All the videos from Michael Jackson memorial; was it too focused on his youth?

I’ve been thinking about Michael Jackson’s memorial and about the controversial and complicated life he led. It really seemed like his memorial paid tribute to his childhood, career, and the massive impact he had on the world instead of honoring the gentle, somewhat strange man behind the phenomenon. It’s like after he turned 30 Michael became some unknown character and the people who spoke at his memorial ignored that. Maybe that’s fitting as it was meant for the public and that’s really all we knew of him. Everything else was rumor and conjecture as the media tried to fill in the blanks about his private life.

I don’t want to focus the whole story on this, but the crux of my question is – if he did abuse kids, should we mourn him less? I do think he was manipulated by families out for large sums of money, and there are just two cases where he was accused and only one that went to trial. As Rep Sheila Jackson Lee said during his memorial “We understand the Constitution, we understand law, and we know that people are innocent until proven guilty.”

There will always be gossip and innuendo surrounding this man – it persisted after he was acquitted and will remain after his death. Was that gossip warranted and/or did it somehow contribute to the drug addiction that killed him? We may never know. Maybe that’s part of the reason that we’re focusing on the Michael the public knew, the young hugely talented guy who we grew up with and loved. It’s just too hard to reconcile the moonwalking legend with the caricature he became at the end. We might have had a chance to do that if he would have been able to perform next Monday. As it is, we were given memories from his youth and the deep sadness from his family. Paris loved her daddy, and that strange morphed man who meant everything to his kids was about to take to the stage again and help show his fans that we could still celebrate him as a changed man. Instead he died, and our love for who he used to be poured over and had nowhere to go.

Here are the videos from Jackson’s memorial, in order.

Smokey Robinson reads statement from Diana Ross:

Smokey Robinson reads statement from Nelson Mandela:

Gospel choir sings “We are Going To See The King” as Jackson’s coffin is brought in and placed in the center in front of the stage.

Pastor Lucious Smith gives introduction:

Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz sing “I’ll Be There.”

Queen Latifah represents the fans and reads a poem from Maya Angelou written specifically for Jackson titled “We Had You.”

Motown founder Berry Gordy talks about Michael Jackson’s career and talent:

A montage of moments from Jackson’s career played:

Stevie Wonder sings “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer”

Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant gave remembrances

Jennifer Hudson sings “Will You Be There”

Rev Al Sharpton talked about Michael’s family and how he broke barriers for African Americans

Sharpton offers some powerful words to Michael’s kids “Wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with, but he dealt with it anyway.”

John Mayer plays “Human Nature” poignantly while a choir sings behind him

Brooke Shields talks about her friendship with Michael from a young age, reads a passage from The Little Prince and says his favorite song was “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching” from the Charlie Chaplin film Modern Times.

Jermaine Jackson then comes on to sing that song, “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching”

Martin Luther King III, MLK’s son, and Bernice A. King, his sister and MLK’s daughter, offer condolences:

US congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee gives a rousing speech.

Usher sings “Gone Too Soon” and goes off stage to touch Michael’s casket. It’s too much for him and he starts to cry:

Smokey Robinson comes on and says “I wrote that song, I thought I sang it… Two later, here comes this little kid, who’s ten years old…. I could not believe that someone that young could have that much feeling and soul.”

Shaheen Jafargholi from Britain’s Got Talent sang “Who’s Loving You”

Kenny Ortega, Michael’s partner in the creation of the tour, talks about his planned final concerts

Michael’s backup singers and dancers sing “We Are The World” and all the speakers come on stage

They go into “Heal The World”

The family speaks and it’s heartbreaking. Paris says “I just want to say, ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could every imagine. I just wanted to say I love him so much.”

Photos thanks to

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

16 Responses to “All the videos from Michael Jackson memorial; was it too focused on his youth?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. PrincessJay says:

    I think it was a beautiful memorial. And if it did concentrate on his youth, I believe it’s because Michael was a boy trapped in a man’s body. He had to learn how to be a man at the young age of 5. He never really had a childhood. Maybe he yearned for that feeling, hence always being so friendly with the kids, having an amusement park built on his land. Having kiddie sleepovers. I do not believe in my heart that Michael molested any of those kids. Like you said CB, he was manipulated into paying in order to keep some of his image and not have it tarnished. He donated over 300 million to charity for kids. Now that’s saying a lot. And NO, it wasn’t out of guilt that he did this. He did it out of the kindness of his heart and maybe cause he could relate to some of the difficulties those kids were going through. I’m just glad that this poor tortured soul has now been put to rest.

  2. Ursula says:

    Yes there was a lot of focus on his earlier life. Myself I love watching songs and work before he was dubbed ‘whacko Jacko’. Anyone notice that in death he has lost that tag?

