works alone cannot buy our salvation – only God can. This applies to all of us. Before we condemn others, we should look at the man and the woman in the mirror. Like someone said, MJ was that good samaritan who cared about the wounded man when the religious holier than thou people walked by with their noses in the air. He has left a great legacy that all the hate in the world cannot erase. Any one listening to MJ's music or watch him perform will know that he had an extraordinary talent that God gave him for a purpose. Even other great performers respect him. Let us look at ourselves and stop judging others. My love and prayers go out for the Jackson family. My deep condolences and may God give you grace to be strong at this time.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Karla Desire

    I am always impressed with the way Rev. Al Sharpton speaks so eloquently and tells it like it is. Always inspiring thoughts. I am extremely happy he spoke to the Jackson children abouttheir daddy . That's right Rev. Al!!!! You spoke the truth.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  23. leevonda simon

    Michael was I believe in my heart was a good person . I know he is at peace now . May God bless his family .

    July 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  24. cws

    Please get over this person. He was a singer, that's it. There have been and are better singers. The hoopla surrounding this person is a clear indicator of what is wrong with this country today.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Wow

    I am glad he said it even though I am not a big fan of his. People always forget that he had children and now all this pain and insults from the media and press will affect them. MJ is dead, lets let him R.I.P.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  26. rosh

    It's true. It's strange what MJ had to deal with given the Media. Media folk (yes, you, Martin Bashir) take responsibility for your actions. You were in a position to have an interview with Michael – and he spoke his heart out about children and how much he loves children. However, you CHOSE to twist his innocent sentiments to gain notoriety and push your career in the Media world. You, the Media help kill this innocent man's character and tainted his legacy. Shame on you. Freedom of speech, comes with a great amount of responsibility and no sensationalism. The media cloaks itself with the Freedom of speech excuse to sensationalize just about everything they can get their hands on.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  27. William Anderson

    I will remember MJ with very deep fondness. Many things were said about him, many tough to swallow, many harsh. But I for one will sorely miss him, for his obvious artistry (without many (or any?) that could approach his heights), but secondly I will miss Michael himself, and that without ever meeting him.

    He had a soft prescence that escaped, with both poignancy and delightfully so, with forceful celebration through his music. He could pull things out of your soul that you didn't know were there...You could identify with him as if he was your brother, just by his music, dance and occaisional public voice. If you were down, his songs would bring you to your feet....If you were incased in hard leather of daily concerns of life, his ballads would stop you in your tracks, and make you think about what is really important...Take "Man In The Mirror" or "Black and White" for instance!

    So Long, brother!
    You will be missed!
    May you finally find the peace you always wanted.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  28. jon hill

    like the great pioneers in the past Miles Davis John Coltrane and Charlie Parker as you now join these giants the Heavens will never be the same RIP

    July 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Michelle

    Michael Jackson is my number 1 fan. I am proud of him and his children. Michael Jackson is just a human being like everybody else living a life of his own. He cared for all children all over the world and he created an amazing place for his children. Now that he has passed away please leave his past alone and pray for his soul and for his family.

    Thank you

    July 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |


    July 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |

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