The memorial service was fitting for a King, a man who is the first and probably the last to have his life celebrated as if he was a national leader. Only Presidents of this country receive the type of home going that Michael Jackson received. I have never in my 31 years witnessed all of the major networks devoting so much time to the life of an entertainer. This is a true testament that despite the negative press reported by certain media outlets, if the people love you, that love conquers all.
The soulful service began with Mariah Carey & Trey Lorenz singing the Jackson 5 hit “I’ll be There”. Another highlight was Stevie Wonder singing, “Never Dreamed You Leave In Summer”. I had conversations with people and we discussed the possibility of him singing this song and what our reactions would be, but never in a million years did I know how it would affect me. With lyrics like “But now I find myself all alone”, I’m surprised Stevie was able to control his emotions. At that moment those watching felt for him, his family and ourselves because for many of us Michael was and will always be a family member. I was especially moved when Jennifer Hudson sang, ‘Will You Be There’. As one of my favorite songs, knowing what Jennifer had been through this last year and now having the strength to deliver such a deserving tribute for a wonderful performer brought goose bumps to my skin and knots in my stomach. Between the soul wrenching tributes and truthful words of remembrance, I felt like I was at the Staples Center. The affect of Michael’s music is felt all over the world by people from multiple backgrounds. We understood him through song which makes this loss so hard to bare.
I had the pleasure of viewing the Memorial service on BET, a network who received a great amount of negative feedback because of a tribute that was done during a pre scheduled awards show. What people fail to realize is this celebration needed to take place on the platform that it did. Had BET organized something of this magnitude, the media attention received would be nothing like this. We needed Michael’s memorial service to be shown on all major networks so those who doubted his impact could finally get it. Even if they still have no clue, they now know what he meant to us.