x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is laid to rest among stars

Following a ceremony attended by music and film celebrities, the pop superstar Michael Jackson was laid to rest in a California cemetery.

Following a ceremony attended by music and film celebrities, the pop superstar Michael Jackson was laid to rest yesterday alongside many Hollywood stars in a California cemetery. Two months after suffering a heart attack caused by a cocktail of prescription drugs, and following a coroner's verdict that his death was homicide, Jackson was interred in a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, near Los Angeles. Forest Lawn is also the final resting place of such Hollywood legends as Humphrey Bogart, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney and James Stewart.

The ceremony was delayed more than an hour as mourners waited for Jackson's family, who eventually arrived in a convoy of more than 30 vehicles, including six Rolls-Royces. The actress Elizabeth Taylor, the music producer Quincy Jones and Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley were among the 200 guests mourning Jackson, who would have celebrated his 51st birthday last week. A heavy police presence kept fans and media away from the outdoor funeral. A public memorial service was held in July at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The singer's children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, seven, also known as "Blanket", placed a crown on their father's coffin before the service. Reports said they left notes saying, "Daddy we love you, we miss you". Each of Jackson's brothers - Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy - dressed identically in dark suits, wore a single white glove in tribute to the star. His father, Joseph, spoke at the one-hour service.

The R&B performer Gladys Knight sang the gospel hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and the lyricist Clifton Davis performed Never Can Say Goodbye, a Jackson 5 hit that he wrote. Other guests included Kenny Ortega, the director of the High School Musical film series and choreographer of Jackson's planned comeback series of concerts. The former Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin also attended, as did Thomas Mesereau, the lawyer who defended Jackson in his 2005 child abuse trial.

After the ceremony, Jackson's brothers carried the singer's golden casket into Forest Lawn's Great Mausoleum, which also contains the remains of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. Several doctors are under investigation for possible involvement in Jackson's death, which has been blamed on a mixture of drugs including the anaesthetic Propofol and the sedative Lorazepam. dbardsley@thenational.ae