Michael Jackson’s casket will take center stage at the King of Pop’s memorial service at Los Angeles’ Staples Center later today, according to TMZ and the Today show, though Jackson Family rep Ken Sunshine has yet to confirm the news. Earlier reports indicated Jackson’s burial would take place this morning during a private family ceremony at the Hollywood Hills’ Forest Lawn Cemetery. The private ceremony is still scheduled for this morning, however Jackson’s coffin will now reportedly be transported from Forest Lawn to the Staples Center for the memorial.
The Jackson family was seen last night at the Forest Lawn Cemetery for what TMZ is reporting was a possible viewing of the body. As Rock Daily reported yesterday, Usher, John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson and more celebrities and friends will be on hand at today’s memorial service, scheduled to begin around 10 a.m. PT. (Stay tuned to Rolling Stone for reports from the scene.)
One person who will not be attending the memorial is Jackson’s close friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, US Weekly reports. Taylor wrote on her Twitter yesterday to tell fans, “I’ve been asked to speak at the Staples Center. I cannot be part of the public whoopla. And I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word. I just don’t believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others. How I feel is between us. Not a public event. I said I wouldn’t go to the Staples Center, and I certainly don’t want to become a part of it. I love him too much.”
Stay with Rock Daily and our Twitter all day for our entire coverage of today’s Michael Jackson memorial service at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.