Stars, family honor Michael Jackson at funeral

Fri Sep 4, 2009 11:56am EDT
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GLENDALE, California (Reuters) - Michael Jackson was buried on Thursday, more than two months after he died of a drug overdose, marking the last stop for a superstar who spent most of his 50 years in the public gaze.

The singer, whose enormous success with such albums as "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" was overshadowed in later years by his extravagant lifestyle and child molestation allegations, died on June 25 with a mix of prescription medications in his body.

The Los Angeles coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide. Police are investigating several doctors and have said they will seek criminal charges, but so far none has been filed.

Security was very tight at the private evening funeral at the historic Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California, near Los Angeles.

Fans and reporters were kept away from the 200 guests, including actress Elizabeth Taylor, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, musician Quincy Jones and Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley.

The Jackson family entourage was the last to arrive, showing up more than an hour later than scheduled in a convoy of 30 limousines, some members waving to a cheering crowd of more than 400 people.

A few minutes later, a hearse drove through the cemetery accompanied by four police officers on motorcycles.

The outdoor ceremony lasted for about an hour before the pop star was interred in a crypt in the vast mock-Renaissance Grand Mausoleum, a family spokesman said.

The pallbearers were Jackson's five brothers -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy -- who performed similar honors at a public memorial service in July.   Continued...

<p>In this handout photo provided by Harrison Funk/The Jackson Family, Michael Jackson's casket rests during the funeral service held at Glendale Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California September 3, 2009. REUTERS/Harrison Funk/The Jackson Family/Handout</p>