Michael Jackson, news

Michael Jackson

Rex

Millions of viewers will be tuning in to watch Michael Jackson's funeral and memorial service at the Staple Centre in Los Angeles today. Celebrities attending include pop diva Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Jennifer Hudson, Brooke Shields, John Mayer, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder.

Jacko's ex-wife and mother of his two eldest children, Debbie Rowe, however won't be making an appearance because "her attendance would be an unnecessary distraction to an event that should focus exclusively on Michael's legacy," commented Jackson family lawyer Marta Almli.

Other no-shows include the Thriller star's dear friend, Elizabeth Taylor, who posted on Twitter: "I just don't believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others. How I feel is between us. Not a public event. I said I wouldn't go to the Staples Center, and I certainly don't want to become a part of it. I love him too much."

Out of the 1.6 million fans who registered online to attend the Staples Center, 8,750 names were selected to take part in the funeral.

RIP Michael Jackson.

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By Beatrix Zwart