tv Larry King Live CNN July 13, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EDT
>> jon king reporting. jon king will be back next sunday. ♪ >> larry: tonight a daughter bares her soul. >> daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. >> larry: a brother shares his grief. >> michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you. >> larry: a friend reveals her pain. >> michael was one of a kind. >> larry: a star-studded and somber salute to the king of pop brings the world to tears. ♪ >> much as we may feel, and we do, we need michael here with
us, god must have needed him far more. ♪ michael he won't go, he won't go away ♪ ♪ will you go >> larry: as legends pledge to keep his memory alive forever. >> the world will never, ever forget michael jackson. >> larry: dionne warwick, john mayer, patty austin and others are here smiling through their sorrow next on "larry king live." ♪ >> larry: what a morning. we were honored to be invited by the jackson family in the third row and witness an incredible two hours, a little over two hours to put this program together. they did it in a pretty quick fashion. it was brilliantly done.
we also want to compliment the los angeles police. chief bratton. 3,000 of them on duty today. what a job. no incidents. incredible day. we've got a lot of people to talk to. one of the most incredible moments that took place in the staples center was taken by our first guest, reverend al sharpton who tore it up. going to show you a brief moment of it and we want to talk to him about it. watch. >> i want his three children to know, wasn't nothing strange about your dady. it was strange what your daddy had to deal with. michael beat it. michael rose to the top! he outsang his cynics. he outdanced his doubters. he outperformed the pessimists. every time he got knocked down, he got back up. every time you counted him out, he came back in. michael never stopped. michael never stopped!
>> larry: in all honesty, al, was that your finest moment? >> i don't know. i hope it was a moment for michael. >> did you feel it? did you feel it? i felt -- >> larry: you were crying. >> i cried because i really loved michael. i love what michael did for the world. i wanted to speak up for him. because he'd been the target of so much controversy. i really wasn't thinking about my moment. i was really thinking that here i have an opportunity to speak for somebody that i felt did a lot more than he was given credit for. >> larry: do you credit him for paving the way in a lot of the civil rights movement? you weren't excluding jackie robinson. or martin luther king. >> oh, no. you're talking different generations. i'm more michael's generation. so in my time, i'm four years older than michael. in my time, michael kind of expanded where king and jackie robinson and overs had done on a cultural level.
dr. king was in civil rights. michael was in culture. by creating that culture -- robinson in sports. by creating that cultural comfort, i was saying that michael made people comfortable with each other. they grew up to be able to be more comfortable making political and other moves that they may not have made without that cultural comfort. >> larry: what's your critique of the event today? >> i thought it was a marvelous event. it was almost flawless. i think that there were no incidents. i thought the class, the level that it was done, the family should be given a lot of credit. ken sunshine should be given a lot of credit. and i think that michael would have been pleased. i don't think people understood that michael was very much a perfectionist. he did not like things done in a way that was not up to par. and i think he would have been very happy with today. >> larry: how did you think -- did you meet with the family after? >> i went by, saw them at the repast. you know, like i said in the speech, people, you know, get all these crazy images.
joe jackson and katherine jackson went against the odds and made a working class family. work. 11 of them in four rooms in gary, indiana. joe jackson working two jobs. the kids having a dream. and the talent that came out of that family. five boys that went to the top. then janet, la toya. probably the most talented family we've seen with those two people sitting there making it work. i give a lot of credit to joe jackson. i give a lot of credit to katherine jackson. >> larry: such a powerful moment. here is michael's daughter paris katherine again talking through her tears about her dad. >> ever since i was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. and i just want to say i love him. so much.
>> larry: what did you think of that? >> that touched everyone. and i think you couldn't script that. she's not reading a prompter. this is a young lady. in fact, if you saw her, they had really said they wanted janet jackson to speak. and janet kind of brought her forward. and she spoke from the heart about her father. i think she made the whole world understand how human michael jackson was. >> larry: there were ups and downs at the end. he hadn't performed in a while. was going to go to london. what's his legacy? what are they going to say about michael? >> i think michael's legacy is he transformed pop culture. i think he brought pop culture to a different level. i think that he brought people together. i don't know any artist before him that had people of every continent imitating him and therefore making people cultural comfortable. i think that michael pioneered mammoth efforts toward world hunger.
