Memorial Speeches PDF Print E-mail


*TST note: All quoted paragraphs below are filtered by The Silenced Truth Team. The content of all cited speeches has been reviewed, at times, truncated, to benefit speech and reading flow. Alteration of original semantics, tonality, discourse intent (bar grammar error corrections in the sentence/phrasing construction, as well as certain esthetic touches), have not been performed.

"You all know that nobody ever gave on stage like Michael Jackson, but Michael was also a true humanitarian who gave just as much off stage as he did on the stage. Michael and his family came from humble roots and Michael always cared very deeply for those in need. And beyond all of his records that he wrote as a recording artist Michael even made the Guinness Book of World Records for most charities supported by a pop star. Because he gave so much for so many of us, for so long, Michael Jackson will be with us forever."

[Kobe Bryant, American shooting guard in NBA, source:, speech taken from Michael Jackson’s memorial service]

"Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry. And we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide. We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life. My wife and I, our family, our friends, send you our condolences during this time of mourning. Be strong, Nelson Mandela."

[Nelson Mandela, former South African President, through a letter sent for the memorial service; source:]

„This is a moment that I wished I didn’t live to see come. But as much as I can say that mean it, I do know that God is good and I do know that as much as we may feel and we do, that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed it far more. Michael, I love you, and I told you that many times, so I’m at peace with that. I, as well, told you that I never ever imagined that I would write a song that be sent to Quincy Jones and he would hear it and my sister Renée would give me the cassette that I’d hear back and be amazed that you (Michael) did this song and it’s so incredible you did this song (”Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer”)…We can’t help but love you forever, Michael.”

[Stevie Wonder, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer; source:]

„Good morning and welcome, my name is Pastor Lucious Smith and I’m proud to call the Jackson family my friends. To millions around the world Michael Jackson was an idol, a hero, even a king, but first and foremost this man before us today was our brother, our son, our father and our friend. Michael Jackson was and always shall be a beloved part of the Jackson family and the family of man. So today we gather those who know and love Michael best and those who came to know and love him through his good works. We come together in this space where only days ago Michael sang, and danced and brought his joy as only he could. We come together and we remember the time. WE remember this man by celebrating his life and all of the love that he brought to our own lives for half a century. Our hearts are heavy today because this man, this brother, this son, this father and this friend is gone far too soon. But as long as we remember our time with him, the truth is he is never really gone at all. As long as we remember him, he will be there forever to comfort us. In his very beautiful and very human heart Michael Jackson wanted nothing more than to give love to the world. To share of his singular talent and his soul and perhaps beloved back and return through his words, his music and his countless good deeds, Michael did so much to try and heal our world. And so for the Jackson family and for all who grieve his loss everywhere in our world, may this moment of remembrance, a moment of healing, a moment of music and a moment of love bring comfort to those who loved our friend. God Bless you.”

[Lucius Smith, pastor and family friend of the Jacksons; source:]

„First I must say to Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Mr. Joseph Jackson, the children of Michael Jackson, to Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters and the entire Jackson family, our prayers and condolences are constantly with you. My father once said that in life one must discover what their calling is and when they do they must do their jobs so well that the living, the dead and the unborn cold do them no better. He constantly…to become our best by stating that if you cannot be a pine on the top of the hill why just be a shrub in the valley, but be the best little shrub on the side of the road. Be a bush if you cannot be a tree. If you cannot be the highway just be a trail. If you cannot be the sun, just be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail, you got to be the best at what you are. Michael Jackson was truly the best of what he was. Finally Martin Luther King Jr. said that in life if it falls…to be a street sweeper you must sweep streets so well. In fact you must sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets he said like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets like Raphael painted pictures. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of the heavens and earths would have to pause and say here lived the great street sweeper that did his house well. On June 25th because he was the best I believe heaven and earth did pause indeed to say of Michael Joseph Jackson here lived a great entertainer who did his job well.”

