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Michael Jackson's death: Day of mourning for King of Pop [Updated]

Lanow-mj-fans_klup3rnc Hundreds of fans are gathering this morning at Michael Jackson's star on Hollywood Boulevard and at the Jackson family home in Encino to mourn the death of the King of Pop.

Today at 9 a.m., flowers will be placed at Jackson's star by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

At 6 a.m., about a half-dozen fans sat outside the Encino house, where the planter out front was filled with dozens  of bouquets of roses, daisies and sunflowers. Handmade posters were taped to a brick wall. Many read: "We love you Michael."

Envelopes and cards addressed to the family were placed among the flowers, and small candles on the ground were shaped into an M and J.

The scene was played out throughout the night in various locations throughout Los Angeles. Over at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where Jackson was first taken after he went into cardiac arrest, a few hundred people sang and held signs Thursday night. Among them was Zai Bryant of Inglewood.

"I came because no one around me felt my pain," said Bryant, a customer service representative who lives in Inglewood. "I said, 'You know what -- those people at UCLA, they feel my pain. I need to be among fans who know what I'm going through.'"

It was a family affair for others. Henry Barravino, 46, took his teenage daughter, Lemyza, and his 13-year-old son, Ivan, all of whom grew up on Michael Jackson music.

"It's an honor to say goodbye," Henry said. "I grew up with his music."

In Encino on Thursday night, Wilbert "Chico" Ross, Diana Ross' brother, said that when the Jacksons first moved to Los Angeles, they lived with his family for about a month because they didn't have any other place to go.

[Updated at 9:35 a.m.: A previous version of this post misidentified Wilbert Ross as Diana Ross' son.]

"I'm a Motown brat," Ross said. "We were all family."

He stopped by the Jackson residence to pay his respects but left his identification in the car, so he couldn't get through the gate. Ross said Jackson's death is like losing a brother.

"I cried when I first heard," he said. "I'm still crying."

He said he has many memories of Jackson, with whom he grew up.

"We were little kids together," he said. Aside from playing sports, such as baseball and basketball, with the Jackson crew, he said they'd all have sleepovers. Ross, who is three years older than Jackson, said he would pick him up from school, since he got out earlier than Jackson.

"I'm probably his oldest friend," he said.

Ross said Jackson had a gentle spirit.

"I'm just sad," he said. "It's a sad day for America."

He said Jackson was unfairly persecuted by some, and Ross said he never believed the claims of misdeeds.

"As you get older, you realize your friends. ... They die, they leave you."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Encino and Carla Hall in Westwood

Photo: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (10)

Wilbert "Chico" Ross, referenced in this article, is Diana Ross' brother, not her son.

So sorry because the world didn´t understand you...
A big hug from the south of Chile
My son,now 30 years old, when he was 2 years, danced with Billie Jean

Rest in Peace Michael. I grew up on your music as my mother (also deceased) was a HUGE fan of yours and my father still has all your records on vinyl!

Even over the Atlantic you were a legend. I can only pray you find the peace in death you deserved to find in life!

My love and hugs to all of Michael's family and friends. x xx x

it sad to see a trully iconic marvel bow down... rip

Excuse me!!!! Diana Ross does NOT have a son named "Chico" or Wilbert! Check your sources!!!!! I'm laughing that this "reporter" got duped!!! Of course he "left his id in the car"!!!!! LOL!!!!!

Editor's note: Post has been corrected. Wilbert "Chico" Ross is Diana's brother.

I remember going to school carrying my homework in a school folder that had his "Thriller" album cover on it depicting a vinyl album popping up at the top. I loved that folder....i wish I had cared for it better.

I never believed the lies and smear attempts made on MJ. You can honestly tell that his lack of childhood made him want to surround himself with kids, not harm them. Shame on those who tried to hurt MJ.

When I miss you, I'll just play your music......"Just call my naaame...and I'll be there."


I will miss you. You are still THE KING

It's terrible that it took Michael's death for people to start recognizing him as a legend rather than the next news topic. May he rest in peace. I left a lasting condolence for his family at http://www.tributes.com/Michael-Jackson

Michael Jackson was in the 2000 WORLD GUINESS BOOK RECORD FOR HELPING 39 CHARITIES AROUND THE WORLD. more than any entertainer or personality.
You're not just a Big Legend, but the greatest entertainer with the biggest heart.
You will be dearly missed.
We love you always,
rest in peace

what ia the day of micheal's death


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