"we are the world" was the thing that i think inspired live aid and others, or at least energized them. i think in many areas michael had inspired as well as with his business. what he's done behind the catalog. i think that sometimes people have to go to the next level of existence to get their credit. in my own life, i said that happened to james brown. i think michael will just begin to see how significant michael jackson was. >> larry: sad you have to die to get more credit, right? >> it is sad. i think that the worst, even with your daddy you don't get the credit. that's why a lot of us wanted that today. >> larry: wasn't anyone there today who could not say you were not anything but brilliant. >> thank you very much. thank you, larry. >> larry: michael jackson called two women mom, one was his mother katherine, the other was dionne warwick. she joins us next. ♪
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>> larry: that was the incredible jennifer hudson. that's a voice that would make some singers say i pass, i quit the business. we welcome to "larry king live" this special edition tonight. dionne warwick, the brilliant dionne warwick, more hits than anyone i know. and a close friend of the jackson family. and damon eliot, dionne's son, a friend of michael since childhood, in fact, was writing a song with michael just before his death. what did you think of the event? >> well, it was probably one of the most emotional mornings and afternoons that i spent in a very long time. it was done with a great deal of style and class. it ran like a piece of glass. >> larry: befitting the man they honored? >> no doubt. >> larry: he would've liked it? >> he would've loved it. he would've loved it.
>> larry: how did you and michael hook up, damon? >> well, from mom. we shared mom. when i was very little i used to beg her, probably at least once a week, mom, you have to take me out to the house, you have to take me out to the house. and she'd say i'm on tour right now, baby, but when we get home we'll see michael. and one day we did and i think he showed up in my living room. >> larry: you were writing a song at his death? >> yes, i was working on music for the new record that i was going to get over to jermaine. and the night before he passed away, it's crazy, we were writing a song. >> larry: we saw it earlier, but it was a powerful moment. here again michael's daughter paris katherine talking about her father. >> ever since i was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.
and i just wanted to say i love him. so much. >> larry: did she plan to talk, dionne, do you know? >> i don't have an idea. i think she spoke instead of janet. it was -- it tore my heart out. >> larry: how did you think the other kids handled the service? >> i think everybody handled it very well, all of the children. being a child of celebrity, you're watched by the world. and i could only imagine somebody this large being the child. >> larry: what was it like for you being a child of a celebrity? >> well, like i just said, you're watched by the world. but it was actually quite normal being insulated from a lot of the craziness. mom did a great job. >> larry: it was a family gathering at forest lawn before the center memorial. were you there? >> no, i wasn't. >> larry: do you know what that
was about? >> i think it was to actually have the service itself. prior to his interment. >> larry: did you know that they would bring the casket out? >> i had no clue. that was really a surprise. >> larry: did you know? >> i knew one of the family members kind of let me know. >> larry: shocked the crowd. >> yeah, it did. still shocked me even though i kind of knew. yeah. >> larry: michael's brother jermaine and marlon also talked at the service. listen. >> i'm lost for words. i was his voice and his backbone, i had his back, so did the family. but we thank you, that's all i can say, we thank you very much. we would never, never understand what he endured. not being able to walk across the street without a crowd gathering around him. being judged, ridiculed, how much pain can one take?
maybe now, michael, they will leave you alone. >> larry: do you think they will, dionne? do you think that will go away? >> the media? today? no. it won't go away. >> larry: they're still going to talk about him? >> of course. what else do they have to do? you know. as far as i'm concerned -- >> larry: how did he handle all of that? >> media? >> larry: yeah. >> well, like every celebrity. i think certain things probably definitely affected him. >> larry: did you talk about it much? >> no, no, we didn't talk about that. >> larry: he would never bring up a tabloid? >> no. >> larry: still to come, by the way, john mayer, patty austin. back with them in 60 seconds.