[Martin Luther King III, son of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King; American human rights advocate and community activist; source:]

„To the Jackson family, being a part of a world renounced family who has also experienced a sudden death on more than one occasion; my prayer is that no one and nothing public, fact or fiction, true or rumored will separate you from the love God which is in Christ Jesus. Because ultimately at the end of the day it is only God’s love that will anchor you, sustain you and move you to a higher ground far above the noise of life, there you will find the peace, comfort and joy to move forward to advance Michael’s legacy. And for all of us it is apparent that like our father and mother, Martin and Coretta King, Michael’s life and work was inspired by the love of God. Throughout the ages few are chosen from amongst us to use their gifts and talents to demonstrate God’s love in an effort to bring the world together in true sister and brotherhood. Michael was such a one. He epitomized the words of our father that an individual hasn’t started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. Michael was always concerned with others with humanity. And I want the world to know that despite being embroiled in accusations and persecutions, as a humanitarian he thought it not robbery to concern himself with one of this world’s other greatest humanitarians, our mother, during her illness just three months before her death. In October, 2005 I was with mom when Michael called to say…and although she couldn’t speak because of a debilitating stroke. She listened as he said to her that he had been praying on his knees everyday for her. That to him she was America’s true royalty and he wanted her to know if music was being played in her room because of its healing effect. My only wish is that he could have seen the glow on her face. If faces could smile as we know they do, that day Michael Jackson made our mother’s face smile in spite of her condition. What an unforgettable moment. He was such a thoughtful and selfless man, full of the unconditional love of God and good works that touched and changed lives. He was indeed a shining light. Like our father Martin and in remembrance of Michael, may we all be inspired to go and let our lights shine. Rest in peace, our brother Michael.”

[Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King; minister; source:]

„Michael was one of a kind. I was thinking back to when we met and the many times that we spent together and whenever we were out together and there would be a picture taken there would be a caption of some kind and the caption usually said something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair’ but to us it was the most natural and easiest of friendships. I was 13 when we met and from that day on our friendship grew. Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date and that we would have fun no matter where we were. We had a bond and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight at a very young age. I used to tease him and I’d say I started when I was11 months old, you’re a slacker. You were what, 5? Both of us needed to be adults very early. But when we were together, we were two little kids having fun. We never collaborated together, we never performed together, or danced on the same stage although he did try in vain one night to unsuccessfully teach me the moonwalk and he just basically just shook his head and crossed his arms at my attempt. We never filmed a video or recorded a song, but what we did do was laugh. It was a competition to see who can make the other one laugh more or be sillier. Michael loved to laugh. His heart would just burst out of him when he was laughing. He adored it when I did silly imitations or told him stories about my life. MJ’s laugh was the sweetest and purest of anyone I had ever known. His sense of humor was delightful and he was very mischievous. I remember it was the night before Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding and he had called me prior and asked if I would join him, he didn’t want to be alone for all the festivities. And it was the night before the big day and Michael and I tried to sneak in to get the first peak of the dress and we were just giggling like crazy and we almost passed out in hysterics when we realized that Elizabeth was actually asleep I the bed. We thought she was in an entirely different room. And we had to laugh and sneak out and then at the point of the wedding when there was the first dance basically we had to joke that we were the mother and father of the bride. Yes it may have seemed very odd to the outside, but we made it fun and we made it real. When he started wearing the glove, I was like what’s up with the glove? I was like look if you’re going to hold my hand it better be the non gloved one because sequence really hurts me…it digs in. He would just shake his head and he would just smile. He loved to be teased. Seeing him smile made you feel like everything was going to be alright. To the outside world, Michael was a genius with unchallenged ability. To the people who were lucky enough to know him personally he was caring and funny, honest, pure, non-jaded and he was a lover of life. He cared so deeply for his family and his friends and his fans. He was often referred to as the King but the Michael I knew always reminded me more of The Little Prince. Thinking of him now I’d like to share a passage from the book:
What moves me so deeply about this sleeping little prince is his loyalty to a flower--the image of a rose shining within him like a flame within a lamp, even when he's asleep... And I realized he was even more fragile than I thought. Lamps must be protected. A gust of wind can blow them out.

Michael’s sensitivity was even more extraordinary than his talent. And his true truth resided in his heart. As The Little Prince also said… Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart. What’s most important is invisible. Michael saw everything with his heart. To his family, his brothers and sisters, Katherine, Joe and to his children, Prince, Paris, Blanket, my prayers are with you. Michael’s favorite song was not one of the countless masterpieces that he gave us but it was a song that Charlie Chaplin wrote for the movie Modern Times. It’s called Smile. There’s a line in the song that says ‘smile though your heart is aching.’ Today, although our hearts are aching we need to look up where he is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon and we need to smile.”

