Entertainment behind the scenes
So far, the answers have proven surprisingly elusive.
Though Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, has had time to turn up at the BET awards and plug his new record label, the family hasn’t uttered a word about the possibility of a funeral or memorial service.
With solid information scarce, the rumors have been flying. For several days last week, media reports said that the family was planning to bury Michael at his once-beloved Neverland Valley Ranch — following an elaborate motorcade four hours up the coast of Los Angeles with the pop star’s body carried to its final resting place in glass-sided, horse-drawn carriage.
That news touched off a stampede to the central California estate by reporters and devoted fans — who were then told there was nothing happening after all. Meanwhile the mayor of Gary, Indiana, piped up to say that Jacko’s hometown was also planning some kind of memorial service.
Family members and friends gathered to mourn 1970s TV star Farrah Fawcett, who died last week after a long battle with cancer. You can read about the memorial service here.
Reporters were not allowed Los Angeles’ Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to witness Fawcett’s memorial, but we were outside to catch the casket being brought into the church, and we talked to a couple of fans outside. Click below to watch.
One of the many rumours that swirled around Michael Jackson in the final years of his life was that he had secretly converted to Islam and taken the name Mikaeel. The "King of Pop" does not seem to have spoken about this publicly himself, and that scene in Bahrain when he went shopping badly disguised in an Arab woman's abaya could be put down to his well-known penchant for dressing up. So unless there is some statement in his will or documentary evidence in his estate, his funeral expected this week may be the last time to test whether this rumour has any basis in fact. (Photo: Veiled Jackson greets security guard as he enters shopping mall in Manama, Bahrain with veiled child, 25 Jan 2006/Hamad Mohammed)
The Jacksons are Jehovah's Witnesses and could be expected to bury Michael in the tradition of that faith. When he announced the death, his brother Jermaine -- a Muslim -- ended with the words: “May Allah be with you, Michael, always.” Jermaine said in 2007 he was trying to convince Michael to convert.