June 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How would you characterize the life of Michael Jackson?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Talent and torment often go together.

History is filled with great artists and composers whose lives were a constant struggle against their own private demons. In the end, they leave us a great legacy of their works, but it seems the only real peace they ever found was when they stopped breathing.

Possessed of one of the greatest talents in the history of show business, Michael Jackson also seemed for much of his life to be a tormented, unhappy man. Following his death yesterday, there were reports of prescription drug use, including a shot of Demerol shortly before he collapsed and died from cardiac arrest.

His life was filled with episodes of bizarre behavior. Everything from his trial on child molestation charges - he was acquitted - to dangling his baby off a balcony, to the grotesque altering of his physical appearance through numerous plastic surgeries to his failed marriages. The press had a field day with Michael Jackson.

But there was also a kind, gentle man who donated much time and money to charity. Remember We Are The World? He and Lionel Richie wrote the words and music to that song, which raised millions for hungry people in Africa. When his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, he donated the settlement from a lawsuit - $1.5 million - to a hospital burn center.

As with all of us, there was more than one side to Michael Jackson.

Here’s my question to you: How would you characterize the life of Michael Jackson?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Cafferty File • Race
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Eventful comes to mind. So does a rollercoaster ride. It's a very sad loss for many. Alot of unsung songs gone forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  2. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    One word Jack: Insane!

    June 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  3. david from virginia

    1. Immense talent.
    2. Bizarre childhood and abusive father.
    3. Too much success too fast.
    4. Tragic personal life as a result.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  4. A big Michael Jackson fan

    Sadly, Over, Jack.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  5. Pugas-AZ

    Enigma, but aren't we all. It's difficult to assess someone's life since you did not live it. Society takes a lot from people like Michael and he in turn gave back much. Apparenty too much.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  6. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Michael Jackson had no childhood.

    He was forcedm much like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, into a life of constant pressure.

    His parents' greed forced him into an environment where he never had the opportunity to discover for himself a lifestyle and adaptabllity to facing unexpected traumas, which we all face.

    He never had a caring parent.

    It showed later in his life as he was given to being obsessed with being a child as an adult – something few of us are able to accomplish. His dream world was for his lost childhood.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  7. CJ in Atlanta

    I feel sorry for Michael Jackson. I feel that his early demise and the troubles he faced later in life are a result of the influences of people around him. People who were close to him rode his coat tails in order to pad their own wallets, and therefore rather than help him seek out professional help both mentally and physically, they encouraged him to do whatever he wanted so long as he was happy and making them money. This is a tragedy and has resulted in a loss of talent we may never see again in our lifetimes.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Ludy McManus

    Michael Jackson was indeed a tormented soul, that despite his incredible talents, he never seemed happy. He seemed to be always craving for the childhood he never had. All these deep longings led to his many eccentricities and bizarre behaviour. Now, in death, may he finally find the peace and happiness that so eluded him while alive, despite the adulation of millions of fans worldwide.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Tee Walker

    I cannot understand all the frenzy over the death of Michael Jackson. The "King of Pop" my foot. Can you hum or whistle anything he ever recorded? I was more upset over the death of John Denver.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Shane from MONTREAL

    His life was his music he gave to the world but his personal problems and bizarre behaviour was also an endless freak show the media watched and reported with glee.

    PS Could you NOT have come up with a better picture to pay tribute??

    June 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Donald in CA

    Brilliant and sad.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  12. KMak Jones

    "Larger Than Life"

    June 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  13. Anthony

    No matter who it is no parent should have to bury their kid.
    But their was only one king, his name was Elvis. The difference was Elvis never cold him self "THE KING" his fans gave that to him. Michal Jakson, declared him self "THE KING OF POP."

