Entertainment behind the scenes
As it gears up for a major re-issue of Michael Jackson’s autobiography “Moonwalk,” Harmony Books on Thursday said Motown founder Berry Gordy would write an introduction with his recollections of the singer he helped launch into pop superstardom.
Gordy, who also ushered the likes of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye into prominence and signed the Jackson 5 to a recording contract in 1968, will share his thoughts on why Michael rose to fame so quickly and his first impressions of the group’s audition, Harmony revealed.
The 79-year-old Gordy said at Jackson’s public memorial in July (pictured at right) that calling Jackson the King of Pop was simply “not good enough.” Instead, Gordy called him “the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
The book, which was initially edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis along with current Harmony vice president and publisher Shaye Areheart, will go on sale Oct. 13 at a price of $25. Areheart will provide an afterword, but in between her and Gordy the story will be all Jackson’s just as originally published in 1988.
As Michael Jackson’s coffin was wheeled in to the Staples Center about 10:30 a.m. by his brothers wearing matching suits and sequined gloves, the Andrae Crouch Choir set the scene with the gospel tune “Soon and Very Soon.”After introductory remarks by family friend, the Rev. Lucious Smith, who said, “He is never really gone at all,” Mariah Carey took the stage to sing the Jackson 5 hit “I’ll Be There” with help from Trey Lorenz.10:50 a.m.: Lionel Richie performs the Commodores tune “Jesus is Love.”10:54 a.m.: Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. delivers a light-hearted nostalgic speech, saying Jackson was “like a son to me.” He says Jackson made some “questionable decisions” but “accomplished everything he dreamed of.”11:03 a.m.: A video montage11:07 a.m.: Stevie Wonder is escorted to the piano. “This is a moment that I wished that I didn’t live to see come … but God must have needed him much more.” He performs “I Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” and “They Won’t Go When I Go.”11:15 a.m. Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson speak. The latter notably omits Jackson’s father, Joe, in referring to the wonderful family that will embrace Jackson’s three children.11:21: Jennifer Hudson performs “Will You Be There” with audio footage from Jackson.11:25: The Rev. Al Sharpton credits Jackson for eradicating racial barriers, drawing attention to world hunger and for the election of President Barack Obama. “Wasn’t nothing strange about your daddy,” he said in remarks directed to his children. “It was strange what your daddy had to deal with … but he dealt with it anyway.”11:33 a.m.: Guitarist John Mayer, the only white performer to date and who also shares a publicist with the Jackson family, performs an instrumental version of “Human Nature.”11:39 a.m.: A tearful Brooke Shields says “we were two little kids having fun,” as she recounts their youthful pranks. “He was often referred to as the king, but the Michael that I knew always reminded me more of ‘The Little Prince,’” and she quoted a passage from the Antoine De Saint-Exupery children’s classic.11:48 a.m.: Jermaine Jackson sings what Shields says was his brother’s favorite song, “Smile,” from the Charlie Chaplin film “Modern Times.”11:52 a.m.: Martin Luther King III and Bernice King, children of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., take the stage. Bernice says that even while Jackson was being dogged by “persecutions and accusations” he took the time to call their ailing mother, Coretta, in October 2005. “My only wish is that he could have seen the glow on her face.”11:59 a.m.: Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee recounts the biblical story of the Good Samaritan. “I call Michael Jackson the Good Samaritan. I call him Michael Jackson who cared and loved for the world.”12:07 p.m.: Usher performs Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon,” stares at the coffin, breaks down and removes his ever-present sunglasses. He is quickly hugged by the Jackson family.12:12 p.m.: Video footage of the Jackson 5 singing “Who’s Loving You.”12:13 p.m. Smokey Robinson: “I wrote that song!” He looks at the coffin. “He’s my little brother over there.”12: 18 p.m.: Shaheen Jafargholi, a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent, sings “Who’s Loving You.”12:22 p.m.: Jackson choreographer Kenny Ortega explains Jafargholi’s presence: He would have performed with Jackson during the planned comeback shows in London.12:24 p.m.: Shades of Live Aid ’85 in Philadelphia. An all-star version of ”We are the World,” with the speakers, performers and the Jackson family taking to the stage. LaToya Jackson — her face is concealed under a massive LaBelle-style hat — clutches her brother’s children. One of them is chewing gum.12:29 p.m.: “Heal the World” follows. Gordy clenches his right fist. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is in a trance-like state.12:34 p.m.: Jermaine Jackson thanks everyone for coming out, says he is lost for words. Marlon Jackson recalls the days they used to watch The Three Stooges. “We will never understand what he endured … Being judged, ridiculed. How much pain can one take? Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone.”12:40 p.m.: In what may be the first time the public has heard her speak. Paris, 11, tearfully says: “Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine, and I just want to say I love him so much.” She immediately was embraced by Janet Jackson, sporting a black beret.12:42 p.m. The coffin is carried out.12:49 p.m.: The worldwide TV feed ends with a reminder that concert promoter AEG Live owns the copyright to the broadcast.