Michael Joseph Jackson (29 August 1958 – 25 June 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, businessman, and philanthropist. Often referred to by the honorific nickname "King of Pop", Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
- Like the old Indian proverb says, do not judge a man until you've walked 2 moons in his moccasins.
Most people don't know me, that is why they write such things in which most is not true. I cry very very often because it hurts and I worry about the children, all my children all over the world, I live for them.
If a man could say nothing against a character but what he could prove, history could not be written.
Animals strike not from malice but because they want to live, it is the same with those who criticize, they desire our blood not our pain. But still I must achieve I must seek truth in all things. I must endure for the power I was sent forth, for the world for the children.
But have mercy, for I've been bleeding a long time now. MJ.
- Handwritten note published in People (12 October 1987)
- Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the Creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The Creator and the creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing — until there is only … the dance.
- "The Dance" - from inlay sleeve of Dangerous (1991)
- I have no problem with them imitating [me]. It's a compliment. Everybody has to start out looking up to someone. For me it was James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Wilson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly.
- On pop groups like N'Sync, as quoted in interview in TV Guide (1 November 2001)
- If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
- Dancing the Dream (1992), also used in his funeral invitation. Quoted in "Dead stars and classic art will surround Michael Jackson" in CNN.com/entertainment (3 July 2009)
- I have begun to see that even my father's harshness was a kind of love. An imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me, because he wanted no man to ever look down at his offspring. Now with time, rather than bitterness I feel blessing.… My initial fury has slowly given way to forgiveness.
- "Heal the Kids" speech at the Oxford Union (2001)
- I put a lot of mannequins in my room in the past, and I still have mannequins in my room, because I used to be very lonely, painfully lonely. You have no idea. I used to walk the streets looking for people to talk to. I'm talking about the height of one's career…. I would walk up to them, strangers, and say, "will you be my friend?" They'd go, "my god, Michael Jackson!" and that's not what I wanted.
- The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See (2002)
- The record companies really do conspire against the artists. They steal. They cheat. They do whatever they can, especially the black artists.… Sony's Tommy Mottola is the president of the record division. He is mean. He is a racist, and he's very, very, very devilish.
- Remarks at National Action Network headquarters (6 July 2002)
- The minute I started breaking the all-time record in record sales—I broke Elvis's records, I broke Beatles records—the minute it became the all-time best-selling album in the history of the Guinness Book of World Records, overnight they called me a freak. They called me a homosexual. They called me a child molester. They said I bleached my skin. They made everything to turn the public against me.
- Remarks at National Action Network headquarters (9 July 2002)
- I know my race. I just look in the mirror. I know I'm black.
- Remarks at National Action Network headquarters (9 July 2002)
- I'm just like anyone. I cut and I bleed. And I embarass easily.
- I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans in jail for downloading music. It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail. Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws, and we should look to new technologies like Apple's new Music Store for solutions. This way, innovation continues to be the hallmark of America. It is the fans that drive the success of the music business.
- Press statement (21 July 2003), quoted in "Jackson attacks music piracy bill" in BBC News (22 July 2003)
- Lies run sprints but the truth runs marathons.
- Press statement (November 2003); quoted in "Michael Jackson Calls Child Molestation Charges 'Lies'" (8 December 2003) Jet
- In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.
- Also used at his funeral (3 Sep. 2009) invitation. Quoted in "Dead stars and classic art will surround Michael Jackson " in CNN.com/entertainment (03 July 2009)
- Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth." 
"Michael Jackson - Life in the Magical Kingdom" Rolling Stone 1983
- I wake up from dreams and go, 'Wow, put this down on paper.' The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face. And you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry, I just didn't write this. It's there already.' That's why I hate to take credit for the songs I've written. I feel that somewhere, someplace, it's been done and I'm just a courier bringing it into the world. I really believe that. I love what I do. I'm happy at what I do. It's escapism.
Televised Interview with Oprah Winfrey (1993)
- Do not judge a person, Do not pass a judgement on anyone unless you've talked to them one-on-one. I don't care what the story is...
- OK, number one. There, as I know of, there is no such thing as skin bleaching... I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin, it's something that I cannot help, OK? But, when people make up stories that I don't want to be who I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, I can't control it.
- On the lightening of his skin.
- Yeah, I think James Brown is a genius you know, when he's with the Famous Flames, unbelievable. I used to watch him on television and I used to get angry at the cameraman because whenever he would really start to dance they would be on a close-up so I couldn't see his feet. I'd shout "show him show him," so I could watch and learn.
- On watching James Brown as a young child.
He simply was the best man and artist in the world.
Ebony interview (2007)
- Bryan Monroe (December 2007) "A Q & A With Michael Jackson," Ebony
- I always wanted to do music that influences and inspires each generation. Lets face it, who wants mortality?
- On how he creates memorable music
- Ever since I was a little boy, I would study composition. And it was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that influenced me the most. If you take an album like Nutcracker Suite, every song is killer, every one. So I said to myself, 'Why can't there be a pop album where every...' — People used to do an album where you'd get one good song, and the rest were like B-sides, they'd call them "album songs" — and I'd say to myself 'Why can't every one be like a hit song? Why can't every song be so great that people would want to buy it if you could release it as a single?. So I always tried to strive for that. That was the purpose for the next album.
- On musical influences
- The industry, It's at a crossroad, There's a transformation going on. People are confused, what's going on, how to distribute and sell music. The internet kinda threw everybody for a real loop. 'Cause it's so powerful, kids love it so much. The whole world is at their fingertips, on their lap. Anything they want to know, anyone they want to communicate with, any music, any movies... The thing is it just took everybody for a loop. Right now, all these Starbucks deals and Wal-Mart deals, direct to artists, I don't know if that's the answer. I think the answer is just phenomenal, great music. Just reaching the masses. I think people are still searching. There's not a real music revolution going on right now, either. But when it's there, people will break down a wall to get to it. I mean, 'cause before Thriller, it was the same kind of thing. People were not buying music. It helped to bring everybody back into the stores, so when it happens, it happens.
