Betty Live Blogs from Inside Michael Jackson Memorial

Betty Live Blogs from Inside Michael Jackson Memorial


Betty Live Blogs from Inside Michael Jackson Memorial

Betty’s Carrie Seim reports live

– Carrie Seim

Carrie Seim will be live blogging from the Michael Jackson memorial today – keep checking back as she sends word live from the Staples Center.

Update: 12:48 p.m. PST: With an Amen, the ceremony has ended and the world has said its goodbye to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson's coffin

Update: 12:43 p.m. PST: Oh, Paris, our hearts are breaking for you. What a brave thing for that little girl to get up and speak about her Daddy during what must be an unimaginably painful day for her. She said: “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. I just want to say I love him so much.” It’s a reminder that Michael Jackson was somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s father.

Paris Jackson

Update: 12:39 p.m. PST: The Jackson family is all on stage now saying their goodbyes. Paris is holding her aunt Janet’s hand and leaning on her shoulder. And Prince and Blanket are being hugged by aunts and uncles. It’s clear they’re a very close family, and the children will be well loved.

Michael Jackson memorial family
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Update: 12:33 p.m. PST: As the ceremony draws to a close, a row of children have joined the stage to sing “Heal the World.” By all accounts, it is a moment Michael would have appreciated and treasured. Michael’s oldest son, Prince Michael, is up on the stage and singing along with them. Michael had reportedly planned to do a duet with him on his upcoming tour.

Update 12:30 p.m. PST: Michael’s tour musicians and all today’s singers are singing “We Are The World.” Everyone in the Staples Center is up and swaying.

Update: 12:24 p.m. PST: Speaking now is Kenny Ortega, who was directing Michael’s upcoming tour, “This Is It.” He’s about to present a piece that was to have been in the London show. Kenny paraphrased something Michael always said to fans who told him they loved him: We love you more.

Update: 12:21 p.m. PST: This little boy, Shaheen Jafargholi, from Britain’s Got Talent was invited by Michael to perform at his upcoming London shows. What a grown up voice. Interesting choice to have a young boy singing at the memorial, but the kid
definitely has chops and is feeling this song. Tough shoes to fill for anyone, and this boy’s holding his own up there.

Update: 12:19 p.m. PST: Usher … wow, he really sounds like a young Michael as he sings “Gone Too Soon.” The photo montage behind him must be so difficult for MJ’s family to watch. Or perhaps it’s a comfort to see those memories of happier days.

Usher just choked back a sob. You can tell these performers are really at a loss.

Usher Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit:  Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Biggest applause of the day so far for a clip of 10-year-old Michael singing Smokey Robinson‘s “Who’s Loving You.” Smokey’s response when he heard Michael sing it? “This boy could not possibly be 10 years old.”

Update: 12:13 p.m. PST: Rep. Sheila Jackson announcing legislation to be introduced in the House honoring Michael as a humanitarian.

UPDATE: 12:03 p.m. PST: The Congresswoman from Kansas just reminded us that in this country, we’re all innocent until proven guilty. She clearly knows her audience, they love her for saying that so delicately, yet clearly.

Over and over we keep hearing about Michael’s humanitarian efforts and often quiet, private visits to hospitals and gifts to those most in need.

Update: 11:54 a.m. PST: Now Jermaine Jackson is singing Michael’s favorite song, “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin. What a heartbreaker. Although, it’s somehow disconcerting to see him wearing The Glove as he sings.

Jermaine Jackson Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Not a dry eye, not even in the jaded press area. Even the Spanish language news guy is watery eyed.

Update: 11:42 a.m. PST: Brooke Shields is clearly upset, struggling to keep her composure. She is very touching and makes Michael sound human, praising his mischiefous sense of humor and laugh.

Brooke Shields Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

UPDATE: 11:34 a.m. PST: Oh wow, that line to Michael’s children was amazing … “There was nothing strange about your daddy, what was strange is what your daddy had to go through.”

