Turn on the radio or television on Friday, June 25, 2010 and you will likely see and hear the music and words of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson died suddenly and unexpectedly last year at age 50 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack brought on by acute propofol intoxication. He was just a few weeks away from launching a series of comeback concerts that he hoped would spark new interest in his music and relaunch his career.
Michael Jackson may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. Fans around the world are gathering together to remember Michael and pay tribute to him. Although most tributes will simply be unofficial gatherings of his fans, there are several large scale tributes to be held Friday. According to USA Today, these are the major tributes that will be held to commemorate Michael Jackson – the man, his music and his legacy.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Forest Lawn Cemetery
Although Michael Jackson’s tomb inside the Great Mausoleum is officially closed to the public, thousands are expected to gather there to pay tribute. Police have barricaded the cemetery gates to keep the crowds away from Jackson family members. Fans began gathering outside Forest Lawn as early as Monday. The Jackson family is expected to gather at Michael’s grave for a private memorial service. It is expected that Jackson’s three children will be in attendance.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Jackson Family Home Gary, Indiana
Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine will unveil a monument to her son outside the family home followed by a memorial and candlelight vigil. This tribute is open to fans. Ending the celebration of Michael’s life will be the singing of We are the World. While Jackson’s children will be in Gary to attend private family events, they will not appear at the unveiling, memorial or vigil.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Madame Tussauds Wax Mueseums
All nine Madame Tussauds Wax Museums worldwide will be exhibiting a special Michael Jackson tribute exhibit. U.S. locations include Hollywood, Las Vegas, New York and Washington D.C.
Michael Jackson Tribute: The Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York
The marquee at the Apollo will feature a special message remembering Michael Jackson. There will be a speech by president of the Apollo Theater Foundation Jonelle Procope Friday morning about Michael’s artistic achievements. It was at the Apollo Theater that The Jackson 5 won an amateur night talent show leading to their signing with Motown Records.
Michael Jackson Tribute: The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California
This tribute called Forever Michael is a fan event organized by Jackson’s father Joe Jackson. The event includes a fundraising dinner that will benefit some of Michael’s favorite charities. Katherine Jackson has donated items for an auction. Tickets range from $150 to $500.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Harlem, New York
Around the time of Michael Jackson’s death, Rev. Al Sharpton will hold a moment of silence.Sharpton was a longtime friend of Jackson and his family and spoke eloquently at his memorial service last year.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Hanoi, Vietnam
Fans held a special night of performances of Michael Jackson songs.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Tokyo, Japan
50 Japanese fans, one for each year of Michael Jackson’s life, were chosen from 10,000 hopefuls to spend a night at Tokyo Tower among the singer’s possessions in the Neverland Collection, the only official Michael Jackson exhibition. Michael Jackson fans have also gathered for a candlelight vigil, gospel choir performance and silent prayer service.
Michael Jackson Tribute: Philippines
Prisoners are staging another version of Thriller for invited members of the public. Last year, the prisoners became overnight internet sensations after they were filmed dancing to Thriller. You can view their tribute video to Michael here.