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Jackson's memorial to be 'extraordinary': spokesman

music Updated: Jul 07, 2009 20:03 IST
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A poignant farewell memorial to Michael Jackson will be an extraordinary event with some surprises, a spokesman promised on Tuesday, as he spoke of the family's grief at their loss.

Spokesman Ken Sunshine revealed on ABC that singer and actress Queen Latifah was joining the line-up of stars paying tribute to the pop icon at the Staples Center memorial later in the day.

And he vowed: "One or two surprises, I guess, that may or may not happen. It is going to be an extraordinary event, one that people will remember their whole lives."

Jackson's family wanted to thank the singer's fans around the world for their devotion and their tributes since his sudden death apparently from cardiac arrest on June 25.

But Sunshine asked people to remember: "This is a family that lost a son and a brother."

Jackson's family and close friends were to attend a private funeral service for the singer at 8:00 am (1500 GMT) at the picturesque Forest Lawn mortuary nestled in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles.

Then later a lavish public memorial is to be held at the Staples Center sports arena, with some 8,750 pairs of free tickets having been handed out in an online lottery.

Precise details of the service have been kept under wraps, but organizers confirmed Monday that Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson were among the stars due to participate.