Michael Jackson took centre stage for one last time as family members helped carry his gold coffin into the biggest celebrity send-off of all time.
Nelson Mandela and Diana Ross led the tributes to the King of Pop before Jackson's coffin was taken on stage at the Los Angeles Staple Centre.
Praising Jackson for triumphing over tragedy in his life, Mandela said in a message read out by Smokey Robinson: "Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry and we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide."
Many in the audience were visibly upset at the sight of the coffin. Fans were seen breaking down in tears as the body was brought in as the Andrae Crouch Choir sang on stage.
Mariah Carey appeared on stage to sing a duet version of the Jackson Five classic I'll Be There.
Before the packed Staples Centre joined in several minutes' silence for the star, singer Smokey Robinson read out messages from Miss Ross and Mr Mandela.
A message from Diana Ross said: "Michael wanted me to be there for his children and I will be there if they ever need me - I hope today brings closure for all those who loved him. I send my love and condolences to the Jackson family - Diana Ross."
Former South Africa president Mr Mandela added: "We also mourn with his friends and his family for the loss of our dear friend (who) we will miss and memories of him cherish for a very long time.
Britain's Got Talent Finalist Shaheen Jafargholi received a standing ovation for his tribute to the song "Who's Loving You? " , in fact Michael Jackson had Shaheen lined up to perform at the O2 in London after watching the twelve year old sing on the Video networking site, "You Tube".
Shaheen with his performance of "Who's Loving You? "
Paris Michael Katherine was joined on stage by her two brothers,Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) and Prince Michael Jackson I, their first public appearance to sing a final tribute song, Paris made a great impression on the night.
An estimated audience of more than one billion tuned
Tonight the mystery is where will Michael Jackson's body lay to rest, or indeed will he be cremated, some news teams were tonight racing to the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, because may be his body will be taken there, the media simply did not know.
into the biggest celebrity send-off ever, most websites crashed as the volume of people grew, and they tried to watch online,over two hundred viewers, on average, were on this blog, as we tried to relay the webcast, but the webcast froze one hour before the end of the service.
On the social networking site "Twitter", Usher said later , "That was the most emotional performance of my life... rest in peace Michael... you will always be in my heart".
Smile written by Charlie Chaplin was Mr Jackson's favourite song, and Michael's brother Jermaine, sang it in the service, towards the end broke down in tears. By the way have look at who uploaded this video, was it the same M Jackson ?, i wonder !