It had all the makings of a cheap, promotional opportunity at the expense of a tragic, much aligned icon, but…the Michael Jackson memorial was actually very well thought out and done. Word is that his baby brother, Randy, took the reins and finalized the plans and format for the memorial. Hat’s off, Randy.
While there were awkward moments, like John Mayer’s instrumental Human Nature, Brooke Shields’ obvious out-of-placeness, and Al Sharpton’s declaration that “there was nothing strange about your Daddy”, all in all the memorial was in good taste and an appropriate send-off for the King of Pop.
Queen Latifah was eloquent, Jennifer Hudson was once again, brilliant and the great Smokey Robinson was touching, but the speaker who captured Michael Jackson the best, was the one and only founder of Motown, Berry Gordy:
Berry’s declaration that Jackson was “the greatest entertainer that ever lived” is difficult to dispute, even though you have to throw up an asterick to ackowledge that he was also the weirdest entertainer that ever lived.
I’m very conflicted on the whole Michael Jackson over exposure and pedestal topping, in light of the very serious questions around his behavior and thoughts around sharing his love with young boys and the questions around drug use, appearance alterations, and just generally abnormal life — even for a celebrity. However, one moment put into perspective that this odd, lonely, questionable character was a beloved Daddy who is no longer there.
In the end…the very end, the “event” was brought into stark perspective….by a grieving eleven-year old daughter.