July 7, 2009 — -- The lavish memorial service for Michael Jackson concluded with the simple, heartbreaking remarks of his 11-year-old daughter Paris.
"I just wanted to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," said Paris, flanked by her aunts and uncles and grandmother.
"And I just wanted to say I love him so much," said Paris before she clenched her eyes tightly shut, burst into tears and threw herself into Janet Jackson's arms.
Paris' unexpected comments were so moving because she and her two brothers have rarely been seen without veils or masks, and other than a few short remarks on home videos, Paris has never before spoken in public.
Paris' appearance was the most moving moment of the more than two hour service, which featured performances and eulogies by some of the world's biggest stars.
Motown founder Berry Gordy said the title "King of Pop" was not big enough for the moonwalking singer.
"I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived," Gordy said, drawing a standing ovation and a roar of approval from the thousands in the Los Angeles Staples Center.
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Approximately 19,500 people attended the memorial service in downtown Los Angeles while around 5,500 watched the event being simulcast, according to the Staples Center and Allgood Entertainment.
"He studied the great and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar. His talent and creativity thrust him and entertainment into another stratosphere," Gordy said.
"Michael Jackson went into orbit and never went down," he said.
The final tribute of the ceremony, a rendition of "We Are The World," which Jackson co-wrote with Lionel Richie, brought all of the day's performer's together. The Jackson family, as well as Michael's three children, went on stage to sing.
Marlon Jackson broke down as he spoke about his younger brother.
"Michael when you left us, a part of me went with you," said Marlon.
Referring to the constant media attention his brother attracted during his lifetime, Marlon said, "Maybe now Michael they will leave you alone."
As the Andraé Crouch Choir, who performed the back up on "Man in the Mirror," sang, the casket was carried on stage by Jackson brothers Tito, Jackie, Randy and Jermaine, all of whom were wearing gold ties and a single sequined white glove.
The Jackson family received a standing ovation by the crowd inside the Staples Center as they entered the arena.
Katherine Jackson and LaToya, one of Jackson's sisters, comforted 11-year-old Paris as the casket was carried in. Jackson's two sons, Prince Michael I, 12, and Prince Michael II, 7, were also sitting in the same row as their grandmother. Prince Michael II, nicknamed Blanket, was holding a Michael Jackson doll during the service.
Brooke Shields Remembers Michael Jackson
Jackson's older brother Jermaine sang Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," a song that friend Brooke Shields said was Jackson's favorite.
In one of the most emotional speeches in the service, Shields, who first met Jackson when she was 11 years old, said the singer was "was one of a kind."
Shields recalled how Jackson tried but failed to teach her his signature dance move, the moonwalk, and how she teased him with the line, "What's up with the glove?"
"People called him the king, but he reminded me more of the little prince," she said.
Jackson had a wonderful laugh and "seeing him smile made you feel like everything was going to be all right," said the actress.
Paying tribute to the lyrics in the song "Smile," Shields said, "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."
During a performance of "Will You Be There" by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, Katherine Jackson could be seen crying. Jackson's daughter Paris was seen in her aunt Latoya's arms.
Singer Usher's rendition of Jackson's "Gone Too Soon" drove many to tears and others to cheer "long live the king" and "we miss you Michael!"
Usher, who also broke down in tears at the end of the song, walked around the arena and placed his hand on Jackson's coffin as he sang. Again, daughter Paris was visibly emotional.
Motown singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson said that he felt "blessed" to have known Jackson.
"I never thought I would be there…that's my little brother over there," said Robinson. "You just don't think that 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," said Robinson.
Pop star Mariah Carey was the first to sing at the memorial, performing the Jackson Five's "I'll Be There."
Longtime Jackson pal and fellow musician Stevie Wonder said that he wished "this was a moment he didn't live to see."
"We can't help but love you forever, Michael," said Wonder before playing the piano and singing "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer."
Among the stars who filtered into the Staples Center were performers like Smokey Robinson, boxer Mike Tyson and the controversial Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam.
After the Staples Center memorial service, the Jackson family and friends went to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a luncheon at 4:50 p.m. EST. It was unclear where the casket holding Jackson's body went immediately following the service.
Earlier, the city of Los Angeles closed portions of two of its famously jammed highways to make way for Jackson's convoy of Rolls Royces and lesser limousines. The body was escorted by a phalanx of police cars and motorcycles and tracked overhead by a fleet of media helicopters.
The destination was the Staples Center where thousands waited for the casket to be delivered for a memorial tribute that was watched live on TV and on the Web by millions around the world.
The Jackson family left their Encino home earlier today with dad Joe Jackson riding in the front seat of the first black Rolls enroute to a private service at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery. An hour later, Jackson's rose bedecked casket was brought out to a hearse for the ride to the Staples Center.
