Los Angeles For all the hasty preparations, hand-wringing over security, breathless media competition to scoop details and soul-wrenching performances, the essence of Michael Jackson’s memorial service came down to 20 poignant, powerful seconds: the moment when 11-year-old Paris Michael Katherine Jackson inched up to the microphone and, in a statement no one saw coming, referred to the late pop superstar as “Daddy.”
It was a remarkably humanizing moment. Then again, it was remarkable just to see Jackson’s three children in public to begin with.
A fiercely protective father, Jackson rarely brought his brood out into public, covering their faces in veils and party masks to protect their identity when he did.
Now here they were, unveiled, before an audience of thousands at Staples Center and millions more around the globe. Starting out seated in the front row, the three youngest Jacksons eventually joined the rest family onstage as the two-hour service wound to a close.