As the world reels at the sudden death of the King of Pop at the age of 50, celebrities and musicians have praised the singer’s career.
The controversial Jackson, who was due to start a series of sold-out live performances in London in just over two weeks, reportedly collapsed at his residence in Los Angeles and was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center.
According to his brother Randy, numerous attempts to revive the star failed and he is thought to have died of cardiac arrest.
Pop legend and Jackson-contemporary Madonna – who accompanied Jackson to the 1991 Academy Awards – was among the first stars to comment on the death:
“I can’t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”
Producer Quincy Jones, who was behind Jackson’s Thriller – which went on to become the biggest selling album in history – also spoke out in shock.
“I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words.
“To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication.
“He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever.”
Superstar Justin Timberlake, who’s been open about Jackson’s impact on his music and career, told ET that “We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only Pop music, but of all music.”
He said that Jackson “… has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage and all of the things I learned about music from him and the time we spent together. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Jackson’s long-time friend, Liza Minnelli described him as “a kind, genuine, and wonderful man. He was also one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. I loved him very much and I will miss him every remaining day of my life.”
“I am so grateful to have worked with the King,” commented will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. “He was a gift to the world, he is a bright light and I wouldn’t be surprised if the world stopped spinning tomorrow.”