By Lynette Rice
July 01, 2009 at 05:11 AM EDT

Thousands of bereaved fans waited for hours Tuesday to attend a memorial for Michael Jackson at New York’s Apollo Theater, the New York Times reported.Director Spike Lee and the Rev. Al Sharpton gave speeches and fans shouted the lyrics to songs like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” After announcing “the spirit of Michael is here,”Sharpton reminded the packed house that Jackson had performed at the Apollo and was “aspiritual son of Harlem.” Journalists from all over the world attended the gathering.