Michael Jackson was among thousands of people who showed their respect for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, today at public funeral services. The Rev. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson and Brown’s manager all spoke about their feelings towards the life of James Brown.

The King of Pop told the people in attendance:

Hello. What I’m gonna say is brief but to the point. James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Every since I was a small child not more than like 6 years old my mother would wake me no matter what time it was – if I was sleeping no matter what I was doing – to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I’ve never seen a performer perform like James Brown. And right then and there, I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown. I love you [i](to the crowd)[/i]. James Brown, I shall miss you and I love you so much and thank you for everything. God bless you. And I love you [i](pointing to crowd of people)[/i].

Before asking Jackson to come up on stage and say a few words about Brown, Sharpton addressed the Godfather of Soul like he was in attendance and said before the screaming crowd of over 8,000:

…Even though he knows they’re going to criticize him, Michael said he don’t care what they say. Michael came for you today, Mr. Brown. I don’t care what the media says tonight. James Brown wanted Michael Jackson with him here today.

Some observers have already openly wondered why many of the other stars in music were not in attendance at Saturday’s service. The funeral ceremony included the presentation of a posthumous honorary degree to Brown from Paine college, one of the historically black universities in Augusta, Georgia according to the [i]Atlanta Journal Constitution[/i]. Reports state that his body is scheduled to be buried Saturday night in Beech Island, S.C. Brown was not only important to black Americans, but to all people despite their race or country of origin. James Brown passed away on Christmas day. He was 73 years old. For more information and coverage of today’s events, check out the MJEOL forum topic: Michael Jackson Attends James Brown’s Funeral Vid p4 Pics from the funeral:

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