Usher almost snubbed the memorial to Michael Jackson - because he feared he wouldn't be strong enough to make it through a tribute song.
The R&B star's emotional rendition of Gone Too Soon was among the highlights of the two-hour Staples Center service in Los Angeles on Tuesday (07Jul09) - but it nearly didn't happen at all.
Memorial producer Ken Ehrlich says, "His first response was, 'I'd really like to come to this, but I don't think I can perform,' and that didn't change until Sunday night... and he got on a plane on Monday."
Wearing dark glasses and holding back tears, Usher struggled through the tribute and then hugged Jackson's brothers and knelt at the feet of Jackson's mother Katherine in the front row.