Michael Jackson’s private internment may be as early as today (Monday), sources tell me.
And — flash—Lionel Richie is definitely on the program for Tuesday’s memorial service. Jackson songs like “We Are the World” (which Richie co-wrote) and “Heal the World” would make sense on the program. So would “Gone Too Soon,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “You Are Not Alone.”
Stevie, Smokey and Diana should be on the bill or in attendance as well. I hope that Gladys Knight is not forgotten. Motown’s premier songstress discovered the Jackson 5 with Motown’s Bobby Taylor in Gary, Indiana in 1968. Gladys and the Pips were at the top of the charts and their game with “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”
But back to the issue at hand: Instead of waiting until tomorrow (Tuesday) before the big memorial service at the Staples Center, the Jackson family may have decided to an end run around the press and Michael’s fans.
If so, there will be heightened security at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood. The early ceremony makes sense. It gives the Jacksons a chance to grieve before dealing with the public on Tuesday.
This much sources tell me about Michael’s preparations: his long time and steadfast friend, Karen Faye, has been overseeing how Jackson will look in his casket. Jackson’s veteran costumers, Michael Bush and Dennis Thompkins, have handmade his final suit.
The rest of it: I’ve no doubt “insiders” are already planning to take pictures of Jackson in his coffin, and sell them to the highest bidders. It boggles the mind that there are people so low, crass and despicable. But “Entertainment Tonight” already served up a picture of Jackson on the ambulance gurney, and OK! Magazine published pictures of Jackson after he died. I’m not sure how the people who run those organizations sleep at night.