- On musical influences
- What I do when I write is that I'll do a raggedy, rough version just to hear the chorus, just to see how much I like the chorus. If it works for me that way when it's raggedy, then I'll know it will just work... Listen to that, that's at home. Janet, Randy, Me... Janet and I are going "Whoo, Whoo... Whoo, Whoo..." I do that same process with every song. It's the melody, it's the melody that's most important, If the melody can sell me, then I'll go to the next step. The idea is to transcribe from what's in your mentality onto tape. If you take a song like "Billie Jean," Where the bass line is the prominent, dominant piece, the protagonist of the song, the main driving riff that you hear, getting the character of the riff to be just the way you want it to be, that takes a lot of time. Listen, you're hearing four basses on there, doing four different personalities, and that's what gives it character, but it takes a lot of work.
- On listening to an early version of Billie Jean on an iPhone
This Is It
Recordings shown on the film This Is It.
- "It's all for love... With the love, L.O.V.E."
- Note: The two lines are from different parts of the film;the quotes were edited together on the trailer as "It's all for love, L.O.V.E."
- "Love lives forever."
- Last title displayed on the film.
- "I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That's why it makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening, that every second, I hear, the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. I mean, that kind of stuff really bothers me. That's why I write these kinds of songs, you know. It gives some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love the Planet, I love the trees. I have this thing for trees - the colors and changing of leaves. I love it. I respect those kind of things. I really feel that nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the planet. Because the planet is sick, like a fever. If we don't fix it now, it's at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have, where it's like a runway train. And the times has come, This Is It. People are always saying,'They'll take care of it. The government'll--Don't worry, they'll--' 'They' who? It starts with us. It's us. Or else it'll never be done... We have four years to get it right. After that it would be irreversible. Let's take care of the planet."
- On the environment
- "I love you. That'll be the ending of this under the words. "
The film was dedicated to Michael's three children, Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II aka Blanket.
Televised Interview with Barbara Walters(1998)
- Michael Jackson: There's a time for this, and this you should not do. You should not go out and say, 'Oh he's Jacko'. I'm not a "Jacko". I'm "Jackson".
- Walters: How do you feel when people call you..
- Jackson: Yeah, "Wacko Jacko". Where'd that come from? Some English tabloid. I have a heart and I have feelings, I feel that, when you do that to me. It's not nice. Don't do it. I'm not a wacko.
- Referring to the media, tabloids, and his reputation
Living with Michael Jackson (2002)
- Not only were we practicing, we were nervous rehearsing, because he would sit in a chair with a belt in his hand, and if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up. Really get you...We were terrified of him. So terrified, I can't tell you. I don't think he realized how scared...scared...I mean SCARED. So scared that I would regurgitate. (with emphasis) Mmm-hmm. (reporter asks Michael what caused the reaction) His presence, just seeing him...And I was so fast, he wouldn't catch me half the time, but when he did, oh my God, it was bad.
- On his father & the whippings he & his brothers would receive from him
- When I was a kid, I was denied not only a childhood, but I was denied love. When I reached out to hug my father, he didn't hug me back. When I was scared on an airplane, he didn't put his arm around me and say, "Michael, don't worry. It's going to be OK." When I was scared to go on stage, he said, "get your ass on that stage." … I will never deny a child love. If it means that I have to be crucified or put in jail for it, then that's just what they're going to have to do.
- Remark to producer Cory Rooney, as repeated to Chris Yandek (http://thesportsinterview.com/mjackson.html)
- I love you all good night.
- People all over the world
Are the same everywhere I go,
I give in to this, I give in to that,
Every day it bothers me so,
Am I in a bad situation?
People taking me to the extreme,
Am I being used? I just need a clue,
I don't know which way to go.
- Things I Do For You (credited to "The Jacksons")
- I don't know what's gonna happen to you, baby,
But I do know that I love you,
You walk around this town with your head all up in the sky,
And I do know that I want you.
- Let's dance, let's shout!
Shake your body down to the ground.
- I try to do what's right for me,
But no-one sees the way I see,
And then I try to please them so,
But how far can this pleasing go?
- Sometimes I cry cause I'm confused,
Is this a fact of being used?
There is no life for me at all,
'Cause I give myself at beck and call.
- Bless His Soul (credited to "The Jacksons")
Off the Wall (1979)
- Lovely is the feeling now,
Fever, temperature's rising now,
Power is the force, the vow,
That makes it happen,
It asks no questions how.
- So let love take us through the hours,
I won't be complainin'
'Cause this is love power.
- Keep on with the force, don't stop
Don't stop 'til you get enough.
- She got me workin' day and night,
And I've been workin'
From sun-up to midnight.
- You say that workin is what a man's supposed to do.
But I say you ain't right if I can't give sweet love to you.
- How could you leave, girl?
'Cause love for us was meant to be,
Then you must be seein'
Some other guy instead of me.
- Get on the floor and dance with me,
I love the way you shake your thing especially.
- Get on the Floor (co-written with Louis Johnson)
- All the colors of the world should be
Loving each other wholeheartedly,
Yes, it's alright,
Take my message to your brother and tell him twice,
Spread the word and try to teach the man
Who's hating his brother when hate won't do,
When we're all the same,
'Cause the blood inside me is inside of you.
- As we walked into the room
There were faces staring, glaring, tearing through me,
Someone said, 'Welcome to your doom,'
Then they smiled with eyes that looked as if they knew me,
This is scaring me.
- I said, you wanna be startin' somethin',
You got to be startin' somethin',
I said, you wanna be startin' somethin',
You got to be startin' somethin',
It's too high to get over,
It's too low to get under,
You're stuck in the middle,
And the pain is thunder.
- You're a vegetable, you're a vegetable,
Still they hate you, you're a vegetable,
You're just a buffet, you're a vegetable,
They eat off you, you're a vegetable.
- Mama se, Mama sa, Mama coo sa.
- Night creatures call.
The dead start to walk in their masquerade.
There's no escapin' the jaws of the alien this time (they're open wide).
This is the end of your life.
- Beat it, beat it,
No-one wants to be defeated,
Showin' how funky and strong is your fight,
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right.
Just beat it.
- You wanna show them that you're really not scared,
You're playing with your life, this ain't no truth or dare,
They'll kick you then they'll beat you then they'll tell you it's fair,
So beat it.
