Just hours after news broke that [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] had died of cardiac arrest,
several artists — Sheryl Crow, [artist id="1133"]Snoop Dogg[/artist], [artist id="503162"]Timbaland[/artist] and [artist id="611"]Fat Joe[/artist] — and two reverends — Al Sharpton and Rev Run — called in to MTV to talk about the singer's life and legacy for the show, "Michael Jackson: A Tribute."
"I knew Michael since the mid-'70s," Al Sharpton recalled. "But we got tight in the '80s because by then James Brown had kind of adopted me as a son, and Michael was a James Brown fanatic. He used to always come to see James Brown ... I remember though, the thing that was kind of spooky to me this afternoon, I remember I got a call in the middle of the night before James Brown's last funeral, and it was the mortician saying that Michael wanted to visit the funeral home. ... He viewed the body and we convinced him to stay for the funeral and he spoke at the funeral.
"He talked about how he hopes that as a legend James Brown will get the due in death he never got in life, and I felt the same way about Michael. I hope now the genius and humanity of Michael Jackson gets its due."
Timbaland, who sounded very upset when he spoke on the show, said, "He was just a fabulous guy. Phenomenal. I watched him as a kid and I was like, 'Man, he works very hard.' His music was incredible. Everybody from Chris Brown to everybody who started dancing — he influenced all of that."
Fat Joe called in to remember the effect that Jackson's music had on him in his youth. "This is probably [among] the top three worst days of my life. MJ — you know I'm a gangsta rapper so we always got that hard edge, but at the end of the day, the king is the king.
"I can go down the list: there wouldn't be no Usher, there wouldn't be no Chris Brown. There wouldn't be nobody without MJ. There wouldn't be no Justin. He was just harmony on Earth. I never think MJ ever did anything wrong in his life. He was just a beautiful soul on this earth."
Rev Run and Snoop Dogg both called in to the show and recalled Jackson's strong sense of pride in his career and with his fans. "The thing that went through my mind was that he lived so big. He just worked it so hard. He was such a big imagination. He danced, he sang, he pushed so hard to entertain us," Rev said. "He was so driven that it was really amazing. I think the best thing that Michael will leave is his ability to captivate people. He captivated us."
Snoop Dogg added, "I feel like his music will never die and his spirit will never die, because he influenced so many if us. He gave us a lot of hope that we feel like we can be big. He was very inspiring and up close and personal with his fans. That to me was special. That's one of the things that I loved about Mike. When I got a chance to meet him, that's the feeling and spirit that I got from him."
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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