The World Says Goodbye...
Michael Jackson was farewelled last night under a global spotlight brighter than any he experienced while alive, as millions around the world tuned in to the public memorial that honoured the singer.
An estimated 20 000 fans wearing fedoras and African headdresses, sequins and surgical masks crammed into the LA Staples Centre to see the King of Pop remembered in a global extravaganza that the world is not likely to see again. But around the world, millions of fans were attending their own memorials, where for one day at least, the focus was his revolutionary music.
From Tokyo to London to Melbourne, MJ fans celebrated the life of the King of Pop along with thousands attending the L.A event, where entertainers including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher and Lionel Richie paid tribute.
Here in Australia, the memorial was broadcast live on a giant screen in Melbourne at 3am. Despite the frosty conditions, fans turned out in their hundreds with blankets and candles.
London fans watched the event on a big screen outside the 02 Arena, where Michael was to perform 50 comeback shows, starting next week.
In Hong Kong, a suburban mall tuned its TV screens to the event at 1 a.m. and featured a nonstop broadcast of his videos. At another Hong Kong mall, fans lay flowers at a wax statue of the singer on loan from the local Madame Tussauds museum.
About 1000 people gathered at a Tower Records store in downtown Tokyo, Japan to watch his videos on a big screen hours before the Los Angeles memorial, while in Sweden, fans gathered for candlelit memorials in central squares, while a sports bar in Oslo, Norway put together a special Jackson-themed menu to accompany its celebration.
The memorial was broadcast live around the world, including to 37 cinemas across America, and is already being tipped to shatter records for the biggest single live web streams in history. Television audiences apparently tipped 300 million while the on-line audience is expected be around the one billion mark by the end of today.
To watch highlights of the Michael Jackson memorial service, click here