"Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date. ... We had a bond and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, very young age. I used to tease him and say, `I started when I was 11 months old. You're a slacker. You were like 5?' Both of us needed to be adults very early, but when we were together, we were two little kids having fun," she said.
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Shields told the crowd that Michael was "caring, funny, honest and pure," adding that he was also "non-jaded" and "a lover of life who cared deeply for his family, friends and his fans."
Jermaine Jackson then took the stage and sang his younger brother Michael's favorite song, "Smile (As Though Your Heart Is Breaking)."
The son and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. -- Martin Luther King III and Bernice A. King -- talked about Michael's legacy and humanitarian efforts.
Usher followed with his rendition of Jackson's ballad "Gone Too Soon." Michael Jackson once dedicated the song to Ryan White, an American teenager who became a national spokesperson for HIV/AIDS after being expelled from school because of his diagnosis. White died of his illness in 1990.
Smokey Robinson then returned to the stage to share some personal stories about Michael. Robinson said one of his greatest blessings was getting to know the Jackson family and Michael himself.
"Britain's Got Talent" finalist Shaheen Jafargholi,12, sang the Jackson 5 song "Who's Loving You." Jackson had invited Jafargholi to join him on his London tour.
A group of singers helped bring the memorial to a close by singing Jackson's songs, "We Are The World" and "Heal The World."
Jermaine Jackson then addressed the crowd saying, "We thank you. That's all we can say. We thank you very much."
Brother Marlon Jackson then took the mic and, broke down crying briefly and said, "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 live forever within all of us. Michael, I will treasure the good times, the fun we had."
"Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone," he said.
A hearse carrying the "King of Pop's" body, covered with red roses, left a private service at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills shortly after 9 a.m. and made its way through downtown Los Angeles to Staples Center for the public memorial. A law enforcement escort shut down sections of freeways to speed the motorcade through Los Angeles traffic.
Jackson's casket was then carried into the arena shortly before 10 a.m. using the same door that the pop star had walked through for many Grammy appearances.
A lucky group of some 8,750 fans each won two free tickets to watch the event in person. Some viewed the event on a big screen at the nearby Nokia Theatre.
Despite being told they have no chance of getting in, many fans without tickets still flooded the area to pay their final respects and witness history in the making. For the most part though, police said, things ran smoothly.
All major networks broadcast the event live. Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. also arranged to broadcast the service live at 88 movie theaters across the country, including in Los Angeles, Monrovia and Tulare.
Police were out in full force -- even more so than the 1984 Olympics and the recent championship celebration for the Los Angeles Lakers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, according to the LAPD.
Some 3,200 Los Angeles police officers were deployed for the day's events in an effort to control crowds in and around Staples Center.