iReporter Sherri Hardin of Los Angeles takes viewers on her Michael Jackson memorial service journey, from picking her friend up in his underwear to her loss-for-words moment at the ceremony. Watch her story:
Outside the Staples Center, entrepreneurs set up shop on Tuesday. They knew loyal fans had come to say goodbye to one of their favorite pop icons and that many would want to take a piece of it home with them. Buttons, T-shirts, posters, glitter gloves, whatever material that could be used to commemorate Michael Jackson, it seemed that someone had thought of it. Take a look:
The media are now in full force asking, did this memorial service say the right kind of goodbye to Jackson? The overwhelming response, we are hearing, is yes.
It was entertaining in the most somber sense. It was a concert. It was a who-is-that-and-how-do-they-know Jackson event. It was a tribute album waiting to happen.
It was a first for fans to hear Jackson's 11-year-old daughter Paris Katherine Jackson speak, live. She tearfully closed out the ceremony with telling millions that he was "the best father you could ever imagine." And Janet Jackson comforted her. There was a feeling that this family sticks through everything.
Fans left feeling more moved than when they started watching the service.
Says Mary Strickler, from Virginia: "Words are really hard to describe right now. I felt like I knew the man, the person. There’s nothing like going to a funeral with all of your best friends.”
For those who grew up post-Michael Jackson's peak, this service showed how Jackson was adored. It's hard for Millennials to think of an entertainer, in their lifetime, who would yield that kind of emotion from so many different walks of life.
What was your most memorable moment of the service?
For Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers: Can you remember where you were when the song, "We are the World" first became popular? It came out in 1985 and was co-produced by Michael Jackson. The song brought out lots of emotion, and memories, both inside the Staples Center and outside with fans singing along.
This might be one of those songs you won't get out of your head later.
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.
Motown founder Berry Gordy reflects about the young Michael Jackson saying “we all knew he was special.” Gordy said Jackson sang a Smoky Robinson “Who’s Loving You” better than Robinson himself to which Robinson agreed. “That was Motown,” Gordy said, adding that love always won out. Gordy also said Michael Jackson will remain one of "the greatest entertainers that ever lived." The word we should remember is "entertainer."
Yes, Jackson could sing. His songs struck a chord. But entertain - his moves, the videos — is what fans can picture still. What musician today can put on a show like Jackson, and leave us still talking about it?
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