Locals celebrate Jackson's life

The event, which coincides with a public memorial for Jackson at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, was to include testimonials from local Jackson fans and musical tributes from area groups.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Several hundred people turned out to honor the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson on Tuesday at the downtown Raleigh Convention Center.

Event organizers had 5,000 seats available, but saw a significantly smaller amount of $5 tickets sold.

The 400 people in attendance expected to see an event honoring the Jackson, but a few were disappointed when not all of the local artists focused on Jackson.

"They need a place to be creative, but right now let's stay on point. Out hearts are bleeding. We miss, Michael," fan JoAnne Norvell said.

The event was held to coincide with a public memorial for Jackson at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

"I grew up with him," fan Thersa Weems said.

At the beginning of the program, local clergy offered prayers for Jackson and the Martin Luther King All-Children's Choir performed. Local singer Tamika Sheids sang a medley of Jackson's hits.

But as the event progressed, some local artists played their own music. Some dismayed fans soon left early.

"It's OK that they're showing off their own music...but everyone came to see Michael Jackson. It started off great, but at the end it was more about other groups," said fan Ellen Fosse, who grew up in Norway listening to Jackson's music. She now lives in Raleigh.

An electronic simulcast of Jackson's public memorial service from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., was aired on large screens.


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