The occasion was sad, but the day was marked with a true celebration.
Roughly 19,500 people—not all of them ticket holders—packed Los Angeles' Staples Center to share in a star-studded musical and spoken-word tribute to Michael Jackson, who died suddenly June 25 at age 50, pretty much shocking the world in the process.
Speakers from Magic Johnson to Brooke Shields to Smokey Robinson were in top form, telling stories brimming with humor, adoration and historical significance as they reminisced about Jackson the artist, Jackson the inspiration and Jackson the friend.
But it was Jackson's daughter, Paris, speaking out for the first time ever about her dad, who may have stolen the show from the celebs and music luminaries.
The hearse carrying the late King of Pop arrived at Staples Center about 15 minutes before the tribute event was scheduled to start. Due to some unexplained hindrances, the memorial did not get under way until just after 10:30 a.m. Organizers were said to be handing out passes to some lucky members of the crowd outside to fill empty seats that belonged to ticket winners who weren't able to actually make it to Staples.