This article takes a look at some of the biggest celebrity funerals in history and the controversy surround them. Who made it to #1? Let’s take a look.
Be sure to comment with your thoughts.
1. Michael Jackson:
The city of Los Angeles did not have a hand in planning or regulating Michael Jackson’s funeral; however, it spent nearly $1 million to ensure that the public services would be held for the mega star.
The funeral, held in the summer of 2009, created a large controversy as to who will pick up the public cost of Michael Jackson’s funeral.
Two organizations eventually paid the city back, helping recover some of the expense. AEG and Jackson Estate both agreed to help pay about $1 million to recover the cost of providing public services for Michael Jackson’s funeral. Additionally, they donated $300,000 in cash and equipment to the Los Angeles Police Foundation. Some of the equipments that the Police received, included scanners for officers patrolling skid row.
2. Whitney Houston:
Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown was not wanted at Houston’s funeral, but was rather invited at the last minute, despite protests by some family members. Houston’s family members blame Brown, believing he was instrumental in getting the late singer addicted to the drugs, which ultimately killed her.
Right after Whitney’s funeral, Bobby Brown was to be taken away by private jet to perform with the New Edition at the Mohegan Sun Indian Casino in Connecticut, leaving his daughter Bobbie Kristina to grieve by herself.
Brown was allowed to bring two guests with him to the funeral, but instead brought an entourage of nine, despite the funeral being an invite only. When Brown demanded that his group be able to sit with him in the front row, Houston’s family fought back and had him escorted out of the church.
3. Lucio Dalla:
Lucio Dalla died in March of 2012 at he age of 68. He was buried in his home town of Bologna, the city with the oldest university in Europe. His companion gave one of the most emotional addresses that over 50,000 people watched on television. Dalla’s funeral was marked by controversy over the homophobic issues existing in Italy. In Italy, you can have a funeral in a Church as long as you don’t reveal you’re gay. Italy basically turned a blind eye to this for his funeral.
4. Joe Paterno:
Joe Paterno, the head football coach for Penn State Univesity won 409 games in 46 yeas. He died in January of 2012 from lung cancer.He was shortly diagnosed after he was dismissed from the Penn State in the aftermath of Sandursky sexual assault cases.
Mr. Paterno’s career was overshadowed by his sudden firing at age 84. This was one of the most tragic narratives in modern athletic history and constitutes something that still conflicts students, colleagues, scholars and authority figures. He was one of the most successful head coach in the history of major college football, but the circumstances of his dismissal led to a stain that cannot be removed.
Joe Paterno was honored in services inn State College, Pa. Officials representing the Westboro Baptist Church protested this service and attempted to bring their anti-homosexuality message to State College.
5. Steve Jobs
Westboro Baptist Church protesters used their iPhones in October of 2011 to announce via Twitter that they would demonstrate against Steve Jobs’ funeral. The controversial group angered most people in USA, protesting at the funerals of U.S. soldiers as well as celebrities. The group went far enough to threaten to protest at the funerals of Norway massacre victims.
Westboro accused Steve Jobs of mishandling his fame. According to Margorie Phelps, Jobs has a huge platform: gave God no glory and taught sin.
6. Sherman Hemsley:
A sign on the door of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia said it all. It stated that “Today’s Memorial Service for Sherman Hemsley has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.” The site of cancellation was a family feud.
Reverend Michael Wells, a cousin of Hemsley, was expected to preside over the service for the actor who played George Jefferson on the Jeffersons and All in the Family. But Wells’ relationship to Hemsley came into question by other family members, who canceled the service.
7. Luciano Pavarroti:
More controversy in Italy. In 2007 when Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer, many protestors argued against his religious funeral. There was a huge uproar against him and his lifestyle. Pavarotti had a child out of wedlock and was still given public viewing and a funeral in the cathedral. A Modena parish priest, the Rev. Giorgio Bellei, believed it was a “profanation of the temple.” Other critics were still angered over the church refusing to grant a religious funeral to a paralyzed man who had a doctor disconnect his respirator.
8. Elizabeth Taylor:
The Westboro church group decided to protest the Taylor’s funeral. They had issues with her activism for AIDS patients.Margie Phelps called Tayor a serial adulterous f—hag.
9. Glenn Quinn:
Best known for his roles on Roseanne (ex. Mark) & Angel (ex. Doyle), Quinn earned more than the average American. However, when he died of a drug overdose on his friend’s couch with mismatched socks, he was penniless. His former co-workers had to ask his fans to pay for his funeral.
10. Ted Kennedy:
Devout Roman Catholics voiced “both support and disappointment” for Sen. Kennedy’s funeral Mass. The controversy surrounded the late senator’s lack of public support for Catholic teaching and his failure to defend the unborn.