Justin Timberlake, Usher, Ne-Yo Talk About Michael Jackson’s Influence

Artists reflect on MJ on CBS' "Michael Jackson: Picking Up the Pieces."

In a segment of CBS’ special “Michael Jackson: Picking Up the Pieces” on Tuesday, MTV News reflected on the influence that [url id="http://www.mtv.com/specials/michaeljackson/index.jhtml"]Jackson[/url] has had on a whole generation of young artists who came of age long after “Thriller” first hit airwaves.

Ne-Yo, Usher, [artist id="1231683"]Justin Timberlake[/artist], David Cook and others revealed the ways that Jackson influenced not only their music but the way they dance, dress and even tackle their careers.

“He influenced me in so many ways, more than just music … as a humanitarian, as a philanthropist, as an artist, as an individual who transcended culture,” Usher said in the special. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without Michael Jackson.”

[artist id="2002414"]Ne-Yo[/artist], who said he learned to sing by listening to Off the Wall, remembered that when Jackson “dropped a video, it was an event.”

Justin Timberlake admired Jackson’s sense of showmanship, which went far beyond his iconic music videos. “No one presented a song onstage like Michael,” Timberlake said. “To create the things that he created with his music, it’s really untouchable.”

Even people who don’t make R&B music have been heavily influenced by Jackson, including Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump, who covered Jackson’s “Beat It” last year, and “American Idol” winner David Cook .

“I think the impact that Michael Jackson’s had on me as artist is the same impact he’s really had on everyone as an artist,” explained Cook, who covered Chris Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean” on “Idol” in 2008. “He blew pop music wide open and made it bigger than just music.”

The Game, who recorded a tribute track to Jackson along with Diddy, Boyz II Men’s Wanya Morris and Chris Brown, promised that MJ’s influence did not end with his death. “As long as I’m breathing, his legacy’s going to live on through me,” the rapper said.

For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”

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