musician and the man. watch. >> this is a moment that i wished i didn't live to see come. but as much as i can say that and mean it, i do know that god is good. and i do know that as much as we may feel and we do, that we need michael here with us. god must have needed him far more. we can't help but love you forever, michael. ♪ >> you believed in michael, and he believed in you. he made you believe in yourself. i loved him all my life. ♪ i never dreamed
>> i truly believe that michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as i watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever. ♪ come back home >> you just don't think that you are going to see or you'll live to see him gone. but he will never really be gone. he is going to live forever and ever and ever and ever. ♪ you said you would be the light in autumn ♪ ♪ you said you'd be the one to lead the way ♪ >> larry: stevie wonder ain't
dionne warwick and her son damon eliot with us. by the way we spoke of michael's childhood, brooke shields was a very close friend. a child star like him. very emotional when she paid tribute. watch. >> we had a bond. and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like being in the spotlight from a very, very young age. yes, it may have seemed very odd to the outside. but we made it fun and we made it real. when he started wearing the glove, i was like, what's up with the glove? both of us needed to be adults very early, but when we were together, we were two little
kids having fun. although our hearts are aching, we need to look up where he is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon, and we need to smile. >> larry: perched in a crescent moon. never heard it put like that. >> that's from her heart. everything that was done today. >> larry: dionne, everyone knows what a great singer you are. how great a singer was michael jackson? singer, pure singer? >> he could sing. yes. it was more than the magic of everything else that he did. he was a brilliant singer. >> larry: in other words, taken on that alone, because you can be dazzled by dazzle, right? >> exactly, but no -- you have
to listen to the ballads they sang. >> larry: what was he like to work with? working on a song together? what was that experience like? >> well, from a distance i got to work with michael. i mostly worked through jermaine, who was another amazing talent. but all the brothers, you know, they have so much conviction and so much feeling in their delivery. and michael was like the greatest teacher to all of us, producers, dancers, singers, song writers. he had it all. he would come in and beat box a melody and you'd try to emulate it on a drum machine and it was impossible. it's what he did, you know already >> larry: speaking of jermaine. >> yeah. >> larry: he took a charlie chaplain tune that's gone through a rebirth. my wife sings it. everybody sings it now. people record it instrumentally. it was michael's favorite song, charlie chaplain's "smile" sung by jermaine.
>> he is. >> larry: he did an amazing job. >> yes, he did. yes, he did. >> larry: all right, dionne, what's his legacy? michael jackson's legacy? >> we all know his music, of course. but -- >> larry: 50 years from today? >> the wonderful things he did for this entire world. i think he brought a new insight as to things we really should be paying attention to. and he did it brilliantly. and i think that's his legacy. >> larry: we're going to miss him. >> no doubt. >> larry: thank you both. >> thank you. >> larry: dionne warwick and her son damon eliot. john mayer is here. was he something today. his thoughts about performing today next.
here's what's happening right now. two suspects are facing murder charges in connection with the deaths of a florida couple known for their large family of mostly adopted children. bird and melanie billings were killed thursday in a home invasion. eight of their 16 children were home at the time. two men face murder charges. a man identified as leonard gonzales, sr. is charged with tampering with evidence, namely a van used in the crime. the space shuttle is not going anywhere for now. for the second time in as many days nasa scrubbed the scheduled launch of "endeavour." the shuttle was supposed to have lifted off sunday evening. minutes before nasa backed off because of storms around a 20-mile radius of kennedy space center were impending. the new launch time is monday evening just before 7:00 p.m. eastern.
♪ where there is love, i'll be there ♪ ♪ i'll reach out my hand to you ♪ ♪ i have faith in all you do ♪ just call my name and i'll be there ♪ >> larry: we now welcome a brilliant musician. seven-time grammy winner john mayer. he performed "human nature" at today's memorial at the request of the jackson family and played brilliant guitar, didn't sing today. and didn't -- what an honor it must have been. you didn't know michael and the family invites you. >> it's a why me sort of situation, yeah. >> larry: what did you say?
