Michael Jackson's family silent on burial plans

Wed Jul 8, 2009 6:40pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 31 million Americans watched Michael Jackson's public memorial on television, but mystery surrounded the whereabouts of his body on Wednesday and plans for his burial.

A day after Jackson's casket was taken to a Los Angeles basketball arena for an emotional memorial for fans, friends and his family, attention returned to how Jackson got his hands on powerful prescription drugs reportedly found in his rented mansion after his sudden death on June 25.

Sales of Jackson's albums soared for a second week, with his solo albums jumping another 90 percent to 800,000 copies in the United States, tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said.

Nielsen Media Research said 31.1 million Americans watched Tuesday's Los Angeles memorial live on television. The figure is lower than the TV audience of some other recent events.

Some 49.5 million Americans tuned in for U.S. President Barack Obama's first White House news conference in February, and 35 million watched former President Ronald Reagan's 2004 burial live on TV.

The Nielsen figures do not include viewing on the Internet or other platforms, which has grown rapidly in the last few years.

The Jackson family spokesman did not return calls for comment on burial plans for the "Thriller" singer, who died of cardiac arrest at age 50.


<p>Kelly Hornback (R) wipes away tears following a memorial service for Michael Jackson held in Los Angeles, July 7, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>