A television channel reported that officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration were at Dr Conrad Murray’s clinic in north Houston.
Video footage showed two Houston police officers guarding the front door.
Murray was Michael Jackson’s personal physician, and was with Jackson when he died.
Murray, who is based in Las Vegas and is licensed in California, Nevada and Texas, has been interviewed by police but he has not been considered a suspect in the singer’s death.
Meanwhile, investigators in California are also seeking more information from Murray, according to his attorney, Edward Chernoff.
The attorney posted a statement on his law firm’s website late on Tuesday saying investigators from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office have asked for medical records in addition to those already provided by Murray.
“The coroner wants to clear up the cause of death; we share that goal”, Chernoff said in his statement.
“Based on Dr Murray’s minute-by-minute and item-by-item description of Michael Jackson’s last days, he should not be a target of criminal charges.”
Murray has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Jackson’s death.
The doctor, who had been recently hired by Jackson, was with him in his mansion and tried to revive him.
Paris Katherine Jackson, 11, said goodbye to her father at the close of the memorial service.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Katherine addressed mourners at the Staples Center on Tuesday, tearfully telling them her father was “the best father you could ever imagine.”
“Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” the 11-year-old said. “And I just wanted to say I love him so much.”
Jackson’s children, who often have been hidden by veils or blankets when seen with their father, were sitting in the front row at the Staples Center as their father’s life and music were remembered.
Paris’ eloquent words led some to wonder whether her tribute was planned.
“No, no not at all,” said Kenny Ortega, who directed and coordinated the service, speaking to CNN’s Campbell Brown.
“None of us were aware they were even coming,” he told CNN’s Campbell Brown. “It was a surprise they were there. All of us who know them were delighted they were strong enough to come and feel this love and great outpouring for their dad.”
“We didn’t know who was going to speak,” Ortega said. “There was an openness we offered” the family to thank the audience.
Jackson’s remains were nearby in a closed, rose-draped, bronze casket. His brothers, who served as pallbearers, wore single white sequined gloves, a tribute to their brother’s signature look of the 1980s.
“Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you,” brother Marlon Jackson said. “And a part of you will live forever within me, but also a part of you will live forever within all of us.”
Marlon Jackson said the world could not understand what his brother endured “being judged and ridiculed.”
“How much pain can one man take,” Marlon Jackson asked. “Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.”
Before the final words Jackson’s band members, family, children and celebrities filled the stage to sing Jackson’s “Heal the World.”
The song followed a performance of “We are the World,” the 1985 hit written by Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise money for African famine relief. Watch a star-studded performance of ‘We are the World’ »
“The more I think and talk about Michael Jackson, I feel the King of Pop is not big enough for him,” said Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records. “I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
Several of Jackson’s older brothers carried his casket — bronze with 14-karat gold-plate handles, according to the manufacturer — to the front of the stage, which resembled a church sanctuary with a stained-glass backdrop. The Andrae Crouch Choir sang the hymn “Soon and Very Soon.”
Mariah Carey was joined by Trey Lorenz singing The Jackson 5’s 1970 hit “I’ll Be there” as a montage of Jackson photographs appeared on arena screens.
Queen Latifah, saying she was on stage to represent “millions of fans inspired by Michael,” said “Michael was the biggest star on earth.” Lionel Richie then performed the song “Jesus is Love.”
Stevie Wonder took the stage next.
“This is a moment that I wished that I didn’t live to see come, but as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good,” Wonder said. “And I do know that as much as we may feel, and do, that we need Michael with us, God must have needed him more.”
Wonder then delivered an emotional version of his 1971 song “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.”
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who spoke along with former Lakers legend Magic Johnson, said Michael Jackson set a world record for the “most charities supported by a pop star.”
Johnson said he met Jackson when the singer was a Lakers’ season ticket holder.
“I truly believe that Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever,” Johnson said.
Singer Jennifer Hudson sang Jackson’s song “Will You Be There.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton also addressed the crowd and spoke of Jackson’s contribution to the music world.
“When Michael started, it was a different world, but because Michael kept going, because he didn’t accept limitations, because he refused to let people decide his boundaries, he opened up the whole world in the music world,” Sharpton said. “He put on one glove, pulled his pants up and broke down the color curtain.”
Sharpton then addressed Jackson’s children.
