Musicians Mourn Over Loss Of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, a man known by many as the King of Pop, passed away at the age of 50 on Thursday, June 25.

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Michael Jackson, a man known by many as the King of Pop, passed away at the age of 50 on Thursday, June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles, CA home. His death came just before what was to be his "comeback" tour with 50 sold out shows at London's O2 Arena that were set to begin on July 13 and end on March 6, 2009.

While Michael may be gone, he most certainly will never be forgotten. In his career he sold an estimated 750 million records, released 13 number 1 singles and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time. Along with the legacy he created for himself, his memory will be held with the countless number of musicians he has inspired and collaborated with over the years. People from every genre imaginable have cited Michael Jackson as a constant inspiration to them and these people haven taken to the internet to voice their feelings about the star's passing.


Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen: "I am really shocked; as I'm sure the world is, to hear the news. I had the pleasure of working with Michael on 'Beat It' back in '83 one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace."

Queen guitarist Brian May: "Hard to know what to say - what to feel. I find myself wondering what might have happened on his tour... the number of dates in the UK that he had committed to was insane... I did have a feeling it was impossible... but I was so shocked to hear that he went so suddenly. Very sad. Of course I still think of him as a boy... he used to come and see us [Queen] play when we were on tour in the States, and he and Freddie became close friends... close enough to record a couple of tracks together at Michael's house... tracks which have never seen the light of day. Michael was the boy star of the Jackson Five, and always the most screamed at. I remember in their show, they tried very hard to make all the brothers equal in the presentation, but it was abundantly obvious that all most of the girl fans really wanted to see was little Michael. It was Michael who heard our track "Another One Bites the Dust" when he came to see us on "The Game" tour... and told us we were mad if we didn't release it as a single. Of course this was way before Michael's monster solo career began... but he was already in search of that fusion between Funk and Rock, Black and White, and the Thriller album was the consummation of that quest. There are many similarities between it and our "Hot Space" album... but our timing was out, really. Michael got it right in every respect... including timing... the world was just ready for it... and of course he was in a sense seeking the same ground, but coming from the opposite direction.

"Amusingly, after Freddie and Michael has spent some time together recording, Freddie came back and played us the work in progress, and he remarked that Michael had come up with a great album title ... BAD. A little later, Freddie smiled his wicked little conspiratorial smile, and said... "I have a perfect idea for our album title - you may love it or hate it... but think about it... we can call it... wait for it... Good"!!!

"I think the world is a more colourful place thanks to Michael's work... he was a truly wonderful performer at his peak - and had a great team around him, including, of course, genius Quincy Jones. I think he qualifies as a great artist; he devoted his whole body and soul to his art. It's as if, with all the changes he introduced to his body, his art actually became his body and his persona. Yes, I only hope he passed away in happiness, in great hopes and anticipation of his glorious comeback tour. RIP Michael."

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett: "Michael Jackson huge loss!!! The words genius and musical are used in the same sentence too often. Not in the case of Michael Jackson. His musical expression will never be topped and his inspiration will live forever. R.I.P."

Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers: "Sitting in a dressing room in Calgary, Canada I am more saddened than I can remember in maybe the last five years. Call the guy whatever you want... judge his actions, judge his judgments, and judge the man any way in any language you want. But Michael Jackson was the best. There was no one better. There never will be anyone better. People don't try anymore. You can take any pretty loser who can't sing who has a good smile and sells records and make him a star. Just look at Anyone on the charts today. Today we lost a part of music history, a legend, and the greatest pop music artist there ever will be. The things Michael created on 'Thriller', 'Off The Wall' and 'Bad' will never be matched. By anyone ever. Michael Jackson was the best. People believed in Michael Jackson who didn't believe in Jesus. And that, my friends, is a legend. God bless Michael Jackson's music, his soul, and his legend. That can never be replaced. Rest in peace, sir. God bless your soul."

Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash (Slash played guitar on two Michael Jackson singles, "Black Or White" and "Give In To Me"): "Really sad news about Michael. He was a talent from on high."


Lisa Marie Presley, former wife of Michael Jackson and daughter of Elvis Presley: "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."

