He had some of the biggest hits of all time, he revolutionized the way we look at music videos, he could rock glitter and flood socks and be the baddest guy in the room and, of course, he could dance like no one else. And when Michael Jackson passed away one year ago Friday (June 25), many of his fans — including some of today's R&B stars — took the news as if they had lost someone they knew personally.
"I remember crying like a family member had died and, like, literally asking myself, 'Why am I crying like this?' " Ne-Yo said. "I didn't know him personally. I'd only met him the one time," said the singer and songwriter, whose jaunty fedoras and knack for crafting pop hits are strongly reminiscent of Jackson.
Kelly Rowland took the news of Jackson's death hard as well. "I was in New York City when I heard the news about Michael's passing. I remember being in my room and crying uncontrollably, as I'm sure a lot of people did," Rowland said.
Hitmaker Jason Derülo came up, like many young entertainers, wanting to be like Mike.
"I was the Michael Jackson kid in front of the television trying to do all the dance moves and sing all the songs," Derülo recalled.
French DJ and producer David Guetta said he owes his career, in part, to Jackson. "I managed to understand how to mix a record with 'Billie Jean,' " Guetta said. "I was raised on his music."
"He gave us so many great songs of all time," Rowland concluded. "We thank you and we love you and miss you so much, Michael."
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 today at 6:30 p.m. on MTV.