Los Angeles Prepares Last Goodbye for King of Pop

LOS ANGELES (RPRN) 7/07/2009–Family, friends and fans are getting ready to say goodbye one last time to the man known as the King of Pop. There will be two memorial services for music icon Michael Jackson in Los Angeles Tuesday. The singer’s family is expected to attend a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery, before attention shifts to the public memorial service at The Staples Center – a large arena in downtown Los Angeles.

About 1.6 million people registered for an online drawing for free tickets to the event, but only 8,750 lucky fans were randomly selected.  Each winner receives two tickets for Tuesday’s ceremony or for the simulcast at the nearby the Nokia Theater.

Los Angeles city officials are preparing for thousands of fans without tickets to attempt to reach the event.  Police say roads around the arena will be closed off to anyone without a ticket.

The concert promotion agency AEG has said that a television pool feed of the memorial will be available so that Jackson’s fans from around the world can watch the service.  And an entertainment company, Cinedigm Corporation, says it will broadcast the service live at about 50 movie theaters across the U.S. free of charge.

On Monday, a judge in Los Angeles ruled Michael Jackson’s longtime attorney and a friend should take over his estate, as stipulated in the deceased pop icon’s 2002 will.

The judge removed Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, as temporary administrator of the estate.  He said that an attorney, John Branca, and a music executive and longtime friend, John McClain, will handle the pop star’s estate until another hearing on August 3.

Reports of the singer’s financial status vary wildly.  Some say he had about $500 million in assets but was also hundreds of millions in debt.

The 50-year-old Jackson died suddenly on June 25 in Los Angeles.  A cause of death has not been determined, and authorities are investigating whether medications are to blame.  Toxicology results are not expected for weeks.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.

Photo credit: In this handout photo provided by AEG, pop star Michael Jackson rehearses at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 23, 2009. (AP Photo/ Kevin Mazur, AEG/Getty Images)

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