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." — Quincy Jones
Here he is at 13 in 1972, singing at home in Encino, Calif.
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.” — Madonna
The Jackson 5 were heroes to young black kids all over America and all over the world. In this undated photo, the Jackson 5 — Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jackie and Jermaine — are shown in a Los Angeles.
"No controversy will erase the historic impact. He learned how to create even beyond his own shortcomings. Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama." — Al Sharpton
Singer Michael Jackson on stage for the start of a tour in July 1983 in Kansas.
"The same fame that he thrived on that these boardrooms create, I think he felt chained to it. I think it was painful. The thing is the hypocrisy of this country. Now fame means the worst side of you will get the most coverage. It’s kind of haunting that these record companies wouldn’t give him the light of the day or these radio stations wouldn’t give him the light of the day over the last couple years, but now that he died everybody’s on his jock, so to speak … I feel kind of crappy for the hypocrisy of this country and its coverage." —Chuck D
Happy in the '80s. Michael Jackson in London 1983, when he still smiled all the time.
"We never gave into idolizing him as the King of Pop. We never engaged in heated arguments with anyone about his child molestation allegations for which he was acquitted. He was one of the most talented artists and his music helped my father and I bond. Now as an adult, I still consider Michael Jackson’s music a part of our relationship." —Melvin Mooring
In this Feb. 28, 1984 file photo, Michael Jackson is seen backstage at the 26th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles as he poses with the awards he won in eight different categories.
"As a little girl, my cousins and I lip synced, kicked, and spun, trying to follow the studded bell bottoms of Michael and his brothers. In secret I wrote him letters by the dozens and sat in my room, daydreaming of our fairytale love story." —Stephane Dunn
Actress Elizabeth Taylor and singer Michael Jackson hold one of two awards he won at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1993.
"Whenever Billie Jean was played at Studio 54, yes I was of one the lucky, the dance floor, already filled with boisterous dancing would immediately double as no one could resist the teasing opening and build-up of Michael’s beautiful voice. It was glorious a time and we were all rooting for him. He truly was royalty in our time." —Hector Erazo
Mike kisses his sister, Janet, afer she presented him with the Grammy Legend Award at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993.
"It is such a sad day that the world should loose such a larger than life figure in the music industry and in our lives. What saddens me even more, is how some of the people that are posting such wonderful words, never supported him in life, but are happy to support him in death." —Sharen Mawdsley
In later years, the cheoreography grew more mind-bogglingly complicated and the costumes more fantastic. Here, Michael Jackson performs at Ericsson Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand as part of his 'HIStory' world tour concert in 1996.
"I think what strikes me is that I don’t know what Michael would have been if he could have been anything…. He was literally not comfortable in his skin. He couldn’t seem to find that space where he was who he was." —Farai Chideya
By 2001, Michael Jackson had been performing for three decades. At that point, he may have been the most famous black person in the world. Here, in September 2001, he performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City, in the first of two performances that were part of his 30th Anniversary Celebration, the Solo Years.
"In 1983, we moved from Indiana to Maryland, and one of the first things we did to christen the new home was put on the Thriller LP. For the length of the album we laughed and danced and enjoyed ourselves in one of the most carefree moments we ever shared as an entire family. MJ provided a rare moment of family cohesiveness and for that I will be forever thankful." —Michael Mattix
Michael Jackson accepts the Diamond Award during the 2006 World Music Awards at Earls Court in November 2006. By then, he had become as controversial as he was entertaining.
"Michael Jackson’s loss is felt not so much as a fan but as a human being, a black man acknowledging another black man who never got to "be" or live without the ubiquitous camera, off stage. With all of the millions of albums he sold, and corners of the earth he touched, I wonder, if he had it to do all over again, what would he choose to do?" —Abdul Ali
Michael Jackson attends a press conference to announce plans for a summer residency of concerts at the O2 Arena on March 5, 2009 in London, England.