    June 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  14. Katty OR

    Guess I was born in the wrong generation....our idols were role models, people who actually deserved our praise. People who led their lives as examples one should live by. I hope they hurry up and bury Jackson so we can get on with everyday activities. No way does this man deserve the sort of media attention given to Kennedy, 9/11, Princess Di, Challenger blow-up. I am continually amazed and disgusted with our media.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  15. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He was a masterful entertainer who lived a tragic life-from birth to death.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  16. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    His life was one filled with success and tragedies, terrible times and great times. He was even brought up on child molestation charges (for which he was acquitted), but donated millions of dollars to many worthy charities, and contributed a wonderful legacy to the music world. He will be known as a very tragic figure I believe for everything that happened to him throughout his life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  17. peg mclean

    He was a shooting star.....lovely to watch for a second and then it's gone...you are glad you saw it (him) and remember it.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  18. Alice NEWYORK

    Tragic! Like Elvis! Lost to those who were their enablers, didn't they see? Not a MJ great fan but felt he was a victim in more than one way! Heart felt thoughtrs to these kind of people who have so much to give and now they are lost to the ages . Their memories and good works will live on in their talents that they gave! peace and love at a great price!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  19. Chris D., NYC

    Here's a testimony, when "Man in the Mirror" came out, twenty three years ago (my brother and I were 6),in the 80's......My mother was on crack cocane, and was struggling to get off of it......That song, would bring her to tears everytime she heard it........it was not the main thing that got her off drugs, but it played a major role in stirring her heart, to shake this habit......A year later, after joining a church, she was clean......Today she's still clean, and is a Reverend, Accountant, and a mourning fan.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  20. Ondrya in the San Fernando Valley, CA

    When I regard the life of Michael Jackson, it’s necessary to separate him into two categories: Michael Jackson the artist and Michael Jackson the flesh and blood person. He was no doubt a creative genius (and I don’t use the word genius lightly), but his personal life like many outstanding artists throughout history was full of contradictions, controversy and spiritual demons. While I’m a huge fan of his music, I will also remember him for his addiction to plastic surgery, and the multiple allegations of his molestation of young children. For now, I will celebrate the beautiful music he created and ironically all his charitable work for children. I pray for Michael’s soul, his three children and the loving family he left behind. God Bless you Michael, may you finally rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  21. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    To me Michael Jackson was a lost soul who was out of touch with the realities of life known to the rest of us. He was truly gifted but his creative talent seemed to be all he had, making him a one dimensional person.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  22. Kim - Blair, NE

    A tragic struggle to keep the good at the forefront. The good in Michael was always there but with very little caring guidance, he fought every step of the way and with no real decent father figure that he felt he wanted to be like, he had no idea how to grow up.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  23. Bruce McCutcheon

    To characterize Michael Jackson, now, would be premature. Like all men, we probably should wait, to see how he stands the test of time. Did the good outweigh the bad? Was he tormented because of his genius, or was he truly just odd.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  24. Denise Ahlberg

    I think there was much to be admired about MJ's talents, but I have to ask how it is he warrants the accalaid of "hero." I hve heard some of CNN's anchors calling him a hero and a superstar. Was he really a hero? How?

    June 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  25. abbagaladima

    Micheal lived the life ofa legend as well as a music icon. But the fact is life is full of ups and downs. May his immortal soul rest in perfect peace

    June 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  26. John, Fort Collins,CO

    Michael Jackson spent most of his 50 years searching for Michael Jackson - now none of us will ever know who he really is. I'd characterize his life in two words: "absolutely unique".

    June 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  27. Nancy, Tennessee

    Jackson provided us with his own summation of his life when he created Neverland, where you never grow up. The kiddie roller coaster ride represented the hills he climbed and the fall after the climb. His life was bumpy like riding in the bumper cars. He lived in a fantasy where he created his music and danced to the rhythm of his own heartbeat. Truly he was unique.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  28. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    As an entertainer, he was one of the greatest the world will ever know. His personal life, on the other hand, was twisted, demented, and sometimes very ugly ... but that was because of the demons you mentioned. In the meantime, there are other things going on in the world that the media should be covering. Leave Michael and his family alone and get on with the job of newscasting. 24 solid hours of Michael Jackson is enough. Ahmahdinijad (sp.?) must be very happy that the focus has been taken away from Iran

    June 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  29. Junior Doh

    Michael is larger than life, he created music for me and i will love and miss him forever. i still think the world is playing a jock on me, but soon we will move one. rest in peace, i love u michael

    June 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  30. Paige Minyard Crawford

    This is How !