The memorial service, where brother Jermaine Jackson sang "Smile," the Charlie Chaplin song Michael covered in 1995, was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET, but was delayed more than 30 minutes.
Hours before the memorial was set to begin, fans just beginning to enter the Staples Center were greeted by a sound check of a recording of Jackson singing "Have you seen my childhood," lyrics from his hit song "Childhood."
President Obama said he was not upset that Jackson's funeral had overshadowed his summit with Russia's leaders that resulted in an agreement to drastically cut the world's two largest nuclear arsenals.
"You know, this is part of American culture," the president said told ABC News. "Michael Jackson, like Elvis, like Sinatra, when somebody whose captivated the imagination of the country for that long passes away, people pay attention. And I assume at some point people will start focusing again on things like nuclear weapons."
The star studded tribute to the man who some have said was the most famous person in the world and died of cardiac arrest June 25 at the age of 50, ran over its schedule 90 minutes.
Fewer Fans Than Expected Attend Michael Jackson Memorial
About a half hour before the original scheduled start of the Jackson memorial it was obvious that fears of Los Angeles being swamped by Jackson fans did not materialize.
The Staples Center itself was not yet filled to capacity. Police aviation units were looking down at crowd density outside the venue that would indicate that no more than a few thousand fans had gathered outside.
From the outset the LAPD had called the crowd issue the great unknown and had projected the possibility of three quarters of a million or more fans showing up.
Thousands of LAPD officers mustered under arc lights shortly before 3 a.m. this morning, just as the final notes of the dress rehearsal for the Michael Jackson had begun to fade.
The cops were part of a 3,000 person response team put together in anticipation of a large turnout for the Jackson services. The response team includes firefighters, deputy sheriffs, FBI agents and technicians, California Highway Patrol officers and members of other agencies.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used his Facebook page and Twitter account to encourage Jackson fans to help the cash strapped city pay for the huge law enforcement presence needed to police the memorial service.
Villaraigosa tweeted, "MJ fans, you can help LA give Michael the safe and orderly send off he deserves," and then linked to a PayPal account where tax-deductible donations could be given.
The LAPD has begun to consider shifting manpower and demobilizing some units early in an effort to curb overtime and other costs had begun.
Lucky fans and lottery winners are inside Staples Center -- the same place Jackson recently rehearsed for his planned farewell tour -- to say good-bye to the "Thriller" star.
Forecasting measures such as hotel room attendance and airline ticket sales did not prove to be adequate indicators of the potential fan base arriving at the Staples Center, nor did the pre-event trumpeting of the number of hits on the Center's ticket lottery site by the organizers. And nor did the volume of Twitters expressing an interest in attendance.
Hotel owners near the Staples Center had said earlier in the day that occupancy was at 98 percent and they have been inundated with calls since Thursday from fans needing a place to stay, some traveling to the city from Europe. Flights to Los Angeles have also been filled to capacity.
Outpouring of Emotion for Michael Jackson
About 1.6 million people registered online for a lottery to win tickets for the 11,000 seats inside the sports arena and 6,500 seats to watch the service on large video screens at the nearby Nokia Theatre.
Craigslist and eBay have been busy pulling ads for memorial tickets off their site, some going to tens of thousands of dollars. The family was adamant that the tickets not be scalped and the Los Angeles Police Department is prepared to charge those they catch.
Other ads that have popped up in the last two days were not for actual tickets, but just for a copy of the e-mail sent by the Staples Center confirming entry for the tickets.
While some were aiming to take advantage of the opportunity to attend the service, others were offering their tickets online for free, wanting them to go to true Jackson fans that would appreciate them.
Fans have flocked from all over the world to attend today's memorial, pulling into the area which is heavily cordoned off by police. One man said learning he had gotten tickets was like being accepted to college.
Another woman pulled in yelling "God Bless Michael!"
Azzi Kashani from O Hotel said, "It is exciting and sad at the same time ... it's probably going to be one of the largest funerals, memorial services since Princess Diana."
All the fans, celebrities and police patrols may have made the scene outside the Staples Center seem like a circus, but there were also 11 elephants and seven horses on hand. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus is scheduled to open Wednesday at the arena and in preparation, it was scheduled to bring the animals into the side entrance of the complex before dawn.
Not present was Debbie Rowe, Jackson's second ex-wife and the mother of his two eldest children. A spokesman told "Good Morning America" Monday that she would be there in VIP seats, but her lawyer announced just hours later that she would instead stay home and mourn privately to keep the attention on Jackson and his legacy.
Frank Cascio, close friend of Michael Jackson, told "GMA," "I think he would be humbled by the world right now. He would be very humbled."
Roger Friedman of The Hollywood Reporter says that a huge memorial concert is being planned for Michael Jackson's 51st birthday on Aug. 29 at London's O2 Arena.
ABC NEWS' Imaeyen Ibanga and Katie Escherich contributed to this report.