Family, friends and fans of Michael Jackson are finally being given the opportunity to celebrate the life of the King of Pop.
Days of speculation were put to rest Friday morning as the details on the spectacle henceforth known as the Michael Jackson Public Memorial Service were unveiled by city officials, Jackson reps and AEG Live, which is hosting the event. As previously reported, the memorial will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Los Angeles' Staples Center.
"It is the family's wish to create a service and celebration that all of Michael's fans around the world can be a part of," said AEG CEO and President Tim Leiweke.
The event will be available on a worldwide feed and free to air on any network, including E! and E! Online. "We encourage you to watch the memorial from your home," said Jan Perry, a city councilwoman.
One reason? There are only a lucky few who will be able to attend the memorial.
A total of 17,500 tickets will be made available to the general public—11,000 for inside the Staples Center and the remaining 6,500 who will be able to watch from across the street at the Nokia Center, which will be filled with huge-screen TVs streaming the live event.
To be eligible for tickets, fans must log on to StaplesCenter.com and register between now and 6 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, 8,750 names will be drawn randomly and each will receive two tickets. Ticketmaster will then be distributing tickets and wristbands to those chosen few on Monday.
As of 5:30 p.m., the Staples Center page had received 524,330 requests for tickets. At one point, AEG had to add another server to accommodate the volume of traffic as some people were initially unable to access the site.
City and police officials were adamant that those without a ticket and a wristband will not be allowed anywhere near the event.
Ken Sunshine, the Jackson family spokesman, thanked fans for their outpouring of support throughout the past week.
The memorial, he said, is about "accommodating as many fans as possible. It is all about the fans."
In a statement Friday, the Jackson family said: "It was our wish to allow as many of Michael's fans to be part of the memorial, and we wish to thank everyone for their support and understanding at this difficult time."
While some details of the memorial were addressed, there was no word on whether, as rumored, there would be performances from Justin Timberlake, Usher or P. Didd. Sunshine would only say the memorial is "still being developed, but no details will be provided."
Asked about the possibility of scalpers or people selling counterfeit tickets, Sunshine said, "I'm hoping that people have dignity...[We're] planning this to try and avoid people who would stoop to those depths."
As E! News reported earlier, Jackson's body is currently at Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuaries in Hollywood Hills awaiting a private funeral, details of which have not been disclosed.
FilmLa, which handles film permits for the city of Los Angeles, has issued an alert stating there may be a motorcade traveling early Tuesday morning from Forest Lawn to Staples Center, but no route information was immediately available.
Meanwhile, the grounds of Jackson's former home, Neverland Ranch, will be closed to the media and well-wishers beginning tonight and remain off-limits until after the funeral services "to focus on the Tuesday celebration of Michael's life,'' a ranch spokeswoman said.
(Originally published Friday July 3, 2009 at 9:45 a.m. PT)
Be there as the world says goodbye to the King of Pop. Watch The Michael Jackson Memorial on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, live on E! and E! Online.