"Watching Michael work was like watching what Michelangelo
must have gone through. He was a genius."
"No other entertainer could have drawn people from so many
walks of life. Every creed, race and nationality was represented.
People of all ages and religious denominations had flown in
and had dedicated themselves to Michael. The fans who were there
created a synergy that was undeniable."
"Michael Jackson did something that no one else in history
has managed - he connected with people on every level imaginable,
all over the world. He seemed to speak to people at their very
core and achieved the impossible. He reached people on a deep
emotional level. And that is what any great artist or showman
dreams of doing. That is why Michael Jackson was so special
-David Blaine, Illusionist
"...and this man was singing a song for an audience of
one, me. It wasn't just the fact that he was singing for me,
it was the absolute stunning clarity of his a cappella voice.
The hair on my arms stood up, I was moved to tears."
-Steve Whitsitt (photographer who shot a series of stills for
the cover of "Smile" in 1994 based on Charlie Chaplin's
classic movie, "The Kid"
"He'd ask me to come down to Hayvenhurst, his home then,
and watch him testing moves and I'd get very emotional. I literally
would be teary-eyed; He'd make his body move in ways that were
jaw-dropping. I don't believe that there will ever be anyone
who reaches anywhere near his level of talent. When Michael
hit that stage he transformed into a performer that will never
"We had very similar experiences in childhood. We're both
going to be 8 years old forever in some place because we never
had a chance to be 8 when we actually were....Neverland is still
the only place on earth where I feel absolutely, 100 percent
"There's a special connection between music and fashion.
In both of these fields, there are artists and there are icons.
Artists perform-icons amaze. Artists create-icons inspire. Artists
are on-trend - icons set trends. When someone mentions Michael
Jackson or when you hear his music or watch him dance, your
eyes are drawn to his presence, his movement and the way he
used his own personal sense of fashion to delight, inspire all
-Kimora Lee Simons (fashion designer for Michael Jackson - Opus
"Taking about Michael Jackson - "It's not hard to
become famous. It's not hard to have a hit record, but it's
very difficult to maintain your high level career."
"The first time I got a chance to meet Michael was onstage
at Madison Square Garden. There were tons of people on the stage,
and I just remember losing my mind. Like, Oh my God, that's
Michael Jackson right there. I was just over his right shoulder.
And then when I finally got a chance to get on the stage with
him, I was just shut down. He had the type of magic that you
just bowed to. I just said, "I love you, and I know you've
heard it a million and one times from fans all over the world,
but you've meant so much to me as an entertainer, and I love
you, and I've admired you all these years."
"What I picked up on Michael Jackson - because I study
people when I watch them - the way that he counts his rhythm
with his feet and his neck at the same time is crazy... so he's
hearing multiple things at once. And I don't know anybody who
"A friend, whom we'll call MD was working for the Louvre.
One day, he received a telephone call asking: "Could you
arrange for Michael Jackson for a private visit to the museum?"
Of course he could! And this experience marked him for life.
On arrival Michael was joined by his two children and bodyguards.
MD did not know what to expect. He had received stars like Mick
Jagger or Bruce Willis or many politicians demanding a personalized
visit to the museum.
This latter star was really quite different because Michael
Jackson had the soul of a child. He amused himself on the escalators,
trying to descend while they were going up. He would run in
the hallways, playing hide and seek.
"He was always smiling and nice to everyone," says
MD, "I've never seen anyone like him." "He also
had a very sensitive nature. When he liked a work of art he
was so moved he began to cry. When I showed him the Mona Lisa,
he burst into tears and we had to take a break while he recuperated
"He had a really immense and incredible charisma,"
remembers MD. "And let me say that I was there making small
hand movements like a child. (not sure if he's talking about
waving goodbye here) Michael Jackson sat in the back seat of
his taxi, and gestured goodbye to me, as if I was his best friend.
I immediately became a fan. That was truly an extraordinary
-Now MD belongs to a different museum.
He is remembering the image of empty corridors of the Musée
du Louvre where Michael Jackson will never come to run again.
This guy had the biggest heart of anybody and really really
did care about improving the human condition, especially for
children, and that was part of his mission. While he was on
tour, he always wanted to know what he could do in each place,
so that when he left, he left a place better, having been there
... and how many people can you say that about."
"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."
"Often with public figures we see much, yet understand
little - so, too, with Michael. The lens of public scrutiny
can magnify both strengths and short comings and provide a distorted
image. The glare of the spotlight can blind us to who people
really are, in all their complexity. But the struggle to understand
another's complexity should be embraced - for it gives us an
opportunity to better understand our own."
-Rev. Jesse Jackson
"On `Earth Song' I was the military guy that would come
out of a tank that was used during the show. It was unbelievable;
somehow I'd become a Michael Jackson fan that got to dance with
Michael Jackson! I spent a lot of time wondering, "what
the hell did I do right to deserve this?""
