The UK Times Online reports that Britain's Got Talent star Shaheen Jafargholi has been invited by Michael Jackson's family to sing at his memorial service in Los Angeles today at the Staples Center.
The paper reveals that Michael Jackson had seen Shaheen, whose father is Iranian, performing an early Jackson 5 song on YouTube and told his family he was "knocked out" by the youngster. The Jackson family wanted a British artist to perform at tribute concert and told Shaheen he was their first choice. Shaheen flew out to LA with his mother Karen, 39, after the phone call from the Jackson family. He is expecting to have just a few hours to rehearse before performing in front of an estimated global television audience of more than one billion. To read the full article click here.
The Jackson family released the official list of participants for today's Public Memorial Service for Michael Jackson. Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson will attend and perform. The complete list of all-star attendees also includes, Ron Boyd, Kobe Bryant, Andrae Crouch Choir, Berry Gordy, Shaheen Jafargholi (a finalist on Britain's Got Talent), Magic Johnson, Martin Luther King III, Bernice A. King, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Brooke Shields, Pastor Lucious Smith, Usher Raymond and Stevie Wonder.
All major television networks have confirmed coverage of the event Tuesday including, NBC, ABC, E!, CBS, and CNN. 17,500 ticket were handed out randomly for the event. The site set up to handle registrations for the drawing reported a massive 500 million visitors in just the first hour and a half after becoming available. Since then more than 600,000 have registered for a chance to win the coveted tickets.
Jackson, 50, died Thursday, June 25th, after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles. His memorial will take place on Tuesday, July 7 at 10 a.m. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The program will be simulcast at Los Angeles' nearby Nokia Theatre.
Michael's body is expected to be placed in a closed coffin on a raised plinth during the service. One of his trademark sequined gloves and a black fedora will be placed on top.
In a phenomenal, unparalleled career, Michael Jackson sold more than 750 million records, had 13 number one singles - more than any other male artist - and is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. His numerous other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records, including one for "Thriller" as the world's best-selling album of all time - 100 million copies and counting.
Michael Jackson is survived by three children: Michael Jr., Paris, and Prince. He was not currently married, having previously divorced from Lisa Marie Presley and then Deborah Jeanne Rowe.
The producers, cast and creative team on "Thriller - Live" will mark the funeral and memorial service for Michael Jackson with their own stage tribute on Tuesday, July 7th. At 7.30pm, the lights outside the Lyric Theatre in London's West End and Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre, where the production is on tour, will be dimmed in tribute to his mark his passing
The entire cast and band will all meet on stage at both venues to pay tribute to Michael Jackson, there will be speeches and the cast will invite the audience to stand and and hold a minute's silence throughout the auditorium.
"Thriller - Live" was created to celebrate the career of the world's greatest entertainer and undisputed King of Pop and the Jackson 5, and his phenomenal, unparallelled career was the show's inspiration "Thriller - Live" was conceived and created by Executive Director Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of ‘Michael Jackson - The Visual Documentary'.
Photo of Britain's Got Talent finalist Shaheen Jafargholi singing in THRILLER LIVE courtesy of the stage production.