The three little children stood up for that line. And now the crowd is chanting Michael! Michael!

UPDATE: 11:29 a.m. PST: “Michael never let the world turn him around from his dreams.”

The audience is loving this speech about how Michael brought all colors together, and how Michael helped pave the way to an America that could elect Obama president.

UPDATE: 11:22 a.m. PST:  Jennifer Hudson looks and sounds like an angel. Jennifer is commanding this room. People are on their feet with arms raised. It truly feels like a gospel service.

Jennifer Hudson Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

UPDATE: 11:20 a.m. PST: Such a soulful dirge from Stevie Wonder.

And now Kobe and Magic. Kobe has spoken before about how Michael introduced him to the dancing of fred astaire and how it related to basketball footwork. What an interesting friendship that must have been.

Kobe and Magic
Photo credit: EPA/PAUL BUCK POOL

Magic is so funny talking about how Michael ate KFC and how that was the best moment of Magic’s life. And also so inspiring about what Michael has meant for African American professionals.

Katherine Jackson and BlanketPhoto credit: REUTERS

UPDATE: 11:06 a.m. PST: Barry Gordy shared memories from Michael’s young stardom. What a father figure to have. It turns out Barry was just as mesmerised as the rest of us, by what he called Michael’s passion and magic.

Berry Gordy Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Crowd is losing it for the video montage with Michael singing.

Jackson family; Katherine and Joe

UPDATE 10:49 a.m. PST: Lionel Ritchie‘s honeyed voice now, singing to Jesus, with stained glass projected behind him. The Staples Center is now a church, and we are all the choir.

Lionel Ritchie Michael Jackson memorial
Photo credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, Pool

Queen Latifah: The queen is now speaking in honor of the King of Pop. She sounds so real and is clearly speaking from her heart about how much Michael taught her about being human first.

Queen Latifah michael jackson memorial

UPDATE: 10:43 a.m. PST: The crowd is absolutely rapt during this duet of “I’ll Be There.” I’m watching two young women absolutely weeping right now.

UPDATE 10:40 a.m PST: Michael’s casket resting before the stage, topped with a pillow of red roses. So sad to think he was dancing on that stage just a few days ago.

Michael Jackson's coffin

Mariah Carey is having a tough time with her voice during “I’ll Be There,” you can hear she’s been crying.

Mariah Carey Michael Jackson memorial

UPDATE: 10:35 a.m. PST: Now the service is beginning with a gospel choir. Oh boy, here come the tears.

They’re singing “we are going to see the King.” And the audience is on their feet, the perfect song for this sad day.

UPDATE: 10:23 a.m. PST: It’s just eerily quiet in this enormous space as we wait for the family to be seated.

This is beginning, finally, to have the gravity of a funeral instead of a circus. The human tragedy is starting to settle in.

a sad Michael Jackson fan

UPDATE: 10:22 a.m. PST: Now applause as Janet Jackson enters, walking slowly to her seat. The audience is clearly moved.

Janet Jackson
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

UPDATE: 10:18 a.m. PST: There’s a momentary awkwardness in the room and tension as we wait for the next speaker. Perhaps they’re holding for a family member or VIP to arrive?

UPDATE: 10:03 a.m. PST: Now silence on stage … no one seems to be sure what’s happening or who should be speaking now.

UPDATE: 10:01 a.m. PST: They’re bringing people down from the rafter seats to fill the empty VIP seats on the floor.

Smokey Robinson is reading statement from Diana Ross, who’s not actually here. Smokey IS here.

Smokey RobinsonPhoto credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, Pool

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. PST: We have an emcee and musicians taking stage now. Looks like things may kick off with a song, fittingly.

Room is nearly capacity now, as a few guitar chords are strummed.

Michael Jackson memorialPhoto credit: EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT POOL

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. PST: There’s also a feeling of mystery here as no one is sure what to expect, who might appear, if they will indeed bring Michael’s body inside.

