Jun 25, 2010 11:27 AM by Melissa Canone
A year after Michael Jackson's death caused a worldwide
outpouring of shock, tears and tributes, the anniversary of his
passing was being marked Friday on a quieter scale, as fans
remembered their fallen King of Pop with vigils, prayer and, of
Some radio stations woke up listeners to Jackson's music; on
U.S. television, all the major networks devoted a portion of their
morning news programs to Jackson and more coverage was expected
during prime-time hours. Events were planned across the globe, from
Tokyo to New York.
Jackson's burial place at Forest Lawn in Glendale. Calif., was
expected to draw not only a throng of fans, but family as well.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at age 50 as he was preparing for
a series of comeback concerts in London. Dr. Conrad Murray is
charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death for
administering the powerful anesthetic propofol to Jackson to help
the pop star sleep.
Pictures of Jackson hung on a wall outside New York's Apollo
Theater in Harlem, where Jackson and his brothers won amateur night
in the late 1960s. A sidewalk plaque memorialized the singer
alongside such other legends as James Brown and Smokey Robinson.
Since the Apollo helped launch the Jackson 5, it has had a
strong connection to the late pop star. After Jackson's death, it
became the de facto gathering place for New York fans. It was an
emotional though more low-key scene on Friday morning, as Jackson's
music blared from boomboxes and passing cars.
"We are really honored to have played a part in launching
Michael's musical career and to serve as a gathering place for
people to come and celebrate his lifetime of achievement," said
Jonelle Procope, Apollo president and CEO.
Procope placed Jackson's black hat and sequin glove, both from
the theater's collection, beside his plaque.
Elsewhere in Harlem, the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 movie
theater screened "This Is It," the documentary about Jackson's
preparation for his London concerts, throughout the day. And the
Rev. Al Sharpton was to lead a moment of silence in the afternoon.
In Gary, Ind., Jackson's hometown, there was to be a tribute at
the family home; city officials said they expected Jackson's
mother, Katherine Jackson, and his niece, Genevieve Jackson, to
show up, along with thousands of others. Katherine Jackson also
lent her support to a "Forever Michael" fan event in Beverly
Hills, Calif., on Saturday.
But his brother Randy Jackson was hoping to make the official
family commemoration at Forest Lawn on Friday morning.
In Japan, hundreds of fans met at Tokyo Tower to honor Jackson
with a candlelight vigil, a gospel concert and more. Some got a
chance to see a collection of his possessions, including costumes
from his tours and even a 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom that he used to
drive around Los Angeles.
"I don't know what to say. Seeing all his things makes it all
come back to me," said Yumiko Sasaki, a 48-year-old Tokyo officer
worker who has been a Jackson fan since she was 12. "It makes me
so sad to think that he is gone. He was wonderful."
About 50 guests paid $1,100 each to sleep overnight at the Tokyo
landmark, where they had catered food, watched a gospel choir,
looked at Jackson memorabilia and danced to Michael Jackson's music
before observing a period of silence as the sun rose.
Fans started gathering at Forest Lawn on Thursday night. Five
large wreaths of flowers and dozens of bouquets, drawings and
photos of Jackson had been placed outside his private mausoleum.
Evdokia Sofianou, 46, and her 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca,
traveled from Athens, Greece, to pay their respects.
"I came because I love Michael very much," Sofianou said
Thursday night. "I came to grieve."
But not every memorial for Jackson was to be somber. In France,
weekend celebration plans included a concert and tribute show, and
clubs across the globe planned parties for the man who embodied
"They want to celebrate his life and music," DJ Jon Quick said
of the expected partygoers at club Taj on Friday, where he would
play Jackson tunes. "His albums are like timelines in your life.
You can remember what you were doing ... when 'Thriller' came