Sean "Diddy" Combs: "Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!"

Dick Clark, host of "American Bandstand": "I knew Michael as a child and watched him grow over the years. Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched."

Del Bryant, President & CEO, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI): "Michael Jackson was clearly one of the greatest entertainers of our era. His influence dominated and defined our culture not only in music, but in fashion, dance, film and so much more. Often overlooked are his spectacular skills as a songwriter, composing both music and lyrics for his immense body of work. In an era in which most songs are composed by teams, Michael was the sole composer of dozens of songs that endeared him to audiences around the world. A BMI songwriter since 1976, his BMI catalog contains more than 150 songs, more than 20 reaching multi-million performance status on American radio and television."

Jonelle Procope, Preszident & CEO, The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.: "The entire Apollo family is saddened to learn of Michael Jackson's untimely passing. Michael first performed at the Apollo in 1969 with his brothers when he was only nine years old, winning Amateur Night, and catapulting their career as the Jackson 5. We will always remember Michael in our hearts as a true Apollo legend, known for his professionalism and grace. Our sympathy goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed."

Britney Spears: "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!"

Neil Portnow, President/CEO, The Recording Academy: "Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim. A 13-time GRAMMY recipient, Michael's career transcends musical and cultural genres and his contributions will always keep him in our hearts and memories. We are deeply saddened by this tragic news and our hearts go out to his family and to music lovers around the globe who mourn this great loss."

Russell Simmons, hip-hop entrepreneur and founder of Def-Jam Records: "Michael Jackson was my generation's most iconic cultural hero. Courageous, unique and incredibly talented. He'll be missed greatly."

From various accounts:

Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz: "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. Rip. The last legend."

Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas: "Official. Michael jackson dies at 50. Speechless."

John Legend: "Terrible news about Michael Jackson"

John Mayer: "Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ.I think we'll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player. Michael Jackson, like James Brown and Prince, are nearly uncoverable. The tunes were about his innate talent and can't really be replicated."

Hanson: "It is difficult to think of a more impact full loss from the passing of an icon, than that of Michael Jackson."

Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus: "First album i ever bought was thriller. With birthday money. On cassette. For my brand new sony walkman. Truth. Rest in peace."

Report by David Lowe-Bianco.

