Getty photo

Getty photo

Jackson Rehearsed At Staples Night Before Death

Michael Jackson’s last night was a great one–don’t let the tabloid magazines or British newspapers tell you otherwise.

Michael’s manager, Frank DiLeo, sobbing, told me this morning: “The show at the Staples Center was amazing. Michael rehearsed 10 or 11 songs. He sang and danced, not always at full power, but the way you do for a run-through. When the show was over, he called me, but I was in the back getting something. He found me, and said, ‘Frank, I am so happy. He said he was just so happy. He said, This is really our time. He put his arm around me.”

For DiLeo, the memory of that moment will always be reassuring. But the insanity of Jackson’s death, the timing of it, is what is craziest for him. Jackson and DiLeo had not worked together officially for 20 years. In the last couple of weeks, though, DiLeo had re-upped officially as manager. Jackson was very excited about working with him. They had a lot of plans.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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