    "Michael Jackson R.I.P"

    When the whole world is watching you
    Where can you go ?
    Your freedom is missing
    We all own your soul

    There's no where to be you
    Unless putting on a show
    And we think that we know you
    But "what" do we know ?

    When you're a legend
    A living talent
    The king of pop
    not understood
    Just for one day
    It might be real nice
    To be the boy in the hood

    Who your friends are
    Is it the money ?
    Or is it just cause you're you
    When your famous
    And your an icon
    Everyone knows your moves

    He may have been strange
    He may have been wrong
    But he had alot to give
    He left his music
    To the whole world
    And Never truly got to live

    Paige Minyard- Crawford June 26,2009

    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  31. Donna Rae

    As Elvis did before him, Michael changed the way music was heard, danced, and recorded – He left an imprint on the Music Industry – Timeless

    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  32. Luv/Canada

    We offer Michael Jackson this day 2 u,dear God.Thank u 4 the blessings u have given us through him.May we use these gifts to build ur kingdom’n spread peace.May his actions Michael Jackson be a reflection of ur love and true peace.May the work he did and left behind 2day bring others closer 2 u.May his words’n work be kind and gentle and may they bring joy 2 others’n 2 his soul.Today,help us to give back a portion of what he has given 2 us.I ask this in jesus name.Amen

    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  33. john battiloro


    What life... Michael gave us life but he never really had one.
    God bless you Michael, Rest In Peace

    White Plains, NY

    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  34. David

    Brilliant and tortured.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  35. Stacye Mehard


    June 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  36. paul

    I have many memories of Michael Jackson just like the rest of the world his music is timeless and groundbreaking and we all loved him dearly, love being only one of the many feelings we as a people have felt for the king of pop over the decades. But the death of Michael is an immense shock to the world he was the single biggest star on the planet, more recognized than others like Bono, Tiger Woods and even the president Barack Obama that said i feel for the family because this will not stop the relentless opportunists from trying to bring attention to themselves or financial gain, the sharks are circling and not saying anything till the mystery of his death is more clear but make no mistake they will be launching attacks on the jackson family and name soon. I would hope that these people take heed and proceed with caution, the world as a whole and the fan community not just the black community will fiercly defend the most famous and beloved man on our planet.

    Michael Jackson was not a normal person not ever and if you asked me he should be declared a national institution or monument by the world and remebered for the gifted, unique and loving person that he really was.

    Rest in Peace Michael

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  37. Mags

    What a sad ending.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  38. Lori

    Michael Jackson's eccentricities made a lot of people forget just who he really was: a man who helped blur the line between white musician, and black musician. A person who voiced, strongly, his belief in humanitarianism and world peace. An artist who forever changed the face of his medium, the standards of performance, and several generation's appreciation of music.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  39. carol

    i would categorize mike's life as a long uphill. he worked very hard to reach the top, wasn't easy, but he reached it. and realized, when you reach the top, people just wanna see you fall.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  40. Sam

    Michael Jackson will be remembered by everyone, he was a musical genius.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  41. Richard Bergstrom

    Love him or hate him, Michael Jackson loved the world and what it could become.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  42. Joyce Jenkins

    Michael Jackson lives no more. But though his music, he will live forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  43. Avi Sachdev

    Michael Jackson was simply the best! This planet will never be the same. Even people on the moon are sad today. He made everyone laugh, entertain and share his love with people from all walks of life and various generations.

