Michael Jackson Will Pony Up for His Own Funeral

Michael Jackson is finally being laid to rest—and unlike the elaborate memorial service shortly after his death in late June, it won’t cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles a dime.

People magazine reports that Jackson’s mother, Katherine, has insisted that her son’s estate pick up the tab for the private funeral, which will take place Thursday night at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, and a judge has granted her request at a hearing on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Jackson’s body will be placed in Forest Lawn’s Grand Mausoleum, a large structure that’s decorated with a full-size replica of Michelangelo’s “The Pieta” and a massive, stained-glass rendition of Leonardo de Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Clark Gable, Carol Lombard and Jean Harlow are among the other show-biz legends interred there.

Forest Lawn will be closed to the public 24 hours before the service, and the FAA has placed air restrictions above the cemetery to deter paparazzi and news agencies. Aretha Franklin is expected to sing at the ceremony, which will also be attended by Jackson friend/mentor Diana Ross.