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July 7th, 2009
07:04 AM ET

Jackson fans flock to L.A. for memorial

(Getty Images) Fans wait to sign a large banner in memory of pop star Michael Jackson at Staples Center on July 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

(Getty Images) Fans wait to sign a large banner in memory of pop star Michael Jackson at Staples Center on July 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - They poured in to Los Angeles from places far-flung, an army of Michael Jackson fans hoping to collectively mourn their idol in a massive ceremony at the Staples Center downtown Tuesday.

Police put up concrete barriers around the center, allowing only fans with tickets to the star-studded event to enter - beginning at 6 a.m. (9 a.m. ET).

Parking lots in the area raised their prices, some as high as $30. Airports in Southern California saw a spike in bookings. And several movie theaters in the area announced special screenings of the event, which will also be carried live by some television networks and Web sites.

"I guess the crowd estimate is the $64,000 question that everybody is wondering about, and we are as well," Jim McDonnell, assistant police chief for Los Angeles, said Monday.

"I anticipate the crowd here will be well-behaved. It will be a crowd that gathers for the right reasons and keeps the reason they're there in mind."

Police would not say what kind of security measures they have put in place. The cash-strapped city has said it will foot the bill for law enforcement.

Until the last minute, the Jackson family remained tight-lipped about where the singer will be buried, but signs pointed to Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn cemetery.

Several carloads of people, Michael Jackson's sister La Toya among them, came and went from the heavily secured cemetery after sunset Monday. But it was not immediately clear whether they were there for a private viewing.

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Filed under: Entertainment
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. REWS Writer In Publication

    Michael Jackson was a great artist of all times and i do not know one from the age he started that did so well most of the others had stopped at a earlier age when starting as a child in any reality he shall be missed.

    TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND
    legend to all a icon to many serving the world with happyness not giving himself any troubled within himself no one new how much.
    Yes Michael Jackson more than a legend to many
    keeping all emotions in tack, strong within himself.
    tolerateing the mismannered judgement of what is looked at as
    the enemy.
    As this legend has fallen this I con that is loved a I con to many. mix
    emotions surface the world mix emotions surfaced the heart giving
    up on the world giveing himself a new start.
    We know how much michael has suffered with what he went through
    the pain and remembrance is now partrayed apond what the system
    took him through. kind well mannered unemotional was he.
    Michael Joseph Jackson more than a artist you see.
    A Legend a Icon Father Brother Son Friend born to be.
    looking back on his success and all the wonderful things he's done charities food for famum we are the world and you try to label him as
    guilty.
    Well someone has stood up for him and has said well done Yes
    Michael Joseph Jackson tire and hurt as can be the man above said
    Michael worry no more now its time
    to follow me
    Yes A legend to all A Icon to many
    Michael Joseph Jackson free from the enemy
    So talk all you want he's well protected now
    one thing for sure god has him now

    Michael we love you

    REWS WRITER IN PUBLICATION
    copywrite@ 7/6/2009 U.S. A.
    Newark, New Jersey 07107.

    July 7, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  2. nancy

    Good grief ~~ enough is enough. He isn't a "GOD" by any means. I guess it gets CNN ratings. Glad I'm at work where I don't have to watch all the drivel. Folks say he had a hard life ~~ BOOHOO ~~ so do a lot of people.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  3. Nancy

    I am sadden as everyone for the lost of a great person. He lived a harder life than many would imagine. With that said, I would like to have seen more info on the humanitarian works of Micheal Jackson. We play the songs but don't hear the lyrics. If people really wanted to send a message of love and hope not only to the spirit of Jackson but to the world in honor of him, they would donate money to those charities he held dear. Imagine what one dollar per fan would do. This is the highest honor a soul could have.......write this and move the world

    July 7, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  4. Jane D

    Ricky Nelson, Elvis, Selena, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, George Harrison, Richie Valens, Bobby Darin and many other greats were at the gate to welcome Michael Jackson.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  5. Carlos Jones

    Thank you Michael, for a lifetime of music and memories. You inspired me to sing so many years ago, and I'll hold that song in my heart for as long as I live.
    Rest in peace now my Brother. You have gone from the turmoil and pain that you could not escape in this life.
    Carlos

