Global tribute marks year since Michael Jackson's death

Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:44pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson fans worldwide paid tribute to the late King of Pop on Friday, the first anniversary of his death, by remembering him in song and dance even as his father sued the doctor accused of sending the superstar to his grave.

In Tokyo, the "Thriller" singer's followers spent the night among his possessions at a Michael Jackson exhibition, at New York's famed Apollo theater they danced to his music, and along Hollywood's Walk of Fame, they laid flowers by his star.

Jackson's sister Janet and brother Jermaine were among family members visiting a mausoleum at the Forest Lawn cemetery near Los Angeles, where the singer's body was laid to rest, and his mother, matriarch Katherine, appeared at the unveiling of a monument outside the family's first home in Gary, Indiana.

"I'm sure my son would be very pleased and very honored," Katherine Jackson said This last year has been a very hard time for us," she said of her family.

About 500 people gathered outside the home where Jackson and his brothers -- members of the Jackson 5 singing group -- got their start in the 1960s on their way to hits like "ABC." The stone monument featured a picture of him dancing with the words "Never Can Say Goodbye" chiseled beneath it.

Fans laid cards and flowers along a fence outside the home and listened to speeches from politicians and celebrities, but Jackson's children -- Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket -- did not make an appearance despite being said to be in Gary with Katherine, who is their guardian.

In New York, people mimicked the legendary singer's moonwalk dance moves outside Harlem's Apollo Theater, where Jackson's trademark black hat and sequined glove were placed beside a plaque bearing his name.

"As a child. he had a dream. They made a star and then they ruined him at the end...I thought he was immortal," fan Caren Menardy told Reuters outside the Apollo.   Continued...

<p>A flash mob dances to a song of the late pop star Michael Jackson outside Madame Tussauds on the first anniversary of his death in Hollywood, California June 25, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>