Entertainment & Arts

Fans pay tribute to Michael Jackson, one year on

It was a day for Michael Jackson's fans to remember their idol.

A year on from his sudden death, tributes were paid to the pop star outside the family home, the cemetery where he was laid to rest and at his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

The fans brought flowers, held candlelight vigils and left handwritten notes paying homage to the musician.

"I'm sad and I miss him but it doesn't feel like a year since he's been gone," said Vanessa Montez, who visited the Jackson family home in Encino, California.

"He's very much still alive through his music and in my heart."

Kellie Sargent said: "He was the best entertainer there ever was on the planet so that's why we're here all the way from Atlanta, Georgia.

"It's sad in a way but it's a celebration of his life and entertainment."

Fans travelled to Los Angeles from around the world.

"I'm here for Michael Jackson because I love him," said Valerie Giordani from the south of France.

"It cost me a lot of money, a lot of time, but I don't mind because my husband and I really love him."

The main focus of the Los Angeles tributes was at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where the singer's golden casket was entombed last September in a neo-classical mausoleum.

"I always wanted a chance to show him my gratitude… but now I know I never will because he's not with us anymore," said Sekou Barrow, another fan.

"He hasn't been with us for the last year, and today we're here at the memorial park to celebrate his life."

"It's refreshing to see that everyone is celebrating the life of Michael Jackson, not mourning the death," added Carlo Riley.

"We had him for 50 years, more than we could ever ask for. He produced a large amount of material for generations to enjoy so I'm very pleased to have been alive during his lifetime."

'We miss you Michael'

Outside Jackson's rented home in Beverly Hills, sightseeing buses crawled along the street, at the precise minute, 12-months on, that the singer was rushed to hospital.

A wax model of Jackson was put on display in front of Madame Tussauds on Hollywood Boulevard, close to the singer's star on the Walk of Fame.

The star itself was covered in floral tributes and surrounded by candles. Some fans left notes for Jackson.

Image caption Tour buses drove past the house where Michael Jackson died

"We miss you Michael," read one.

"You were our angel on earth, now you an angel in Heaven," said another.

Dennis Ezequeiel, dressed as Jackson, visited the star with his mother.

"He's the best because he helped the people so much and that's why I like to dress like him," said the 10-year old.

"I like the dances he did and the songs like Man in the Mirror."

Some of the fans reflected on the slow pace of the legal proceeding surrounding Dr Conrad Murray, Jackson's physician, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter.

If the case goes to trial, it is likely to be well into next year before a jury hears the evidence.

"I wish there were closure," said Kimberly Solano from Washington, New Jersey.

"But I understand that things take time and I just pray that the family finds peace."

The tributes will continue throughout the weekend. Jackson family members are expected to attend a gala event, "Forever Michael," at a Beverly Hills hotel on Saturday.

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