But the most heart-wrenching moment came when Michael Jackson's daughter Paris stepped up to the microphone to deliver a tearful goodbye to her father.
"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," the 11-year-old told the thousands of people gathered at Los Angeles' Staples Center to mourn the passing of her father. "I just want to say I love him so much." The emotion overcame her and she left the microphone to sob into her aunt Janet's arms.
This was the first public statement made by any of Jackson's children, which was by design. Jackson was always concerned that his public life would endanger his children, so they were often seen in public wearing masks in order to conceal their identities.
Paris Michael Katherine Jackson is Michael's only daughter and the second of two children born to him and ex-wife Debbie Rowe. In an interview with Martin Bashir, Jackson famously told the story about how when Paris was born, he immediately took her from the hospital after her birth. Paris — along with her brothers Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (also known as "Blanket") — will be at the center of the Jackson story in the coming weeks, as the struggle over their custody may be taken to court: Jackson's will names his mother as the custodian of the children, though Rowe has said she may claim that the kids rightfully belong with her.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
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