Jonelle Procope, Reverend Al Sharpton
Michael Jackson's fans queue for Apollo tribute
New York City, USA - 30.06.09
* APOLLO THEATER WELCOMES JACKSON FANS
Thousands of MICHAEL JACKSON fans have gathered outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York to attend the start of a two-day memorial event featuring videos and celebrity eulogies.
Staff are letting 600 people at a time in to the theatre to witness the 45-minute tribute show, which will continue throughout Tuesday (30Jun09) and Wednesday (01Jul09).
Apollo Theater bosses chose to honour Jackson, who died last week (25Jun09), because he made several famous appearances at the venue throughout his career. Jackson first performed at the New York music mecca with his brothers in 1969, when they were billed as The Jackson Brothers and won an amateur contest. The victory launched the career of the Jackson 5.
Meanwhile, theatre president Jonelle Procope has ruled out a Jackson memorial service at the Apollo - like the one the venue hosted for James Brown after the Godfather of Soul's sudden death in 2006 - insisting it's appropriate a public viewing should take place at the King of Pop's Neverland Ranch estate, as previously reported by WENN.
Following Brown's death, the soul man's body was taken to the Apollo Theater for a public memorial.
Procope says, Neverland is where he (Jackson) had the most happiness... While I would be more than happy to have him rest on our stage, I do understand. (KL/WN/MT)