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Friends, Fans Mourn the Death of 'King of Pop' Michael JacksonThursday, June 25, 2009 Print APMichael JacksonMichael Jackson The tragic death of Michael Jackson has shocked the world, and messages of grief and appreciation have poured in from his family and close friends in Hollywood and around the globe."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," Brooke Shields said in a statement.Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley issued a statement, saying: "I am completely shocked and saddened by Michael's death.

My heart goes out to his children and his family."His friend Joe Pesci said he was not only a wonderful entertainer but a good parent as well."He was a good dad … He was always with the kids … a lot of fun," Pesci told FOX News.

"He was always fun and he just did so much and he always reinvented himself [as a performer].

He was great to watch."Al Sharpton said he had spoken to Jackson recently about upcoming concerts planned in Great Britain."In my last conversations, including the conversations a couple of months ago when I was teasing him that I was coming to England to see him perform again, he talked about how many people had let him down, but I told him it didn't matter, he never let the fans down," Sharpton said at a news conference."For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words," said Quincy Jones, who produced "Thriller." "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."Singer Dionne Warwick said: "Michael was a friend and undoubtedly one of the world's greatest entertainers that I fortunately had the pleasure of working with.

...

We have lost an icon in our industry."Neil Portnow, the president of The Recording Academy, said Jackson's career "transcends musical and cultural genres and his contributions will always keep him in our hearts and memories."Related StoriesPop Legend Michael Jackson Dead at 50"Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson," Portnow said.

"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."Among the fellow musicians morning the loss was R&B singer Ginuwine, who told FOX News that words couldn't describe how he felt at the news of Jackson's death."When I heard that, I said, that can't be true," he said.

"You almost don't want to believe it."But Hollywood heavyweight â€" and former Jackson publicist — Michael Levine told FOXNews.com he wasn't surprised by the devastating news."Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years," Levine said.

"His talent was unquestionable, but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world.

A human simply can not withstand this level of prolonged stress.''FOXNews.com also spoke exclusively to Jon Cohen, the former head of Jackson's label "A&R Records" who was still in close contact with and a good friend of the King of Pop."We spoke recently and he was in very high spirits.

I wasn't aware of any heart problems and he was in good health," Cohen said.

"I am in complete shock.

He was so excited for the tour, it really would have been a comeback.

He was rehearsing and up to the task.

Michael was a very knowledgeable man.

He was full of life and was such a visionary.

More than anything, he loved his children very much.""From his performances with the Jackson 5 to the premiere of the 'moonwalk' and 'Thriller,' Michael was a pop phenomenon who never stopped pushing the envelope of creativity," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement."Though there were serious questions about his personal life, Michael was undoubtedly a great entertainer and his popularity spanned generations and the globe.

Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over his death and our hearts go out to the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide," Schwarzenegger said.In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone."No joke.

King of Pop is no more.

Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend sent to his telephone.

"It's like when Kennedy was assassinated.

I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died."Click here for more from myFOXla.com.The Associated Press and FOXNews.com's Hollie McKay contributed to this report.See Next Story in EntertainmentPrint

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,529120,00.html
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