On a hot Southern California night, close friends joined parents, brothers and sisters and three children to say goodbye to the late Michael Jackson.
They came for an intimate funeral ceremony for a star laid to rest.
Lisa Marie Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Chris Tucker, Mila Kunis and others arrived at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., Thursday.
As Jackson’s backup dancers served as ushers, his brothers, wearing black armbands and a sequined glove on one hand, carried his flower-covered casket.
The private, intimate gathering was a stark contrast to the internationally telecast and star-studded memorial service at Los Angeles’ Staples Center July 7.
Jackson’s three children, Paris (with new haircut), Prince and Blanket, placed a crown on their father’s coffin to forever mark his place as the King of Pop.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009).
Michael's brother said that Michael's three children each wrote letters to their father that will lie with him alongside one of his signature white gloves.
After a prayer by Pastor Lucius Smith and a gospel sung by Gladys Knight, Clifton Davis performed the Jackson 5 song he wrote, “Never Can Say Goodbye.”
After the ceremony, the brothers carried the casket to the Grand Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Mortuary, where at 9:43 p.m. MJ entered his final resting place.
Unless you believe Michael Jackson is alive, that is.
Afterwards, his family issued this statement:
"Once again we thank all of Michael Jackson’s fans around the world for their generous outpouring of support during this terribly difficult time. Their expressions of love for Michael and his music have sustained the Jackson Family."