    I also wish we were given more insight into Michael Jackson the man, not the star, performer or king of pop. Sometimes I think the man never existed because he did not know how to be be Michael Joseph Jackson, never learned, never was. His home videos with the children are still MJ the king of pop with kids. I guess that is why it was easy for the media to label him whacko, because they could not get hold of the man behind the king of pop. It was easier to say that there was a whacko underneath all that.

    Poor soul. I wish his family and friends had done more to help him. But that is hard when someone has handlers and enablers.

    Between the ages of 12-18, his family should have removed him from all the hallaballoo and let him grow and develop and discover who he was.

  3. nnn says:

    I personnally beleive that they were three Michael Jackson, all shaped by three distinct period of his life.

    The first one starting when he broke the scene as a professional singer touring with his bros, at 5 and culminating at 25 years old of age with “Thriller” and “Trimuph” with the Jacksons. This is the Michael i loved to no end : full of joy, genuine, instinctively artistic, with full of sparkes in the eyes.

    The second one is afther the peak of “Thriller” when he had to manage his mega star status. I would compare that two Michaels with soccer games : the first one is fresh, pure sheer talent, explosive, joyful like an African soccer team who play with talent and joy. The second one is the European team who play by technic, profitability objectives, it’s neat, beautiful but less generously rendered, less fresh, less genuine. That’s when he released “Bad” and “Dangerous”, where he focused on caricaturing his dance moves, his physique, his clothes, when he invented ‘Michael Jackson, the persona’ more than maturing and evolving in his craft. Still a great performer.

    The third Michael is the one that was destroyed after the allegations of child molestasion in 1993. After that, his work went downhill and his physical appearance took the same route even quicker. He released one album with new songs during the last decade.

    I think for many people the first Michael is probably the one who was more in par with his true self. And apart from fatherhood, i beleive that for him, it was a period where he was happy and more liekable for the public.

    So it’s better that this period where he was the most productive artistically should get the main focus.

  4. eternalcanadian says:

    i think the memorial focused too much on people that hadn’t seen michael for years. i mean brooke sheilds last saw him in 1991. it seemed kind of hypocritical for her to speak at his funeral when she hadn’t even seen him for all that time and they lived in the same city (LA). i wondered about the last time all those people that spoke at the funeral or gave tributes (like madonna) saw michael in person–had coffee or dinner or just hung out? like michael named diana ross in his will, but when did she last see him? or how about elizabeth taylor? RIP MJ.

  5. nnn says:

    It goes both ways. If those stars didn’t see him, he didn’t reach them either.

    Plus in the case of Brooke, they knew each other when she was a child, him an adult already. Brooke went to college, did some movies in Europe and began dating, so clearly experiencing other things in life makes people grow apart. That doesn’t mean that you don’t keep that special place in your heart.

    I think that Michael also lived more reclusive after 1993 and marrying Lisa.

    Those people knew Michael when he was happy, more opened and outgoing and less destroyed by the media. I think they hold some credibility when it comes to relate the Michael Jackson most people loved, not the total reclusive man he became after those allegations.

  6. audrey says:

    I would not have ever called myself an MJ fan, tho I did love some of his music. When the news broke, I was in London and was up for the next 2 hours watching the story unfold. I realized how harsh the US press had been on him. I began to feel guilty for all the times I’d read a story or see a picture of him and think “What a freak he has turned into”.

    Now, I can’t seem to read about him without crying and have been actively seeking out videos and interviews with him. I see him in a completely different light. A tragic light, but a dazzling light too. I really do not believe he molested the children. I always thought the allegations were $$ driven.

    A friend of mine has a theory that when someone becomes famous, at whatever age it happens is the age they will forever be trapped (It stunts them as a person -from that point on, it’s all yes men and pretty much anything they want, they can get. ) . I think that rings true for MJ. He became famous at 5 years old.

    Now, all the interview footage of him is heart-breaking. He seemed so fragile. And the performance videos of him are truly mind-blowing. He was such a bad ass on stage and so quiet and shy off stage. It is hard to reconcile the so many different facets of his life and personality. He seemed to have a huge heart and to be so vulnerable.

    I truly hope his soul is at peace now.

  7. Caitlan says:

    I just recently watched the Martin Bashir documentary “”Living with Michael”on you tube along with some other interviews he had done.

    I feel like I understand him a whole lot better now. Even though that documentary was supposed to be a negative partrayal, He actually came off quite normal to me, considering having grown up in the spotlight since he was 5. He was laid back, down to earth person. I think his soft spoken effeminate voice through people off. But he also seemed very smart, a bit shy of course. It was surprising how real he was in these interviews. He was so kind and polite to his fans and just to people in general. You could see how empathic he was. His fans seemed to be really important to him. I never watched any celebrity be so kind to his fans like Michael was.

    He had some eccentricities because he had grown up in the spotlight and didn’t have the boundaries that most people learn growing up in society. I really think the main problem was that the media took advantage of and would only print the eccentric side about him. For example, all I remember about the Martin Barshir documentary when they were promoting it, were clips of him singing up in a tree. And, they would play that clip over and over again. Instead of showing the whole clip in it’s full context.

