Nothing made that more clear than the one surprise of Tuesday's memorial service, watched by millions around the world: the emotional speech by Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris-Michael.
"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father I could imagine," she said, dissolving into tears and turning into the arms of her aunt Janet. "I just want to say I love him so much."
1. The Children
Even the man widely rumored to be the biological father of Jackson's children says he doesn't know the answer. "To the best of my knowledge, I am not the father of these children," Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson's longtime dermatologist, told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"I can't answer it in any other way. I don't want to feed any of this insanity that is going around," he said.
Custody of Jackson's three children is one of the biggest legal issues still unresolved. In his 2002 will, Jackson made his wishes clear - his three children should remain under the care of his mother, Katherine.
Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Paris and her 12-year-old brother, Prince Michael, has indicated she may seek custody. The surrogate mother of Jackson's youngest child, 7-year-old Prince Michael II, is unknown. A custody hearing was scheduled for Monday.
2. Cause of Death
As the world paused to remember Jackson, authorities released his death certificate, which did not list a cause of death. The official determination will likely wait until toxicology results are completed, which could be weeks away.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Jackson's brain, or at least part of it, was still being held by investigators and would be returned to the family for interment once neuropathology tests were completed.
Investigators have honed in on drugs that were administered to the insomniac Jackson. The powerful sedative Diprivan, which is usually administered by anesthesiologists in hospitals, was found in his home, according to a law enforcement official.
Klein, Michael Jackson's dermatologist, said he had sedated the pop star in the past for painful medical procedures but had never given him dangerous sedatives to use.
"I was not one of the doctors who participated in giving him overdoses of drugs or too much of anything," Klein said. "In fact, I was the one who limited everything, who stopped everything."
Klein said he saw Jackson three days before he died on June 25. In response to rumors that the musician was dangerously thin at the time of his death, Klein said he saw nothing to make him worry.
"He danced in my office," he said. "He danced for my patients."
3. Burial Place
Jackson's final resting place was another unknown. Permission is needed to bury him at his former home, Neverland Ranch.
A private memorial was held at a cemetery in the Hollywood Hills that is the resting place of many stars, but it does not appear Jackson will be buried among them.
No plans have been announced for Neverland, but it's already drawn comparisons as a potential West Coast version of Graceland.
4. The Money
Then there's Jackson's money. He died deeply in debt, but left an estate potentially worth $500 million and his enduring star power with its tremendous earning potential.
The "King of Pop" sold an astounding 750 million albums. "Thriller" alone sold more than 100 million copies, the most successful studio album of all time.
But Michael Jackson's penchant for the opulent and the oddball, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reported. He also had to fund a team of lawyers to fend off continual lawsuits. By the time of his 2005 molestation trial, court records showed Jackson was $300 million in debt and spending $30 million more per year than he was taking in.
5. The Music
Former Sony Music chairman and CEO Tommy Mottola has said Jackson left dozens of songs that included newer material and leftover works from some of his biggest albums. Mottola predicted the potential playlist was bigger than the one left behind by Elvis.
The singer also left behind an elaborate production dubbed "The Dome Project," which could be Jackson's last complete video piece. Little is publicly known about the production, but its existence has been confirmed by two knowledgeable sources who spoke to The Associated Press on condition they not be identified because they signed confidentiality agreements.
There also is more than 100 hours of footage of preparations for his London concerts, which were canceled because of his death. Randy Phillips, president and CEO of concert promoter AEG Live, said last week that the company also has enough material for two live albums.
On Tuesday, about 20,000 people gathered inside the Staples Center on Tuesday for a somber, spiritual ceremony, watched by millions more around the world.
Crowds gathered outside Harlem's Apollo Theater in New York to soak it in. In Santiago, Chile, national police band played "We Are the World" during the traditional guard change at the presidential palace. About 50 fans lit candles and laid flowers in the main square in Stockholm, as "Billie Jean" and "Earth Song" poured out of a small stereo.
In London, dozens of fans sheltered under umbrellas against the rain as they watched the event on a big screen outside the 02 Arena, where Jackson was to have performed 50 comeback shows starting next week. Many more stayed dry at home after the BBC announced it would cancel scheduled programming and show the ceremony live.
"His whole life was a global broadcast in a way, so I suppose it's fitting that his death also is," said barista Robert Anderson, 26, in London.
Calculating just how many people in total watched the ceremony - around the world and across all platforms - will take several days and even then will likely have to resort to an approximation, given the huge variety of outlets.
At the ceremony, a star-studded lineup of performers closely linked to Jackson's life and music remembered Jackson as an unparalleled singer, dancer and humanitarian whose music united people of all backgrounds.