Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 07:27 UK

LA fans commemorate 'hero' Jackson

By Peter Bowes
BBC News, Los Angeles

Michael Jackson fans on the Walk of Fame

Tourists, fans and some bemused onlookers gathered outside Hollywood's famous Chinese Theatre to pay their respects to Michael Jackson.

The singer's 'star' on the Walk of Fame, along Hollywood Boulevard, was transformed into a makeshift shrine to the late pop icon.

On the night Jackson died, his fans were unable to get there, as the street had been closed for the Los Angeles premiere of Sacha Baron Cohen's new film, Bruno.

Shrine

When it reopened, hordes of mourners filed past the star.

He is always going to live on in my heart
Sean McDonald
Rapper from New York

Cordoned off by crash barriers, the area was festooned with toys, teddy bears, flowers and candles. A handwritten note read: "Michael, thank you for the great memories. You will be missed."

"I've seen a lot of people walking up and down crying," said David Anthony, a T-shirt seller.

His hastily-printed commemorative T-shirts carried the slogan: "The King of Pop, Rest in Peace, August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009. There'll never be another."

"He's a big part of our culture from the oldest of old to the youngest of young - everyone knows who Michael Jackson is," added Mr Anthony.

Police officers, some on horseback, maintained a low-key presence by the roadside.

Joan Bryant, a Jackson fan from California, held up a copy of Los Angeles Times. Its banner headline read: "King of Pop is dead at 50."

"I think Michael Jackson touched the hearts of so many people throughout the whole world," said Ms Bryant.

"I'm very saddened, I'm shocked because we've all grown up with Michael Jackson…we've gone through every day like a thread in our lives, through his career."

Fan frenzy

Sean McDonald, a rapper from New York, said: "Michael was a trend-setter, constantly reinventing himself musically. He's always going to live on in my heart."

A Michael Jackson impersonator dances at a bar in Beijing, China
Fans as far away as China gathered in bars and clubs to dance to his music

"Everybody has been touched one way or another by the music of Michael Jackson. I feel bad, we've just left the most famous pop star in the world."

"A hero has fallen," added another fan as she waited patiently in the queue with her young daughter. "[It] really breaks my heart."

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, record stores have reported that fans have rushed to buy Jackson CDs, records and memorabilia.

Clubs, bars and radio stations have been playing the singer's music.

At the new Grammy museum in central Los Angeles, an exhibit of Jackson's wardrobe, which had been due to close, has been extended in the wake of his death.

Over the weekend, Hollywood tour buses are planning to include the singer's home in sightseeing trips for LA visitors.

A spokesman for one company said business had jumped after news of the death.

In other parts of the city, there is some indifference to the circus-like frenzy that is playing out in Hollywood.

Michael Jackson is a polarising figure in death as he was in life.



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