Carefully planned as it was, Tuesday’s Michael Jackson memorial service was defined by the impromptu, closing moment when the late pop star’s 11-year-old daughter, Paris Jackson, took to the stage of Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
The adolescent girl, who has rarely if ever been seen by the public as the pop star’s children were always shrouded in mystery, declared her love for her dad.
Paris’s brief appearance “was not planned,” Ken Ehrlich, producer of the tribute, said in an interview with CNN. “In fact, a lot of the show was not scripted.”
“Music was laid out, but most of the speakers really spoke from their heart – people who knew Michael well – and I think that’s what gave the show its heart.”
Barely able to eke out the words as she trembled in front of the mic, the tearful Paris Jackson said before being enveloped by her many aunts and uncles:
“I just wanted to say … Ever since I was born … daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.”
Paris Jackson’s brief speech was the most poignant moment in an event full of them. Here she is with her aunts, uncles, and brothers Prince Michael I and II (Blanket).
Ehrlich also said that going into the tribute the Jackson family’s request had been that “we don’t want to do a TV show, we want to do a memorial service.”
“We hope you got the feeling you were watching a memorial service.”
We did – at least as much as we possibly could, given that it was a tribute for arguably the most famous person on the planet. May he rest in peace.
Here’s the video of Paris Jackson’s tearful goodbye to her father …