Although President Obama held a press conference on Friday (June 26), no one asked him for his reaction to the news of Michael Jackson's death
on Thursday in Los Angeles. In a separate press conference, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that reporters seemed too shy to ask the president about the legendary singer — even though he is an avowed music fan — so Gibbs said that he spoke with Obama about Jackson's passing.
"I talked to [the president] about it this morning. He said to me that obviously [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] was a spectacular performer and a music icon," Gibbs said, according to Newsweek. "I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary. But the president also said [Jackson] had aspects of his life that were sad and tragic. And his condolences went out to the Jackson family and to the fans that mourned his loss."
The president joins a very long list of notable figures paying tribute to the singer, including longtime friends like Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Madonna.
"I can't stop crying; this is too sudden and shocking," Jackson's longtime friend and co-star in "The Wiz," Diana Ross, told MTV News in a statement. "I am unable to imagine this. My heart is hurting. I am in prayer for his kids and the family."
Madonna said in a statement, "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."
MTV will be paying tribute to MJ throughout the weekend with music videos, exclusive performances and calls and tweets from celebrity admirers and friends.
Share your Michael Jackson memories by uploading video and comments to Your.MTV.com or joining the discussion below.