September 3rd, 2009
04:30 PM ET

Michael Jackson laid to rest at last

Update #10: Michael Jackson's funeral is over and his family has departed in their fleet of Rolls.  One can only imagine what they are thinking as they drive away from their loved one, after saying a final farewell to him.

At the service Gladys Knight performed; his father Joe Jackson made remarks and others came to the podium to speak spontaneously about him, according to the family's p.r. representatives.

Among the other stars in attendance: Mila Kunis, Corey Feldman, Jackson's former wife Lisa Marie Presley and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

The Jackson family hired a sophisticated video crew to record the event, triggering speculation that some footage may be included in the upcoming concert movie about Jackson.  It's supposed to come out next month.

Update #9: The Jackson family has arrived (most of them in Rolls Royces).  Michael's children have taken their seats.  They look composed, but Janet Jackson seemed to be bearing her grief more heavily.

Michael's parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson, are seated next to each other.

Update #8: The service still hasn't started.  There are empty chairs in front, reserved for Jackson's family members.

Macaulay Culkin is here.  Johnny Mathis is NOT.  I confused him with actor, singer and ordained minister Clifton Davis (they look a lot alike, at least to me).  Apologies.

Update #7: The burial service is delayed.  It was supposed to start 20 minutes ago.  We haven't seen any family members arrive.

Elizabeth Taylor was brought in by wheelchair.  Her hair is dyed black.

Update #6: More stars arriving now: Johnny Mathis, Chris Tucker(who imitated Michael in the "Rush Hour" movies).  Also here: Attorney Tom Mesereau, who defended Jackson during his molestation trial a few years ago, and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Update #5: Per Larry King, Elizabeth Taylor has arrived at Forest Lawn for the burial service.

The sun will be setting soon and it's down to 89.4 degrees outside. 

Update #4: T-minus 44 minutes until the service starts.  Limos are arriving, although we haven't seen who's inside.

Elizabeth Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Rev. Al Sharpton and Gladys Knight will be here, along with other friends and of course family.

The invitation sent to guests was nine pages long and includes these lines from Jackson:

    "In our darkest hour/In my deepest despair/Will you still care?/Will you be there?"

His family and friends will be there.

 

Update #3: It's down to 99.5 degrees.  Thank heavens for small mercies.  T-minus three hours and six minutes.

 

Update #2: T-minus three hours and 22 minutes.  It's 100 degrees outside.

No family or friends have arrived yet. 

 

It's T-minus four hours and 30 minutes until Michael Jackson's burial service begins. 

Jackson's body has been lying in a refrigerated mortuary awaiting this day.  Outside Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., it's 99 degrees, according to a website I just checked.

A platoon of police officers is on hand to keep order, some of them skimming along the boulevard outside Forest Lawn on Segway-like scooters (they're called "T3 Motion" vehicles, one of the officers told me).  At least they're feeling a breeze.

Just inside the grounds a fountain shoots a beam of water into the air that diffuses into mist on its downward arc.  I suspect I'm not the only one who wishes he was standing underneath it.

The guest list for the burial service is being kept secret, but we do know Gladys Knight will perform.   There are reports Aretha Franklin will too.

We've seen the invitation that was sent to a select group of friends and family.  It includes this quote from Jackson's 1992 book "Dancing the Dream":

        "If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with."

Watch this space for updates!  And watch a special live edition of Showbiz Tonight at 11pm eastern tonight for an inside look at the service.


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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. dori

    thank the LORD above for finally letting this poooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr man michael to finally be layed to rest i really do not think if it was his father or any family memebershe would have done thins so outrageous especially a mom or dad oh myyy gosh i have 6 children i would want them to be layedto rest not a freezer in morg sad maybe looking for new answers his father and all so waited for someting to come up soo the father could make more monry off his famous son

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. eche chyn

    Micheal, they media will leave you alone now that you are no longer here with us. I am still crying for the lost for kind human being. What you have done to other people on this earth, shall not be forgotten, especially the money you raise to Africa and other charities. Micheal, rest in peace. I will definitely miss you. I wish you did not gone so soon. Micheal you will leave in my heart forever. I love you" . Micheal you are in heaven now. Peace be with you micheal.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Laura F.

    My prayers for you and your beautiful family Michael Jackson.
    I grew up with your music and i always admired you. I am a big fan of yours, you have inspired so many people around the world and i dont ever think there will be someone like you. You had been the best performer, singer, entertainer and a beautiful person.
    I will always miss you and you will always be in my heart.

    I love you Michael Jackson!!

    September 4, 2009 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. gloria

    Jackson family i hope you find peace in knowing that Michael is now in a place where he can be at peace with god.I wish he really know how many people loved him as much as he loved the world, he was looked at from the outside,(he was singing to all of us and telling us who he was on the inside) I for one MJ listen to your heart.RIP

    September 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joan

    I hope this helps his children to have some kind of closure. My children were about their age when their father died, this brought back a lot of memories of how my children reacted.
    I for one have always like MJ and I am still trying to get over his death. My children grew up with his music, I played his music and I admired him and stood 100% behind him when the trial he had to face was going on. I awaited the verdict and was thrilled when he was found not guilty.
    I had a child murdered a little over three years ago, I can tell you from experience, if you go for 3 -4 nights with out sleep, I can honestly say I can understand how you want to keep taking pills until you finally sleep. If he was addited to precription meds, it has to be put on the doctors for doing what they did to him. He wasn't a doctor, he only wanted to feel better and sleep like normal people. I remember well after her murder, I would lay there awake and my mind would not stop. So don't go putting yourself on a pedistal, because you never know how you will react when life gives you a little more than you can handle.
    When you get accused of child molestation, your name is spread all over the world connecting you to this horrible act, you try to overcome that, then you go to a dr. and he gives you anti depressants and sleep aids, then you get immune to those and you get either more or different ones, it a horrible roller coaster and no one should have to ever be on that ride.
    God Bless MJ for what he did give us and for giving his children love and a great childhood. May we always remember his good and love for people that were not as blessed as he was.
    Good Night Michael, I for one can say I truly loved and respected you.

    September 3, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kamaljit

    MJ, you can be rest assured you have been loved by so many in this world. Hope you are in a better place. They never left you alone in this world. Everything you did was everyone's business. They made you appear like a freak when you were having problems of your own. Wish you had never got yourself addicted to those drugs to cure your problems. In the end only doctors, your so-called close friends made money out of you prescribing these drugs to you without even any guilt feeling of their actions But that is just them doctors-every patient dead is just a statistic. My heart goes out to your family, esp your mom and kids. Hope God gives them the strength to carry on with their lives. MJ, you are the most remarkable performer this planet has ever seen. R.I.P my dear friend.

    September 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. beah

    we wiil miss you

    September 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dahlias

    While my sympathies go to the family I must say that I'm sick and tired of this media circle around Mr. Jackson. He was a not so average 'Joe' who sang, made money, and in the end died. There's no need to disgrace the dead with greed and just blatant disrespect.
    Rest in peace Mr. Jackson, you sure as heck didn't recieve it in this life. I hope the vultures find something else to do on this day... pay your respects and leave it be.

    September 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |

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