The death of Michael Jackson a year ago today touched millions of people, including hip-hop stars who, like so many of us, grew up with his music. And like so many of us, they remember exactly where they were when reports of Jackson’s death first came in.
Game, like many fans, was suspicious when he first heard that Jackson had passed away. “I was at the crib, didn’t believe it,” Game said. “[The news] came through in a text message and people are always pulling pranks on text messages. So I immediately turned on the news and they were saying he went into cardiac arrest.”
Drake was more incredulous than suspicious. “When he passed, I was in Toronto. I remember, I saw my mom that night,” he said. “It was weird. It was somebody that you just don’t picture not being here. It’s Mike, you know?”
Jackson’s untimely passing was doubly shocking because it occurred as he was just weeks away from beginning his sold-out This Is It run of concerts at London’s O2 Arena.
“He looked like in A-1 shape and to hear that news, it was definitely devastating,” Flo Rida said.
“He literally gave his life to entertainment. He couldn’t live a normal life because of that,” said rising MC J. Cole, referring to the intense fame the star grappled with for most of his life. “That’s how much he loved to do this.”
With the indelible impact he left on music and pop culture, for many stars Jackson remains the final word when it comes to showstopping entertainment. As ATL’s B.o.B said, “His spirit and his music are so strong that he’s very much alive, still.”
MTV will be remembering the life and music of Michael Jackson all weekend. Don’t miss the one-hour special “Michael Jackson’s Influence on Music,” airing tonight at 6:30 p.m. on MTV.