- She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene,
I said, 'Don't mind, but what do you mean I am the one,
Who will dance, on the floor, in the round?'
- People always told me, 'Be careful what you do,
Don't go around breaking young girls' hearts,'
And momma always told me, 'Be careful who you love,
Be careful what you do, 'cause a lie becomes the truth.'
- Billie Jean is not my lover,
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one,
But the kid is not my son.
- Your butt is mine
Gonna tell you right
Just show your face
In broad daylight
- I'm telling you
On what I feel
Gonna catch your mind
Dont shoot to kill
Well, they say the sky's the limit,
And to me that's really true,
But, my friend you have seen nothing,
Just wait 'til I get through.
- Im giving you
On a count three
Just show your stuff
Or let it be
Im telling you
Just watch your mouth
I know your game
What you're about!
Well, they say the sky's the limit,
And to me that's really true,
But, my friend you have seen nothing,
Just wait 'til I get through.
- We can change the world tomorrow.
This could be a better place.
If you don't like what I'm sayin',
Then won't you slap my face.
- Well, they say the sky's the limit,
And to me that's really true,
But, my friend you have seen nothing,
Just wait 'til I get through.
- And the whole world has to answer right now,
Just to tell you once again,
- The way you make me feel,
You really turn me on,
You knock me off my feet,
My lonely days are gone.
- I just can't stop loving you,
I just can't stop loving you,
And if I stop, then tell me just what will I do?
'Cause I just can't stop loving you.
- Each Time The Wind Blows
I Hear Your Voice So
I Call Your Name.
Whispers At Morning
Our Love Is Dawning
Heaven's Glad You Came.
- You'll never make me stay
So take your weight off of me.
I know your every move
So won't you just let me be.
I've been here times before
But I was too blind to see
That you seduce every man.
This time you won't seduce me.
- As he came into the window
It was the sound of a crescendo
He came in her apartment
He left the blood stains on the carpet
She ran underneath the table
He could see she was unable
So she ran into the bedroom
She was struck down, it was her doom
- Annie, are you OK?
Annie, are you OK?
Are you OK, Annie?
You've been hit by, you've been struck by
A smooth criminal.
- I don't care what you talkin' 'bout baby.
I don't care what you say.
Don't you come walkin' beggin' back mama.
I don't care anyway.
Time after time I gave you all of my money.
No excuses to make.
Ain't no mountain that I can't climb baby.
All is going my way.
- 'Cause there's a time when you're right
And you know you must fight,
Who's laughing, baby? Don't you know?
And there's a choice that we make,
And a choice you must take,
Who's laughing, baby?
- So, just leave me alone,
Leave me alone,
Leave me alone,
Leave me alone, stop it,
Just stop doggin' me around.
Blood on the Dance Floor (1997)
- Susie got your number
And Susie ain't your friend
Look who took you under
With seven inches in
Blood is on the dance floor
Blood is on the knife
Susie's got your number
And Susie says it's right.
- I have to find my peace 'cause no-one seems to let me be,
False prophets cry of doom, what are the possibilities?
I told my brothers 'There'll be problem times and tears for fears,
We must live each day like it's the last,
Go with it, go with it, jam!
- It ain't too much stuff,
Jam, it ain't too much,
It ain't too much for me to jam!
- Just promise me, whatever we say
Or do to each other,
From now, we make a vow to just
Keep it in the closet.
- Heal the world, make it a better place,
For you and for me and the entire human race,
There are people dying, but if you care enough for the living,
Make a better place for you and for me.
- I took my baby on a Saturday bang,
Boy, is that girl with you?
Yes, we're one and the same.
Well, I believe in miracles,
And a miracle has happened tonight,
But if you're thinking about my baby,
It don't matter if you're black or white.
- They print my message in the Saturday Sun,
I had to tell them I ain't second to none,
And I told about equality,
And its true, either you're wrong or you're right.
- And it doesn't seem to matter, and it doesn't seem right,
'Cause the will has brought no fortune, still I cry alone at night,
Don't you judge of my composure, 'cause I'm bothered every day,
And she didn't leave a letter, she just up and ran away.
- Love is a feeling,
Give it when I want it,
'Cause I'm on fire,
Quench my desire,
Love is a woman,
I don't want to give in,
Give in to me, give in to me.
- In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair,
Will you still care? Will you be there?
In my trials and my tribulations,
Through our doubts and frustrations,
In my violence and my turbulence,
Through my fear and my confessions,
And my anguish and my pain,
Through my joy and my sorrow,
In the promise of another tomorrow,
I'll never let you part,
For you're always in my heart.
- With such confusions, don't it make you wanna scream?
Your bash abusing victimize within the scheme,
You try to cope with every lie they scrutinize,
Oh, brother, please have mercy,
'Cause I just can't take it!
- Stop pressuring me, just stop pressuring me,
Stop pressuring me,
Make me wanna scream.
- Skin head Dead head,
Everybody gone bad,
Situation, Aggravation ,
In the suite, On the news,
Bang Bang, Shot dead,
Everybody gone mad ,
- Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me.
- You know I really do hate to say it,
The government don't wanna see,
But if Roosevelt was livin'
He wouldn't let this be, no, no.
- Some things in life they just don't wanna see
But if Martin Luther was livin'
He wouldn't let this be.
- They don't really care about us.
- How does it feel,
When you're alone and you're cold inside?
- What about sunrise, what about rain?
What about all the things that you said we were to gain?
What about flowering fields, is there a time?
What about all the dreams that you said was yours and mine?
- Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war?
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying earth, these weeping shores?
- Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my childhood?
- People say I'm strange that way,
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate
For the childhood I've never known.
- Just because you read it in a magazine,
Or see it on a TV screen
Don't make it factual.
- Tabloid Junkie
- You can't believe it, you can't conceive it,
And you can't touch me, 'cause I'm untouchable,
And I know you hate it, and you can't take it,
You'll never break me, 'cause I'm unbreakable.
- Speechless, speechless,
That's how you make me feel,
When I'm with you I am far away,
And nothing is for real.
- You are the sun, you make me shine, or more like the stars, that twinkle at night. You are the moon that glows in my heart. You're my daytime, my night-time, my world...you are my life.
