Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 10:47 UK

Pop legend Michael Jackson buried

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Michael Jackson died in June at his home - a death now classed as homicide

Friends and family of Michael Jackson have paid their last respects to the singer known as the King of Pop at a funeral ceremony outside Los Angeles.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, actor Macaulay Culkin and music producer Quincy Jones were among the 200 invited guests.

Gladys Knight sang at the service while civil rights campaigner the Reverend Al Sharpton was one of the speakers.

The ceremony was due to begin at 0200 GMT at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park but began more than an hour late.

Michael Jackson's coffin
The singer's gold-plated casket was adorned with flowers

The delay was caused by the late arrival of the singer's family, who eventually arrived in a motorcade of 31 vehicles.

Jackson's brothers - Randy, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon - acted as pallbearers as his gold-plated coffin was removed from a hearse.

All were dressed identically in black suits, with each wearing a solitary white glove - a fashion statement made famous by their legendary sibling.

The singer's children - Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II - sat in the front row next to his parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson.

Comedian Chris Tucker, producer Berry Gordy and Lisa Marie Presley, Jackson's ex-wife, also attended.

The service took place after dark in the open air outside Forest Lawn's Great Mausoleum.

His life was lived in the public eye, and now his death has been too

It came more than two months after Jackson died of a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs at the age of 50.

Last week Jackson's death was ruled to be a homicide by the Los Angeles coroner.

The verdict increases the chances of criminal charges being brought, although no-one has been named a suspect.

A statement from the Jackson family said the pop star's casket was interred at 2143 local time (0443 GMT).

"The Jackson family wishes to once again thank all of Michael's fans around the world for their generous outpouring of support during this terribly difficult time," the statement read.

Jackson's family and mourners attended a post-funeral reception at an Italian restaurant in nearby Pasadena.

Security was tight ahead of the ceremony, with fans and media kept away by a heavy security presence.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Police had cordoned off roads leading to the Forest Lawn site throughout the day.

A live TV feed was provided of the guests arriving, though the footage ceased once the service began.

Jackson, known for such hits as Bad, Thriller and Smooth Criminal, was originally due to be buried on 29 August on what would have been his 51st birthday.

However, the date was pushed back to allow more time for the planning of the ceremony.

Jackson joins a long list of famous stars who have also been buried in the Forest Lawn cemetery.

Screen stars Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable have all been laid to rest there.



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