Michael Jackson’s estate and fans on Tuesday gathered to pay tribute to his artistry, charity and celebrated his memory on the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death.
“Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian,” the Jackson estate said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art and music of the moment. He is more important than ever.”
The estate has doggedly worked to protect and enhance Jackson’s legacy, a task made more challenging this year when two men accused Jackson of molesting them as boys in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” sparking new scrutiny of years-old claims that Jackson preyed on children.
Jackson was acquitted of abuse allegations in 2005 and always vehemently denied such allegations, and the estate and his family angrily refuted the men’s claims when the documentary was released in March, noting the men had at one time been among Jackson’s biggest defenders and one testified on his behalf at his criminal trial.
The estate is using the anniversary of Jackson’s death to celebrate and accentuate Jackson’s vast humanitarian work.
It called on fans to honor Jackson’s memory by engaging in charitable acts “whether it’s planting a tree, volunteering at a shelter, cleaning up a public space or helping someone who is lost find their way. … This is how we honor Michael,” the statement read.
Mourners began to gather early Tuesday and placed elaborate flower arrangements and poster-sized pictures of Jackson, some featuring signed messages from dozens of fans, outside his mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
A florist delivered on arrangement from a client in Japan. A heart made from flowers in the colors of the Iranian flag featured the message “Iran (hearts) MJ.”