- You Are My Life
Quotes about Jackson
- Listed alphabetically by author
- Though the allegations of sexual assault surrounding Jackson are serious, can you really cancel someone whose influence runs so deep and who is so omnipresent?
Jenna Wortham, a culture writer for the New York Times, contemplated this question on the podcast "Still Processing." She says she's managed to cut out such entertainers as Allen, Louis CK and Chris Brown -- but Jackson is still everywhere. His songs influenced generations of musicians. It simply isn't possible to totally cancel him.
- Leah Asmelash, "Why 'cancel culture' doesn't always work”, CNN, (September 21, 2019).
- And if he is not credited for composing the music, it's because he was not happy with the result sound coming out of the console. At the time, game consoles did not allow an optimal sound reproduction, and Michael found it frustrating. He did not want to be associated with a product that devalued his music...
- He will always be the King of Pop. He has not abdicated, nor has he been usurped.
- Stephen Colbert, during interview with Damian Kulash after Kulash said "He was the King of Pop." "Colbert Nation - Damian Kulash" 3m15s (August 23, 2006)
- We're close, he's a good friend of mine, we definitely have a connection that most people don't have...
- He was adamantly against drugs and alcohol, he was extremely straight-laced; I couldn’t even swear around him. Being with Michael brought me back to my innocence.
- Corey Feldman in his memoir Coreyography, (2013); as quoted in "10 Tidbits From Corey Feldman’s Memoir, From ‘Fun’ to ‘Sad’", Jen Chaney, Vulture, October 28, 2013.
- He did real damage in my overall life. I was a 12-year-old boy who was hurt by his family and ignored by people at school. Michael would sit and talk to me for hours and he would listen. Then he would get bored. The biggest thing that Michael's done to children is befriending the ones that are in need and then abandoning them.
- Corey Feldman, "Corey Feldman Slams Michael Jackson –", Starpulse.com, July 23, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- In some ways Michael reminds me of the walking wounded. He's an extremely fragile person. I think that just getting on with life, making contact with people, is hard enough, much less to be worried about whither goest the world.
- He was so energetic that at five years old, he was like a leader. We saw that. So we said, 'Hey, Michael, you be the lead guy.' The audience ate it up. He was into those James Brown things at the time, you know. The speed was the thing. He would see somebody do something, and he could do it right away.
- It was sort of frightening. He was so young. He didn't go out and play much. So if you want me to tell you the truth, I don't know where he got it. He just knew.
- He is a very smart cookie, Michael. He knows what he wants, he knows what he is doing. I have nothing but admiration. Also, he is a very kind person.
- Just as Mozart could hear whole symphonies in his head, Jackson fully realized his songs before they were put down on paper. Jackson created some of the greatest pop anthems of all time, that only adds to the sense that what MJ had was a special, special gift.
- I think Michael Jackson has influenced every performer on the face of the earth. What he really inspired me to do and influenced me to do is my best, and I feel like what he represented is quality and craftsmanship with his performance. He was one of the best performers of all time and it was because he put in work, he put in time, he was creative, and he wanted to be the best.
- I'm upset at the way he's being treated in the media. I think they're really trying to slander his name, and I really think that's unfair for the way that he's contributed to the American culture since the day he was born. I think he deserves much more than that.
- What I'm asking is whether this is still a country where a peculiar person such as Michael Jackson can get a fair shake and be considered innocent until proven guilty … or is this just a 21st-century American barnyard where we all feel free to turn on the moonwalking rooster … and peck it to death?
- This came down to a prosecutor either so sure Jackson was bad or so offended by Jackson's combination of celebrity and wackiness that he rushed into a case that looked shaky from hello. It looked worse as Tom Sneddon went along, and had become nearly ludicrous by the time Jackson's ex-wife left the stand. No matter how pure Sneddon's motives may have been (and I'm not saying they were, believe me), he began to look like a man pursuing a vendetta, one whose chief hope of securing a conviction lay in the obvious fact that the trial was a sideshow and the accused was … well, a freak.
- The media first turned the trial into a freak-show by emphasizing Jackson's peculiarities rather than his humanity, and stoked the ratings with constant, trivializing coverage while other, far more important stories went under-reported or completely ignored in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Washington, D.C. The press might respond by saying, We gave the people what they wanted. My response would be, My job is to give them what they want. When he steps into a recording studio, it's Michael Jackson's job to give them what they want. Your job is to give the people what they need.
- I was and remain very fond of Michael. I liked him a lot. He was a sad character in that he was an abused child. And “Thriller” I guess was his peak in terms of his powers, by the time I did “Black Or White” he was mad. [Laughs.] The guy that I worked on “Thriller” was a genius and he was 20 years old, but it was like working with a gifted 10-year-old. The guy who I worked on with “Black Or White” was crazy. Michael had gone mad. [Laughs.] I just feel he’s a tragic figure. I liked him a lot and you won’t hear me say bad things about Mike. I mean, I don’t believe he was a child molester. I really do not. I think he was damn weird, no doubt about it, but in terms of sexually molesting a kid, I don’t think so. When he was on trial, I tried to go to show support, and his father wouldn’t let me in the court. His father hates me. I mean, he was surrounded by bad people, and he also created a lot of his misfortune, but he was an incredible performer. Seeing him live in a stadium—and I’ve worked with a lot of people—I’ve never seen anyone who had that kind of power onstage. But in real life he was just a skinny little guy who wasn’t there. He had no presence.
- I always looked up to him--and my dad--since I was a little boy.
- I would go on YouTube and obsessively watch videos of the best performers: Michael Jackson, Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, all those guys. And I would study everything: their moves, their facial expressions, the way they carry themselves onstage, everything. There's always so much to learn. Take Michael- he has so much power, and not just in the way he moves, either. I've always felt like his facial expressions are everything. I was watching a Michael video, and I put a piece of paper over his body so just his head was visible, and he was still killing it. Even just with his face, he was able to connect with the audience a hundred percent. Amazing. I was taking mental notes that whole time, and I still work on that.
- Austin Mahone, Just How It Happened (2014), p. 152
- He dances with the breathtaking verve of his predecessor James Brown, the beguiling wispiness of Diana Ross, the ungainly pathos of Charlie Chaplin, the edgy joy of a man startled to be alive.