>> well, the first thing i said was a question, does this really come from the family? i think that was essential to me sort of processing the honor, you know. and when i found out that, in fact, it had, it took me about 48 hours to sort of strike the balance in how i was going to approach being, you know, being invited to this unbelievable event. without actually having the proximity to michael jackson personally. i'd never met him. >> larry: that's what added to it though, what did he mean to you then, performer to performer? >> wow, you know, i come from a generation that sort of gets told one way or another we're born at the wrong time. people said 20 years ago you could have done this and this and that. and to know that, you know, in my early years and my generation's early years, we were handed sort of down through mtv and the radio. something like "thriller." imagine your first record. you don't pick music the first five years that, you know, you're running around a little
kid. the tv and the radio picks music for you, and what a blessing to have the music that just streams through in your house be a master work. you know? that's sort of -- that was my connection to it, i think, that's what allowed me to walk up to the stage and feel -- >> larry: and did you. john performed an instrumental version of michael's "human nature." let's hear some of it. ♪ ♪
>> larry: do you like playing guitar as much as singing? >> i like it more. >> larry: more? >> yeah, i don't have a great vocal range. in fact, it's actually helped me out in song writing. i don't know -- i have to write my own songs to be able to appreciate or get anything out of my pretty limited vocal range, but on the guitar i'm able to sort of, it's limitless for me, it's as long as the neck is. i can go anywhere i want. the decision is -- to not sing is out of i think knowing what's best for me, it's quite a mine field to go into trying to in any way replicate vocally what michael jackson has done. and in a way it was sort of respectfully leaving an absence, you know, sort of the presence of his absence. >> larry: what do you think of usher's voice? >> unbelievable. >> larry: he was unbelievable. >> unbelievable. >> larry: usher gave a moving performance, he sang "gone too soon," walked down to the
casket. watch. ♪ like a comet blazing across the evening sky ♪ ♪ gone too soon ♪ like a rainbow fading in a twinkling eye ♪ ♪ gone too soon >> larry: what did you think when he walked down to the casket? >> very moving, you know. everybody had a different relationship. he sings as if there was a real personal bond there, but i don't know, but that's the magic of music. that's all you need to know. >> larry: what did you think of the whole thing today? >> all i could keep thinking other than, you know, just sharing the why me with my fans
and representing them, was how humanizing it was. you know, michael jackson wasn't superhuman, he was extra-human, but nobody's superhuman. and i think everybody who watched the service, i think by the end of it, the best service of all is the service done to michael jackson to sort of render him finally as being a human being. did you feel that when you were there? >> larry: well said. did you twitter about it yet? >> i didn't. again -- >> larry: john! >> i didn't do any -- just trying to be, again, respecting the proximity or lack thereof to michael jackson, and we are connected through our music. >> larry: sure are. >> when my grandmother died several years ago, she was a nurse in her younger years and she was lucky enough to be the last in her world to go. which means it was a pretty empty funeral. and right in the middle there were two registered nurses, way too young to have ever worked with her. but the hospital had sent two nurses because they were connected as nurses.
and that's sort of what i referenced in allowing myself to enjoy being there without saying why are you here? >> larry: smartest thing they did inviting you. >> thank you. >> larry: thank you, john. john mayer. the great harry bellafonte. there's only one. one of the musical powers behind "we are the world" speaks for the first time publicly about the death of his friend michael the death of his friend michael jackson next. he guidance you get from fidelity. thanks. stay on the line! whatever your destination, fidelity has the people, guidance, and investments to help you find your way.
♪ >> give us the energy for the future! ♪ ♪ don't you know baby, yeah, yeah ♪ >> i've known him since i was little. i loved his music. ♪ i'll be there ♪ just call my name, i'll be there ♪ ♪ i'll be there ♪ just look over your shoulder, honey ♪ ♪ i'll be there >> larry: and now welcome an old friend, one of the great entertainers ever, harry belafonte from new york. friend of michael jackson. they worked together on "we are the world." did you watch that today, harry? >> yes, i watched most of it, larry, and it was quite a moving experience to see so many people turned out.
and they turned out in a gracious way. there was no pushing, shoving, everybody came. very river reverential. everybody understood the moment and i thought it went very well. >> larry: how did you and michael come together on "we are the wrorl world"? >> well, for a long time i'd been watching the continent of africa wither under the devastation of the famine and the drought and literally hundreds of thousands of people were dying. and the world at large watched with a great indifference, and feeling that we had to awaken human spirit, and become engaged in this -- in this great holocaust so to speak. i turned to artists and said, "we have a job to do." and when michael decided to step to the table, he brought the greatest gift of all. he and lionel ritchie wrote the song. without that truly remarkable song, there would have been nothing for us to say.
