The world has seen the death of one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Michael Jackson has died, but his impact and influence are everlasting, as evidenced by the dozens of celebrities speaking out.
"This loss has deeply saddened me!" Usher told MTV News on Thursday night (June 25). "It is with a heavy heart I composed this statement. May God cover you, Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer. I pray for the entire Jackson family, particularly Michael's mother, children and all his fans that loved him so much. I would not be the artist, performer and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for him, and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways transcended the culture. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats! With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world. His legacy is unparalleled. Michael Jackson will never be forgotten."
"I'm in total shock," Estelle said. "He's one of the reasons for me pushing for excellence with everything — shows, songs — I do. Prayers for the entire family."
"It is a sad day in the world of entertainment," Nick Cannon told MTV News. "Michael Jackson was the reason I wanted to be an entertainer."
"This is such a tragic loss and a terrible day," Beyoncé added. "The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be. He will always be the King of Pop! Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments in life that take your breath away. For anyone who has ever seen, felt or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you, Michael."
Irv Gotti described Jackson as "the biggest star of our generation," which is tough to dispute. "The Best Entertainer!" Gotti beamed of Jackson. "He made the best records, videos, everything. I'm saddened by the world's loss. For a brief time he considered working with me and having me produce his album. In that brief time, I got to know him fairly well. And he was just the coolest person. My prayers go out to the whole Jackson family and especially his children."
"I feel like John Lennon got shot," Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump said. "This is sad like 'On the Waterfront,' sad like 'Raging Bull,' sad like 'The Wrestler.' Music rarely gets hits like this; this is almost unparalleled. Even people who didn't enjoy his music have to acknowledge his influences. He was to pop what Davis and Coltrane were to bop. He was to R&B what Neil Armstrong was to the moon: an explorer who discovered a whole world unto itself. He was the Nikola Tesla of dance moves."
"MJ made black folks proud," Trick Daddy testified. "He influenced our music and our style of dress. He taught us what it meant to be a 'performer.' He was our beloved icon, and we'll hold him in our hearts forever.
"We've just lost the most loved, talented and famous African-American in the world," the Miami MC continued. "Everyone from the age of 25-80 should be saddened by this loss, and if you're younger and you don't know the history, you need to learn it. Michael paved the way for blacks into the mainstream."
A huge part of Jackson's legacy was his live performance. Jackson was inspired by fellow performer James Brown and dominated the stage like no other. He and the Jackson 5 had legendary performances at the "world famous" Apollo Theater.
"The entire Apollo family is saddened to learn of Michael Jackson's untimely passing," said Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater Foundation Inc. "Michael first performed at the Apollo in 1969 with his brothers when he was only 9 years old, winning Amateur Night and catapulting their career as the Jackson 5. We will always remember Michael in our hearts as a true Apollo legend, known for his professionalism and grace. Our sympathy goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed."
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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