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Round Up: Michael Jackson's Memorial Service
Ben Hewitt , July 8th, 2009 07:55

JackoWatch returns

He may be gone, but he's not forgotten.

The world said goodbye to Michael Jackson at yesterday's memorial service at the Staples Centre in LA but, in case you missed the ceremeony, JackoWatch is on hand to round-up exactly what the newspapers are saying.

VIEWERS

Size is always impressive, so it's not suprising to see much of the news coverage focussing on the huge viewing figures the service drew.

The Telegraph suggested that Jackson's memorial would be "watched by more than funeral of the Princess of Wales". While Diana's televised funeral in 1997 had the biggest global television audience ever, being witnessed by 2.5 billion people, the late singer's was expected to be watched by more, because "as well as television Jackson's service will be broadcast on a free live internet stream set up by his Jackson family."

Elsewhere, The Times reported that the service was "expected to be the biggest online event ever". Their expert advice comes from Adam Ostrow Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco-based Mashable online social media guide, who said: “It could just be the biggest thing ever in the history of the internet.

“The memorial service is happening during normal hours in the US when people will be at work, which means people aren’t going to be in front of a TV, they are going to be at their computers and turning to the internet to watch the event.”

Finally, The Guardian revealed that "more than 6 million viewers watched the Michael Jackson memorial across several channels on British television last night".

GUESTS

The stars were out in force for yesterday's memorial service, with NME.com leading the way on celebrity scoops at the event.

The website carried details of Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey giving special tribute performances for the late singer, as well as reporting how actress Brooke Shields and basketball legend Magic Johnson were in attendance.

Johnson also credited Jackson as a major influence in his career, insisting that he "made me a better point guard and a better player as I watched him perform."

Elsewhere, The London Standard revealed that RnB star Usher "caused a stir among the crowd by becoming the first artist to touch Jackson's coffin.

After breaking down in tears singing Gone Too Soon, he was embraced by Jackson family members as he was led away from the stage."

Perhaps the largest stir was caused by those not in attendance.

Most notable was actress Elizabeth Taylor's decision to snub the funeral. The Daily Telegraph reveals that she said: "I said I wouldn't go to the Staples Centre and I certainly don't want to become a part of it. I love him too much.

"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. And I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word."

TWITTER

Hats off to rapper P Diddy who managed to find time at the memorial service to share his thoughts with the world in 160 words or less. According to The Mirror, he posted on his account: "I'm at the memorial. RIP Michael Jackson", before later updating: "Just left funeral. Very sad! Rip MJ!!!"

He wasn't the only one at it. X-Factor finalist Alexandra Burke posted on her account: "Today the world has come together for the first time. HEAL THE WORLD!!!.... R.I.P MJ.. FOREVER LOVED XOXOXOX" and singer Ciara stated: "MJ the greastest to ever do it god rest his soul we all miss him."

Not everyone joined in with the online optimism, though, as rock brat Kelly Osbourne posted: "I really dont mean any disrespect but Jermaine Jackson should not have sang Smile, it came across really cheesy!"

PARIS

Finally, JackoWatch wouldn't be complete without mentioning the biggest star from yesterday's service, Jackson's daughter Paris.

The Telegraph describes how 'The most personal moment came from Jackson's daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, who made her first public statement to the estimated one billion people watching around the world.

"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father I could imagine," she said, dissolving into tears and turning to lean on her aunt Janet. "I just want to say I love him so much."

Other news outlets including BBC, The Mirror, and NME.com spoke about Paris' brief speech.

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