Eventually, Michael Jackson will join his idols Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jr. when he’s buried near them at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in L.A. But the late King of Pop has miles to go before his final resting place.
His family honored his memory with a wake at Forest Lawn last night, and gathered again this morning for a private funeral at 8:15 a.m. PT. However MJ won’t be buried just yet, reports Eonline.com, as his coffin will travel next to the Staples Center 11 miles away for the public memorial, which will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. PT.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling. An estimated billion people are going to watch this across the world,” Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine told CNN this morning. “I don’t think there’s ever been a world entertainer like Michael Jackson… it’s unparalleled.”
Michael will be among famous company when he’s laid to rest at Forest Lawn – Bette Davis, Gene Autry, Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow and, more recently, Ed McMahon and David Carradine are also buried there.
Meanwhile, as the massive crowds descend upon the Staples Center, the city of L.A. is asking for tax-deductible donations to help ease the cost of the public memorial, which is estimated at around $4 million.
“Donations are being accepted to help defray the costs of providing public safety, traffic control and related costs associated with the Michael Jackson Memorial at the Staples Center. Please submit your donations by check payable to: ‘City of Los Angeles,’ ” per the city’s Website.