- Jim Miller, as quoted in Newsweek (16 July 1984)
- That's how much we love Michael. We love Michael so much, we let the first kid slide.
- Chris Rock, Chris Rock: Never Scared (2004)
- We stand up and the judge leaves, and Michael turns to me and says, "Bob, the jury system is much older than 200 years, isn't it?" I said, 'Well, yeah, it goes back to the Greeks." He says, "Oh yeah, Socrates had a jury trial, didn't he?" I said, "Yeah, well, you know how it turned out for him." Michael says, "Yeah, he had to drink the hemlock." That's just one little tidbit. We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues. But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature.
- Bob Sanger, one of Michael Jackson's lawyers during his 2005 trial, in "Michael Jackson's Lawyer, Bob Sanger, Talks to West Coast Sound About the Pop Star, His Life -- and His Reading Habits" (25 June 2005)
- The nearest thing we have to royalty in America is Michael Jackson.
- He's sort of a fawn in a burning forest. It's a nice place where Michael comes from. I wish we could all spend some time in his world.
- Whether or not he has ever touched a boy inappropriately, Michael Jackson seems too emotionally stunted to act in any grown-up way, including a deviant sexual one. Naive, juvenile, and terribly damaged, he seems pathetically incapable not just of criminal intent, but of adult consciousness.
- Jacob Weisberg, Arrested Development: The tragedy of Michael Jackson., Slate, June 14, 2005
- Everyone's thinking they're the new W. Axl Rose, just running their mouths and living in this world where nothing is real. Like, it's really easy to write a couple of songs, but that doesn't mean you get to run your mouth. The only guy who can do that is Michael Jackson. He wrote Thriller, so he can say whatever the fuck he wants.
- What is the definition of cool?
Michael Jackson made “Heal the World.” He could do that because he was golden. He was himself. He didn’t have to try to be cool. Think about a lot of your favorite bands and groups. Would they make a song called “Heal the World”? No, because they are too concerned about their leather jackets. Ironically, they are probably wearing leather jackets because of Michael Jackson. Once you’re put in power, you have to take advantage of the position you’re in to make the world better. There were times when I thought I was making the world better, or maybe I just wasn’t thinking at all.
- You know how you either grow up in a Michael Jackson house or a prince house? for me it was Michael Jackson. I could never decide whether I wanted to be Michael Jackson or marry him. I don´t care what people say about him now because he´s a f... genius. That´s it — The end! He was robbed of his childhood, which is why he surrounds himself with children. When you´re around kids you can be a little kid yourself and pretend that life is magic and you don´t have to be one of those sweaty people going to work every day. I completely see what he´s doing
Remarks made after his death
- First of all, we’d like to thank God for watching over us over these past seven months, and our Grandma and Grandpa for their love and support. We would also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much because you were always there for him. Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity. Through all his hard work and dedication, he has helped many charities and donated to all of them. Through all his songs, his message was simple: Love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world. Thank you. We love you, Daddy.
- Prince Michael Jackson I, 52nd Grammy Awards (31 January 2010)
- Daddy was supposed to be here. Daddy was going to perform this year but he couldn't perform last year … Thank you. We love you, Daddy.
- Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, 52nd Grammy Awards (31 January 2010)
- Everyone's all 'a cook?!' like they're surprised to hear it...He was just a normal Dad. Except, I'd say he was the best dad ever.
- (In response to: What do you miss the most?) Everything.
- Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, aged 12, Oprah Winfrey Show (aired Nov 8, 2010)
- (In response to 'Did you know at the time why you were putting on the mask?' Jackson often had his children wear scarves, veils or masks to disguise their identities when they left home) Because that when we did go out without our dad, then nobody would really recognise us.
- (Favourite memory of his father) When we were all in Bahrain we used to wake up early and walk to the beach with Coca-Cola and Skittles.
- Prince Michael Jackson I, aged 13, Oprah Winfrey Show (aired Nov 8, 2010)
- (In response to: What kind of a dad was he? Was he a strict disciplinarian or could you get away with anything with him?) He (Prince Michael I) could get away with anything (He could get away with it, you couldn't get away with it?) No.
- Prince Michael Jackson II, aka Blanket, aged 8, Oprah Winfrey Show (aired Nov 8, 2010)
- 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 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 without 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.
- To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family and he will forever live in our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much. Thank you so much.
- Janet Damita Jo Jackson, 2009 BET Awards Michael Jackson Tribute
- The world has lost an amazing man. A man that cared, and loved and gave everything he had for others.
- David Blaine, on his Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- 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.
- 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.
- JC Chasez, in US magazine (26 June 2009)
- I'm having a million different reactions I didn't expect I would feel. He was a great singer — God gives you certain gifts and this child was just an extraordinary child touched by this ability. He could sing like nobody else and he was able to connect with people. His genius can only be compared to Ray Charles's or Stevie Wonder's.
- Cher, on Larry King Live (26 June 2009)
- He really did carve in the stratosphere of American popular culture, in American music, a unique niche, so to speak, because he was capable of joining so much of the vernacular traditions of African-American music with the most up-to-date technology to project into the world the forceful ambition and the edifiying inspiration of African-American culture and music.
- Michael Eric Dyson, on MSNBC SPECIAL: Michael Jackson Dead at Fifty (25 June 2009)
- When we first met, around 1988, I was struck by the combination of charisma and woundedness that surrounded Michael. He would be swarmed by crowds at an airport, perform an exhausting show for three hours, and then sit backstage afterward, as we did one night in Bucharest, drinking bottled water, glancing over some Sufi poetry as I walked into the room, and wanting to meditate.
That person, whom I considered (at the risk of ridicule) very pure, still survived -- he was reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore when we talked the last time, two weeks ago. Michael exemplified the paradox of many famous performers, being essentially shy, an introvert who would come to my house and spend most of the evening sitting by himself in a corner with his small children.
- Michael had read some of the details regarding Laura and Euna’s predicament. As was often the case with him and global events he read about – from famine in Africa to victims of natural disasters in far off countries, to orphans created by wars – he felt a deep sense of empathy for Laura and Euna. When I shared with him that Euna had a four-year-old daughter, he was even more anguished.
