Jackson's peers react

Madonna and Mariah, Britney and Beyonce, Spielberg, Scorcese, Cher and many others respond

Published June 26, 2009 12:27PM (EDT)

Actors, singers and performers from across the entertainment world, as well as the Jackson family members, are reacting to Michael Jackson's death with outpourings of sadness and tribute. Here's a round-up of what some well-known celebrities are saying:

  • Madonna: "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."
  • Justin Timberlake: "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."
  • Paul McCartney: “It’s so sad and shocking...I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy-man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.”
  • Steven Spielberg: "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."
  • Britney Spears: "He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I'm devastated he's gone!"
  • Lisa Marie 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."
  • Cher: "I am having a million reactions...When I think of him, I think of this young boy, this teenager I first met … He was a great teenager, optimistic and adorable."
  • Beyonce: "He was magic...He was what we all strive to be. He will always be the King of Pop!"
  • Usher: "May God cover you Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer. I pray for the entire Jackson family particularly Michael's mother, children and all his fans that loved him so much. I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael."
  • Mariah Carey: "I am heartbroken. My prayers go out to the Jackson family, and my heart goes out to his children. Let us remember him for his unparalleled contribution to the world of music, his generosity of spirit in his quest to heal the world, and the joy he brought to his millions of devoted fans throughout the world. I feel blessed to have performed with him several times and to call him my friend. No artist will ever take his place. His star will shine forever."
  • Whitney Houston: "I am full of grief."
  • Marion Jackson: "He was looking well. He was getting ready to go into rehearsals for his tour. I don't know what happened."
  • Quincy Jones: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news...I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”
  • Jamie Foxx: "I hope he is remembered for the brilliance of his music and not for the circus sideshow his life had become."
  • Celine Dion: “I am shocked. I am overwhelmed by this tragedy. Michael Jackson has been an idol for me all my life.”
  • Sophia Loren: “It’s horrible news, so unexpected...The world has lost an icon and music has lost treasures. He wrote songs that generations of yesterday, today and tomorrow will all keep on singing. What he wrote was amazing.”
  • Lenny Kravitz: "If not for him, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. He gave me joy as a child and showed me the way to go.”
  • Brooke Shields: "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."
  • Hugo Chavez: Michael Jackson's death is “lamentable news.”
  • Martin Scorcese: "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."
  • Imelda Marcos: “Michael Jackson enriched our lives, made us happy...The accusations, the persecution caused him so much financial and mental anguish. He was vindicated in court, but the battle took his life. There is probably a lesson here for all of us.”
  • Jermaine Jackson: "May our love be with you always.”
  • John Legend: "As a child of the '80s, I feel as though his music and his videos have been an inseparable part of my life and that of an entire generation," he said. "And the powerful thing about great music is that it will always live on. He was and always will be an icon."
  • MC Hammer: "I have no words...I loved Michael Jackson."
  • Tommy Mottola: Michael Jackson was “the cornerstone to the entire music business.”
  • Miley Cyrus: "Michael Jackson was my inspiration. Love and Blessings."

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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Britney Spears Celebrity Michael Jackson