LA braced for Michael Jackson's farewell

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The Independent Online

The stage is set for Michael Jackson's final act - as Los Angeles was braced for what could be the biggest, most spectacular celebrity send-off of all time.

Ecstatic fans - many of them Britons who won the lottery for seats at the memorial service - received their tickets and spangly wristbands which will get them into the 20,000-seat Staples Centre.

The Jackson family announced the participants will include Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Martin Luther King III.

A Los Angeles television station reported activity at Forest Lawn Cemetery early on Tuesday that appeared to involve Jackson's family.

KCAL-TV showed helicopter footage taken at sunset on Monday of a hearse backing up to a building inside the grounds. It also showed footage of a woman in sunglasses and a hat who appeared to be LaToya Jackson entering the cemetery.

Police had shut the main road to the entrance and were screening drivers, letting a few in and turning others away.

Meanwhile, the legal manoeuvring that marked Jackson's extraordinary and troubled life also continued, with his mother losing a bid to control his enormous, but tangled estate.

And in one of the few reminders of Jackson's darkest hours, a New York congressman branded the King of Pop a "pervert" undeserving of so much attention.

More than 1.6 million people registered for free tickets to the memorial service, which will be broadcast live worldwide.

A total of 8,750 people were chosen to receive two tickets each. The lucky ones picked up their passes on Monday at Dodger Stadium.