“There wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy,” he said. “It was strange what your daddy had to deal with, but he dealt with it.”
John Mayer played lead guitar on the song “Human Nature,” from Jackson’s “Thriller” album.
An emotional Brooke Shields, who was 13 when she became close friends with Jackson, said they bonded “because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, very young age.”
“What we did do was laugh,” she recounted. “It was always a competition to see who could make the other one laugh more or be sillier.”
The service turned to tears, though, as Jackson’s brother Jermaine sang “Smile,” a favorite song of Michael’s.
Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s children, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, also spoke about the King of Pop.
Usher later sang “Gone Too Soon,” as he walked toward Jackson’s casket.
Smokey Robinson joked about his reaction when 10-year-old Michael recorded a song Robinson had written.
“I quickly went over to him, because I wanted to see his birth certificate,” Robinson said. “I didn’t believe that someone that young could have a lot of know. You have to have a lot of know to sing that song.”
Earlier in the memorial Robinson read personal messages from several of Jackson’s celebrity friends who did not attend.
“Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my life, part of the fabric of my life, in a way that I can’t seem to find words to express” Diana Ross said in a message read by Robinson.
Robinson also read a message from former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, saying they had grown close after trips and performances in South Africa.
“We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life,” Robinson said, relaying the message.
The public memorial followed an earlier gathering by Jackson’s family and closest friends at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
THE WASHINGTON POST
By Lisa De Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Michael Jackson’s casket will be front and center during his star-studded memorial service today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the entertainment Web site TMZ reported this morning.
The news sparked a frenzy of excitement among the anchors of the morning infotainment shows, all of which were broadcasting from outside the Staples Center in the pre-dawn darkness in order to capture the magnitude of the event.
The possible physical presence of the remains of the King of Pop — who died suddenly and suspiciously last week at age 50 — raises the specter that “crowd control could become an even bigger issue,” said “Today” host Meredith Vieira.
There was no way to independently confirm whether, in fact, The Casket will be onstage with the performers as the Land of La-La says ta-ta to Jackson, one of the best-known and most controversial entertainers ever. But TMZ, you’ll recall, has been leaving the traditional media mostly in the dust since it was the first to report Jackson had collapsed at his rented Holmby Hills mansion on June 25.
Family spokesperson Ken Sunshine, interviewed by Viera, refused to confirm or deny the casket reports — as did Al Sharpton, interviewed a short time later. But Sunshine did want Meredith to know that the Jackson family “has shown extraordinary dignity in a very emotional time” and that “Michael Jackson is the biggest figure emitting love ever.”
“Has anybody been to a wedding or family event when a Michael Jackson or Jackson Five song came on it wasn’t the highlight of the event?” Sunshine asked rhetorically.
Activity was spotted late Monday at the Forest Lawn Cemetery involving the Jackson family, the Associated Press reported. Jackson’s family was expected to hold a private funeral there. Los Angeles TV station KCAL-TV showed helicopter footage of a hearse backing up to the Hall of Liberty — a circular building at the cemetery that contains a 1,200 seat auditorium — to deliver a casket, the AP added. And, a few hours later, the casket was reloaded into the hearse and delivered to another nearby building, this time covered in a blue cloth.
Fox News Channel showed aerial shots of a hearse at Forest Lawn where, the channel reported, a private family ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. local time. After that, Fox said, the family would “make the 13-mile journey” to Staples Center.
To help viewers understand how rich the soil is at Forest Lawn, the channel broadcast images of the faux headstones in which the names of other celebrities buried there had been “engraved” — names like Bette Davis, Buster Keaton, Liberace and Andy Gibb.
“You would think that the family wants to end this with a bang,” “Today” show correspondent Michael Owku, stationed at Forest Lawn, told Meredith Vieira. “They want to have a great big surprise for all the fans and all the friends that will be gathering there at Staples Center, and what bigger surprise than to suddenly have the casket of Michael Jackson up on stage for the last time?”
There is also no way to really fathom how many of the devoutly adoring and the simply curious will watch the service, which will be broadcast around the globe. But that didn’t stop the industry of celebrity navel gazers from forecasting the audience at an estimated 1 billion — more than one out of every seven people on earth.
Mariah Carey, Usher, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, and Jennifer Hudson are among those confirmed to participate in the service, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. in Washington). Sean “P Puff Diddy Daddy” Combs and Brooke Shields also said they would attend.
