The crowds are gone from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where a memorial service Tuesday celebrated the life of pop star Michael Jackson. But fans are still coming to the city to pay tribute and people around the world are still buying his music. The singer remains as popular as ever.
Rakin Chowdhury, a native of Bangladesh who now lives in New Zealand, is a Michael Jackson fan who was deeply moved by Tuesday's memorial service, which was televised around the world to millions of viewers. "Actually, honestly speaking, a bit of tears actually came to my eyes," he said.
Chowdhury recalls that Jackson had his share of bad publicity. The singer was sometimes criticized for his eccentric lifestyle, and in 2005, was acquitted of charges that he had molested a 13 year-old boy. "Honestly, I think the bad stuff about him; I don't really think he deserved it. All the good things he did outweigh the bad things. But I think he was great," he said.
Many fans say they were reminded of Jackson's tremendous talent as a singer and dancer, as they listened to eulogies from the memorial service, watched videos of the pop star and again heard his music.
Laura Wang was born near Shanghai, China, and now lives in the Canadian city of Edmonton. She came to Hollywood on Wednesday, after the crowds had dissipated. "I just wanted to drop by just because we took some pictures of his star [on the Hollywood Walk of Fame] the other day. This morning, I figured there might be less people around. I came around just to take a picture with the star," she said.
Charlotte Anno from Paris, France, is staying with an American family in Denver as an au pair, or domestic helper. She drove to Hollywood with a friend to pay tribute to Jackson. "I loved him. I love him still today, so I wanted to see his star," she said.
She says she is very sad because the United States and the world have lost a legend.
Music sales figures show that Jackson, who died of cardiac arrest on June 25th, remains as popular as ever. The tracking service Nielsen SoundScan says 800,000 copies of Michael Jackson's albums were sold in the United States last week. His "Number Ones" collection is the top seller, followed by "Thriller".
On Billboard magazine's Hot Digital Songs chart, Jackson holds five of the top 10 slots.