Celebrities, fans and family gathered Staples Center at Los Angeles to pay tribute to Michael Jackson in a two-hour public memorial.
As a 30-car motorcade -- led by a hearse carrying Michael Jackson's body -- arrived at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it became clear that this memorial service was fit for a king.
An estimated 20,000 people were in the arena as Jackson's golden, flower-draped casket was brought on stage -- with a church choir singing gospel.
Mariah Carey opened the musical tribute -- singing "I'll Be There," a hit from Jackson's years performing with the Jackson 5.
Motown Founder Berry Gordy, who discovered Michael Jackson in the '60s, paid his own tribute to the so-called "King of Pop."
SOUNDBITE: Motown Founder Berry Gordy saying (English):
"I think he simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived."
The public memorial featured some of the recording industry's biggest stars..including Lionel Richie -- who co-wrote "We Are the World" with Jackson; Stevie Wonder, a friend of Jackson's for more than four decades; Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and multiple Grammy-Award winner John Mayer -- who performed an acoustic version of the Jackson hit single "Human Nature."
Tributes also came from long-time friend Brooke Shields and older brother Jermaine Jackson.
SOUNDBITE: Jermaine Jackson saying (English):
"I'm lost for words. I was his voice, his backbone. I had his back and so did the family. But we thank you. That's all I can say. We thank you very much."
The professionally-produced memorial also featured a performance by a visibly emotional Usher.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of the 2-hour plus tribute was when Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris, paid her last respects.
SOUNDBITE: Paris Jackson saying (English):
"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much."
While Los Angeles was the epicenter of Jackson-mania, the outpouring of emotion was worldwide.. including in Germany where thousands gathered in Berlin's 02 Arena.
The public memorial was televised live around the world and streamed over the Internet...making the public memorial one of the biggest show business spectacles ever witnessed.
Jon Decker, Reuters.
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