But Jackson’s BFF Elizabeth Taylor announced to the world she’s staying away today, because her grief is not a public event.
At least 16 domestic TV networks plan to cover the Jackson memorial live. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox News Channel, CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, TV One, MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic, TV Guide Channel, E!, Univision and Telemundo blew out their schedules in hopes that live coverage of the biggest celebrity ever would bring boffo ratings. (When the verdict was read on the Jackson child-abuse trial back in June of 2005, about 31 million tuned in domestically — nearly matching the 33 million who watched Princess’s Di’s funeral in this country in September of ’97.)
Los Angeles police are steeled for a mob scene even after warning that fans would not be able to get within blocks of the arena, where oversize murals and enormous screens have been set up outside as part of the mega-tribute. Authorities were urging people to stay away from the venue and watch the memorial on TV.
CNN’s Kara Finnstrom, deployed to check out the John Does who’d spend the night on the streets in order to be near the memorial, reported that 300 police officers were on the scene by 5 a.m. Pacific time. LAPD told her that number would increase to around 3,000 by the time the memorial kicked off five hours later — the biggest police presence downtown since Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics.
Vendors arrived early to stake out the best spots to sell hot dogs, bottled water and all manner of Jackson memorabilia.
Nearly 2 million people had registered in hopes of snagging some of the precious 20,000 seats at the Staples Center, of whom under 9,000 were picked to get two tickets each. About 9,000 seats in the arena have been set aside for Jackson family and friends.
Television’s morning news shows — in addition to “Today,” there was ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’s “The Early Show” and CNN’s “American Morning” — anchored their entire broadcasts from outside the Staples Center, even though it was still the middle of the night — and quite dark — on the West coast.
And about 50 movie theaters nationwide, owned by Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp, planned to carry the memorial live and offer free admission.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s Facebook page was clocking up to around 20 new fans per second, and was hovering around the 7 million mark — making it the most popular page on the social media outlet.
THE TELEGRAPH UK
An unreleased song by Michael Jackson in which he plays the piano could rank as his greatest ever work, according to his former record producer.
Bruce Swedien revealed the singer had completed a powerful track entitled Don’t Be Messin’ Around.
Featuring what was described as a mesmerising solo performance, it is expected to be available to millions of fans once the terms of Jackson’s estate are settled.
Mr Swedien said of the ballad: “Michael plays piano on it, and it’s just beautiful.” He added: “Oh my God, there’s nothing like it.” The possibility of new Jackson music has been one of the most hotly-debated topics since his death.
It has been reported that hundreds of tracks could be available to fans, including lyrics Jackson wrote during the build-up to his planned European tour.
But there has been no substantiation to the rumours until now.
Swedian added: “There might be one or two songs that didn’t make it from each album. But they’re not finished. There aren’t vocals for everything.”
The producer, who worked alongside Jackson and Quincy Jones on such successful solo albums as Bad, Thriller, Off the Wall and Dangerous, is publishing a book based on his experiences with the singer.
In the Studio with Michael Jackson, published in the US on July 27, is expected to be a bestseller and is the first on the shelves since his death.
It will take an overwhelmingly positive tone towards Jackson, despite the fact he died owing the author half a million dollars.
Swedian told US journalist Roger Friedman: “I don’t say anything bad about Michael in my book; it’s nothing but good stuff.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles city officials are planning a massive security operation for Michael Jackson’s public memorial service next week, and on Friday urged fans who do not win a ticket in a random drawing to stay away from the basketball arena where the singer will be memorialized.
Organizers have set aside a total of 17,500 tickets through an Internet-based lottery for the televised service at the Staples Center, and for a closed-circuit screening at the nearby Nokia Theater.
Within minutes of the system being announced at a news conference, the computer system crashed. Officials warned additional disruptions were likely as fans from around the world applied for tickets.
“You might want to consider watching this from the comfort of your own home,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is doubling as the city’s acting mayor.
A wide area around the venues in downtown Los Angeles will be blocked off for the 10 a.m. (1 p.m. EDT) event. Both local and state law-enforcement agencies have been marshaled for duty.
A local news-radio station reported that more than 1,400 officers from the Los Angeles Police Department alone have been asked to volunteer for duty on Monday and Tuesday. The LAPD, which has about 9,000 officers in total, declined to comment on the report or to reveal a staffing number.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson appeared healthy in a video clip — obtained by CNN — of his rehearsal two nights before he died.
