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Michael Jackson Memorial Concert [All Performance Videos, Reviews and Final Thoughts]…

July 8, 2009

MJJ - 1958 - 2009

Tonight saw the memorial service of undoubtedly the most talented individual to grace the planet and the undisputed ‘King of Pop’, as he was nicknamed – Michael Jackson.
A private ceremony took place hours before with only family and friends attending.

At 6pm (GMT) the live and televised worldwide memorial service began at the Los Angeles Staples Center.

I must say, as myself and thousands and others were chatting via Twitter i was skeptical about the whole show, wondering if a public display and especially, a televised show was the best way to pay respect to a guy that was in theory, killed by the same media that was watching is memorial service. Irony perhaps? Some may say…

Nonetheless, the memorial service was extremely emotional, and part of me wishes i wasn’t such a social media goon, spending time reporting when i should have been shedding a tear for the biggest musical influence and iconic symbol of my generation.

Hit the jump for full videos of each performance, reviews and my final thoughts…

A Michael Jackson Montage Tribute was put together during the ceremony:

For me, these are the hardest to watch. As i was saying to a friend whilst watching, each and every clip triggers an emotional memory of when i first saw that individual clip, amounting to a series of heartfelt spine tingling twitches, cultivating in the need for a Kleenex tissue or shoulder wipe. Sniff Sniff…

Mariah Carey opened up the concert by performing the Jackson 5’s hit song ‘I’ll Be There’ with her old time collaborator Trey Lorenz:

Although a lot of her overwhelming vocal chops were missing from the first time they performed this 15 years ago, I think she did a nice job. I commend her for singing live, which is to be expected from an artist of Mariah’s calibre.

Jennifer Hudson performed Michael’s gospel helming ‘Will You Be There’:

This must have really hit home for her because I know she wasn’t just tributing MJ but to the family members she tragically lost last year. Also, it looks like she’s about to drop at any moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the arrival of her unborn child sometime this month.

Usher performed Michael’s ‘Gone Too Soon’, and Usher literally broke down towards the end of his performance:

What a great performance from the R&B legend. Everyone was chatting about Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake turning up but Usher stole the show. His emotion took over though, especially when he walked towards the gold coffin. I can’t imagine how he was feeling, but he did his thing and he did it well.
Much respect to Mr. Raymond… and by the way, i need to get me some of those shades!

John Mayer performed Michael’s ‘Human Nature’:

I’m not too familiar with John Mayer. As we were watching my friends said, “Oh, John Mayer”, im like “Yeah, John Mayer.” Oblivious to knowing who he is, but man can he strum that guitar. He made me wanna crack on with Beat It on Guitar Hero. DAMN!!!

Stevie Wonder performed Michael’s ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ and his own ‘They Won’t Go When I Go’

Touching performance. My favorite performance of the event with no doubt. Stevie Wonder has long been one of my favorite Motown artists and watching him in action just makes me shiver. They Won’t Go When I Go sends the most emotional sadness through my veins, with it’s Minor chords ands and deep vocals, it was perfect.

Michael’s older brother Jermaine took to the stage to sing ‘Smile’. He practically wore his emotions on his sleeve:

I notice he and Michael share similar vocal traits and as Jermaine was the closest brother, that is something they may have shared. Nice performance.

Lionel Richie performed ‘Jesus Is Love’:

Another touching performance from one of Michael’s old friends during their Motown stint.

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Shaheen Jafargholi sang Michael’s ‘Whos Loving You’, the very song he performed at his BGT audition:

This one i was very umm and arr about… Firstly, i heard that Michael had watched his performance and wanted to meet him. I then heard that Shaheen was set to perform on his tour at the o2 with Michael…
Anyway, the performance was excellent and if there is one performance that is going to make your career, it’s surely performing at Michael Jackson’s memorial service…

Will Shaheen be the MJ of the next generation is the question? An inspiring song from the 12 year old.
Sure Simon Cowell is out there rubbing is hands together after seeing this performance.

Everyone who performed and made emotional tribute speeches took to the stage to perform Michael’s iconic charity record ‘We Are The World’:

At the very end of the concert, his daughter Paris spoke a few words to the world.

This was so so sad… I only had to think that i had never before seen her face and wondered why?

Then i realised, if i had the whole world following me and chasing me for 45 years, i would at least want to protect my family. When she spoke, she was so upset, and it was so obvious that Michael was a truly loving person and father. With his whole family on the stage, they looked so close.

My heart goes out to his family and especially his brothers, who looked so empty without their youngest Micheal.

So there it is, Micheal Joseph Jackson has died. He has been loved, worshiped and entertaining… and now he will also be remembered. It’s hard to think of him in past tense, when i watch his videos back to back, as i dance around my house, foot-sliding and body popping, copying moves i learned from Smooth Criminal.

I hope that we live to embrace the next generation and never forget what Micheal did for the world, not just for music, but as an ambassador for peace and hope.

Some will always hate and will criticize, some will always believe the media and the manipulation.
But i will always remember that Micheal was forced to grow up well before his time and lived his whole life in the spot light and when he had achieved everything, all he wanted was too enjoy what he had missed. Regardless of his age, he was a child in a man’s body.

This was what the western world could not understand and therefore the media exploited each and every part of his life they could. I am not oblivious to facts that he played to the media’s hands with acts such as hanging his baby out the window and talking about sleeping with young boys in the Martin Bashir interview, but i base my opinions of him on the understanding that he was not Gary Glitter, or a serial killer, or even a convicted criminal.

He was our iconic symbol and a glow of light to those that could relate to his passion for inspiring the world to treat each other with respect. He was Michael Jackson and he will live on forever in our hearts.

Rest In Peace.

Luca Massaro – 7th July 2009

Props to Toya’s World for reference and video links

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6 comments

  1. Usher’s performance was da most moving, to actual touch mike’s coffin must of been alot!! da way he feel into mj’s mothers arms was a *tear moving moment*. But the most moving and emotional part of da whole thing was hearing his brother and daughter paris speak!!


  2. The memorial was surreal. Knowing he was there, but not.. I honestly felt my heart break lastnight and i know im not alone in this feeling. The one thing that it lacked- was Michael. The performances were touching and the speech’s too but when his songs were sung, i sorley missed his unique vocals and wished they had played them in the background.

    His children ( and yes they’re his children blood related or not) showed they inherited MJ’s strength to take part like that and even talk at the end. Did you notice little blanket clutching his MJ Book and Doll ? and how much does he look like MJ ? Its crazy.

    I hope MJ is somewhere better now and knows we loved him exactly how he was. This world never appreciated him and i think the media has alot of responibilty for his death- he never deserved all the mis-treatment and i will no longer read tabloids as they only print lies and bad news ( as MJ said the stuff the sells )

    R.I.P MJ xxx


  3. […] thoroughly floored the entire crowd with their sets. It was incredible… Long live the king. Click here for all the videos and […]


  4. I still remember watching the smooth criminal video over and over. RIP


  5. I was trying to think of my favourite MJ song this week, he contributed so much! Maybe Thriller!


  6. he sounds horriable why wood he get up there ond emberis himself???



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