Apollo Theater hosts Jackson memorial

(AP) - Michael Jackson fans converged on Harlem's famed Apollo Theater Tuesday for a public tribute to the performer, clutching photographs, cheering and dancing to his music at the legendary venue that

News 12 Staff

Jun 30, 2009, 9:20 PM

Updated 5,503 days ago

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(AP) - Michael Jackson fans converged on Harlem's famed Apollo Theater Tuesday for a public tribute to the performer, clutching photographs, cheering and dancing to his music at the legendary venue that launched the one-time child star's career.
The Rev. Al Sharpton gave a rousing speech praising the pop star to hundreds of fans who crammed into the theater as others waited in line outside to pay their respects.
"Michael made young men and women all over the world imitate us," Sharpton said. "Before Michael, we were limited and ghettoized. But Michael put on a colorful military outfit, he pulled his pants up, he put on the one glove, and he smashed the barriers of segregated music."
A black fedora with a white glove draped across its brim sat on a lone stool on the theater's stage, surrounded by elaborate arrangements of white lilies. A nearly life-sized black-and-white image made of flowers depicted the star in a dance pose.
Outside, in a line that circled the block, some fans spontaneously sang their favorite songs and danced in the street.
The pop icon's ties to the theater go back to 1967, when The Jackson 5 won the Apollo's Amateur Night contest. The appearance is credited with helping to launch the brother act's career, which later propelled Jackson to solo stardom.
Jackson last appeared at the Apollo in 2002, invited by former President Bill Clinton for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.
The Apollo also played a role in remembrances for James Brown after his death in 2006, hosting a public viewing of the "Godfather of Soul" for thousands of fans.


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