Listen to any [artist id=”1231683″]Justin Timberlake[/artist] song or look at any of his videos, and it is clear that the singer has been heavily influenced by [artist id=”1102″]Michael Jackson[/artist], who passed away on Thursday. Not only has Timberlake been influenced by him, but he has also had the honor of performing with him.
Timberlake reflected on the times — like when Jackson performed with ’NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards — he shared with the pop legend.
“The thing about Michael is the memories,” he told MTV U.K. “I’m lucky enough to have memories — actually, physically — with him onstage and off.”
Timberlake went on to describe the outpouring of emotion for Jackson from friends and fans a “testament to how big a deal it is, obviously, because he’s created so many cultural photos in people’s minds with his music that he was and always will be the king of pop.
“To create the things that he created with his music is untouchable. He opened the minds of the world to be able to do that through his music… [it’s] a feat not accomplished by many people, maybe only a handful of people. I don’t think anyone ever did it like him.
He went on to echo a statement he made late last week about Jackson, saying, “He opened the minds of people about music. He opened the minds of people about culture. Even if it was this much in your conscious, he helped with segregation. His music did that and not a lot of people can say that. Michael was the baddest!”
Don’t miss “Michael Jackson: Picking Up the Pieces,” Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, featuring a special report from MTV News.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
Share your Michael Jackson memories by uploading video and comments to Your.MTV.com or joining the discussion below.