[Brooke Shields, American actress, author, model and friend of Michael Jackson, source:]

„I’m Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and I hale from Houston Texas but I come to you on behalf of the many members of the United State’s House of Representatives. I come to you on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee, a Californian. And I come to you as every man and every woman for I cannot write music, or dance or sing but I do know an American story. To Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and his wonderful families of brothers and sisters and cousins, to Michael, Joseph, to Katherine and Paris, Prince, all of these wonderful, beautiful symbols of America. And I can tell you as a member of the United States Congress. We understand the Constitution. We understand Laws and we know that people are innocent until proven otherwise. That is what the Constitution stands for. So I mourn today, I come too to thank you. For many people don’t understand the heats of entertainers. They don’t know how big their hearts are. They don’t know how they heal the world on behalf of America. When we’re at war our icons like Michael sing about healing the world and so he called us into public service. It did not matter whether we were black or white. He even told us to beat it, beat the violence. He told us to look at yourself in the mirror because it meant that if you were going to make a difference look at the man or woman in the mirror. I come to you today to say thank you. Some of you come from all faiths and we respect that here in America. But there is a story whose theme is so symbolic of this young and beautiful man. I love the story of the Good Samaritan because it talks about those who walk by the diminished, the devastated and the poor. This was a broken and beaten man lying along the road. No one stopped except someone called the Samaritan. It could be in any faith. It’ all about charity and love and I call Michael Jackson the Good Samaritan. I call him Michael Jackson who cared and loved for the world. It bothered me, I grew up with him as all of us and so many did. And so what an honor and a privilege to see him up close. When he came to the United States Congress in my office and looked some 15 African ambassadors, representatives of heads of states. Sitting in an office listening to Michael Jackson talk about caring and fighting HIV Aids. They looked at him, he had a twinkle, they listened, he listened. What a miraculous experience to be able to listen and see Michael in action. You know there were words cast about but I wonder if anybody was on his shoulder when he walked into Walter Reed Hospital and he walked along the aisles and the rows in the hospital rooms. This was in the mist of the Iraq War, doctors stopped, nurses stopped, and individual solders who had lost limbs stopped and were in essence moved and touched as Michael was by his desire to come and thank them for their sacrifices. So don’t tell me what an American story is all about; it is assault of the earth. With this family took the talent that God had given them and made it into a miraculous and wonderful story for America. I come today for you to recognize that the flag flies and the people who have spoken have spoken to the people’s house. They recognize and they speak and those of us who serve in elected office we respond to the people. Michael fought for the tolerance of all people. In fact I am reminded although I speak in the tongues of all faith that Michael fought the good fight. He was someone who understood and I hope Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and the family will know that the lord is our shepherd and we shall not want. Michael Jackson you got to know his story and it has not been told by all of what you’ve heard. He was someone who understood if he was burned, he built a burn unit. If a hospital needed beds, he built those beds. If they needed money for developing countries, Michael gave. If he was in…he went to orphanages. Michael never stopped giving and he touched those whose lives could be reconstructed, because the king, yes the king, the king stopped and said I care about you. That is why on the House floor on January 25, 2009 congressional black caucus and members of the House of Representatives stopped, stopped, stopped and had a moment of silence for this wonderful legend and icon. And so to the family let me simply come and someone that wishes she was long lost Sheila Jackson Lee but I’ll keep looking and seeing by coming to say to you that America appreciates and thanks you for Michael Jackson’s life. For that reason we have introduced into the House of Representatives this resolution 600 that will debate on the floor of the house that claims Michael Jackson as an American Legend and musical icon a world humanitarian. Someone who will be honored forever and forever and forever and forever and forever. We are the world and we are better because Michael Joseph Jackson lived. On behalf of myself and the people who have spoken, Michael Jackson, I salute you.”

