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Mark Lester

Mark Lester

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UPDATE 3.05pm: MICHAEL Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley has told of her heartbreak as tributes poured in for the pop icon after his sudden death.

"I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible," said the daughter of Elvis Presley.She married Jackson in 1994 but they split less than two years later."I am heartbroken for his children who I know were everything to him and for his family.

Video: 'Don't call me Wacko' | Al Sharpton3AW: Molly Meldrum on the death of a friendBest man: Geller 'devastated' by friend's deathThe Punch: Remember him as genius first, freak second2600+ messages: Leave your tribute to JacksonInteractive special: Michael Jackson dead at 50"This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me.""I'm absolutely devastated at this news," bestselling record producer and musician Quincy Jones told NBC, after Jackson died suddenly aged 50 at his Beverly Hills home.

"I just don't have the words.

Divinity brought our souls together and allowed us to do what we could do through the '80s," Jones said.

"To this day that music is played in every corner of the world, and the reason is because he had it all talent, grace, and professionalism.

I've lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him." Pop star Justin Timberlake, seen by many as the heir to Jackson's pop crown, said in a statement that the world had "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," the statement read.

"Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson," director Steven Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly.

"His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him a legend." California Governor and former Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzegger issued a statement lamenting the loss of "one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry." Schwarzenegger noted that there were "serious questions'' about Jackson's personal life, but the governor said he and his wife Maria Shriver joined "all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over his death".

"Our hearts go out the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide," the statement said.

"I can't stop crying over the sad news," Madonna said.

"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." American Idol judge Randy Jackson said Jackson's death was on par with the deaths of Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

"We have really really lost a great one.

I don't think that there will be anybody ever again like Michael Jackson," he told CNN's Larry King.

"I haven't seen something affect people like this has in a long time.

"He transcended everything, he was colourless.

Thriller changed the face of music forever." In a statement, Britney Spears said she was going to meet up with Jackson in the UK while she was touring through Europe.

"He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I am devastated that he is gone," she said.

Singer Celine Dion said Jackson's death was a huge loss.

"It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died.

It's an amazing loss," she told Larry King.

"He was an extremely talented person … he was a genius.

It's a big loss and I have to say it's not even sinking in yet." Singer Cher recalled meeting Jackson when he was a young boy.

"He was always adorable to me, he was always sweet," she said.

"He was a great singer.

He was a genius like Ray Charles, like people that have a gift." Close friend Uri Geller told the BBC: "I'm just devastated, very very sad.

I pray that his soul is up there now." Jackson was best man when the television physic Geller renewed his wedding vows in 2001.

"I'm still trying to hold on to the glimmer that it is not true.

It is too surreal for me to absorb that Michael is no longer with us." Geller told the BBC that he was "absolutely shocked" as Jackson had been in good shape training for his comeback tour due to launch on July 13 in London.

"Michael was in good shape because he was practising, he was training, he was rehearsing for the shows," he said.

US actor Jamie Foxx was in the middle of an interview with Extra TV when the news broke, and said he hoped Jackson would be remembered as a "brilliant musician" and not for "the circus sideshow" that his life turned into.

Many paid tribute to Jackson's influence on the world of music and dance.

His album Thriller remains the bestselling album of all time with more than 41 million sales.

British child actor Mark Lester, the godfather to Jackson's children, said he was in shock at the news, and praised Jackson's attributes as a father.

"They're the most fabulous kids â€" whatever they need, they've got me," Lester told MSNBC.

Many singers and musicians were quick to express their grief at his passing on social networking website Twitter.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs wrote that Jackson made music "come to life".

"Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat," he said.

"He made me believe in magic.

I will miss him!" The Australian music community was also united in paying tribute to the ground-breaking artist.

Australian music guru Molly Meldrum said he couldn't believe the news.

Meldrum, the former Countdown host, this morning reflected on the exceptional talent, extraordinary success and bizarre personal life of the Thriller star.

"I'm still trying to get my head around it,'' Meldrum told 3AW radio.

"All of us will have to look and gauge what artists like your Paul McCartneys, even Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of what their reaction will be.

"Because Michael Jackson was in that stratosphere of your John Lennons, your Elvis Presleys and it's hard to believe he's not here.'' But Meldrum said Jackson's life was often sad, despite the glitz and glamour that came with his mega success especially once he started altering his image.

"Once he started doing all that plastic surgery and the whitening (of his skin) and then obviously all that other dramas in his personal life that went on, for anyone of us it was totally surreal,'' Meldrum said.

"Even the look of Michael Jackson, he started to - without being cruel - he started to look like one of the (figures) from the video Thriller.

"It was a sad life in a sense because he didn't know anything else.

"When you're a superstar at the age of eight and that's all you've ever known in your life and you've had to surround yourself with people, bodyguards, publicists, whatever it would be very surreal.'' Meldrum said the controversial child molestation case in an LA court just added to the strange course of his life.

"It just became a bizarre trail and it was hard to know what was fact and what was fiction,'' he said."I wish I got to tell him how much his music & existence changed my life," Lisa Origliasso from The Veronicas wrote on Twitter.

"He was my biggest inspiration and will forever live on in my heart." Delta Goodrem said she heard the news when she woke up this morning.

"I feel so thankful for him sharing his brilliance,'' she wrote.

Australian Idol winner Wes Carr said he shocked by the singer's death.

"Pretty upsetting to wake up to that news, I'm going to play one hell of a show tonight in honour of the great man," he tweeted.

The social networking website went into meltdown for a short while this morning.

"The King of Pop, greatest entertainer ever, is gone.

Thanks for the boogie," wrote TV personality Andrew G.

Pop singer Nikki Webster, who also started out in the entertainment industry at a young age, said her thoughts were with Jackson's family and children.

"The music industry will not be the same," Webster wrote.

"You are a true inspiration and genius." Rock band Grinspoon added: "You knock me off of my feet now baby hoo hoo...

Bye Michael.

Thanks for the tunes.",21985,25693333-5012974,00.html
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