JACKSON MEMORIAL NOON

POSTED: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 - 11:26am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm

Jackson memorial set to begin in Los Angeles...

A public ceremony and private funeral are being held to honor Michael Jackson.

It may be the biggest memorial service for a pop star ever.

Crowds have been gathering for hours for a chance to say goodbye.

Barricades and police kept fans away from the private memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills earlier in the morning.

Afterwards Michael Jackson's family and friends, along with 18,000 ticket holders made their way to the Staples Center for another ceremony, this one anything but private.

The list of fellow Jackson performers slated to help honor the King of Pop includes Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Ritchie and John Mayer.

It will be a musical extravaganza and a tribute to Jackson, who was less than a month away from setting out on a comeback tour before his death.

The mother of Jackson's two oldest children, Debbie Rowe, said she was skipping the event because she didn't want to distract from the service after a verbal altercation Sunday between Rowe and a group of photographers was caught on tape.

Some estimates for the cost of the extraordinary event to the city of Los Angeles are close to four million dollars.

At least one city councilman is now calling on AEG, owner of the Staples Center to help cover the costs.

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