Saturday, July 4, 2009
Will Elton Attend Michael's Memorial?
Michael Jackson's public memorial service is scheduled for 10 A.M. on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, California and simulcast inside to Nokia Theatre across the street.
17,000 free tickets to the King of Pop's memorial service will be made available to the public. Fans wishing to attend Michael Jackson’s memorial service will have to register for free tickets.
Michael’s close friend Diana Ross has been asked to lead the memorial tributes to him.
The Jackson family want her to perform his 1995 No.1 hit You Are Not Alone.
But the grief-stricken singer is worried she will lose control and break down in front of millions of people.
Diana, 65, told friends: “I want to honour Michael’s memory but I’m not sure I can hold it together. He was like a son to me.”
The Jackson family believe such a poignant tribute by the Motown legend would rank with Sir Elton John's famous performance of Candle In The Wind at Princess Diana’s funeral.
A source close to the family said: “It will be this decade’s Candle In The Wind moment.”
Diana knew Michael since he was a little boy and was one of the closest friends. He named her as guardian to his three children in the event of his mother Katherine’s death. But heartbroken Diana is so worried that she may not be able to control her emotions that she has not yet agreed to sing.
The friend explained: “Diana is in pieces over Michael’s death and is very worried about whether she can hold it together enough to sing.
“She wants to – but she’s just not sure she can do it..”
Sir Elton John movingly played a reworked version of Candle In The Wind, called Goodbye, England's Rose, at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. For many around the world it became the defining moment of that sad day.
Madonna will not be at Tuesday’s memorial. The singer, who launched her Sweet & Sticky tour last night, is expected to record an on-screen message in memory of Jacko, who died last week of a heart attacked aged 50.
Michael’s close friend Liz Taylor will read a eulogy at the ceremony.
Other stars who will honour the star include Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder. They will take front-row seats at the memorial.
Other famous guests for the two-hour spectacular are expected to include President Obama, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lionel Richie and Liza Minnelli.
Jacko’s British-based friends Uri Geller, Mark Lester and David Gest will fly in for the occasion.
Around 750million people are expected to tune in on TV worldwide. Thousands of British fans are said to either already be in LA hoping to attend the memorial or are on their way to the city.
Police last night warned ticket-less fans to stay away from the stadium and said they would close surrounding roads.
Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said: “Everything with this memorial is to do with accommodating as many fans as possible. It's all about the fans.”
Tim Leiweke, of the ceremony’s organisers AEG Live, promised a “memorial fit for a King.”
He said: “I hope it will be a dignified and uplifting memorial.”
Sir Elton is touring in Europe during this time, it is not known if he is able to fly in for the service. He may instead send a video greeting.