Michael Jackson's Death: Celebrities React
Michael Jackson's friends and colleagues react to his shocking death Thursday with their condolences and remembrances:
Madonna told People: "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."
Look back at Michael Jackson's life in photos
From a spokesperson for Janet Jackson:
"Janet Jackson is grief-stricken and devastated at the sudden loss of her brother. She is in pre-production on a film and is flying immediately to California to be with her family."
From Lisa Marie Presley, who was married to Jackson from 1994 to 1996:
"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."
From Jackson's friend Dame Elizabeth Taylor:
"My heart...my mind... are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him. We had so much in common and we had such loving fun together. I was packing up my clothes to go to London for his opening when I heard the news. I still can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. It can't be so. He will live in my heart forever but it's not enough. My life feels so empty. I don't think anyone knew how much we loved each other. The purest most giving love I've ever known. Oh God! I'm going to miss him. I can't yet imagine life with out him. But I guess with God's help... I'll learn. I keep looking at the photo he gave me of himself, which says, "To my true love Elizabeth, I love you forever." And, I will love him forever."
From Quincy Jones, who produced Jackson's blockbuster albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad:
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the '80s. To this day, the music we created together on Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all... talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. 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."
Check out Jackson's TV Guide covers
From Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records:
"I am shocked beyond words. It's like a dream — a bad dream. This cannot be! How can Michael Jackson not be here? As a kid, Michael was always beyond his years. He had a knowingness about him that was incredible. When I first heard him sing Smokey's song, "Who's Lovin' You" at 10 years' old, it felt like he had lived the song for 50 years.
"Somehow, even at that first meeting with him, he had a hunger to learn, a hunger to be the best and was willing to work as hard and as long as it took. I had no concern about his ability to go to the top. He was like my son. He had warmth, sensitivity and two personalities. When he was not on stage, he was loving, respectful and shy. When he WAS on stage, he was so in charge you would not believe he was the same person.
"Michael was and will remain one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. He was exceptional, artistic and original. He gave the world his heart and soul through his music. I extend my sympathies to Joe, Katherine and the entire Jackson family. My prayers are with them."
From Brooke Shields, who befriended Jackson in the early 1980s:
"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."
From Smokey Robinson, fellow Motown legend:
"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 his legend will live on and the world will miss him dearly."
Watch Jackson's most famous music videos
From singer/dancer and American Idol judge Paula Abdul:
"Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt sorrow upon hearing the news of Michael Jackson's passing. I was blessed to be able to work with, and witness first hand, his tremendous talent and growth through the years as he truly became an icon. Today we have all lost a legend who has touched each of our lives through his music and showmanship over the past five decades. To his family, the entire Jackson clan, and to all his adoring legions of fans throughout the world, my prayers and deepest condolences to all."
From hip-hop artist Ne-Yo: "Michael Jackson will live forever through the thing that he put all of his life energy into: his music. I will do my part to keep the melody alive, to keep the energy forever changing form, but never ever dying!! Long live Michael Jackson."
From 'N Sync's JC Chasez:
"Words can't begin to describe my sadness for the loss of Michael Jackson. I was honored and humbled to have the opportunity to perform with him several times and he had a profound influence on my career. Michael forever changed the world of music and entertainment and I will always remember him for his kind and sweet spirit."
From Chasez's former bandmate Lance Bass:
"I am stunned and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Michael Jackson. Michael was a huge supporter of my career but more importantly he was a good friend, had the biggest heart and it was an honor and pleasure to be able to work with him and know him. There will never be another Michael Jackson, my thoughts and prayers are with his family."
From Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who helmed Jackson's "Bad" video:
"Michael Jackson was extraordinary. When we worked together on "Bad," I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times, and — it really goes without saying — a true artist. It will be a while before I can get used to the idea that he's no longer with us."
See more photos of Jackson throughout his career
Oscar winner Jamie Foxx told Extra:
"You cannot say enough about what he has given to us musically and culturally. We take for granted people like him... all he wanted to do was give us great music and that's what he did. Every single day was dedicated to us."
"I'll tell you this. Seeing him in concert in 1983, the Victory concert with his brothers, to watch people faint in the audience. Grown men fainting. Women fainting just because he was that dynamic... all you can say is that you hope we put our arms around his family. So much turmoil toward the end of his career... and I think that's the only thing that you can really hope for is that there is finally peace to this whole situation."
"What a great time. What a great entertainer. There will never be anybody [like him]... So our condolences go out to his family and let's take time... to do the right thing and honor the beauty of what Michael Jackson was and not the craziness and all of the circus things that the media can grab a hold to sometimes and just go nuts. Let's just honor that guy for all he's done and that's all you can say."
From John Landis, the director of Jackson's epic "Thriller" video:
"I was lucky enough to know and work with Michael Jackson in his prime. Michael was an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star. He had a troubled and complicated life and despite his gifts, remains a tragic figure. My wife Deborah and I will always have great affection for him."
Director Steven Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly: "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."
Rev. Jesse Jackson said:
"Michael Jackson, the consummate artist and creative entertainer whom I have known since he was a teenager, is dead.
How difficult it is to construct that sentence. We are out of our joy and he is out of his pain. Several generations have not lived a day without Michael Jackson in their lives.
I remember his performance, along with the Jackson Five, at the first Black Expo. I remember Suzanne de Passe taking the boys, as their chaperon, to Fred Segal to buy clothes. I observed him from the Regal Theater, to 'expo,' to 'We are the World,' to 'Thriller,' to 'Beat It' — he was always there.
He was my special guest at my 66th birthday party. I was with him at Neverland through his darkest hours but, through it all, Michael was a survivor and a contributor to his art — a rare vintage. Now the King of Pop deserves his rest."
Music legend Tina Turner:
"I am shocked and saddened by Michael's passing. I, along with his millions of fans, looked forward to seeing him tour one more time. Now, may he rest in peace."
From singer and actress and Jackson's close friend 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."
Recording artist Chris Brown:
"Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer. I am devastated by this great loss, and I will continue to be humbled and inspired by his legacy. My prayers are with his family. Michael will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. He's the greatest... the best ever. No one will ever be better."
Model Naomi Campbell said:
"I grew up with Michael Jackson, he was a good friend and the most exciting and innovative entertainer to have lived.
No artist has connected to their audience like Michael and no one will ever be able to match what he has achieved. He gave back to people through his charity work and was an amazing father and human being.
Michael touched people of every race, nationality, age and was the first truly global superstar. He is one of the all time greats and his role in popular culture will never be surpassed and never ever be forgotten."