Michael Jackson’s Family Makes Funeral Plans as Fans Clamor for Tickets to L.A. Memorial
Michael Jackson will reportedly be buried at Hollywood Hills, California’s Forest Lawn Cemetery, CNN reports after speaking with law enforcement officials. While the family has not yet confirmed the report, LAPD assistant chief of staff Jim McDonnell said that the police were working with the family on “a package of events” tomorrow, July 7th, including the public memorial service at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Police have already set up barricades outside of the Forest Lawn Cemetery, CNN reports, and a caravan of news vans have descended on the site following rumors of the service being held there began late last week.
AEG Live, the concert promoter behind Jackson’s This Is It! concerts in London and tomorrow’s memorial service, said that there would be no funeral procession. While it’s unclear whether Jackson’s body will be at the memorial service, his brother Jermaine Jackson said last week that the family was plotting a funeral service that morning of July 7th, likely before the 1 p.m. PST start of the memorial service.
Nearly 1.6 million people registered for the Staples Center memorial service, for which only 8,750 pairs of free tickets are available. Fans began being notified yesterday whether they should go to Los Angeles’ Dodgers Stadium to receive a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s service, and auction Website eBay is already stocked with people trying to sell their unique codes needed to pick up tickets. According to CNN, tickets will also be handed out today outside the Staples Center, using a wristband system to circumvent the scalpers. This Is It! co-director Kenny Ortega will direct the memorial service, while Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich will produce the event. Jennifer Hudson will be among the performers, CNN confirms. TMZ adds that Mariah Carey will also perform the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” at the memorial.
In other Jackson news, Madonna paid tribute to the King of Pop during her July 4th performance at London’s O2 Arena, where Jackson was to begin his run of 50 concerts next week. One of Madonna’s dancers dressed like Jackson and performed some of the Thriller singer’s signature dance moves to a medley of “Billie Jean” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” “Let’s give it up to one of the greatest artists the world has ever known,” Madonna told the crowd. “Michael Jackson. Long Live The King!” Watch video of the tribute below:
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