The Michael Jackson memorial service was earlier today. I wasn't able to watch all of it; in fact, I saw only bits and pieces.
I was surprised at how low key the event turned out to be. I almost expected more of a concert with dancing in the aisles, lots of flash photography and other concert activities. Instead, people seemed to display a reverent attitude; that -- indeed -- the fans' hero was gone and wasn't coming back; and the focus was on the man's artistic accomplishments, not on the occasions when Michael had personal and legal battles that seemed to knock him off of his King of Pop throne.
I've always felt Michael Jackson was a phenomenal performer, although -- merely a personal preference -- during his earliest years with the Jackson Five, his voice was a little too shrill for me, kind of like fingernails against a chalkboard. But his voice softened as he grew older, and his singing and dancing evolved into an art form that was truly his own. He was amazing to watch and listen to, and I'm sorry we'll never get to see what he might have accomplished had he lived to launch his comeback tour in the UK.
But -- Michael documented LOTS of CDs and videos, so we're not likely to forget his artistry. And whatever his life was like, tortured or not, I hope he's in a better place today, leading the choirs of heaven in both song and dance.
I'm one of millions who will miss ya, MJ!
(The photo is from this morning's memorial service showing Queen Latifah at the podium. Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP/MCTMARK J. TERRILL/AP/MC).