    I hope that we come together in this world to bring the same peace he spread around everywhere he went and create harmony in our minds and hearts. The London show must go on... RIP Michael!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Kathy Raynor-Kassees Clearwater, FL

    Well, the incredibly nasty, greedy, selfish, ugly side of humanity on planet earth has rose to the full occasion the last 24 hours...the real travesty of Micheal Jackson's death is not the loss of another extremely talented mega star whose flame was snuffed out too soon, nor is it the sad result of popularity, fame and fortune claiming way too much of the soul of a tormented child star whose life experience from adolesence to adulthood was a strange and dysfuctional spiritual journey and quest for normalcy and perfection in happiness was always being sought and tragically was never quite achieved...oh no.....the real travesty and shame is that 24 hours ago you would have been hard pressed to find a handful of the major celebrities and showbiz names (in addition to all the unknowns for that matter) that would have never even allowed the mention of their name be linked in the same sentence with Michael Jackson's and suddenly now they all were his "greatest admirers" and "best friends" that all claim knew him "oh so well" and they have sat for hours waiting their place in line just to to tell the media how "fond they were of him" and and tell all their little precious memorable stories and anecdotes of "when Micheal and I did this and Michael and I did that". SHAME ON YOU!! You people are nothing but media leaches that want your name thrown out front and center because your own popularity has faded and you can't get your own press on a good day much less now. Two days ago you wouldn't have returned his phone calls much less admit to the press that you were connected to him in any way and now you're all strutting like peacocks in front of the world with your claims of close and personal contact!! That is the ugly side of celebrity,,humanity and social dynamics in general. Hey guess what!! Too little too late!! The next few days should be most interesting as memorial services are planned for this poor man and the "social frenzy" that will ensue as to who will jockey for their place in line to be closest to him now that he's gone...my prayers are with his children and his mother who in reality were the closest people in his life. Not the shady characters coming out of the woodwork now tooting their own horns with self serving agendas to promote their names and standing in the entertainment world...they are the real losers...

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  45. Erik Giusti

    The life of Michael Jackson will always be a life of mystery. He was a true music genius. His music will live on forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  46. Allen


    Say what you will..... He was one hell of an entertainer.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. GinaMarie

    Talented and kind individual
    I am shocked by his death, and I'm mourning with the rest of the world. May he finally rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  48. Tim

    I agree that there were many sides to michael. But the one we have to focus on is the good. We dont need to make his family more upset by talking about the bad things. We all already know about the bad memories, but becuase he was the king of pop, we will remember him for the good things.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  49. Jeanie Bartle

    His life was a circus and I'm sad to say his death will be also

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  50. george sperry


    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  51. Martin - Phoenis

    In two words...Exhaulted & Troubled.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  52. Mary from Vermont

    He was the loneliest man we ever loved.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  53. Malcolm

    It is sad and heart warming. He sang Thriller, won Grammy Awards for it and he had tours. Then he died. But who will get all of his money?

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  54. Lucy

    Michael Jackson was such an inspiraton to many people around the world and it such a tragedy our unparalled proportions. As a child in Africa, I watched as many people in the villages who didn't even know how to speak English, sing every verse of his songs! His music made people forget even for a very short time the desperate conditions that they resided in. He inspired us all to believe in magic and in the power of music and his influence and his power will never be rivaled. He will remain in our hearts forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  55. Jamie Spencer

    Jackson was a remarkable artist and exciting performer, but the obsession with his death is living proof of our country's skewed priorities. 24 / 7 coverage for an entertainer? Give me a break!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Carlene

    T3 – Talented, Tormented, Tragic

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  57. Andrew Alers

    Michael Jackson was the soul of music he was the next elvis or ray charles. He is THE KING OF POP.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  58. Bridget

    Dear Michael Jackson,

    You were not only a celebrity, but something much more to me. You inspired me from the inside out, something that flowed out of me through your words, music, and dancing. You gave me reasons for believing and keep going when I felt I was not even here. Although we never saw each other in person or even met, I feel like I have a part of you with me, always. One word to describe you would be “Powerful.” Your music is so clear, so true, so real. When I heard the news today from one of my family members who called me I was in shock, disbelief, and most of all wanted to wake up. I didn’t think the King of Pop could ever die, after all, legends are like fairytales-they last for centuries, but I have to remind myself that you are human like me. The media portrays celebrities like gods and goddesses that must be worshiped or us humans have no value. God gave you talent, but most important, a gift…a gift that was able to reach millions across planet earth where English is not even spoken, but uniquely understood. You’ve been in my heart for years and will continue to do so. You’ve made me laugh, cry, and have shown me a side of myself I did not know existed–where I was able to gain confidence that it is okay to be me and dare to be different. I have learned strength within. One thing I appreciate most about you is your beauty. Beauty to see people inside out. Look inside people’s hearts and souls, not their skin, not their hair color, or how they are dressed. Beauty does not have one definition which makes it beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think you are truly beautiful. Your love keeps going because there is no end. May you know how special you are to me. Thank You for giving me the most beautiful gifts of all…………………………….