    If I had a cool tree in my front yard I’d climb it and sit in it too/ maybe sing. But if that’s all the public sees, then they just get this skewed view of who he was. And the press and media never seemed to publish enough clips of just Michael talking .

    I just seriously doubt that he molested children./ He was just too kind and gentle of a person to do that. He was uncomfortable with sex it seemed , so I just really doubt that/ I used to be skeptical , but now I feel he was innocent of all charges. He was very naïve and trusting of people and made some poor choices perhaps, but he just really wanted to help children out. He was just totally misunderstood.
    It’s sad that he had to die for people to realize that, me being one of them. I never rendered much opinion about him over the years I didn’t hate him, I just was indifferent maybe. . I didn’t realize how upset and sad I’d be once I heard he died/ He was part of my childhood growing up. I remember staying up to see the premier of “”Remember the time” I’d prance around as a little girl and pretend I was the woman in the how you make me feel video. He was an amazing talent. I had always hoped that he would have a comeback and be able to turn all of it around at some point. But the media/press really did him over and I think a lot of people were duped into believing things that weren’t true. Especially in America. So that’s how I felt about M..J . I hope that there is a heaven and he’s able to smile down and see all his fans and how much he meant too so many people

  8. nelly says:


  9. someone says:

    I think it focused on his youth, because the first 30 yrs of Michaels life was when he had the biggest impact. The last 20 years were not so good for MJ, so why would they focus on that?

  10. Anna says:

    They HAD to focus on his youth, where he still looked like a human being. His face had become progressively more hideous and disfigured over the last 15 years; I’m surprised that he was even able to appear in public looking the way he did.

  11. gooniegirl says:

    Sadly, I do believe he had inappropriate behaviors with young children but I don’t believe he ever had bad intentions. The man was a tortured soul, confused in his own skin, and overall troubled. If you check any of the blogs by behavioral experts trained to snuff out liars – MJ always comes out as being untruthful.

    With that said, I keep thinking how hard it must be for the kids who were (assuming they were) molested by MJ to see the world mourning someone who hurt them so deeply.

    And although I don’t think he ever had the chance to have a normal childhood because of becoming famous at such a young age and never getting out of the limelight, I don’t see that as a valid excuse. Look at Drew Barrymore – she started off just as young and has never taken a break and although she’s had her rough patches, you don’t see her becoming the bizarre person who dangles babies over ledges or builds theme parks and zoos for a home like MJ did.

    Everyone becomes a saint after they die but my heart does go out to his family who, regardless if he was a molester or not, has lost a son, brother and father.

  12. efc2 says:

    it focused more on his childhood, because the past decade or so has been a downward spiral. mj had been self-destructing for years, so they wanted to focus on the happier times, even though mj had a rough childhood, it’s detached from the trial and the accusations.

  13. Ana says:

    I think it was too focused on his youth because once you die all the bad stuff gets swept under the rug.

    Oh and that little girl has Debbie Rowe’s expression.

  14. Allie says:

    I agree with Caitlan, well said! I don’t believe he did anything inappropriate with children…ever! I think he was trusting and naive, and that left him in a very vulernable position, becoming an easy target to extort money out of him. I truly don’t believe he ever fully recovered from the 2005 trial, his spirit seemed broken, which was incredibly sad.

    I was happy when he announced his London tour in March, and was hoping he’d have one huge comeback. He certainly had the talent, no question. It’s also very sad, he’ll always have these abuse allegations attached with his name. Remember people, he was aquitted of all charges. People are so quick to pass judgement and condemn him.

    It’s too bad, MJ wasn’t alive to see this outpuring of love for him, from all around the world. He has done so much for so many millions of people, given $350 million in his lifetime. Let us remember that man, a truly generous soul, an amazing talent, incredible singer, dancer. I will miss him forever! Rest in peace MJ!

  15. Mme X says:

    I think, in an important way, his death is helping to clear his name of those allegations. I had been lead to believe he was guilty but now there’s more evidence to suggest he was not. I thought Jennifer Hudson’s performance was amazing. What a moving song, and how prescient. I think, however, we’ve all heard enough from Al Sharpton.

  16. Miranda says:

    I have seen MJ in interviews say “I would never harm a child.” But if you ever do any research into pedophilia you’ll find that they do not feel they ARE harming the child. Take NAMBLA, for instance, they believe that older men having sexual relations with young boys is a natural and healthy thing, that they are guiding them into sexual manhood and this isn’t harmful but rather helpful. Pedophiles convince themselves that the child is enjoying the experience or that he (or she), the adult, was even seduced by the child.

    So I think Michael Jackson really meant it when he said “I would never harm a child” and “I never hurt that child” because in his mind, the interactions he had with these kids really were as sweet and innocent and joyful as he said it was.

    And yes, if he did molest children he should not be celebrated in this way.