Fans Beat It To Michael Jackson's Star
I drove into Hollywood at 2:15a, and as I walked up to Michael Jackson's star on the Walk of Fame, I had to navigate a small throng. Jackson's star has prime real estate on Hollywood Boulevard. It's right in front of Graumann's Chinese Theater, and the star had been closed off from fans, along with the rest of the sidewalk, for most of the night. Last night they premiered the Sasha Baron Cohen film, "Bruno", at Graumann's, and the block was closed off.
In a case of mistaken identity, many fans rushed to another star for Michael Jackson on Vine Street, but that's a different Michael Jackson (a prominent LA radio personality).
Shortly after 2am, security officials uncovered the star and let the public move in. They were allowed to come near in small groups to place flowers or candles on the star, and take a photo. Given the hour and the place, things were pretty cordial.
- More CNBC.com Coverage of Michael Jackson
I would say half the fans here are not Americans. I met a man from the Congo who works in Pasadena, who rushed here when he heard the news. Three German women were in tears. Many of the fans weren't even alive when Jackson was at his peak, like the young artist who sat by the star and immediately began painting Jackson's likeness. All of the controversy and strangeness of Jackson's final years matters little to them.
Then there were the cameras. I was here first, allowing me to get as close as I could to the star. A hour later, I was going live the same time as CNN and "The Today Show". An hour after that I was surrounded by seven other cameras and reporters, all of us doing the delicate dance of doing live shots at the same time without ruining each other's reports. I got a lot of practice doing that during O.J.