People are standing up taking photos, the PA announcers are asking everyone to take their seats now. Judging by the camera flashes, no one seems to be listening.

Kobe just entered to huge cheers and screams.

UPDATE: 9:55 a.m. PST:  Everyone’s hurrying to their seats now, the ceremony is about to begin. The anticipation is now palpable.

UPDATE: 9:45 a.m. PST: As we wait for the ceremony to begin, the room is oddly quiet. It’s got all the trappings of a musical extravaganza, but a somberness is settling in.

People are snapping pics, texting and flipping through their programs. It’s almost like a graduation ceremony with rows of chairs set up on the center floor leading up to the giant stage.

UPDATE: 9:39 a.m. PST: I’ve found my seat. The lights are dim, with blue spots on the stage illuminating several massive floral arrangements. I see LOTS of empty seats, but people could still be buying their nachos and pretzels I guess. They’re playing “Man in the Mirror” fairly quietly. The stage is set with a piano, drum kit and keyboards. The JumboTron has images of Michael, 1958 to 2009. They’re also playing the live video from the press area on the street outside.

I’m sitting in the jaded press section. Overheard: “Covering this story has been tougher on us than the wildfires.”

Take that as you will.

UPDATE: 8:47 a.m. PST: Just got inside the Staples Center, after a lovely welcome speech by a purple shirted employee with a melodic British accent. He reminded us that while it was a sad day, we all had an obligation to honor his royal highness, the King of Pop.

Apparently they are honoring him inside by selling McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, hot dogs and Pepsi at the concessions stands. Wow. Just wow.

They’re giving everyone with a ticket a handsome souvenir program.

Michael Jackson memorial program

I can’t tell you how bizarre this scene is … programs and french fries at a funeral?

Michael Jackson memorial

UPDATE: 8:25 a.m. PST:

Michael Jackson memorial

These two sisters, Shelby and Chloe, won tickets and their dad drove them down from San Francisco. Their mom made them their shirts. They’re such fans that they went to the courthouse during Michael’s trial to show their support. They say they’re still in shock and don’t want to think of today as a concert, they said it’s a really sad feeling and they’ve come to pay their respects.

UPDATE: 8:10 a.m. PST:

Michael Jackson memorial

This is Jason, age 17. He’s been dancing for the crowd this morning. He says even though he’s young, he’s a HUGE Michael fan. His friend happen to win tickets today and brought him. He says today is more of a celebration than a sad day.

UPDATE: 8:01 a.m. PST: They just opened the doors and everyone let out a huge cheer. The mood feels like a concert … laughs, smiles, photo taking. Tons of sparkly gloves in the air. And waving of gold wrist bands.

UPDATE: 7:47 a.m. PST:

Michael Jackson memorial
A young fan outside the Staples Center

UPDATE – 7:38 a.m. PST: I have never in my life seen so many TV camera and light set ups. It’s layer after layer of light panels. It’s almost the feeling of the red carpet at the Oscars. People are still signing the big posters in front of the Staples Center. I would say about half the crowd at least are wearing Michael T shirts or buttons or fedoras.

UPDATE – 7:15 a.m. PST: Also for sale …  Enormous framed posters of Michael Jackson, towels, hats, memorial car decals (!), hot dogs, water bottles. And apparently, my legs. Cat calls on the sidewalk in front of a memorial at 7 am. Stay classy LA.

UPDATE – 7:12 a.m. PST: After a sleepless night filled with the buzzing of helicopters circling the skies of LA, I made it downtown to the Staples Center zone by 6.45 a.m. I found parking for $30, which I consider a score, considering spots were going for $400 on Craigslist yesterday.

There’s merchandise galore in the parking lot … most popular so far are T shirts saying King of Pop Forever featuring the image of Michael from the posters in front of the staples center … going for $10 each. The city of LA should sell those to recoup some of the $3.8 million this event may cost. Yikes.