    from your heart to mine

    Love (one of your biggest admirers and supporters of all time),

    Bridget Hill

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  59. Alex

    Mr. Cafferty, you can't ask that question today. Everybody, regardless of fame, goes through a period of sainthood just after dying.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Daniel

    Epic, Infamous, and Tragic.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Liza Dye

    Michael's life can simply be characterized with one word: love. Everywhere he went, Michael continued to spread his simple message of peace and love, no matter how the media tried to destroy or distort him or his message. He continuously kept his faith in his fans and the real people of the world. His message of love should be a lesson to us all, and he is greatly missed. We love you Michael!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  62. Karen, AZ

    His life was complicated and complex. His music was pure joy.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Martine

    He was definitely one in a million...

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Alex Shay

    Without judging Michael Jackson, and just watching him dance, one could say without a doubt that no one has ever danced like he did.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  65. mike craig

    We (blacks) have just lost our Elvis,John Lennon and Pricess Diana all in one. Michael meant that much to us. I am devastated.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  66. Mike of Hot Springs.

    He was clearly a tortured and lost soul seeking love and happiness in all the wrong places.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  67. Karen

    Two words: Tortured and Talented

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  68. Justin A.

    Michael Jackson was a decent man. Will his death go down in history like Elvis Presley's death??? I honestly think it will. His music will live on. This loss is not only for the Jackson family, but for America. God Bless! R.I.P Michael!!!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  69. Ken in NC

    His life went from 0 to 50 years, from a -9 to a +9. His life was like a mountain range. It had it's peaks and valleys'. Over all I think he will be remembered for all of it by different people.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  70. Janis

    I would characterize Michael Jackson's life as wonderment, flawed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Dion G.

    Wit fame and genius comes a price. With life and eccentricity comes with being singled out. Michael Jackson's life was one of lonliness and catastrophes but it was also one of imagination that sparked the thoughts of an entire generation. No matter what Michael Jackson is a name no one will ever forget.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  72. Sheryl

    Lonely & Sad, He may have been an icon to everyone but if you really think about it – he made everyone else happy with his music and videos, he was not a happy man.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  73. Andrian Thompson

    He had a good live, he just didn't know how to live it. His childhood was snatched away from him at the tender age of five years old. He was a 12 year old, trapped in a 50 year old man's body. I do think it's a shame how political cartoonists are dragging his name through the dirt. It was enough while he was alive. For God's sake the man is now dead! They just make it harder on his family. Let him get the peace he so very much deserves.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  74. Johnathan L

    Michael Jackson was a special gift from God to the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  75. Diane from Intervale NH

    Michael Jackson lived a rarefied, extremely bizarrre life – never having a real childhood, he seeminly tried to re-create one in his adult life.
    This being said, the amount of attention being devoted to his death is nothing short of an obscenity. Mozart didn't get this much press when he died! Let's move on to some 'real' news, please!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  76. Tracy

    What mere words can be said that hasn't already been said about a man who wanted everyone in the world to love one another?

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Ritch Harrigan

    Michael Jackson could be characterized as the Elvis Presley of Generation X. Both were innovative and enigmatic performers who fell from grace and became something of a joke at the end of their lives. Fortunately, Elvis is remembered less today as an overweight, pill popping recluse, and more for his contributions to popular music. It's my belief that Michael Jackson will be remembered in much the same way.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Marsha Harris Scott

    Having seen many interviews and personal appearances of Michael Jackson's over the years, I always came away with the impression that he was a child himself. I don't think he molested anyone. I think he missed his childhood, surrounded himself with children and games children play. He was made a workhorse by his father.

