Oprah Winfrey farewell a magnet for stars

Oprah Winfrey acknowledges fans as she is surrounded by stars during a star-studded double-taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular," Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Chicago. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is ending its run May 25, after 25 years, and millions of her fans around the globe are waiting to see how she will close out a show that spawned a media empire. From left are Will Smith, Winrey, Usher and Stevie Wonder. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Oprah Winfrey with Will Smith, Usher and Stevie Wonder
AP

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Star-spotting in Chicago must have been a blast Tuesday as many of the biggest celebrities in the world appeared at Oprah Winfrey's farewell double episode.

Pictures: Stars at Oprah Winfrey's farewell taping

Aretha Franklin, retired basketball superstar Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Patti LaBelle were just some of the stars who came onstage to pay tribute to Winfrey, who's ending her talk show after 25 years.

Winfrey wiped away tears as celebrity after celebrity surprised her during a farewell double-episode taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that will precede her finale.

"Thank you is not enough, but thank you," Winfrey told the crowd of 13,000 gathered at Chicago's United Center on Tuesday night for "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular." "For your love and your support, thank you."

The crowd gave Winfrey a standing ovation when she first walked on the stage. Then the stars came out, with Winfrey's producers making good on their promise of the biggest celebrities of movies, music and television.

"You always had the power, and that is the message you brought into our lives," Cruise told Winfrey.

Winfrey's longtime partner, Stedman Graham, introduced Franklin after telling Winfrey he loved her and was proud of her.

The stadium was decorated with pictures of Winfrey at seminal moments over the course of her talk show. Boxes of tissues were on scattered seats throughout the audience.

Harpo Productions received more than 154,000 ticket requests for seats to Tuesday's event. Tickets were free and distributed to fans through a lottery.

Read more about the event here.

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