I’ve already seen my first Michael costume … all just as the sun is still struggling to come out. Off to my first security checkpoint!


Michael JacksonWhat does one wear to Michael Jackson’s memorial service?

It’s a question I never imagined I’d be asking myself. But here I am, trying to choose between a demure black suit and a glittery Thriller tank top accented with a solitary white glove.

Which best honors the King of Pop – and a human being named Michael?

I was fortunate enough to receive a press pass to Michael’s memorial service Tuesday morning. So I’ll be blogging live for Betty from inside the epic event at the Staples Center.

I’m both thrilled and saddened by this unusual opportunity. My plan is to bring you insight into the atmosphere and feelings of the day, beyond what you’ll see from basic news footage. I hope to capture both the rapturous moments of public homage and the small moments of grief.

The Golden Ticket

Michael Jackson memorial ticketI found out I’d been approved for press credentials Sunday morning. I was still on vacation in San Diego, celebrating the 4th of July. But I raced back to Los Angeles as fast as I could to pick up my ticket and wrist band during a brief media check-in time. (Who needs sparklers and apple pie when you have a chance to witness one of the greatest memorials in the history of pop culture?)

The media credentialing took place in a desolate parking lot in Dodger Stadium. Police swarmed and I was stopped at two different security check points, although the credentialing process itself was surprisingly smooth and well organized. As I waited for my turn, I noticed Ron Jeremy standing next to me. (Yep, that Ron Jeremy.)

Monday Night: The Scene in L.A.

The scene in L.A. right now is creeping toward mania on the celeb Richter scale. Stars are falling all over themselves to pay tribute to the King of Pop, and fans around the globe are desperate for a chance to say goodbye to Michael.

I stopped in a Verizon store today to make sure the video camera on my cell phone was working. (No real cameras or laptops allowed inside the Staples Center.) The man next to me whipped out his laptop and showed me a picture of himself with Michael Jackson. He told me it was taken at Michael’s house last Monday. I asked him how he knew Michael (by his massive muscles, I’m guessing body guard?), but he would only say, “I’m going to the memorial with Elizabeth Taylor.” If it weren’t for that photo, I would have dismissed him as a crazy, but it seems like everyone in town has some sort of claim to MJ.

The Verizon clerk told me he’d been flooded with reporters from all over trying to get their phones updated for video/photo purposes for the memorial tomorrow.

Celebrities Attending Memorial

It’s no wonder the world is atwitter. Not only have we lost star of astronomic proportions, but now every A-Lister imaginable is lining up to honor him: Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Brooke Shields, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Lionel Richie … and now rumors that Elizabeth Taylor may read the eulogy.

What other man could draw this cast of characters under one roof on such short notice?

I’ll be there Tuesday morning, bringing you a front row account of what is sure to be a sad and powerful day. Even if I don’t wear my white glove in the press area, I’ll tuck it inside my purse, in honor of Michael Jackson.

Check back above as Carrie Seim sends live updates all day from inside Michael Jackson’s memorial service.

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0 thoughts on “Betty Live Blogs from Inside Michael Jackson Memorial

  1. Oh my gosh, this is so cool that you are there Carrie. I can’t wait to hear more! Keep the news coming! Tell me which stars you see!!! I bet there will be a ton of tears too!

  2. All the merchandisers, etc. — turning this into their own personal cash cow. Oh well, personally, I will be glad when his services are done and he is finally at peace in the ground. I loved Michael Jackson too, but this is all really ridiculous.

  3. maybe the news will FINALLY stop talking about him now, and concentrate on much more important stories like hmm the war or the economy or the kidnapped soldier.

  4. As we remember the King of Pop, we give tribute to him on our own way. Even we wanted to be in his last day in the world, his memorial, some circumstances we there. Although we cannot attend still there is a way to watch on his memorial day. Some segments of Michael Jackson memorial service full video are available on Youtube, different performances and eulogies from the Rev. Al Sharpton, members of the Jackson family including Jermaines performance of

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