    His music will live forever, and so too will his many contributions to humanity.

    RIP, Michael, you join the ranks of other splendid artists who were never understood while they were alive.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Karen in Phoenix

    Incredibly influential. He had a huge impact on my musical tastes, my childhood understanding of race as a kid from the whitewashed upper midwest, and my understanding of all the judgments the world so unfairly passes on some its most tormented souls.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Madison

    Right now what we can all do to help payoff his debts and leave a legacy for his children is to purchase whatever music we can to help sales hit the most all time high. Just imagine if everyone that knew MJ around we can truly give him PEACE..

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  81. Sonia Prince, NH

    He was a boy who was robbed from his childhood, longing to be with other kids at the playground. As a man, there is no surprise that he wanted to catch up on all the fun stuff that exists about being a child. Weird: no; catching up for lost time: yes! Life is short, he was trying to be true to himself while being under an extreme spot light. In my eyes, he is one of the top performers of all time (right up there with the Beatles and Elvis) He promoted peace, fought racism and donated to the hungry through his music. Truly admirable.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Debra

    In a word – excessive.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Andy Castellucio

    Michael believed we could heal the world. I believed him - "If you want to make the world a better take a look at yourself and make that change."

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Shawn from Florida


    Your comments were way off base regarding Michael Jackson's life. I remember as a kid seeing him on tv at the apollo theatre performing with his brothers. As an African American his life, legacy and genius reach far beyond the thought of any perscription medications he may have been taking.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  85. Angela

    Tragic, best describes his life. Superb, best describes his music.

    His voice was silenced yesterday, I think you could say "the day the music died" was yesterday.

    Rest in peace Michael.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Amanda

    I must say, as freaky as MJ was, you must admit that he did have talent & that's what he should be remembered for.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  87. Michael Torrenday

    How sad it is that with all the resources available, he was unable to find the help he obviously and desperately needed to heal the wounds of his "childhood."

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  88. Jean from Los Angeles

    it will be hard to find a single person on earth that has never heard about Michael Jackson. i think that summarize his legacy fairly well. he touched us deeply whether we loved him or hated him.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  89. Lori

    Michael Jackson's eccentricities made a lot of people forget just who he really was: a man who helped blur the line between white musician, and black musician. A person who voiced, strongly, his belief in humanitarianism and world peace. An artist who forever changed the face of his medium, the standards of performance, and several generation's appreciation of music.
    -Richmond, VA

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  90. Hernán Varela

    Michael was a genius and his music will be heard forever by up comming generations!!!!

    R.I.P. MJ

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Aleen F.


    Oscar Lavant once quoted "There's a fine line between genius and insanity." Within many great artists lives a tortured soul. May Michael find his peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  92. markina

    I think micheal was a humble man and he wouldn't even hurt a fly he was diifferent from everyone in the world I dont care hoq you put it he cared about the world and the childrenhe tried to do right and he did now he's home and I know he saved he's gone home you safe now micheal you safe and atleast he didn't sufgfer when he died the picture they showed he looked like the same humble micheal and you dont see alot of people like that

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  93. Debbie

    A man with the kindest of hearts, misunderstood, loved and admired by millions......Long Live The KING......

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  94. Paul from New Orleans, LA

    Iconic, Legendary, Bold, a Thriller, the true King of the World!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  95. Anselyn Joya

    Michael Jackson was a visionary whose untimely death saddens me more than words can express. Not only talented, but kind-hearted, he touched the lives of almost every person who listened to music. I will miss Michael Jackson not only because he was a large part of my childhood, but because he did many positive things during his lifetime.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  96. David Vincent

    Short...and bittersweet.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  97. Janine

    The only thing we can all agree upon, is this, Michael was a clearly misunderstood man, whom changed all our lives with his music.
    Until we can find full clarity in our own eccentric behavior, we should not judge his life, but honor his memory.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Patrick Solorzano

    He will be missed. His heart and soul were in his music and the love for humanity. This is a great loss to the world and a silence to one of the most beautiful voices. He will be with me in spirit.

