The world is still reeling from the unexpected death of pop icon Michael Jackson, but his fans around the world had one last chance to say goodbye to the artist during a touching ceremony at Los Angeles' Staples Center on July 7.
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TV.com's transcript of the Michael Jackson memorial service live blog
9:45 a.m. Welcome to TV.com's live coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial service! We're tuned in to CNN, and they've reported that the service has been pushed back to 1:30 ET/10:30PT.
9:49 a.m. Looks like people are already being seated! And there are bootleggers outside ... weird.
9:53 a.m. Where are you watching the memorial?
9:57 a.m. Now they're reporting that the service is about to begin at its scheduled time. Less than five minutes away!
10:00 a.m. Staples Center is packed! It's pretty beautiful to see everyone turn out for the event, despite work schedules, travel issues and personal beliefs. It's a celebration of Michael Jackson's life, after all.
10:05 a.m. Who was Michael Jackson to you?
10:07 a.m. Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson and others are scheduled to perform -- what better way to celebrate the King of Pop than with more music?
10:10 a.m. Do you know anyone who's attending the service? How far did they travel to be there?
10:13 a.m. Smokey Robinson is the first speaker. What a quote: "Thank you, Katherine and Joe, for sharing your son with the world."
10:16 a.m. 1.5 million tried to get 11,000 tickets. That's a tribute in itself.
10:20 a.m. There's a pause in the service, but it'll be back on soon. The anticipation builds -- just like it did during his concerts.
10:23 a.m. How much do you think the yearbook-style programs will go for on eBay?
10:26 a.m. How will the performers honor Michael Jackson? We're betting that Mariah Carey sings "I'll Be There" and that Usher moonwalks.
10:31 a.m. Did you know that residents of New York, Florida and Rhode Island were not allowed to participate in the online ticket lottery? It had to do with state-specific sweepstakes rules.
10:35 a.m. Michael Jackson would have loved that gospel choir -- he featured voices like theirs in "Will You Be There."
10:37 a.m. Rev. Lucious Smith speaking now.
10:40 a.m. Mariah does her beautiful rendition of "I'll Be There," as predicted, with Trey Lorenz, who's doing some solid justice to the falsetto notes in the song.
10:45 a.m. Queen Latifah now, speaking on behalf of fans, adds her smile to the somber but respectful mood.
10:47 a.m. Quoting Maya Angelou: "He gave us all he had been given."
10:50 a.m. Lionel Richie now, singing "Jesus is Love" with more soul than he's had in quite awhile. Here's a throwback to the "We Are The World" days.
10:55 a.m. Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records: "He was the consummate student. He studied the greats and then became greater."
10:59 a.m. What was your favorite Jackson 5 #1? "I'll Be There," "ABC," "I Want You Back" or "The Love You Save"?
11:02 a.m. What do you think of the ambiance in the Staples Center? Is it respectful? Subdued? Flashy? Not flashy enough?
11:03 a.m.Gordy, again: "He was the greatest entertainer that ever lived."
11:05 a.m. Watching this dance-moves montage is like being at a dozen concerts -- it covers everything!
11:07 a.m. Stevie Wonder: "This is a moment that I wished I didn't live to see come."
11:10 a.m. Stevie Wonder, wonderful as usual, sings "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer."
11:13 a.m. Do you think that Michael Jackson would have liked costume tributes? We expected a few fedoras and white gloves ...
11:16 a.m. Kobe Bryant & Magic Johnson, two Laker greats, now talking about Michael Jackson's philanthropy. Remember the time Magic Johnson was in a Michael Jackson video?
11:21 a.m. Jennifer Hudson sings "Will You Be There," one of Michael Jackson's most powerful songs.
11:24 a.m. But Michael's voice remains at the end of the song, as in the original version.
11:26 a.m. Rev. Al Sharpton speaking now about the strength of the Jackson family. He definitely puts the "rev" -- as in "rev up" -- in Reverend. What a powerful speaker.
11:27 a.m. Check out the Jackson family's fashion coordination -- sunglasses, yellow ties and black suits.
11:31 a.m. Sharpton to Jackson's children: "There wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what he had to deal with."
11:34 a.m. John Mayer gets the crowd clapping with an instrumental version of "Human Nature," backed by a few singers. Nice song choice.
11:38 a.m. Brooke Shields now addressing her relationship with Michael: "It was the most natural and easiest of friendships."
11:41 a.m. Shields is really showing the human side of Michael Jackson: "Both of us needed to be adults very early. But when we were together, we were two little kids, having fun."
11:46 a.m. Michael's favorite song was "Smile," from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: Jermaine performs it for him.
11:48 a.m. ... wearing a white sequined glove.
11:53 a.m. Martin Luther King III speaking now with his sister Bernice by his side.
11:57 a.m. Bernice King: "He was indeed a shining light, like our father Martin ... May we all be inspired to go and let our lights shine."
12:02 p.m. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee talking now about Michael Jackson's leadership in the fight against AIDS and his devotion to people in need.
12:06 p.m. Lee: "Michael Jackson never stopped giving" -- and they're going to debate Resolution 600 on the House floor. A very cool tribute. Here's a link to it.
12:09 p.m. Usher singing "Gone Too Soon" -- sadly, too appropriate.
12:12 p.m. Usher looking at the casket -- a powerful image.
12:14 p.m. Smokey Robinson admiring Michael Jackson's maturity in his age 10 performance of "Who's Lovin' You."
12:17 p.m. Robinson: "I'm glad I lived in this era."
12:19 p.m. Child prodigy Shaheen Jafargholi (from Britain's Got Talent!) really belts out "Who's Lovin' You" -- the best performance of the memorial thus far. Michael Jackson would have been proud.
12:22 p.m. Kenny Ortega now speaking about the "This Is It" tour -- it would have been his "triumphant return."
12:25 p.m. "We Are The World" medley: Robinson, Ortega, Hudson, Richie, Michael's kids and many others onstage for the ultimate tribute.
12:29 p.m. Straight into "Heal the World," led by the First black Miss Indiana, Kellee Patterson.
12:37 p.m. Jermaine and Marlon represent the family in sharing their emotions and anecdotes -- even in his disguises, Michael Jackson was recognized by his shoes.
12:39 p.m. Paris speaks. No words from us here.
12:39 p.m. The memorial ends as it started -- peppered with shouts of love from the audience.