Michael Jackson was eulogized in words and song today by an all-star list of musicians, athletes and other celebrities during a mournful ceremony in downtown Los Angeles, with the most poignant moment delivered by his sobbing 11-year-old daughter, Paris.
His tearful daughter’s voice broke as she bravely took the microphone to tell the millions watching the Los Angeles memorial concert: ‘I just want to say… ever since I was born…. daddy has been the best father you can imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much,’ Paris Michael Katherine Jackson said before collapsing in the arms of her aunt, Janet Jackson. To his fans he was their hero, but to his children he was simply ‘the best daddy ever’.
Paris had taken to the stage with brothers Prince Michael, 12, and Blanket, 7, to sing a final tribute song to their dad. They joined their father’s brothers – who each wore a single white glove – and a host of the superstar’s friends and family as they performed classic “We Are The World.” Brother Jermaine then thanked the 20,000 strong crowd for attending the service at the Staples Center in LA. He said: “Thank you. That’s all I can say, Thank you very much.” While brother Marlon paid tribute to Jackson saying: “Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you, and a part of you will live forever within me, brother.” Describing the pressures fame brought to Jackson, he added: “We will never, never, understand what he endured. Not being able to walk across the street without a crowd gathered around, being judged, being ridiculed, how much pain can one take?”
Throughout the event Paris had sat in the front-row with her brothers Prince Michael and Blanket alongside her. She rested her head on her grandmother Katherine’s shoulder as celebrities spoke about her late father.
Jackson’s brothers, each wearing one white glove, began the concert by wheeling his flower-covered gold-trimmed casket onto the stage at the Staples Center, where days before his death he was rehearsing for his O2 concerts.