NEW YORK - (AP) - Michael Jackson fans converged on Harlem's famedApollo Theater Tuesday for a public tribute to the performer,clutching photographs, cheering and dancing to his music at thelegendary venue that launched the one-time child star's career.
The Rev. Al Sharpton gave a rousing speech praising the pop starto hundreds of fans who crammed into the theater as others waitedin line outside to pay their respects.
A black fedora with a white glove draped across its brim sat ona lone stool on the theater's stage, surrounded by elaboratearrangements of white lilies. A nearly life-sized black-and-whiteimage made of flowers depicted the star in a dance pose.
Thousands were expected to pay their respects at the theater,which was letting in 600 people at a time to listen to Jackson'smusic, watch a video tribute and leave flowers and memorabilia.Inside, fans danced and sang along to a medley of Jackson andJackson 5 hits including "Billie Jean," "ABC" and "Don't Stop'Til You Get Enough."
Fans wrote messages on a wall of remembrance outside the 125thstreet theater. "God bless and be with you M. Jackson," wrote onefan. "We all share your grief. Love always," read a message tohis family.
Fans began assembling at the Apollo soon after Jackson's deathThursday in Los Angeles. It has continued to serve as an impromptumemorial site ever since.