June 26, 2009 / 7:10 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Reactions to Michael Jackson's death

(Reuters) - Michael Jackson’s sudden death at the age of 50 brought reactions from across the music world and elsewhere. Below are some of those reactions.

Mourners pray outside the boyhood home of pop star Michael Jackson in Gary, Indiana, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Frank Polich

— President Barack Obama called Jackson a “spectacular performer” and said some of aspects of the performer’s life were “sad and tragic,” according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

— Elizabeth Taylor, acting legend and good friend said in a statement: “My heart ... my mind ... are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can’t imagine life without him. We has so much in common and we had such loving fun together.”

“I keep looking at the photo he game me of himself, which says, ‘To my true love Elizabeth, I love you forever.’ And, I will love HIM forever.”

— Singing legend Diana Ross: “I can’t stop crying, this is too sudden and shocking. I am unable to imagine this. My heart is hurting. I am in prayer for his kids and the family.”

— Motown’s Smokey Robinson: “It is always hard to lose a friend. I will miss Michael and all that he brought to the world through his music and his creative genius. I know that his legend will live on and the world will miss him dearly.”

— Political activist and family friend, Rev. Jesse Jackson talking to reporters at the Jackson family home in California:

“He was so excited about going to London ... The world was waiting for Michael’s return. And Michael was practicing maybe three hours a day, real vigorous exercise. That’s why we are so taken aback by the suddenness of this heart attack, because Michael was really in good physical shape,” Jackson said.

— Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley who was married to Jackson in the mid-1990s, said in a statement:

“I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me.”

— Jackson’s sister, Janet, was “grief-stricken and devastated at the sudden loss of her brother” and flying back to California to be with her family, according to a statement released through her manager.

— Music producer Quincy Jones, who collaborated with Jackson on three of his best-selling albums, “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad,” said:

“I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at this young age, I just don’t have the words.”

“He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him.”

— Former Beatle Paul McCartney said on his website:

“It’s so sad and shocking. I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.”

— Actress Brooke Shields, another long-time friend said:

“My heart is overcome with sadness for the devastating loss of my true friend Michael. He was an extraordinary friend, artist and contributor to the world. I join his family and his fans in celebrating his incredible life and mourning his untimely passing.”

— Pop star Madonna said: “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.”

— Singer Justin Timberlake, who has called Jackson his idol, told the celebrity Web site TMZ.com:

“I can’t find the words right now to express how deeply saddened I am by Michael’s passing. We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only pop music, but of all music.”

“He has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage and all of the things I learned about music from him.”

— Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said in a statement that he was “shocked beyond words” to hear of Jackson’s death.

“It’s like a dream — a bad dream. This cannot be. How can Michael Jackson not be here?” Gordy said.

— Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, who performed on Jackson’s 1991 hit “Black or White,” said: “Really sad news about Michael. He was talent from on high.”

— Singer and friend Liza Minnelli told Entertainment Tonight: “He was a kind, genuine and wonderful man. He was also one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. I loved him very much and I will miss him every remaining day of my life.”

— Filmmaker Steven Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly magazine: “Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson. His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him legend.”

— Rock star Lenny Kravitz said in a statement:

“There will never be another talent like Michael Jackson. Many people are saying what a performer, what an icon...They speak about the controversy and countless other things. But the truth of the matter is he was a boy that God blessed with the most angelic voice...He was a beautiful human being. I am deeply saddened this evening.”

— Singer Mariah Carey: “I am heartbroken...Let us remember him for his unparalleled contribution to the world of music, his generosity of spirit in his quest to heal the world, and the joy he brought to his millions of devoted fans throughout the world.

“I feel blessed to have performed with him several times and to call him my friend.”

Reporting by Reuters bureaux

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