and without his power to call upon all of the superstars of the world to say, i've written this song, come on board, let's sing it together and focus on our fellow beings. i don't think that campaign would have been as successful as it was. he did a remarkable job. >> larry: the performers that michael wished to go on tour with sang "we are the world" at the memorial today. let's watch a little. ♪ we are the world, we are the children ♪ ♪ we are the ones who make a brighter place ♪ ♪ so let's start giving ♪ let's start giving ♪ there's a choice we're making ♪ ♪ we're saving our own lives ♪ it's true ♪ we make a better day just you and me ♪ ♪ we are the world ♪ we are the children ♪ we are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start
giving ♪ >> larry: we don't have much time today, we hope to have you back soon to go over more of this. but one other quick thing. why? why was his appeal so strong everywhere in the world? >> i think that he came along at a time when he struck a chord where the world needed a sense of coming together. and that's one thing that was very representative in michael's life. he had the capacity to bring people together. they felt an urgency with him to find one another. and i think that gift was displayed everywhere. he brought people together, and that's what people need to feel. >> larry: harry, you are an amazing person. keep on keeping on, we'll be back together soon. thanks, harry. >> love you, larry. >> larry: harry belafonte, no one like him. if you'd like to say something to the jackson family, go to our website cnn.com/larryking, click on blog and start typing. might see your comments on the bottom of the screen. back in 60.
>> larry: everybody that knew michael jackson speaks of the impact he had on the planet. the end of today's memorial was marked by a moving performance of heal the world, a theme he returned to again and again in his music. he said he was most proud of this song. listen. ♪ make it a better place ♪ for you and for me and the entire human race ♪ ♪ there are people dying if you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me ♪ ♪ oh heal the world ♪ make it a better place ♪ heal the world ♪ make it a better place ♪ for you and for me and for the entire human race ♪
♪ there are people dying ♪ if you care enough for the living make a better place for you and for me ♪ ♪ heal the world ♪ make it a better place ♪ for you and for me and the entire human race ♪ ♪ there are people dying if you care enough for the living ♪ ♪ make a better place for you and for me ♪ >> larry: what a morning. patty austin performed with michael and knew him for decades. she's going to share her personal memories next when we come back. but we also speak mpgs so you can fly by gas stations. in fact, we speak mpgs so fluently, we can say one more thing.
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>> larry: patty austin joins us. toured, performed with him. she was in the family section today, as were we. gotham chopra, long-time friend. and mik ocho brando, son of the late, great marlon brando. patty, you knew him for 30 years. >> boy, did that go by fast. >> larry: tell me about him. >> good heavens, the first time a i worked with michael was on "the wiz." he was incredibly shy. he was walking around with a little notebook, and if anybody said anything clever or that he didn't quite understand it went in the notebook. and the research began. and that was my first -- any kind of meeting i had with michael was about that. >> larry: and that perfection remained throughout? >> all the way through, all the way through.
and then, we never spoke during all of this. he would kind of look at me from across the studio. if i'd say something funny, he'd write it down, if anybody would say something clever, he'd write it down. we never started to converse until we worked together on "off the wall." and we were at quincy's one day. and we were in the den, and quincy got a phone call and he left the room. and i went into a state of terror because i sat alone in a room with michael. the person who never spoke. and i'm trying to figure out what do i do? >> larry: what happened? >> i picked up a magazine and started reading it. and there was a very pregnant pause. and michael looked at me and said, i heard you like to shop. >> larry: great line. can't top that. gotham, what did you think of today? >> it was actually very elegant and dignified.