AEG, promoter of Jackson’s planned London shows, released the short video of Jackson rehearsing on a stage in the Staples Center arena on June 23, 2009.
Jackson sang “They Don’t Care About Us” — a song from Jackson’s “HIStory” album — as he danced along with eight male dancers.
The Staples Center will also be the site of Jackson’s memorial service, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the 20,000-seat Los Angeles coliseum, according to a person briefed by a family representative.
No other details have been revealed about the service.
The memorial is set to begin at 10 a.m. PT Tuesday
Jackson did not specify where he wished to be buried in a 2002 will, which was filed in court Wednesday.
More information emerged Thursday about how Jackson’s estate will be shared, which his will estimated in 2002 as being worth $500 million.
The family trust created by Jackson to receive all of his assets includes his mother, his children and a list of charities, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contents of the trust.
Mother Katherine Jackson’s 40 percent share would go to Michael Jackson‘s three children after her death, the source said.
The children — ages 7, 11 and 12 — also will share 40 percent of the estate’s assets, and the remaining 20 percent will benefit charities designated by the executors of the will, the source said.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will consider who will control the estate and who has guardianship of the children at a hearing Monday.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff decided Wednesday to wait until next week to rule on when the will’s executors should take over control of the late entertainer’s assets, which he temporarily placed under Katherine Jackson’s control.
Monday’s hearing also could give an indication if Debbie Rowe, the singer’s ex-wife who was left out of the will, is considering a challenge for custody of the two oldest Jackson children born to her. Beckloff ordered that Rowe be notified that she could appear.
The will nominated Jackson’s mother, now 79, as the guardian of his children.
If she were to die, “I nominate Diana Ross as guardian,” Jackson said in the will, written on July 7, 2002.
Singer Ross, 65, was a lifelong friend of Jackson’s.
The two men whom the will named as executors include John Branca, who represented Jackson from 1980 until 2006 and was hired again before the singer’s death. He helped acquire Jackson’s music catalog, which is worth millions.
The other is music industry executive John McClain, a longtime Jackson friend who has worked with him and his sister Janet.
DEA reportedly joins investigation
The Drug Enforcement Administration has joined the investigation into Jackson’s death, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday night.
Two law enforcement officials separately confirmed the DEA probe, saying agents would look at doctors involved with Jackson, their practices and their possible sources of medicine supply.
Neither official wanted to be identified because they could not comment publicly on the matter.
Officially, a DEA spokeswoman referred questions to the Los Angeles Police Department, which would not confirm the involvement.
“We routinely offer assistance to any agency regarding the Federal Controlled Substance Act,” said Sarah Pullen of the DEA. “However, at this time, we have nothing further to comment about the death of Michael Jackson.”
Speculation about the role of drugs has been swirling since Jackson died June 25 at his rented estate in Holmby Hills. The cause of his death, at age 50, was pending toxicology results.
On Wednesday, police released a car belonging to Jackson’s cardiologist, Dr. Conrad Murray. They had impounded the vehicle Friday, saying it might contain evidence — possibly prescription medications.
Police did not say whether they found anything.
Murray’s attorneys issued a statement, asking the public to reserve judgment about the cause of death until the coroner’s tests are complete.
“Based on our agreement with Los Angeles investigators, we are waiting on real information to come from viable sources like the Los Angeles medical examiner’s office about the death of Michael Jackson,” the statement said. “We will not be responding to rumors and innuendo.”
No public showing planned for Neverland
Logistical and financial challenges derailed earlier plans for a public viewing and private memorial atNeverland Ranch.
Planning had been under way for a motorcade to carry Jackson’s body from Los Angeles to the Santa Barbara County ranch, which state and local officials suggested would be difficult and costly.
Law enforcement sources had said a public viewing at the ranch was under consideration for Friday, but a spokesman for the family said that it would not happen.
“Plans are under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly,” said Ken Sunshine, whose public relations firm had been hired by the Jackson family
Despite the announcement, more than two dozen TV satellite trucks lined the narrow two-lane road leading to the ranch.
For a time, the California Highway Patrol closed the road to clear up a small bottleneck of cars created by Jackson fans and the media.