He asked me whether I had had any contact with Laura. I told him I had written her a few letters and had been assured they were getting through. Outside of that, her own family had only heard from her twice – brief monitored phonecalls – in the over three months they had been imprisoned. When I told him that, Michael paused.
“Do you think,” he said hesitantly, “that the leader of North Korea could be a fan of mine?”
I didn’t really know how to respond. Not much is known about the reclusive Kim Jong Il or “Dear leader” as he is called in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Over the years it’s been alleged he has a thing for Hollywood, certain NBA stars, Elvis, and specific liqueurs. Still, I’d never heard about any connection between Michael Jackson and Kim Jong Il. … "I don’t really know,” I answered Michael. “But I can try and find out.”
“Please,” Michael responded without hesitantly, “because maybe if he was a fan, I could help get those girls home.”
I explained to Michael that there were larger geo-politics involved, nuclear programs, a new administration trying to assert its foreign policy strategy (Obama), and another one in NK possibly going through some sort of transference of power.
“Yeah,” Michael said wistfully, “but if someone wants to do something good, they just can. They don’t really need to worry about all that other stuff.”
- Michael and I shared an absolute love for children, and his heart cried about the pain children around the world faced. One day, while chatting with him about his upcoming Super Bowl performance, Michael was brainstorming how he could use the worldwide exposure for a greater cause, and the Heal The World Foundation was born. … I was so proud of the work we did in that short time, only to find that our good intentions came to a halt when Michael was accused the first time of child molestation. Over night, understandably so, non-profits backed away from our efforts and we quietly closed shop. My family always maintained our belief that Michael was innocent in both cases – for those that were close to Michael, all would admit he was quirky and had bad judgment at times. But to think Michael could abuse a child was unfathomable in my mind.
Over the last decade, my relationship with Michael continued to be focused on kids, but now our own. … It was amazing for me to witness in those early years how enamored Michael was with his children. He changed their diapers through the night, sang and played with them, rocked them to sleep, bathed them and had to change his own outfits when they threw up on him – the same routine that all parents know and love. In the few times we spoke, he would always reflect on the miracle of being a parent. He also protected them in a way that reflected his own lost childhood, and his paranoia about being taken advantage of. Paris, Prince and Blanket are three beautiful children. With Michael gone, I truly pray that they will find some peace and be spared the heart wrenching pain that their father faced time and time again in his life.
- Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, and our hearts are heavy, heavy here. Michael Jackson was the world's greatest entertainer but more than that he was great humanitarian and a great, humble individual. The people of Gary, our hearts are full of tears because of the loss of Michael Jackson.
- Rudy Clay, Mayor of Gary, Indiana, in "Michael Jackson's funeral" (26 June 2009)
- While you guys are talking and laughing, you’re not hearing his words. You’re not listening to his words. I need you to hear what he’s saying! Listen to the message that he is telling us.
- From the beginning of my career, he was my idol in show business. He was a genius and an incredible artist!
- Celine Dion, on Larry King Live (25 June 2009)
- I come to you today with great sadness, acknowledging the loss of the greatest entertainer in the history of mankind. For me he was more than that, he was my idol, he was a role model, he was someone to cry to when my childhood was unbearable, he was a brother, he was a dear friend.
- Corey Feldman, in "Justin Timberlake praises Jackson's musical genius", "People" (26 June 2009)
- I'm hurt. But I'm celebrating his life and his music. Dancing and crying and dancing in public. Holding heart-to-heart conversations with complete strangers about one of the things, if not the only thing, we share in common, That Is The Legendary MoonWalker Himself. A white guy in a pickup truck pulled alongside me on the expressway and shouted to me, had I heard about Mike?!? It's surreal and it's everywhere!!! Every time I feel like getting sad, one of his songs comes on, and I'm just filled with happiness and start singing and smiling. He was the best to ever do it. Salaams, Peace & Blessings. May Allah have mercy on his soul. We Love You MJ!!!
- I feel so thankful for him sharing his brilliance
- Delta Goodrem, on her Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- As a kid Michael was always beyond his years, he was an innovator, he was a genius at what he did. He had a knowingness about him. At 9 years old, when I first started working with him, he seemed to me like he had been here before. He was just so knowledgeable about life.
- Berry Gordy, in "Berry Gordy Statement on the passing of Michael Jackson" (26 June 2009)
- Michael Jackson was not only loved by the people of the world, for his incomparable talent, he was loved by the magnificent wild animals for which he provided the most beautiful home at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, CA. We were thrilled to have Michael's beloved tigers, Thriller and Sabu, join our pride here at Shambala when Michael needed a good home for them. Thriller and Sabu will always remind us of Michael.
- It almost sounds crazy to say that the show wasn't about him, but … he'd put it in perspective all the time, saying, "This is what we're here for, to spread a message of love and taking care of the planet, that we want people to understand it's very, very dear and not to take it for granted."
- Dorian Holley, Michael Jackson’s vocal director for the "This Is It" London concerts What Michael Jackson Did on His Last Day" by S. James Snyder in TIME magazine (29 June 2009)
- The first album I ever bought with my own money was Thriller. His performance at the Grammys is a milestone in the history of American music. I watched it on TV and spent the next two weeks in my kitchen trying to learn how to moonwalk.
- Michael grew to understand why the world is in the state it is. He would ask “Why?” but not get trapped in trying to find reasons for each and every problem. His aim was finding solutions. His message was about solutions. Michael’s day-to-day thought process was: “How do I make the world a better place?” He dedicated his existence to responding to this question, and to giving a voice to those who can’t speak out for themselves.
Man in the Mirror, We are the World, Will You Be There – all these songs put forward a simple but powerful message: If someone is hungry, give them food, but also help them become self-sufficient. Michael taught us that when you do good, you start with the individual, then move onto a family, a neighborhood, a village, a nation.
- Michael always looked for the good in people, but he also wanted people to understand him, and what he was here for. This made the ridicule he endured so much harder to bear. How can someone who gave so much, be the subject of so much hate? Why is it, the more blessed we are, the tougher our times are destined to be?