"I haven't been to Michael's concerts before. I ain't seen
nothing like it! He should change his title from King of Pop
to King of Music!"
-Rodney Jerkins, song writer, musician, producer
"Listen, Michael Jackson is really funny. To have time
to spend with him and actually be around him, he's not what....people
think he is. Michael Jackson's like a black belt too, so he
will kick your ass if you say something about him." In
disbelief the interviewer replied "No, really?" to
which Will said, "Yes, Michael Jackson kicked over my head!"
"He's a wonderful, caring man..... I believe that there
are some people who should be parents and he's one of them,
and he is such a fabulous man and such a good friend and he's
always been there for me, always, from the day I met him."
- Debbie Rowe
"Whether we cherish the moonwalking "Gloved One"
of yore or the generous humanitarian of the past few decades,
one thing is certain; Michael Jackson will always be the King
Of Pop - a kind and benevolent guardian who has never fled from
the regal responsibility that accompanied his crown."
-Essay Writer from the Michael Jackson Opus
"We cannot see him now, but we can feel him and all we
need is just to turn on his music and he is back to life."
-Helia Saber, Iran
"If there was ever a spirit that could say had a magical
quality in terms of a personality .... he was so sweet and fun
loving and there was this enormous magnetism he had, especially
when he would laugh at something that really tickled him. He
had an infectious laugh. He was a joyous, open soul."
-Suzanne De Passe about Michael (Mentor to the young J5)
"Maybe I was in a daze and floating on the fact that I
was about to meet the world's biggest superstar......And then
all of a sudden I heard from around the corner this amazing
voice singing. The vocals grew louder and more beautiful as
they got nearer, until Michael entered the room smiling and
singing. Oh wow! You can hear him sing on stage and on record,
but nothing can compare to hearing him sing unaccompanied right
next to you! His electric presence illuminated the room and
I couldn't help but stare at his distinguished appearance and
-Adrian Grant, Author
"The only male singer who I've seen besides myself and
who's better than me--that is Michael Jackson."
"That's the greatest dancer of the century. I didn't want
to leave this world without knowing who my descendant was. Thank
"I have to look up which paper had this headline back in
the 80s when Michael toured: "MICHAEL JACKSON SAYS 'EEOWWWWWW!'.
He was a really good guy. He was humble. He had attained a level
of success we can only dream of.. taught more lessons through
actions than even verbal messages.
I think Mike was aware of his power. I think Mike was aware
of his place in society and as an entertainer. He was so big
he had to speak in a whisper to make people comfortable. That's
One thing Mike did help me realize was how much art affects
people and how important art is. When you think about artists
and the contribution they make to society, the art really does
outlive the artist.
Thriller was absolutely his Mona Lisa.
His legacy is joy, love, happiness, peace, friendship, unity...."
"It's not about how many breaths you take, but how many
times you take people's breath away."
- Alicia Keyes about Michael after he died
"My mind understands that he is no longer with us, but
my heart and soul just cannot seem to grasp it. Michael's music
has been the soundtrack of my life and now when I hear one of
his songs my eyes automatically begin to fill with tears. Then
I check myself; for as long as I can still grove to his music,
it's easier for me to believe that Michael's somewhere in the
universe doing his thing. I don't like being reminded that he
died. Greatness doesn't die. Legends don't die. Michael's talent
overshadowed his enormous humanitarian spirit; his music brought
all of us together. He will never be forgotten. Peace, Michael."
"I got a sense that when Michael danced it came from a
different place, a spiritual and artistic place, and it felt
good. There are absolutely no words to describe the experience
of performing live with Michael, especially in front of thousands
of fans. Working with him was a dream come true. I fell in love
with Michael Jackson when I first saw him perform as a child."
"What can one say about Michael Jackson? He is one of the
world's most acclaimed entertainers, an innovative and exciting
songwriter whose dancing seems to defy gravity and has been
heralded by the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
His public is perhaps unaware of the extent of his dedication
to his craft. Restless, seldom satisfied, he is a perfectionist
who is constantly challenging himself. To many people Michael
Jackson seems an elusive personality, but to those who work
with him, he is not. This talented artist is a sensitive man,
warm, funny, and full of insight."
-Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
"When he sings, it is with the voice of angels. When his
feet move, you can see God dancing."
-Bob Geldolf when presenting Michael Jackson with a special
award in 1996
"[This Is It] Watching it got me thinking about how fully
Jackson fit the profile of great bosses that I've been developing
throughout the past couple of decades....on stage, he was efficient,
guided and guiding, a master at work - not just a master performer,
but an uplifting manager. Like all of the great managers I've
studied, the ones I came to call "gifted bosses,"
he was conscious of creating something special. And he made
everyone else fully conscious of it, too. There was never a
"good enough" moment."
