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Michael Jackson memorial service set for Tuesday in Los Angeles

Pedestrians dressed for the Anime Expo near the Staples Center walk past the entertainment venue in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday. According to reports, a free memorial service for Michael Jackson has been scheduled to take place Tuesday at the Staples Center.

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Pedestrians dressed for the Anime Expo near the Staples Center walk past the entertainment venue in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday. According to reports, a free memorial service for Michael Jackson has been scheduled to take place Tuesday at the Staples Center.

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson's memorial service has been set for Tuesday at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

AEG Live, which owns the Staples Center and was Jackson's promoter, called a press conference for 10 a.m. today to announce details, according to a press release from the office of the Jackson family's publicist.

Randy Phillips, AEG's chief executive, said tickets would be free. He was not sure how they would be distributed.

But Los Angeles City Council member Dennis Zine said the Jackson family should consider delaying the public memorial to allow more time to plan. He also said the cash-strapped city can't afford to pay police overtime.

In other developments Thursday:

• It seems the King of Pop had a fan in the White House. President Barack Obama described himself as a longtime follower of Jackson's. "I grew up on his music — still have all his stuff on my iPod," Obama said in an AP interview. "I'm glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer."

Obama said Thursday's interview was the first time he had been asked about Jackson's death.

• A 30-second snippet of Michael Jackson rehearsing two days before his death was released Thursday, part of more than 100 hours of footage that could be turned into live albums, a movie and a pay-per-view special, the promoter said.

The treasure trove of material, along with possible insurance proceeds and ticket sales to memorabilia collectors, could benefit Jackson's estate, which is burdened by an estimated $400 million in debt.

"He was our partner in life and now he's our partner in death," Phillips said.

Jackson had been rehearsing for a giant series of comeback shows in London.

The clip released Thursday shows Jackson performing They Don't Really Care About Us on June 23 during a rehearsal at Staples Center. He died two days later at age 50.

• Jermaine Jackson told NBC's Today show that Michael Jackson was "a gift from Allah" and that he wishes he were in the grave instead of his brother. "He went too soon," Jermaine Jackson said. "I don't know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me."

Michael Jackson memorial service set for Tuesday in Los Angeles 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:12pm]

    

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