My brother wasn’t a threat to anyone. He was at peace, and his peaceful state was a blessing from God. Michael was given the rare talent to entertain, sing and perform. But the true blessing God gave him was the ability to use his talents to do good for others. Michael’s songs inspired us to do better. That was his true gift.
We still feel Michael’s loss. But what will happen as time passes? What will happen to Michael’s real purpose for being? Who can carry on Michael’s work selflessly, without ulterior motive? Nations and governments are capable of good deeds, but those good deeds are too often done to exert control over others. Michael never wanted to control anybody, he only wanted to spread happiness and joy.
- Michael didn’t care if we knew everything he did for people, because God knows. God knows his intentions, and knows the results. I know my brother is in a very secure, serene, peaceful place. When we live on earth, we are judged not only by who we are, but also by what we do for others. When we leave, we take the good and bad deeds with us. Michael took nothing but good deeds with him.
Michael and I were raised to believe there is a Supreme Being. Having success told us God had a plan for us. Michael used his success in a positive way. He knew that it’s not what you get from others, it’s what you do for others. We all achieve things in life, but the greatest achievement is doing God’s work. Michael was a man of God because he was doing His work. Eternal life is the ultimate reward from God – and Michael has eternal life.
- I had just come back from Nigeria and he asked what I went to do in Nigeria because he had never visited Nigeria and I told him about the historical Badagry project that we are doing in Nigeria and he felt the same way I felt; he felt that the project must be done because it is imperative that we understand what our forefathers and fore mothers went through. He looked forward to the finishing of the project because he wanted to come and see it and I assured him that we would get the project done. The only thing is that when we do finish this project he will not be there physically, but he will be there in spirit."
- I hurt! (comforted by Jackie and Janet) I stand here trying to find words of comfort and solace, trying to understand why the Lord has taken our brother to return home from such a short visit here on Earth. Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you and a part of you will live forever within me but also a part of you will live forever within all of us. Michael, I will treasure the good times, the fun we had singing, dancing, and laughing. I can remember when we used to come home from school and we would grab a quick bite to eat and we’d try to watch "The Three Stooges" as much of it as possible before mother will come in and say it’s time to go to the recording studio. I also Michael remember a time when I went in the record store and there was this man purchasing a lot of CD’s. And he would go and grab another batch of CD’s. He was an older gentleman, he had short afro, buck crooked teeth, and his clothes were rumpled. I walked up behind him and said: "Michael, what are you doing in this store?" He turned to me and said: "Marlon, how did you know it was me?" I told him: "You’re my brother. I can spot you anywhere regardless of your make-up. I know your walk, I know your body language and no, shoes did not help" (Michael wore the same shoes wherever we went). But I guess that was his way of trying to experience what we take for granted. We would never, never understand what he endured. Not being able to walk across a street without a crowd gathering around him; being judged, ridiculed, how much pain can one take? Maybe now, Michael, they will leave you alone. Michael was the voice of our angelic trumpets, and he would continue to be the voice, that angelic voice, in Heaven, nearest to our Creator, and waiting us when our day comes to pass. Michael, I love you; I will miss when we said our good-bye’s. I would hug you and I’d say: "I love you" and your response was: "I love you more". You know, the Lord has a purpose for everything, and sometime we just can’t see it or understand it. But it will be made clear to us when we reach that ultimate, ultimate reward of being in His presence. And Michael, you're There. You’re right There. You have finished your work here on Earth, and the Lord has called you to come home with Him. So I thank you, Michael, for all the smiles that you’ve placed in many people’s hearts. And I thank you for everything that you’ve done for others across this globe, in the Lord’s name. And I have one request, Michael, one request: I would like for you to give our brother, my twin brother, Brandon, (voice breaking) a hug from me! I love you, Michael, and I’ll miss you!
- I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. 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.
- Music will never be the same.
- Kim Kardashian, on her Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- This is such a tragic loss and a terrible day. The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be. He will always be the king of pop! Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments in life that take your breath away. For anyone who has ever seen, felt, or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you Michael.
- My fifth birthday party was M.J. themed, I insisted. My mother found a lookalike to come sing happy birthday and I KNEW he wasn't MY Michael. Thank you Michael Jackson for being my FIRST of many! My mother took me to my FIRST concert, I was only two years old. I fell in love.
- I just found him a very giving and loving person.
- Cherilyn Lee, registered nurse in "Michael Jackson's Nurse 'On the Record'" (7 July 2009)
- I personally can’t believe it. But it’s more unfortunate for the world of music. My love goes out to his family. … A sad day in history, not [just] music.
- Lil' Wayne, in "Music World Mourns Michael Jackson's Death: Madonna, Britney, Justin & Many More Paid Tribute" (26 June 2009)
- If it were not for Micheal Jackson I would not be where or who I am today.
- Ludacris, on his Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- No one will be able to replace him. But I know that the light that he emanated from the stage will live on with all of us who saw him for what he was and always will be — a great teacher, pure musical inspiration. His death can only be compared to John Lennon's and Elvis'.
- Ricky Martin, on his twitter page (27 June 2009)
- Michael was filled with humility, sensitivity, reverence and respect for anyone and everyone. And most of all, the love that he had for his kids equalled the love that he had for his fans. He just was a guy that was beyond amazing, and it’s just sad to hear all the spurious stories that have been created about him.
- Al Malnik, godfather of Prince Michael II Jackson (Blanket), interviewed by Merideth Viera on The Today Show (1 July 2009)
- I can't believe. The most amazing entertainer of all Time just left. I just can't understand. We Will always love you Michael.
- Gilles Marini, on his Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us.
- John Mayer, on his Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul.
- Paul McCartney, in "Justin Timberlake praises Jackson's musical genius"], "People" (26 June 2009)
- I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration.. He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been me without him.
- MICHAEL JACKSON the first 2 english words i eva spoke. The future sucx!
- I am so sadened by MJs death. I clung to those records throughout my childhood. A complete musical hero of mine. May he rest in peace.
- I wish I got to tell him how much his music existence changed my life. He was my biggest inspiration and will forever live on in my heart.
