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Culture

Messages of shock, grief from across the world

Video by Shirli SITBON

Text by Leela JACINTO , Nandita VIJ

Latest update : 2009-06-26

Reactions to Michael Jackson’s sudden death were pouring in from across the world as celebrities, entertainment figures, music industry stalwarts and ordinary people paid tribute to the King of Pop.

It’s a sombre time for music lovers across the world. Michael Jackson, the 'King of Pop' whose moonwalk and beats would leave crowds in a state of frenzy, has died aged 50 at his home in Beverly Hills.


 

Celebrity and fan messages started flooding in on the Internet on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as soon as death reports were confirmed. Microblogging site Twitter was swamped with thousands of messages and was temporary blocked.

 

The entertainment industry, reeling in shock after iconic actress Farrah Fawcett’s death on Thursday, found it hard to come to terms with the news.

 

 

California Governor and former Hollywood star Arnold Schwarznegger, an avid Twitter user, reacted soon after the news. “We lost a great entertainer and a pop icon. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Jackson's family, friends and fans,” he said in a Tweet.

 

Expressing shock, actor Ashton Kutcher and wife Demi Moore prayed for Jackson’s children. Among other stars mourning the King of Pop’s death, Britney Spears said she was “he was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed”.

 

Grammy Award-nominated American rapper Snoop Dogg paid a live tribute to Michael Jackson on USTREAM.tv

 

Even politicians like British Foreign Secretary David Miliband joined the Twitter tributes, saying: "Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael."

 

Newly-appointed French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand said: "It's really extraordinary, during the whole night , emotion was high, a very personal emotion, because I think all the people who heard or saw Michael Jackson once in their life, even if they aren't close to that music, were touched by his appearance, his charm, the beauty of hios music... because the first thing that has to be said is that he was a great musician."

 

Music producer Quincy Jones, who released Jackson’s solo album "Off the wall" in 1979, said he was "devastated" by the news. "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," Jones told US television network NBC.

 

Pop Diva Madonna, who dominated the music industry with Jackson in the 1980’s, was left in tears by the news. "I can't stop crying over the sad news," told celebrity website People.com. "I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever."

 

Elvis Presley’s daughter and the star’s first wife Lisa Marie Presley said in a statement that Jackson’s death had left her speechless. "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," Presley said. "This is such a massive loss on so many levels. Words fail me."

 

Tribute

 

The star’s fans across different time zones were glued to their keyboards posting video and photo tributes. Messages of condolences from viewers across the world have been pouring into FRANCE 24's webdesk inbox.

 

“The world stood still. I stood still. I'm really shocked. He's electrified us all with his music. I still have his music on my phone,” wrote Adekunle Umar Windhoek from Namibia.

 

Even Iranians, embroiled in weeks of political unrest and violent protests, wrote to express their grief. “This is the worst news since the death of Neda [a young Iranian woman killed during the protests],” Shirin, an 18-year-old viewer, wrote in a message from Tehran.

 

Date created : 2009-06-26

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