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Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:59 UK
New York fans remember Jackson

By Sima Kotecha
Newsbeat US reporter

Harlem. A special place for Michael Jackson. It's where he performed several times - as a child and adult. Many say it's where he really felt at home.

Michael Jackson fan
A Michael Jackson fan pays tribute in New York

Fans arrived in the early hours of the morning outside the Apollo Theater, where the singer won an amateur music competition at the age of just nine.

They laid flowers at the entrance and stared at the tall screens which showed images of the star doing his famous signature poses.

To the left of the doors, people lined up to sign the white wall which has been there ever since Michael died last month.

Jonathan, from Brooklyn, organised the day's events. He said: "For approximately 10 days now, 357,000 names have been signed with thoughts and memos."

Celebratory mood

Jacko T-shirts, badges, and posters were on sale. And the king of pop's music was blaring out of the stereos on the pavement.

The mood was one of celebration as crowds remembered the most famous entertainer in the world.

He's amazing, Michael. I miss him. I feel that I've lost my friend. I love Michael
Mimosa Leach

Jiesa Turner is 25 and told Newsbeat: "He's gone but he still lives on. We need to smile and think of his music and his talent. That's what he would like."

Just a hundred metres or so from the Apollo, about a thousand fans watched the live feed of the memorial from LA.

A three metre screen was put up outside a government building. People held up MJ flags and posters. They sang his biggest hits while swaying their hands in the air.

Stars on stage

Strangers hugged and kissed and shared their feelings about the man they were there to celebrate. The energy was tremendous. The emotion was intense.

Mimosa Leach is 35. She held her head in her hands and sobbed: "He's amazing, Michael. I miss him. I feel that I've lost my friend. I love Michael."

As stars came on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the crowd in New York screamed with excitement.

Michael Jackson fans in New York
Fans leave their messages on a special wall of tributes

The pregnant Jennifer Hudson got a huge cheer and even though most didn't know who Shaheen Jafargholi was, they sang along to his version of Who's Loving You.

But it was Brooke Shields' words that struck a chord with many of the fans.

Ray was wearing an MJ trademark white glove. He told Newsbeat, "She [Brooke Shields] and Michael were together. She knows best.

"He was human and I get it, I get what she's saying. He was a funny guy. He liked to laugh like she said."

The climax of the event was when Michael's daughter, Paris, told the world she loved and missed her daddy.

Most were shocked to see the girl who's been shielded from the media ever since she was born.

It was a day in Hollywood that will go down in history. New Yorkers will remember the cheers and tears that echoed through Harlem one afternoon in July.

Michael Jackson is dead but his legacy is likely to go on for years to come.



SEE ALSO
Tributes paid at Jackson memorial
Wednesday, 8 July 2009, 10:17 GMT |  Entertainment
Jackson fans say their goodbyes
Tuesday, 7 July 2009, 19:59 GMT |  Entertainment

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