[Sheila Jackson Lee, American politician; source:]

„All over the world today people are gathered in love visuals to celebrate the life of a man that taught the world how to love. People may be wondering why there is such an emotional outburst. But you would have to understand the journey of Michael to understand what he meant to all of us. For these that sit here as the Jackson family, a mother and father with 9 children, who rose from a working class family in Gary, Indiana. They had nothing but a dream; no one believed in those days that these kinds of dreams could come true. But they keep on believing and Michael never let the world turn him around from his dreams. I first met Michael around 1970 Black Expo, Chicago, Illinois. Reverend Jesse Jackson who stood by this family till now. And from that day as a cute kid to this moment he never gave up dreaming. It was that dream that changed culture all over the world. When Michael started, it was a different. But because Michael kept going, because he didn’t accept limitations, because he refused to let people decide his boundaries, he opened up the whole world. In the music he put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the color curtain. When now our videos were shown and magazines put us on the cover, it was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. It was Michael Jackson that made us sing 'we are the world,' to feed the hungry long before Live Aid. Because Michael Jackson kept going, he created a comfort level where people that felt they were separate became interconnected with his music. And It was that comfort level that kids from Japan and Ghana and France and Iowa and Pennsylvania got comfortable enough with each other so later it wasn't strange to us to watch Oprah on television. It wasn’t strange to watch Tiger Woods' golf. Those young kids grew up from being teenage comfortable fans of Michael to being 40 years old and being comfortable to vote for a person of color to be the president of the United States of America. Michael did that! Michael made us love each other. Michael taught us to stand with each other. There are those that like to dig around mess, but millions around the world we’re going to uphold his message. It’s not about mess; it’s about his love message. As you climb up steep mountains sometimes you scar your knee. Sometimes you break the skin but don’t focus on the scars, focus on the journey. Michael beat them. Michael rose to the top. He out sang his cynics. He out danced his doubters. He outperformed the pessimists. Every time he got knocked down he got back up. Every time you counted him out he came back in. Michael never stopped! Michael never stopped! Michael never stopped! I want to say to Mrs. Jackson and Joe Jackson, his sisters and brothers; we thank you for giving us someone that taught us love, someone that taught us hope. We want to thank you because we know he was your dream too. We know that your heart is broken; I know you have some comforts from a letter from the President of the United States and Nelson Mandela but this was your child, this was your brother, this was your cousin. Nothing will fill your heats loss but I hope the love that people have shown will make you know he didn’t live in vain. I want his children to know: wasn't anything strange about your Daddy. It was strange what your Daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us. So some came today, Mrs. Jackson, to say good bye to Michael; I came to say thank you. Thank you because you never stopped. Thank you because you never gave up. Thank you because you never gave out. Thank you because you tore down our divisions. Thank you because you irradiated barriers. Thank you because you gave us hope. Thank you Michael! Thank you Michael! Thank you Michael!”

[Alfred Charles „Al” Sharpton, American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and radio talk-show host; source:]

„I hurt. I stand here trying to find words of comfort, trying to understand why the lord has taken our brother to return home from such a short visit here on earth. Michael, when you left us a part of me went with you and a part of you will live forever within me but also a part of you will life forever within all of us. Michael I will treasure the good times, the fun we had singing, dancing, and laughing. I could remember when we come home from school and we would grab a quick bite to eat and we’d try to watch the three stooges as much of it as possible before said it would come and say it’s time to go to the recording studio. I also Michael remember a time when I went in the record store and there was this man purchasing a lot of CD’s. And he would go and grab another batch of CD’s. He was an older gentleman, he had short afro, buck crooked teeth, and his clothes were rumpled. I walked up behind him and said: „Michael, what are you doing in this store?”. He turned to me and said: „Marlon, how did you know it was me?” I told him „You’re my brother. I can spot you anywhere regarldess of your make-up. I know your walk, I know your body language and no, shoes did not help.” Michael wore the same shoes wherever we went. But I guess that was his way of trying to experience what we take for granted. We would never, never understand what he endured. Not being able to walk across a street without a crowd gathering around him; being judged, ridiculed, how much pain can one take?…Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone. Michael was the voice of our angelic trumpets, and he would continue to be the voice, that angelic voice in Heaven, nearest to our Creator, and waiting us when our day comes to pass. Michael, I love you, I will miss when we said our good-bye’s. I would hug you and I’s day „I love you” and your response was ‚I love you more’. You know, the Lord has a purpose for everything, and sometime (sic) we just can’t see it or understand it. But it will be made clear to us when we reach that ultimate, ultimate reward of being in His presence. And Michael, you are There. You’re right There. You have finished your work here on Earth, and the Lord has called you to come Home with Him. So, I thank you, Michael, for all the smiles that you’ve placed in many people’s hearts. And I thank you for everything that you’ve done for others across this Globe, in the Lord’s name. And I have one request, Michael…one request: I would like for you to give our brother, my twin brother, Brandon, a hug for me. I love you, Michael and I’ll miss you”.