    July 7, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  6. Erica Oie

    Hi my name is erica Oie i am 31 years old i ahve been a fan of michael jackson since i was 5 years old that was 1983 and i have never stopped liking him i remeber i used to by teen magazine and it would ask who ur favorite male singer was and i said michael jackson. i wish ppl would stop bashing him he had such a very kind soul he cared about kids yes he was very private person can you blame hime after what has happened in his life he will always be the king of pop nobody will every be michael jackson i am really going to mis him i am still in a stay a shock that he is gone. but his music and his legacy will always live in our hearts my heart and condolence go out to his family and his children

    love you michael jackson rip 1958-2009.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  7. Eleanor

    I remember when the Jackson5 performed at the Olympia Theater in 1970 in Detroit. Michael was 11 or 12. A teenager sitting a few rows from me threw a balled up piece of paper at the stage and it hit Michael. He looked up and said, "Hey, quit throwing paper at me", the girl passed out–I don't mean she swooned–I mean she passed out!!! The EMTs had to take her out on a stretcher!!!! He had such a huge affect on people. I only pray that he knew how much he was loved and how much he is going to be missed. I know he had a good heart and that God has a special place for him. God bless and strengthen the Jackson family and his truly heart broken fans.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  8. tracee b clay

    Michael Jackson was American History for all the right reasons. Breaking world records, breaking down color bearers. In my opinion I don't believe that he was guilty of hurting any child! It's a shame that people will go that far to get their children to lie for money. MJ contribute to helping sick children among other humanitarian efforts. The world loves to hate people who are of a different. God has been good to MJ, he has achieve what other entertainers strive to achieve. I hope Michael finds his Never land in Heaven, where he can be himself, find that innocence that he long to find here on earth. As in the lyrics he wrote so long a go ...."Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight; here one day gone one night...Like a sunset dying with the rising of the moon gone too soon...Gone too soon" RIP MJ

    July 7, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  9. teresa

    It amazes me, how people are tripping over themselves for a pedophile and junkie, just because he can sing.
    If all this glory and love were given to the men and women who serve our countries, wow, NOW those are the people who should be glorified. IF NOT for them, you wouldn't be able to waste your love on pedophiles like Michael Jackson. I cant help but wonder, if Charles Manson could sing like Michael, would everyone forget what he did as well?
    You think when Jackson met his maker, God said welll, you could sing, so we will forget all that other stuff.....yeah right
    And the great "Reverend Al Sharpton" had best go vie his bible another glance, I do believe it says to not put any other god before me, and we all know how Al thinks Michael is/was a god.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  10. Charlotte

    OMG!!!!! Our President is in Russia meeting with other world leaders and Kirren just said that the MJ funeral is THE most important story throughout the WORLD!!!

    I always knew she is a light-weight, but I guess this really proves it. She also keeps saying that CNN will have "full" coverage starting at noon. My take is that CNN has HAD FULL coverage starting the day he died.

    Is anything else going on in the world?

    July 7, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  11. Steve DeMmarte

    As thousands of fans pour into LA, and perhaps millions around the world tune in for today's memorial service, Elizabeth Taylor will be no where to be seen. She recently commented about Michael's understanding why she will not attend the service. She want to mourn privately. Elizabeth Taylor should get over herself. She is actually pitiful in her self-grieving. The world mourns the loss of Michael Jackson...it is not just Elizabeth Taylor's loss!!!!

    Her attending the service today would show the world, that even during her tremendous time of grief, she placed MIchael, and his fans (which were so important to him), above all else. Instead, her self-pity overshadows any remorse she may have. She may regret the decision not to attend for the rest of her life...as she should.

    Elizabeth Taylor...you should be ashamed of yourself.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  12. Terry Marvin, Dallas, Texas

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009–6:55 am CST

    Morning,

    I was never a devoted fan of Michael Jackson, but I really liked his music and dancing. My daughter, Katherine, was a great fan his.
    He is gonna be very much missed.
    I'm watching some of 'The Memorial". Tell the family that they have my sincere sympathy. Michael Jackson was a great artist.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  13. leopold caudillo

    I work down the street at the coliseum. Just went down to check it out. Pretty quite. not nearly the amount of people we had for the lakers parade at this time. Seems like more media than anything.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  14. dan

    if you post my previous comment, please do not use my last name

    July 7, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  15. dan londahl

    gosh! a whole minute on obama i\n russia! wedged mikey coverage. anything happening in afghanistan this american morning? i guess not. n. korea? Iran? iraq? not on the Cable Celebrity Network.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  16. Richard

    Your coverage of Jackson is over the top. The guy didn't cure cancer or anything. He was an entertainer. To send your A List people to sit in front of the Staple Center all morning and drone on and on is a poor use of resources.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:15 am |