702 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The best pop music ever created. R.I.P. MJ. You shall be sorely missed.
    I just want to say I recently found the U.G. web site and have been thoroughly impressed with the site; the blogs, the tabs and all. I always felt this was a site generated by musicians for musicians and real lover's of music regardless of the type. As I read the post about M.J death, I'm just blown away by the positive comments posted by people. As a black male who grew up on Motown, and M.J. I'm just impressed. Although in my teens I started listening to Floyd and Sabbath; then became a metal head after discovering Metallica's In Justice For All, I've always loved M.J. Thank you everyone for showing a great man the respect he deserves.
    Mr. Skull
    BriGuy7727 wrote: I might get flamed for this but I don't care. He hasn't been relevant in music since 1991, why do so many people care so much?! I realize he was going to do a tour, but nearly 3/4 of people's status messages on social networking sites are dedicated to him. Most weren't even around when he was popular...c'mon now.
    even more so, why is this so relevant in the GUITAR website. really, he was a master at what he did in the 80's, but basically the antithesis of what most here on UG consider musically important
    glad he wasn't convicted before. He probably did get a bit touchy feely but he probably thought it was just being kind, I doubt it was completely molesting kids. He was a pretty good guy
    Mr_CiNiC wrote: I like metal. Detuned, ohmygod stuff. Cannibal Corpse, JFAC, BtBaM, Black Daliah Murder, Metallica, Megadeth, Impending Doom, Opeth... Just heavy stuff. I write stuff that's really heavy too. I'm just a person that is all about metal. But regardless of what genre you are into, how much you care about music, what you hate, and everything else... That does not change that this was a brilliant man that shaped the culture of the world. Sure, I used to roll my eyes when I saw someone watching a video of him dancing. But that does not change the immense respect that I have for him, and the respect that everyone else should have for such an amazing, talented man. Changed lives, changed music, changed the world. RIP
    The Black Dahlia Murder/ Metallica ftw! haha RIP MJ :/
    Well I never liked him as a person or his music. however, he was a human being, and my condolences go out to his friends/family. RIP.
    I like how on myspace everyone is like, "That child melester freak is dead! yay!" but us true musicians can respect him for what he was, and still is in some of our hearts. He didn't sell over 750 million records for no reason.
    I'm 22 years old now. I still remember being a kid in the early 90's when if you could do the moon-walk you were popular in school. (I never could quite get it though... mostly I just shuffled backwards >_< ) To those who say MJ has no relevance on UG think about this. If it wasn't for MJ music videos would probably not exist as we know it. He took music and turned it into something visual. I dare you to listen to Thriller and not visualize the whole zombie dance scene. It will be a long time before we see an artist topple what he accomplished. Certified 28 platinum on Thriller... wow... That's just hard to comprehend. But I really hope this comes as a wake up call to a lot of musicians/entertainers out there (although it probably won't, sadly). We keep losing such great talent in the most sudden ways. But I guess that's the way things are. Even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died a poor man at a young age. History repeats itself yet again I guess. The only question is who will be that next superstar that captures the hearts of the people of the world. With all the crap that's going on around the world I think we could really use an artist to rally behind. Too bad chances are that it WON'T be a heavy metal band. Then again edgy is what seems to get the job done. =P Sigh... I almost keep expecting to hear some breaking news announcement like he faked his death so he could prepare for his tour and make some kind of insane entrance..... wishfull thinking I guess. T_T RIP Michael Jackson, you wacky King of Pop.
    and all the dead music legends are gonna have one more legend to jam with. (=
    Mr. Skull wrote: BriGuy7727 wrote: I might get flamed for this but I don't care. He hasn't been relevant in music since 1991, why do so many people care so much?! I realize he was going to do a tour, but nearly 3/4 of people's status messages on social networking sites are dedicated to him. Most weren't even around when he was popular...c'mon now. even more so, why is this so relevant in the GUITAR website. really, he was a master at what he did in the 80's, but basically the antithesis of what most here on UG consider musically important
    It says 'Music News' also listen to Beat It and then say it isn't relevent to guitarists
    Michael Jackson was a HUGE influence on me, growing up. He was one of those artists(very few, I imagine) who never made a BAD song! When the news first came to me about his demise, it didn't hit me as hard. Then Vh1 aired a day-long tribute to him, and thats when it me. THE MAN IS ACTUALLY GONE! R.I.P Sir. You are a legend
    whew its a lot less hate stuff than I thought it would be on here, actually a lot less here than on facebook which was shocking to me. but oh well RIP MJ. It still don't seem real!!! Everybody, either themselves or knows someone that has always tried to master the moonwalk. like damn, I think he will pop up out of his casket and start dancing to Thriller.
    I wasn't really a fan of MJ, but I really respect his work.. The King of pop... Rest in peace MJ
    This is really sad. It's been a bad year I guess. He would probably be proud to see this thread, if he could. - Adam
    So sad...another legend that leave us... R.I.P Michael, We'll miss ya. -Yuhg-
    It's also such a shock when a legend like this, who you regard as immortal suddenly passes away, weird feeling
