2nd update: I’ve embedded the video from MSNBC after the JUMP….
Update: The service began shortly before 1:30 ET with Smokey Robinson reading messages from Nelson Mandela and Diana Ross.The public memorial for Michael Jackson is set to begin at 1:30 ET today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The private service for the family at Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills ran late, pushing the memorial ahead 30 minutes.
There was also a private viewing last night at Forest Lawn.
Right now, a motorcade that includes Jackson’s family and close friends is en route to the Staples Center. A car with Jackson’s body is also a part of the memorial entourage.
Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant, Brooke Shields, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Usher, Jennifer Hudson and Martin Luther King III and his sister Bernice, Shaheen Jafargholi (Britain’s Got Talent) are set to appear.
Also set to appear are Brooke Shields, Usher, Magic Johnson, Andrae Crouch Choir, Family friends Ron Boyd and Pastor Lucious Smith, and Al Sharpton. Justin Timberlake and Beyonce will attend the service, but aren’t scheduled to perform.
Elizabeth Taylor was invited to participate, but declined, “I’ve been asked to speak at the Staples Center, ” she says, “I cannot be part of the public hoopla.”
The memorial will run live on most US cable news and network channels. Also the event will stream live all over the internet. You can watch the memorial HERE. Also, there will be lots of twittering and live blogging from inside the arena.
The memorial will end with the performers on stage singing the Jackson anthem, “We Are the World”.