and i have to tell you, none of us, i don't think, were sure what to expect. but it was beautiful, and i think it was emotional and it was a nice way to say good-bye, but it was difficult, especially towards the end there. >> larry: were you surprised. miko, today? >> no, i was very happy for the event. i think aeg did a great job. it was nice that it was done at the place where he last performed on stage. i think that's meaningful in a way. i just think that everyone did a great job. they talked about how much love and what kind of person he was and i'm glad now the world knows that we're going to miss a good man. >> larry: difficult for you at times. >> ridiculous. >> larry: motown founder, barry gordy, we sat right behind him, paid this tribute to michael today. watch. >> the more i think and talk about michael jackson, i feel the king of pop is not big
enough for him. i think he is simply -- i think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived. >> larry: what a day. would you agree with that statement, patti? >> yes, but i have to add to that because this is something michael and i talked about all the time. michael was an amalgamation of some really tremendous talent. michael studied the greats that came before him. the thing that i think separated him from those people -- >> larry: talking about sammy davis jr. >> fred astaire, ella fitzgerald. these are people he used to talk about and the things they did that were brilliant. he could take a piece of each of those people and blend it into this magnificent quilt he turned out to be. plus, he was in two tremendously powerful petri dishes of creativity, motown and quincy jones' world.
>> larry: well put. thanks for all of our blog traffic tonight. keep your comments coming to cnn.com/larryking. we love hearing from you especially on a day like this. some more after this. (announcer) this is nine generations of the world's most revered luxury sedan. this is a history of over 50,000 crash-tested cars... this is the world record for longevity and endurance. and one of the most technologically advanced
>> larry: everyone involved today is going to feel an emptiness. i guess, miko, you feel the most, right? >> i feel like i lost my friend. i lost my whole world. he was just -- he was the man for me. i couldn't stand it. >> larry: why are you sitting with two hands under the table? >> first of all -- >> larry: i have been looking at this.
>> i'm going to read this, while i read this i want you to wear this while i read this. >> larry: you want me to wear this while you read it? >> look out, larry. >> smooth criminal. >> larry: this is your statement in the program. >> yes. my statement. i have lost my best friend, lost my best man at my wedding. my daughter lost her godfather. the brandos have lost a special family member and our hearts are numb and broken. i will never be the same but know in my heart and for the world his legacy will live forever. with all my love, miko and the brando family. >> larry: i ain't going to top that. patti, what did the hat mean to him? this hat. it was a prop. >> it was astair.
>> larry: his astaire, his gene kelly? >> yeah. there's this taking that element that you see somebody that's brilliant do and go, ah, but wait until you get a load of this. >> larry: it worked for him, right? this worked. >> there are so many things that are iconic about michael. we were reminded of all of those things today. i think what you're hearing -- i know i lost a friend, i lost a mentor. i am so -- michael wrote my college -- wrote a letter of recommendation for me. probably the only reason i got into columbia university. >> larry: he wrote a letter of recommendation for you to go to columbia. >> yes, he did. >> larry: do you think it had any clout? >> i would think so. it's probably got a lot of value. i need to get it back. >> larry: are we going to see imitators coming along, patti? >> they are already here. usher will be the first one to tell you. justin timberlake. we all -- everybody sings like michael. >> larry: they're all doing michael? >> they are all doing michael or stevie or james brown.
you know. yeah. absolutely. the younger generation particularly is doing michael, male and female vocalists because that sound was very distinct. >> larry: i didn't ask you what you made of today. >> boy, heartbreaking. i really struggled with whether or not i wanted to attend this event for many reasons. >> larry: some people couldn't attend or wouldn't attend, didn't want to break down. >> i didn't want to break down. didn't want to look cheesy. i didn't -- you know. the minute i walked in, i got there i'd say about 10, 15 minutes before the event started. i had no idea that everybody was in there. the reason i had no idea is it was stone silent. i have never felt that in my life. >> larry: it was. it was stone silent. >> it wasn't a sad silence, it was a silence of reverence. as i walked in, i saw many people i knew, and none of us
said a word to each other. so we would never break that silence. there was a nod, a hug, a kiss but no dialogue. it was brilliant. >> larry: thank you all. we will be calling on all of you again. patti austin, brilliant. miko, what can we say? i'll give you the hat back. >> keep it on. >> larry: i will. it's effective. and gotham chopra, thank you. ra we leave you tonight with an incredible moment from a day filled with them. here is jennifer hudson singing "will you be there." ♪ free me ♪ i will be there ♪ whoa
>> in our darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care? will you be there? in my trials and my tribulations through our doubts and frustrations. in my violence, in my turbulence, through my fear and my confessions, in my anguish and my pains. through my joy and my sorrow in the promise of another tomorrow. i'll never let you part for you're always in my heart.