Fans, stars pay tribute to JacksonPosted: Updated:
(AP) - It was not spectacular, extravagant orbizarre. There were songs and tears but little dancing. Instead,Michael Jackson's memorial was a somber, spiritual ceremony thatreached back for the essence of the man. Singer, dancer, superstar, humanitarian: That was how the some20,000 people gathered inside the Staples Center arena on Tuesday,and untold millions watching around the world, remembered Jackson,whose immense talents almost drowned beneath the spectacle of hislife and fame. If there was a shocking moment, it came in the form of Jackson'sdaughter, Paris-Michael, who made the first public statement of her11 years. "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father youcould ever imagine," she said, dissolving into tears and turningto lean on her aunt Janet. "And I just wanted to say I love him -so much." Outside the arena, the celebrity-industrial complex that Jacksonhelped create ground on. More than 3,000 police officers masseddowntown to keep the ticketless at bay. Helicopters followed thegolden casket as it was driven over blocked-off freeways fromForest Lawn cemetery to Staples Center. A bazaar of T-shirts,buttons, photos and other memorabilia sprouted in the blocks aroundthe memorial. Movie theaters played the service live and peoplepaused around the world to watch. Inside, however, the atmosphere was churchlike, assisted by theenormous video image of a stained glass window, with red-goldclouds blowing past, that was projected behind the stage.