Jackson Fans Respectful At Staples Center Memorial
Thousands of MICHAEL JACKSON fans have turned the King of Pop's farewell into a sombre, respectful event after quietly filing into tribute venues in Los Angeles.
Doors to the memorial at Staples Center opened just after 8am local time. The tribute was scheduled to begin 30 minutes late at 10.30am local time.
Prior to the event, the King of Pop's family staged a brief private service at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills, where Ed MCMahon and David Carradine were recently laid to rest. Police escorted almost 20 black SUVs, Range Rovers and cars to the cemetery two hours before the start of the memorial.
The Jacksons reportedly staged a private viewing of Jackson's remains on Monday night (06Jul09). The body was transported to Staples Center as part of a 30-vehicle motorcade.
More than 17,000 fans claimed free tickets for the event in an online lottery over the weekend. Over 11,000 actually landed passes for the Staples Center event and the remaining lottery winners were able to watch the live broadcast on a big screen across the road at the Nokia Theatre.
Jackson died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his rented home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles on 25 June (09). He had been rehearsing for upcoming comeback shows in London at the site of the memorial in the days leading up to his death.