Thousands gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to take part in the Michael Jackson memorial where the service started with a message from former South African president Nelson Mandela who said the King of Pop was "able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life". Smokey Robinson read out Mandela's condolences who said Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry.
Jackson's millions of fans around the world are following the public memorial which began shortly after a private service for the Jackson family and friends in a cemetery hall in the Hollywood Hills.
According to reports, Jackson's flower-draped 14-carat gold casket was brought to Staples Center in a motorcade under police escort.
Mariah Carey did a rendition of the Jackson 5 ballad "I'll Be There" to mark the opening performance of tributes to Michael.