    It Made me sad listening to the jackson 5's music and thinking of what he had become, but now that he's dead it's even sadder, and from what i've learnt over the past day is that Michael was just a Largely misunderstood person who never had the chance to grow up normally. R.I.P Michael, Moonwalk in heaven for us.
    I hope his tremendous life, success, and accomplishments will not be overlooked when we look at the life of Michael Jackson The King of Pop. No person was received by people worldwide than Michael Jackson. He had qualities that all could appreciate... Rest in Peace, you will be missed.
    My two cents: Thriller is an album that ruled 80's pop music, and was really well produced and performed, by MJ and his musicians. I could care less about his offstage antics and alleged behavior. R.I.P. Wonder if Paul and Ringo will try to secure the Beatles songs he owned the rights to.
    Les Paul Ell wrote: This is such shocking news. RIP Michael Jackson. I always respected him for the fact that he actually wrote a load of great songs - that's rare in pop these days.
    so tru. MJ was one of the few popstars that made great albums as well as great singles. although not my type of music, i respect him and wish his family all the best
    RIP, one thing i have to add is why does pete wentz, a musical nobody to everybody besides his preppy fangirls get to comment on one of the greatest performers, singers, and songwriters of all time?
    wow..such a legend. a giant part of music and culture is now gone forever. every musician died a little with him.
    I can't say I've ever been a big fan of Micheal Jackson (with exceptions to Thriller), but I'm really shocked about his death. He was one of those people you thought would live forever. A musical genius and a legend has left us, and all who can't look past the tabloids to see that are truly blind. We don't have performers like him nowadays, and NO ONE will ever take his place on that throne. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace up there, King of Pop.
    hawkdude9 wrote: RIP, one thing i have to add is why does pete wentz, a musical nobody to everybody besides his preppy fangirls get to comment on one of the greatest performers, singers, and songwriters of all time?
    because he respects everyone, which you obviously don't..your loss. furthermore, RIP of course, but i still think its kinda f'ed up how i hear a lot of people talking about how the pedophile is dead. he was still the king of pop and changed music so wake up and show some respect, everyone makes mistakes (though that was a pretty bad choice to make, in no way am i supporting pedophilia duh).
    RIP micheal jackson. you were always and forever will be the king of pop.
    i find it funny that since this article is about his death, not many people are talking about recent tabloid events, but instead are talking about what really matters, his mark on music. and that really is a good thing. i know that someone is going to try and become the next "Michael Jackson", and hopefully its someone who had the same musical vision as he did
    and even FURTHER more, i consider his death a cold reminder that anyone, even a "god" (or "king" in his case), can and will go.
    Wiegraf wrote: Honestly, I'm not even a fan of his music, and I'm still shocked. RIP
    same i got like a text from a mate saying "mj's dead im not joking" and i was like "yeah.. sure mate and pigs fly" then i went to bed in the morning i had like a gazillion texts off everyone saying "mj's dead, Mj's Dead" i cant believe it. RIP
    i wasnt a HUGE fan but i grew up with his music all around me. ive known him since i was 4 and its like he was part of the family. its a shame. we didnt just lose a great performer and musician, we lost an amazingly inspirational humanitarian.
    Scourge441m: How the hell did Michael Jackson die before Ozzy Osbourne? RIP.
    How the hell did Michael Jackson die before Fidel Castro? Anyways, i really wouldn't like Ozzy to die. I never seen him live.
    Not a fan of his music or his life, not influenced by him at all, think he's way overrated and hasn't been relevant in years (other than for the tabloids and papparazzi), but damn it's sad when anyone dies, so RIP.
    coheed_kyle08 wrote: Dudeman321 wrote: plewe1 wrote: worst things have happened Like? the holocaust, douche bag. WWI, WWII, genocide in Africa. The world isn't going to stop turning because MJ died. Don't like him. Never did. Never will. But respect his influence on other musicians and definetly respect his success in history.
    You have no idea what you'll like in 20 years. You very well could love his music eventually.
    Presley, Hendrix, Lennon, now him? my greatest regrets is never being able to even say a word to one of these legends and watch them live. RIP, you will be missed, but your music will live on.
    its really sad how the public has distorted his image. i dont believe he molested any kids, i just think he was deprived of a childhood, and wanted to have the experiences every human needs to have, which i dont believe were sexual at all. but the public, being ignorant and generally stupid, blew it way out of proportion, and soiled his image. R.I.P
    Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson. He will always be the King of Pop. No matter what genre, he's a huge influence in all music. God rest his soul.
    Peter Reardon
    Michael Jackson's career, and life for that matter, is something that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. All the hate and criticism of Michael was ridiculous; now the media is turning its ass around and is on his side now. I'm only 16, but my parents were huge fans so I grew up listening to all of Jackson's work and I highly respected the man and his mind-blowing dance moves. As a musician, Michael changed how the entire music industry worked because he was just that good. He was the King of Pop for a reason.