The Memorial Service

The Michael Jackson memorial service at the Staples Center was quite an event. I am happy to say with all those people and celebrities the setting seemed just right. It was a somber yet lovely ceremony. It was a day to remember Michael and appreciate all he has given to the world. He has touched us all in some way. You really got to see the more human side of MJ and forget about some of the crazy stuff. Brooke Shields (who looked so beautiful) spoke about their friendship and dispelled any question that it was anything other than two famous kids feeling comfortable around each other and just being kids. Magic Johnson talked about the time he learned that Michael Jackson loved Kentucky Fried Chicken. If that doesn’t help normalize MJ what does?  The service started with Mariah Carey singing “I’ll Be There” which led to many more magical music moments. Usher sang “Gone to Soon” and he barely held it together in the end as he sang to Michael. Stevie Wonder sang “I Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” which was a song he wrote about the death of his wife and then led into “They Won’t Go When I Go”. An 8 month pregnant Jennifer Hudson sang MJ’s song “Will You Be There” and she did such a heartfelt amazing job. John Meyer contributed an instrumental version of Michael’s “Human Nature”, which was another brilliant performance. Jermaine Jackson even got on stage and sang, “Smile” which was a song from Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”. Jermaine has such a beautiful voice and it was good to hear him sing after so many years. It was hard to watch though because at times he could barely make it through.

For me, the part that really got me was when the singers from his planned concert got together and sang “We Are the World/Heal the World”. Everyone gathered on stage and started to sing with them, including Michael’s 3 children. I found it so touching to watch them sing the words to the song. Then at the end Marlon Jackson gave a very heartfelt speech. He had a difficult time also getting through it but his words were powerful. At one point he said, “We would never never understand what he endured, not being able to walk across the street without a crowd gathering around him, being judged, ridiculed. How much pain can one take? Maybe now Michael they will leave you alone.” That is just so true. Lastly and most unexpectedly, Paris, Michael’s 11 year old daughter, got a turn to speak. Through her tears she said,” Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. I just wanted to say I love him so much.” I admit I was bawling my eyes out. What a sweet sweet girl. I think what was so surprising is here is this girl who has literally been hidden from the public and then she chooses to speak out to millions of people around the world. What a brave girl and one who loved her father very very much.

In other news, it has been confirmed that Steve McNair’s girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi is the one who shot McNair and then shot herself. The police have concluded that Kazemi shot McNair in the head the first time while he was asleep on the couch, and then she proceeded to shoot him twice in the chest and a final time in the head. Ironically Kazemi was arrested for a DUI 2 days prior to the shooting and McNair made her bail. Her last week was one filled with stress and despair mostly over financial worries plus police think she may have thought McNair was seeing another woman. Kazemi’s family however feel very confident that Sahel thought she was truly going to be moving in with McNair and was even getting ready to sell her furniture. Mechelle McNair, Steve’s wife, says that she had never heard of this girl and there are still no records of an impending divorce. Again, another very sad story.