Roundup: Celebs Bid Farewell to MJ

Musician Stevie Wonder performs at the memorial service for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7, 2009. AP Photo

Thousands of fans joined family members and celebrity admirers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Tuesday to memorialize the life and career of Michael Jackson.

Here's a little of taste of the scene:

Update 1:07 p.m. ET: Smokey Robinson opened the ceremonies, reading letters to the Jackson family from the singer's friends, including Diana Ross and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Update 1:19 p.m. ET: On CBS News' special coverage, R&B singer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds told Katie Couric that "there was a certain kind of magic about" Jackson, who could act "silly" and "told jokes all the time."

Update 1:35 p.m. ET: Jackson's flower-laden casket was brought in front of the arena's stage by his brothers while a choir sang the hymn "Soon and Very Soon."

Update 1:43 p.m. ET: Mariah Carey opened the musical tribute portion of the memorial, singing "I'll Be There" with Trey Lorenz.

Update 1:51 p.m. ET: Queen Latifah spoke about how Jackson bonded with his fans. "You believed you were there with him and he was there with you."

She then read a poem by Maya Angelou, titled "We Had Him"

Some excerpts:

"With the abrupt absence of our treasure, each of us is achingly alone."

"We were enchanted with his passion…he gave us all he had been given."

Update 1:54 p.m. ET: Lionel Richie sang "Jesus is Love," a song performed by Richie's former group, The Commodores.

Update 2:05 p.m. ET: Iconic Motown producer Berry Gordy, who guided the Jackson 5 to stardom, said that Jackson was "like a son" to him.

He remembered being blown away when the 10-year-old Jackson auditioned for him with his brothers. Jackson "way beyond his years," he said.

Gordy said that Jackson was shy off-stage, but when he performed "he turned into another person - a master, a take-no-prisoners showman."

Saying the title "King of Pop" wasn't big enough for him, Gordy called Jackson "the greatest entertainer that ever lived."

Update 2:07 p.m. ET: Crowd is shown a video montage charting his rise from child star to pop icon.

Update 2:12 p.m. ET: Stevie Wonder took the stage to perform "Never Can Say Goodbye," personalizing the lyrics for Jackson.

Before singing, Wonder said that while his fans and loved ones needed Jackson, "God must have needed him far more."

Update 2:23 p.m. ET: Current and former L.A. Lakers Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson spoke.

Bryant praised Jackson's charity despite growing up from "humble roots."

Johnson shared some personal anecdotes of spending time with the Jackson family. One night at dinner, Johnson said he was shocked when the chef brought out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for the King of Pop.

"Michael, you eat Kentucky Fried Chicken!?" Johnson remembered saying. "That made my day. That was the greatest moment of my life."

Johnson also credited Jackson for making him a better basketball player "by watching his greatness" as a performer.

Johnson closed praising Jackson as a pioneer who opened doors to other African-American entertainers and performers.

Update 2:25 p.m. ET: Jennifer Hudson performed "Will You Be There."

Update 2:35 p.m. ET: The Rev. Al Sharpton praised Jackson as someone who "opened up the whole world" and "broke down the color curtain" in the world of entertainment.

"It was Michael Jackson who brought whites and blacks and Latinos and Asians together."

He even credited Jackson's appeal to all races as paving the way for the election of Barack Obama as president.

Sharpton also alluded to Jackson's reputation for odd behavior in a message to the singer's children.

"There was nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what he had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us."

Update 2:38 p.m. ET: John Mayer played lead guitar on a primarily instrumental rendition of "Human Nature."

Update 2:50 p.m. ET: An emotional Brooke Shields gave a tribute to Jackson's playful heart.

They bonded over "being in the spotlight from a very young age," she said.

"Both of us needed to be adults very early. But when we were together, we were two little kids having fun."

She said Jackson's "laugh was the sweetest and purest laugh of anyone's I had ever known."

Jackson's "sensitivity was even more extraordinary than his talent … Michael saw everything with his heart."

Update 2:53 p.m. ET: Jermaine Jackson performed "Smile" from the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie "Modern Times," which Brooke Shields said in her comments was Michael's favorite song.

Jermaine got through the song, but was noticeably choked up by the end.

Update 3:06 p.m. ET: Martin Luther King III and Bernice King, children of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared praise for Jackson as a fulfillment of their father's vision.

"My father once said that in life, one must discover what their calling is, and when they do, they must do their jobs so well that the living, the dead or the unborn could do them no better … Michael Jackson was truly the best of what he was," Martin said.

"Throughout the ages, few are chosen from amongst us to use their gifts and talents to demonstrate god's love in an effort to bring the world together in true sister and brotherhood. Michael was such a one. He epitomized the words of our father that an individual hasn't started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns, to the broader concerns of humanity," Bernice said.

Update 3:12 p.m. ET: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Tex., spoke about Jackson using his role as a music icon to help others.

"When we're at war, icons like Michael sing about healing the world. And so he called us into public service. It did not matter whether we were black or white. He even told us to 'Beat It' - beat the violence, and look at yourself in the mirror."

"What a miraculous experience to be able to listen and see Michael in action. There were words cast about, but I wonder if anybody was on his shoulder when he walked into Walter Reed hospital, and he walked along the aisles in the rows in the hospital room. This was in the midst of the Iraq war, doctors stopped and nurses stopped, and individual soldiers who had lost limbs, stopped. And they were in essence moved and touched, as Michael was, by his desire to come and thank them for their sacrifice."

Update 3:15 p.m. ET: Usher performed "Gone Too Soon," a song Jackson wrote for Ryan White, an 18-year-old HIV/AIDS victim he had befriended.

Update 3:21 p.m. ET: Smokey Robinson shared some humorous anecdotes about listening to Jackson perform one of his songs, "Who's Loving You," as a 10-year-old.

Robinson said he was amazed at how the young Jackson could sing a song that required so much emotional maturity.

"How could be possibly know these things."

Robinson joked that he went to check Jackson's birth certificate after the performance.

Update 3:30 p.m. ET: Poignant close to the show, with the Jackson family, including his three children, joining performers who were to be in Jackson's upcoming tour on stage to sing "We Are The World" and "Heal The World."

Update 3:45 p.m. ET: Jackson's family had emotional words of tribute, none moreso than his daughter Paris, who spoke at the very end.

"Ever since I was born, Daddy had been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say 'I love you so much,'" she said before breaking down.
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