MJ’s Memorial Service Takes us to Church

I don't know how many of you grew up in the Church. Not church. But Church. Like a Praise Tabernacle or New Zion AME type of Church. A Black Church with roots in a great Southern tradition of prayer, call and response, song and preaching. If you did not go or have not been, you were treated to some of that during today's memorial service for Michael Joseph Jackson. This is what we call a true Homegoing Ceremony. In the words of T.I. (he's a rapper, bougie folks), "What chu know about that?"

Moments that literally brought tears to my eyes…

  • Letters from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela read aloud by Smokey Robinson- who still looks 45
  • We are Going to see the King sung by Church Choir
  • Queen Latifah reading a stunningly brilliant poem "We Had Him" by Maya Angelou
  • Stevie Wonder singing I never thought you'd leave in Summer (They won't go when I go), I remain in awe of his talent
  • Jennifer Hudson singing the Free Willy song – She went straight to Church on this one, did not know she was pregnant
  • John Mayer with the Human Nature "cool jazz" remix
  • Jermaine singing Smile… I had forgotten he can really sing
  • Congresswoman Sheila Lee (from Texas ya'll!) went OLD SCHOOL Church on ya'll comparing Michael to the Good Samaritan
  • Usher singing Gone Too Soon
  • Paris Jackson breaking down did me in
Moments that threw me off a little bit…
  • Was that Trey Lorenz with Mariah Carey (who needed to warm up, her entire first verse was off)
  • Berry Gordy – I wasn't feeling him
  • Kobe and Magic – as a friend of mine would say, "that's a For Who For What moment right there" – why was he talking about chicken? So not bouge-worthy
  • Reverend Al dropping the mic like "Sexual Chocolate" from Coming to America – WTF?
  • Um… Brooke Shields, for real though? She started off boo-hooing and never really pulled herself together. I don't think I realized that they were that close. She looks good though.
A few final thoughts. Music is genius when you can hear it thirty years later and it is still as fresh as ever. "Who's Loving You?" still sounds soulful. I will hear "Thriller" in twenty years (God willing) and still feel the need to get up and try to dance my aging behind along with it. Almost bruised a hip last week trying to do the "Billie Jean" kick, show off the sparkle sock, hip twist move. But that's the beauty in Michael's music, you want to sing along and dance along whether you have the talent to do so or not.

I'm not going to comment on Michael's lifestyle or how or why he died. I prefer to celebrate the man, the music and the legacy of genius.

Did you see the memorial service? What did you think?