[Marlon Jackson, singer and brother of Michael Jackson; source:,]

„Fan, friends, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, I would like to thank everyone for coming out. As you know, I'm lost for words. I was his voice and his back bone. I had his back, so did the family. But we thank you, that's all I can say, we thank you very much.”

[Jermaine Jackson, singer and brother of Michael Jackson, source:]

„I’m here representing million of fans around the world who grew up listening to Michael, being inspired and loving Michael from a distance; all of you. Somehow how when Michael Jackson sang or when he danced we never felt distant, we felt like he was right there; right for us. You believed in Michael and he believed in you. He made you believe in yourself. I loved him all my life. One of the first records my brother and I ever bought was dance machines. And I’ll never forget the two of us getting the robot going trying to be like the Jackson 5. Thank you. Thank you. Michael was the biggest star on earth. He let me know that as an African-American, you could travel the world — there was a world outside of America, other people. All you people who came here to pay respect to someone who you felt was one of you, a human being first. This morning I spoke with perhaps one of our greatest posts Maya Angelou, and I’m so honored that she asked me to share some words that she wrote for Michael.

”We Had Him”, by Dr. Maya Angelou

”Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.
In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.” ”

[Queen Latifah, American rapper, singer, model, actress; source:]

„I met Jackie Jackson ( Michael’s brother) about 30 years ago and he was a season ticket holder for the Lakers as well as his brother Marlon. Jackie and I became friends and he began to invite me out to their home. Then I got to know the brothers and the sisters and his incredible mother and father. We love to play with fire crackers and just have fun. And Barry just like you lost to the Jackson’s in softball, so did I. And we had some incredible times together. Then Jackie invited me to go on tour with the brothers and then I got to see the genius of Michael Jackson. He was so incredible; he always had command of not only the band, his brothers but also the audience. I truly believe that Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever. From there, Michel called me one day and said I want to talk to you about being in a video Remember the Time. But I had to double check with Jackie to make sure it was really Michael because I was scared to death to go over to his house because this was my idol, he was everything to me. So I went over to his house to have dinner. The chef came out and said what would you like, I said some grilled chicken. So as we begin to talk about the video and what he wanted me to do, the chef brought me out the grilled chicken but he brought Michael out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. And I went crazy like wait a minute Michael you eat Kentucky Fried Chicken? That made my day. That was the greatest moment of my life. We had such a good time sitting on the floor eating that bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and I want to say this. This is a celebration of his life, of his legacy. I want to thank Michael for opening up so many doors for African Americans to be on day time shows, late night shows. He allowed Kobe and I to have our jerseys in people’s homes across the world because he was already there. And he opened all those doors for us. His three children will have the most incredible grandmother that god has put on this earth to take care of them. Michael’s three children will have incredible uncles and aunts to take care of them as well and they will have plenty of cousins to play with. So may God continue to bless this incredible family. We say that we’re praying for you, remain strong. We want to thank the city of Los Angeles for putting this on, AEG for putting it on as well and may God continue to bless you Michael.”

[Magic Johnson, retired American professional basketball player; source:]

„I wrote that song („Who’s Loving You”). I thought I sang it. I wrote that song back in…and um 2 years later here comes this little kid and he’s 10 years old. Berry had this gathering at his house. He said come I want you to see someone very special so I go over there and these five young guys are there. And they sang and danced up a storm. A couple weeks later they recorded my song. And I heard it. I thought to myself…now they have pulled a fast one on us because this boy cannot possibly be 10 years old. This song is about somebody who has somebody who loved him but they treated him bad. They treated him so bad until they lost them. And now they are paying the price of wanting somebody back that they treated bad and lost. How could he possibly know these things? I quickly went over to him because I wanted to see his birth certificate. I did not believe that someone that young could have that much feeling and soul and knowing. Knowing, he had a lot of knowing. He had to know something to sing that song like that. It was wonderful thought. As a song writer man that’s a dream come true to have somebody sing one of your songs like that. I never thought I would be here on today. This is my little brother over there. And you just don’t think you’re going to see or you’ll live to see him gone. But he will never really be gone. He is going to live forever and ever and ever and ever. He has made an enormous impact on all of our lives all over the world. I have young kids coming up to me now; when I do concerts I sing Whose Loving You at concerts and young kids who were at the concert come up to me and say hey you’re singing Michael Jackson’s song huh. But he will live on forever. I am a firm believer in blessings and I have had so many, many blessings in my life. One of my greatest blessings was I got a chance to know the Jackson family and to know Michael. And to see him. I’m glad I lived in an era where I got to see what everybody has been coming up here saying, the greatest entertainer of all time. I’m glad that I lived in this era. I believe so much in God. I believe so much that this is not it. We have life after this is done. So my brother is in a place now where he is most certainly going to live forever in the year after. So he’s going to live forever twice because he’s going to live forever right here because the world will never ever forget Michael Jackson. I love you my brother. I celebrate your life. I am proud that I had a chance to know you. God bless you.”

