Gary, Indiana: Never Can Say Goodbye, Memorial for Michael
Jul 11, 2009, 4:44 GMT
Gary, Indiana, USA Mayor Rudy Clay (R) presents a plaque to Joe Jackson, the father of pop star Michael Jackson, during the Michael Jackson memorial service at the U.S. Steel Steel Yard Stadium in Gary, Indiana, USA, 10 July 2009. Michael Jackson and his brothers began their careers in Gary where the Jackson family lived in the late 1960s. EPA/TANNEN MAURY
Los Angeles - Thousands of fans said goodbye to Michael Jackson in his hometown of Gary, Indiana, with tributes to the 'King of Pop' and performances by impersonators.
The memorial Friday night at a baseball park also included performers singing and dancing to Jackson's hits, such as 'Thriller' and 'Beat It,' as well as appearances by the star's father, Joe Jackson, who the pop star said abused him.
Jesse Jackson - a civil rights activist and, while no relation, a Jackson family friend - called on the young people of Gary to follow the pop star's example and make the best of their talents.
Michael Jackson spent the first 11 years of his life in Gary, a city of 100,000 people 50 kilometres south-east of Chicago. After he and his brothers achieved their first recording success as the Jackson 5 with Michael as its lead singer, the family moved away in 1969.
Jackson went on to a solo career, and died unexpectedly June 25 at 50. The cause of death was being investigated amid growing indications that it was linked to the abuse of prescription drugs.
It also remained unclear where Michael Jackson would be buried. Gary, Indiana, recently offered a final resting place there with Mayor Rudy Clay, who appeared at Friday's public memorial, calling the pop star 'Indiana's favorite son and the greatest entertainer in the world.'