Motown boss Berry Gordy brought laughter to Michael Jackson's memorial in Los Angeles by recalling his first meeting with the future King of Pop.
The music mogul took the stage at the Staples Center on Tuesday (07Jul09) to remember the late star, who lay in a golden coffin yards away from him.
Gordy recalled hearing Jackson sing a Smokey Robinson tune in July 1968, stating it was a better rendition than the Motown stalwart's.
Seeking out a smiling Robinson in the audience, Gordy explained the soul great agreed with him.
But Gordy's comments turned sombre as he referred to Jackson as "the consummate student," adding, "He studied the greats and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar... The Motown family mourns the death of our friend and brother Michael Jackson, who was like a son to me.
"When he did his iconic moonwalk I was shocked, it was magic. Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down."
Gordy brought the crowd to their feet by insisting Jackson was more than the King of Pop, calling him "simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived".