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Jackson's public memorial concludes

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An emotional public memorial for Michael Jackson has concluded in Los Angeles.

The ceremony attended by thousands in the downtown Staples Center and watched by millions around the world had a spiritual tone punctuated by performances and remembrances.

Jackson's three children joined his siblings and celebrities on stage for the finale Tuesday.

His daughter Paris-Michael Katherine, in the arms of her aunt Janet, tearfully told the audience that she loves her father.

Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie are among those who paid tribute to Michael Jackson through song at today's memorial service.

Looking on from the front row were members of the Jackson family, including brother Jermaine -- who took the stage and sang the standard "Smile" as he fought back tears. The Jackson family had earlier gathered at an area cemetery for a private service.

Michael Jackson's golden casket sat in front of the stage during the event.


Crowds that were feared on the streets didn't materialize

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police in Los Angeles can already breathe a sigh of relief.

They had projected a crowd of 250,000 or more in the area around Staples Center during today's memorial for Michael Jackson. And they had issued statements asking people without tickets to stay away.

It appears that those appeals may have been heard. A deputy police chief says besides reporters and people with tickets to the event, the crowd around the Staples Center perimeter numbered only about 1,000.

Police had based their crowd projection on the turnouts for the funerals of Princess Diana and Elvis Presley, along with the recent Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship parade.


Fans come from all over to mourn death of Jackson

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Among the fans who gathered to remember Michael Jackson was a man who flew in from England, even before he knew he had won a ticket to the memorial. Melvin Price says he's been a Jackson fan for 35 years.

One woman who drove from Arkansas says she just wanted to be nearby, even though she knew she wouldn't be able to get in.

A lot of Michael Jackson fans who were lucky enough to get tickets to the memorial service had to make quick arrangements to leave their homes, their families and their jobs.

A San Francisco couple scrambled to find flights, a hotel and a baby sitter to watch their kids -- as well as workers to run their bar. Jason Baker says, '"We weren't going to miss this."

A southern California woman said she was thrilled to be among the fans outside Staples -- but that she felt guilty for calling in sick to her job at a defense contractor.


Jackson motorcade reaches memorial park

By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A motorcade from the home of Michael Jackson's parents has reached a cemetery in the Hollywood Hills for a private service in advance of a star-studded memorial in downtown Los Angeles.

Numerous vehicles under California Highway Patrol escort headed out from the parents' home shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday and reached Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills about 15 minutes later.

A California Highway Patrol escort shut down sections of freeways during the height of Los Angeles' morning rush hour to allow the motorcade to pass.


Michael Jackson's casket to be taken to memorial

By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton says Michael Jackson's casket will be taken to the downtown Staples Center for the singer's star-studded memorial service.

The addition of the body adds to the spectacle currently gripping downtown Los Angeles. Police blocked off roads and warned those without tickets to stay away because they would not be able to get close to the Staples Center.

Among the memorial participants will be Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Martin Luther King III.


Fans picking up tickets to Jackson memorial

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The ticket hand-off for Michael Jackson's public memorial service in Los Angeles has been going smoothly at Dodger Stadium.

Winners of an Internet ticket lottery began exchanging vouchers for tickets in a drive-through process Monday in the stadium parking lot.

Each winner gets two tickets, and are free to give anyone their second one.

Assistant police chief Earl Paysinger says about 1,500 cars had passed through by midmorning.

Jackson's memorial is planned for Tuesday morning at the Staples Center sports arena. Organizers made tickets available free of charge for 11,000 seats in Staples and 6,500 in the adjacent Nokia Theatre.

Police say anyone caught scalping the tickets faces arrest. Meanwhile, an attorney for Debbie Rowe says Michael Jackson's ex-wife is backing out of plans to attend the pop superstar's memorial service.

Rowe, the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, had originally planned to attend Tuesday's memorial service at the Staples Center.

But Rowe attorney Marta Almli said Monday her attendance would be "an unnecessary distraction" and that Rowe will "celebrate Michael's memory privately."


Judge backs Jackson lawyer and friend

LOS ANGELES (AP) - On the eve of Michael Jackson's public memorial service, a court has weighed in on who will run the pop superstar's estate.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge says Jackson's longtime attorney, John Branca, and family friend John McClain should administer the estate, as specified in Jackson's 2002 will.

Jackson died June 25, deeply in debt. But a court filing estimates that his estate will be worth more than $500 million.

The singer's mother, Katherine Jackson, had applied to oversee her son's estate, but that was before the will surfaced. Her attorney had expressed concerns about the financial leadership of McClain and Branca.

Their authority over the estate will expire Aug. 3, when another hearing on the estate will be held.

Katherine Jackson did not appear at today's hearing. Branca did attend.

Geller, ex-bodyguard tell of Jackson drug abuse

LONDON (AP) - Two of Michael Jackson's former confidantes say they tried in vain to keep him from abusing painkillers and other prescriptions, but others in the singer's circle kept the drugs flowing.

Medium Uri Geller tells The Associated Press on Thursday that he often had "to shout at Michael, to scream at Michael," as he tried to confiscate the singer's medications during travels in England.

Geller says he slept on the floor of Jackson's hotel suites so that he could keep tabs on his friend's health.

He says: "When Michael asked for something, he got it. This was the great tragedy."

Ex-bodyguard Matt Fiddes also says the pop idol abused prescription medications, not recreational drugs. Fiddes says Jackson took so many prescription drugs that he ended up incoherent.