[Smokey Robinson, American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer; source:]

"This feels right for me. Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my world, part of the fabric of my life in a way that I can't seem to find words to express. I am trying to find closure. I want you to know that even though I am not there at the Staples Center, I am there in my heart. Michael wanted me to be there for his children, and I will be there if ever they need me. I hope today brings closure for all those who loved him."

[Diana Ross, American singer, actress and friend via a letter sent for the memorial; source:]

„He was driven by his hunger to learn to constantly top himself to be the best. He was the consummate student. He studied the greats and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar. His talent and creativity thrust him and entertainment into another stratosphere. The Motown family mourns the death of our friend and brother Michael Jackson who was like a son to me. Our deep condolences go out to all his family, his parents; Joe, Katherine, his beautiful children, his sisters and brothers and his nieces and nephews. Michael Jackson was 10 years old when he and his brothers auditioned for me in Motown in Detroit that July day in 1968, and blew us all away. The Jackson 5 were just amazing, and little Michael's performance was way beyond his years. This little kid had an incredible knowingness about him. He sang with such feeling and inspiration. Michael had a quality that I couldn’t completely understand but we all knew he was special. Aside from singing and dancing like James Brown and Jackie Wilson, he sung a Smokey Robinson song called Who's Lovin' You. He sang it with the sadness and passion of a man who'd been living the blues and heartbreak his whole life. And as great as Smokey sang it, I thought Michael was better. I went to Smokey and said hey man I think he got you on that one. Smokey said me too. That was Motown. Motown was built on love and competition and sometimes the competition got in the way of the love but the love always won out. We competed on everything. And California we had a baseball game every week, the Jacksons vs. the Gordy’s. Unfortunately for us, Tito and Jackie were big homerun hitters. They would knock the ball out of the park. But then so was my son Barry and I’m not going to tell you who won most of the games but I will tell you that the Gordy’s cried a lot. And even though little Michael was the catchers for the Jackson’s and missed a lot of balls we still cried a lot. But we swam and we joked and we played games and when Michael performed his songs you could feel the hipness in his soul because that’s what he loved to do. Michael inspired me so much that for days I walked around humming a bright little happy tune with him in mind…then I put a group together and we came up with 4 hit records for them, I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There. The Jackson 5 was the only group in history to have their first 4 records go to number 1. In 1983 the brothers reunited and returned to do Motown 25th anniversary show. After a high powered dazzling melody of their songs Michael took the stage alone and made pop history. From the first beat of Billie Jean, I was mesmerized. And when he did his iconic moonwalk, I was shocked. It was magic. Michael Jackson went into orbit, and never came down. At 10 years old, he had passion. He had passion to be the greatest entertainer in the world and he was willing to work as hard to do whatever it took to become what he indeed became the undisputed King of Pop, the world over. What kid wouldn’t give his right arm to fulfill his wildest childhood dreams? Michael loved it all, every moment on stage, every moment in rehearsal. Michael loved creating what have never been done before. He loved everything and everybody especially his fans. I must say though that he did have two personalities. Offs stage he was shy, soft spoken and childlike, but when he took the stage in front of his screaming fans he turned into another person. A master, a take no prisoner show man. It was like kill or be killed. I mean Michael was awesome, totally in charge. In fact the more I think about Michael Jackson, the more I think The King of Pop is not big enough for him. I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived. Michael, thank you for the joy. Thank you for the love. You will live in my heart forever. I love you.”

[Berry Gordy, American record producer, founder of the Motown record label and father figure of the late singer; source:]

"I just want to say…Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine…And I just wanted to say I love him – so much!…”

[Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter; source.]