9 July : Fans, friends and family of Michael Jackson bid adieu to the 'King of Pop' at the public memorial held at Staples Centre at Los Angeles in a grand ceremony which has been described by many as the 'biggest media event ever'.In the ceremony, which was watched by over a billion people around the world, the pop icon was remembered by everyone from Nelson Mandela to basketball legend Magic Johnson, with some of the biggest names in the music industry performing in honour of the legend.
The family of Jackson, including his parents,eight siblings and three young children were in attendance, seated in the front row close to the bronze casket containing the body of the "greatest entertainer that ever lived".
Eleven thousand lucky fans chosen through a lucky draw attended the ceremony at Staples Centre and millions others joined in through the live public screenings held throughout USA, including at Times Square, New York, Neverland Ranch, Gary, Indiana and at Planet Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The ceremony began with legendary crooner Smokey Robinson reading out messages of condolence from Nelson Mandela and Diana Ross.
The casket of superstar Michael Jackson.
"Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my world, part of the fabric of my life in a way that I can t seem to find words to express. Michael wanted me to be there for his children, and I will be there if they ever need me," read the message from soul diva Ross who was a close friend of Jackson's and has also been named as the back-up guardian to his children in his will.
The Centre which was filled to it's capacity of 20,000 exuded a church like ambience and many in the crowd broke down in tears as Jackson's casket was brought in by his five brothers while a choir sang Andrae Crouch's gospel song "Soon We Are Going To See The King".
Mariah Carey was the first performer and she payed tribute to Jackson by singing "I'll Be There" a No. 1 hit for the 'Jackson 5' in 1970. She was joined by Trey Lorenz who sang the part originally sung by Jermaine Jackson.
Jermaine Jackson took to the stage with the rendition of 'Smile', remembering his younger brother.
As the star-studded tribute to the King of Pop concluded with 'We Are The World' the entire family of Jackson took to the stage.
Michael Jackson's children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II (Blanket), 7, took the stage during a group performance of 'Heal the World'.
Michael Jackson's daughter takes center stage
After the song, Paris gave an impromptu speech from the stage surrounded by the Jackson family.
"I just want to say ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine, she said through tears. "And I just want to say I love him so much."
Her aunt Janet Jackson then took her into her arms for a hug before the entire Jackson family then left the stage, closing the service that lasted more than two hours.