"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
"What is a genius? What is a living legend? What is a megastar?
Michael Jackson -- that's all. And when you think you know him,
he gives you more. I think he is one of the finest people to
hit this planet, and, in my estimation, he is the true King
of Pop, Rock and Soul."
"We were singing the song, and all the time I was showing
it to him I was wondering, "Can he reach those high notes?"
Finally we took a try at it... and he just reached it first
time, no effort at all.
"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."
This blessed artist commanded the stage with the grace of an
antelope, shattered recording industry records and broke down
cultural boundaries around the world, yet remained the gentlest
He was so shy he'd sit down and sing behind the couch with his
back to me while I sat there with my hands over my eyes with
the lights out
I think the thing for him was that he was that complete triple
threat. He could sing like nobodies business, he could dance
like nobodies business. Electric performances so every time
he hit the stage no matter what he was doing, no matter what
type of song he was doing, all eyes were on him.
I think Michael Jackson was a sheer natural, dropped on this
earth by "The Most High" to show everyone how to do
it and he did it. He was born with that talent, you don't learn
it. No one teaches you how to be Michael Jackson in grade school.
The true, true stars are people with unique and unbelievable
talent like no one else. He didn't sound like anyone else, he
didn't dance like anyone else and he didn't perform like anyone
else, the songs weren't like anyone else and he had that special
something that only stars have. They're a lot of people that
assume they're stars, he was a real star.
Around the world this guy is held up in honor as the greatest
entertainer. He transcended every thing. He was that uber star,
not just a regular star.
I think now people are trying to remember the joy that he brought
into everyone's lives and also the sheer greatness of his talent,
which is what you should be applauding at this time. This is
one of those times in our lifetimes that we saw a real beacon".
We Had Him
Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright
and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff
of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace.
Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the
face of the moon.
In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks
can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt
absence of our treasure. Though we are many, each of us is achingly
alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was
a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family
love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We
had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours
and we were his.
We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for
all of us. And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing.
He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star
Square. In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama,
and Birmingham, England,
We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with actor, Wesley Snipes,
who was in the BAD short film with MJ:
Q: What do you think about Jay-Z commenting that "We Are
The World" should have been left alone because an icon
did it, and it should not have been recreated?
WS: Well, I understand the motivation behind it, but I don't
really have a critical comment about it. am more critical about
how Michael was treated, more than anything else. I think that
he was an angel sent to us, and I think that we might have to
reflect on how well we took care of him. People like to say,
"Oh, people around him were bad and they didn't do right
by him." But I think this is collective too. Because I
don't know the last time, and I can't remember any other artist
that attracted that much energy and projected that much power.
That was that creative, and affected so many people, and was
such a diplomat for America, and a champion for American culture,
and African-American people worldwide. People wanted to move
to America because of Michael Jackson. Industry changed, the
music industry changed, because of Michael Jackson. That's a
gift to us, and, you know, I am concerned that the Good Lord
may not send another one because we did not take good care of
him (Michael Jackson)."
MJ choreographer, Vincent Paterson :
(Jackson) never said a mean thing to anybody," said Paterson.
"He is very much alive in my mind and always in my heart."
To Paterson, Jackson was the catalyst of his success, not the
misconstrued image concocted by the tabloids. "I lived
with Michael through all of those years with the press,"
Paterson said. "I would sit in the trailer and he would
cry. He would say `I don't understand why they want to tear
The 59-year-old, who lives in California's Hollywood Hills,
occasionally hears Jackson's soft voice in his head - a voice
he can imitate almost perfectly. "He always told me to
let the music talk to you," Paterson said. "Don't
ever impose your thoughts on the music. The music will tell
you what it wants to do."
My biggest influence is Michael Jackson. I danced to all of
his music growing up. I only hope to impact the world a fraction
of how he has."
- Jason Derulo
"He's the most natural, loving person I've ever known,
a very good person, as corny as that sounds."
- Seth Riggs
"He wasn't ever really interested in money. I'd give him
his share of a night's earnings and the next day he'd buy ice
cream or candy for all the kids in neighborhood."
- Joe Jackson
"Michael's a natural. He's a very hard worker and a super
performer. But most of all, he's a real human being."
"He was like a sponge. Michael showed a curiosity for everything.
It was unbelievable in someone so young. I appreciated watching
"If the media would just tell it like it is about Michael,
without destroying it and twisting it, maybe he would be more
cooperative with the press. But he has been hurt a lot by the
media. Even when he gives an interview and the story comes out
all right, someone else will inevitably twist what he said.
Michael can't win, really. That hurts him. He's not stupid.
He knows how to avoid getting hurt by this vicious cycle."
"He's not afraid to look into the worst suffering and find
the smallest part that's positive and beautiful."
Michael Joseph Jackson Board