In the wake of Michael Jackson’s death Thursday (June 25), musicians, actors and celebrities — including some of Jackson’s closest friends like Quincy Jones and colleagues like Justin Timberlake and Martin Scorsese — are remembering Jackson as their friend and mentor.
“I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news,” Jones said. “For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on ‘The Wiz’ and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the ’80s. 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. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”
In addition to JC Chasez , fellow ‘NSYNCers Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass remembered the times they spent with him, like in 2001, when they performed at the VMAs together.
“I can’t find the words right now to express how deeply saddened I am by Michael’s passing,” Timberlake said. “We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only pop music, but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations, and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him onstage 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.”
“I am stunned and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Michael Jackson,” Bass added. “Michael was a huge supporter of my career, but more importantly, he was a good friend, had the biggest heart, and it was an honor and pleasure to be able to work with him and know him. There will never be another Michael Jackson. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Will.I.Am, who worked with Jackson, said, “I am so grateful to have worked with the King. He was a gift to the world. He is a bright light, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the world stopped spinning tomorrow.”
Seth Green also remembered Jackson in a statement to MTV News: “It’s shocking and so sad. But for the first time in a long time, people are talking about all of the amazing things he was rather than all of the unfortunate attention he’d acquired.”
The hip-hop community also shared its condolences. “Michael Jackson was my musical God,” Wyclef Jean said. “He made me believe that all things are possible, and through real and positive music. He can live forever! I love Michael Jackson. God bless him.”
“Michael Jackson was my generation’s most iconic cultural hero,” Russell Simmons said. “Courageous, unique and incredibly talented. He’ll be missed greatly.” Diddy chimed in on Twitter: “Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!”
A pair of legendary directors, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg also paid tribute to the late star. “Michael Jackson was extraordinary,” Scorsese said. “When we worked together on ‘Bad,’ I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times, and — it really goes without saying — a true artist. It will be awhile before I can get used to the idea that he’s no longer with us.”
“Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson,” Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly. “His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him legend.”
MTV will be paying tribute to MJ throughout the weekend with music videos, exclusive performances and calls and tweets from celebrity admirers and friends. For everything we’ve got on the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
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