NEW: Jermaine Jackson: 'I wish it was me'

NEW YORK (AP) - Jermaine Jackson says he would like to see Neverland Ranch as his brother Michael's final resting place.

In an interview broadcast Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, Jermaine Jackson also says he wishes he had died instead of his younger brother, and that Michael was "a gift from Allah."

Says Jermaine: "He went too soon. I don't know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me."

On Wednesday, Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said a public memorial was in the works but it wouldn't be held at Neverland.

A person familiar with the situation told the AP that permits for a burial at the sprawling Santa Barbara, Calif., estate could not be arranged in time.


NEW: Poll: 64 percent say too much Jackson coverage

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nearly two in three Americans say news organizations have given too much coverage to the death of Michael Jackson, but half say the media have struck the right balance between covering the pop star's personal life and musical career.

In a Pew Research Center poll published Wednesday, 64 percent of those surveyed said Jackson's death last week in Los Angeles has received too much coverage, 29 percent said the story received the right amount and 3 percent said the story got too little attention.

Thirty percent said they followed the story very closely, though that number jumped to 80 percent among blacks, according to the independent public opinion research group.

Pew interviewed about 1,000 adults for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.


Apollo tribute for "King of Pop"

NEW YORK (AP) - A Michael Jackson tribute is under way at New York's Apollo Theater.

Fans and the curious in Harlem are being allowed in to the landmark theater 600 at a time to listen to Jackson's and celebrate his life.

The Rev. Al Sharpton told the crowd that Jackson "made young people all over the world imitate us." He said Jackson "smashed the barriers of segregated music."

Outside, in a line that circled the block, some fans spontaneously sang their favorite songs and danced in the street.

One woman, who did a short moonwalk as "Rock with You" played in the background, said she had hoped someday to see Jackson in concert and had taken the day off to pay tribute.

The pop icon's ties to the theater go back to 1967. That's when the Jackson 5 won the Apollo's Amateur Night contest. The appearance helped launch the brother act's career, which later propelled Jackson to solo stardom.

Jackson last appeared at the Apollo in 2002, invited by former President Bill Clinton for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

Court fight over Jackson's children looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A court document says Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, has filed for guardianship of the singer's three children.

The guardianship papers were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. A hearing has been set for Aug 3.

Jackson left behind three children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., known as Prince Michael, 12; Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7. The youngest son was born to a surrogate mother.


Court fight over Jackson's children looms

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Jackson's family wants the singer's mother, Katherine, to have custody of his three children.

Jackson family spokesman Londell McMillan said on NBC's "Today" show that Katherine Jackson is taking care of the children.

He says he'll go to court Monday in part to protect Katherine Jackson's right to custody of the children.

McMillan says he doesn't expect anyone will think there is someone better to care for the children. He says the family hasn't heard from Deborah Rowe, who is the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, about custody.

Jackson left behind three children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., known as Prince Michael, 12; Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7. The youngest son was born to a surrogate mother.


NEW: 911 call in Michael Jackson death released

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 911 caller from Michael Jackson's home says he wasn't breathing or responding to efforts to revive him.

The Los Angeles Fire Department released the 911 call Friday. The caller reported that Jackson was on a bed, he wasn't breathing and wasn't responding to CPR.

The unidentified caller said Jackson only was with his personal doctor at the time.

Jackson was pronounced dead later Thursday at UCLA Medical Center.

Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Brian Elias says an autopsy began shortly after 9 a.m. Friday and could take three to four hours.

Additional laboratory tests, including toxicology tests, are likely and those results wouldn't be known for several weeks.


Police searching for doctor of Michael Jackson

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police are searching for a doctor who they hope will help in the investigation of Michael Jackson's death.

Los Angeles police spokeswoman Karen Rayner says that police towed from Jackson's house a BMW owned by one of the superstar's doctors.

Said Rayner: "We have not been able to interview the doctor yet. His car was impounded because it may contain medications or other evidence that may assist the coroner in determining the cause of death."

TMZ.com reported that the doctor lived at the home. Rayner said she could not confirm that and did not know the doctor's identity.

She stressed that the doctor was not under criminal investigation but coroner's investigators wanted to contact him.


Officials say it could be weeks before cause of death is known

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Officials say it could be weeks before it's known what caused the death of Michael Jackson.

An autopsy is being done today, but the assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County says there's not much chance his office will have anything to release today. He says it could be six to eight weeks before results of toxicology tests are in.

Lt. Ed Winter says the autopsy is being conducted "as we do any other exam."

One of the things the experts will try to determine is whether whether prescription drugs were a factor in Jackson's death.

Family friend and former Jackson attorney Brian Oxman told NBC's "Today" show that he was concerned about Jackson's use of painkillers and warned his family about possible abuse.

Jackson was pronounced dead at UCLA Medical Center yesterday after collapsing at his rented home in Los Angeles.


Jackon's death reverberates worldwide

LONDON (AP) - Celebrities across the globe say they're stunned by the death of Michael Jackson, the pop legend who was on the cuspof a comeback.

Paul McCartney calls Jackson's death "sad and shocking." The former Beatle calls Jackson a "massively talented boy-man with agentle soul."

Sophia Loren says, "It's horrible news." The Italian actresssays "The world has lost an icon and music h as lost treasures."

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos says she cried when she heard the news. She says the child molestation accusations against the singer "caused him so much financial and mental anguish." She says "the battle took his life."

Former South African President Nelson Mandela issued a message through his foundation saying Jackson's loss would be felt worldwide.

Jackson was due to make his return to the stage in a sold-out 50-night concert run in London next month.


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