- Lisa Origliasso, on her Twitter page (26 June 2009)
- I did not find Michael weird, messed up, or anything you’ve ever heard about him. I want to say that I feel all of the allegations ever charged against Michael were false, and that in my discernment, he did not have the capacity to ever do anything except love children and let them know he would do anything to stand up for them, and help them. Just look at the magnificent work he did on their behalf in writing and co-producing “We Are The World,” and the 39 charities for children he gave to generously. That was Michael. I believe that during his trials he related to the suffering of Christ, and prayed for intervention, because he was being accused over what he loved most—children. This caused him perhaps more pain than anything in his life."
- Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon.
- Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, in "Justin Timberlake praises Jackson's musical genius", "People" (26 June 2009)
- When you were with him, you really felt like God was within him. He was an amazing, superhuman kind of person, but he always treated you as an equal. He would be your friend and he never asked for anything in return. … I know that people looked at Michael and thought he was strange, but to me, he was fascinating. … He was the most inspirational person in my life. His one dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. And when I'd say, "Isn't that impossible?" Michael would just start to cry. He was very emotional about things that moved him. I guess you'd have to say he was a pure innocent in a world that wasn't so innocent anymore.
- He read them a book every day. When we were in Virginia during the Invincible [sessions], there was not one day missed reading the children something. So that showed me right there that he was an incredible father. … He was like, 'I would never have them go through the same things ever (the similar childhood/upbringing) in their lives,' Riley said. "He was like, 'I think the best scolding for children was a time-out.' The best scolding for children was, 'Let's read a book.'"
- I don’t really think the music industry has taken a deep enough look at what Michael Jackson meant to everybody, all of us artists, producers, actors, actresses, all of us, entertainment as a whole. I don’t think that they took a deep enough look because everyone is too busy with their head up their own butt. When Michael was on trial, nobody…nobody stopped to go and support him at the trial. … The guy is acquitted on ten counts of child molestation. No one said, "Sorry Michael.’ No one said, "Michael, we knew you were innocent." No one did a BET tribute to him then. Nobody played his music and did a marathon then. Nobody rallied up and did a concert. Why should Michael have to go on tour to raise money? How come all of the artists didn't band together and say, "Hey! You know what? Let's do a tour like Michael did the We Are The World Tour and let's raise some money. Let's get this thing going." No one did that. Tookie Williams is the founder of the Crips gang. … They were trying to get him pardoned from the death penalty and half of Hollywood showed up for this man. What I can't understand is like, OK people didn't want to go near Michael Jackson when he was in trouble … But they show up for a guy who executed families. A little girl begged for her life and he executed her. They said because he wrote in his time in prison he wrote children's books that he tried to turn his life around. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Well, how about the millions of children Michael Jackson has helped over the span of his career? Yet two children come with some false allegations and those two children become the two children that destroy him. It’s crazy. It makes me look at the entertainment business and just say I’m surrounded by a bunch of hypocrites.
When you ask me how would it affect them? I don’t even think they realize what this is. Everyone’s gonna do their tributes, but the tributes now if you look at it, it’s all because now everyone is going to get some spotlight, they’re gonna get some shine. Now all of the sudden everyone wants to say something good about him.
- No one talks about when he did the Victory tour, I remember as a kid Michael being on tour with the Victory tour right? And every night on the news they would announce that Michael Jackson donated his money from every city that he did, he donated it to a new charity. He donated his money from the Victory tour to charities. I thought that was amazing. I'm like, wow! This guy's donating millions of dollars every night to a new charity. Then he would stop in every city and every city he would stop at a hospital and visit kids that were burned, ill or whatever. He took the time to do all that.
- 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.
- We maintained our relationship for so long because it was never not real. People expect anything in entertainment or Hollywood to be transient, and it's not as interesting a story for us to have been lifelong friends. People want sordid details or they want big blowups, and the truth of the matter is, from the time we met when I was 13, we understood each other and became very good friends, and that was it, we didn't need to make it into anything else. … I was just out of college, and wanting to fall in love and have a fairy tale, I was holding on to that. He just felt so bad that there were so many little children in Romania in these orphanages, and he wanted to try to give them homes, and I really wanted to be able to do that with him, but it would have divided my life too much.
I hope when you write this, it doesn't sound freakish. What it was was a young man who kept reaching to try to find happiness. I think he wanted to take his resources and make a difference to other people in their lives, and he knew that I wanted to do that in the world, too, so he would reach out to someone like me and say, "How can we make a difference, it's easier to adopt a child if you're two people." He never said, formally, "Will you marry me," it was never that for me, he never was that definitive, but I think he was a guy who kept searching for happiness.
The problem is when you try to bring that out and in this society, it turns into a tabloid sentence, which is, "He wanted Brooke Shields to live with him and adopt babies," and it sounds ridiculous. And it never was that clear-cut. He found people he loved in his life and he didn't want to let go of them and he wanted them all to live together because he didn't want to go out into the outside world, which was so cruel and too much to handle, and it makes sense.
- Michael Jackson was one of the most talented and dynamic performer/singer/songwriters I ever had the pleasure of working with, he was amazing. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding his personal life in recent years overshadowed his unparalleled contributions to the music world, which is a tragedy in and of itself. But his music will live on forever no matter what and his memory will be adored and admired for years to come.
- Slash speaking to "MTV News" on the passing of Michael Jackson (26 June 2009)
- I was so excited to see his show in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly in to see him. He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I'm devastated he's gone!
- 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 and the time we spent together. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.
- Justin Timberlake, on his website (26 June 2009)
- I saw how kind he was and what a wonderful human being. I saw him with his children and I had never seen a better father. … He always said to me, "I want people to really know who I am after I'm gone."… He wanted to be remembered as a great human being and he wanted to create as many happy places for the children of the world as he could.
- "Dr." Tohme Tohme, Michael Jackson’s last business manager and spokesperson, in an Associated Press interview (4 July 2009)
- I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for Him and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer In so many ways he transcended culture. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats! With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world. His legacy is unparalleled Michael Jackson will never be forgotten.
- Michael Jackson was the first African American to sing to a crossover audience. I do feel like without Michael Jackson, MTV would not be on the map. It would not be what it is today. This is bigger than the loss of Elvis.
- I have never felt this before in my life. I could measure my childhood 2 now on an mj growth chart. if this is true.The last legend.
- Pete Wentz, on his Twitter page (26 June 2009)