Smokey Robinson Reads Diana Ross Statement

07/07/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Smokey Robinson Reads Diana Ross Statement
Harrison Funk/Zuma
Michael Jackson's music had stopped playing at the Staples Center and a soft murmur from the crowd in a church-like atmosphere was interrupted when Smokey Robinson began the service with a quote from Jackson pal Diana Ross:

I want you to know that even though I'm not there at the Staples Center, I'm there in my heart. I decided to pause and be silent. This feels right for me. Michael was a personal love of mine, a treasured part of my world, part of the fabric of my life in a way that I can't seem to find words to express. Michael wanted me to be there for his children, and I will be there if they ever need me. I hope today brings closure for all those who loved him. Thank you, Katherine and Joe, for sharing your son with the world -- and with me. I send my love and condolences to the Jackson family.


Later, Michael's parents, Joe and Katherine Jackson, entered the arena and the crowd offered a standing ovation. Harrison Funk/Zuma

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