    God bless you Michal and I will be looking forward to seeing you on the other side.


    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Nicole

    Unfortunately, I was unable to witness Michael Jackson's life in his earlier stages. This tragic news took me by surprise, and i broke down into tears. I've only been alive for fifteen years, but i've been able to witness some of Michael Jackson's work. His life was based expressing his feelings through his music, standing up for peace, and hoping for change. Michael Jackson you will forever be missed, your legacy will go on FOREVER! Rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  100. nancy

    I am from Africa and trust me the impact "WE ARE THE WORLD' had in our lives is something generations and generations will live to hear to me he was a true hero, RIP MIKE

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  101. darren ball

    he was a tormented genuis with likes of van gogh he will be remembered for all time

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  102. Jenna NYC

    How can anyone really put another's life into words? Michael was an amazingly talented musician and performer, there's no doubt about that. I think what's most important now is to focus on all the positive aspects of his legacy and maybe even do the Thriller dance. Michael will remain in our hearts and stereos forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  103. Annette in Atlanta

    I would chacterize him as an excellent entertainer who the world mourns, as I continue to cry. We only knew what we were told and only his true friends and family knew the real Michael Jackson. I did not see all the sadness that everyone else saw. I will remember him as the most talented and exciting singer for decades. May he rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  104. Lacey


    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  105. Basiru Jallow

    I have a question!

    I have heard over an year now that Micheal Jackson was converted to Muslim but I haven't heard this from CNN. I would like you to let me know if this is true or not. Also, if this is true, will he be buried in a normal Muslim way? Your reply to this question is very important because everybody have their rights to choose their own religion.

    Thank you.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  106. Prad

    ........And All of a sudden, I was trying in vague "the moonwalk" again.. My first try was when I saw you did that. What a legend you are. A great humanitarian and unmatched musical talent. Controversies: exaggerated most of the time. To me, he is the greatest talent who just loved humanity. Its sad that he hardly ever got the true friendship and trustworthy people around him. I know he is in better place now. Rest in Peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  107. Lawrence Williams

    Because of him i saw a world without racism.In him i lived beyond the confines of my own small life

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  108. Dave

    Talent, Generosity, and Over the Edge

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  109. AG Delaware

    Michael Jackson was a true Peter Pan. Even though he lost his life at age 50, who looked at him and saw his true age. Most of his difficulties were because of his child like nature and attitudes towards life.
    I hope he can finally rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  110. Tenesha

    Michael Jackson was a musical genius who touched every race and age group. All he wanted to do was heal the the world & make it a better place just as he sung in his songs. He will be greatly missed!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Melvin Tx

    Michael's life was dedicated to entertaining the world. But unfortunately the world turned a blind eye on him during his difficult days. May his soul rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  112. Taiwo - Big Tee

    The Golden Child died At a Golden Age … What can I say, R.I.P. M J and continue living wherever you are maybe you will find peace. You are a legend.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  113. MD Ratliff

    A human life where the joy he brought into the world far outweighs personal misdeeds;imagined or real...

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  114. Rosemarie Styles

    Michael followed one of the greatest commandments of all times that is to love one another. He demonstrated his love for people in his work and music.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  115. Keith, (in Sacramento, CA)

    Michael Jackson's musical contributions will always eclipse his oddities, and rightfully so. He was an icon, a talented artist, and the face of a generation (perhaps more than one). I feel horrible that his life was cut short, but perhaps he is in a better place now. We will miss you tremendously, Michael!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  116. Renore

    I would characterized his life as pure musical genius. He revolutionized the music industry. He united people from all walks of life. From all races, socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and nations.

    The world lost a true talent today. And I mean the world...he is probably the most loved and globally known entertainer in the world.

    I will miss him and mourn him like a member of the family.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  117. Alexandra

    Michael Jackson will always be remembered as a kind and selfless natured man of great talent. He endured many challenges throughout his life. Jesus receives angels from many every day but yesterday he received an angel from the world. Forever remembered and loved Michael Jackson will live forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Deedee

    I think MIchael had a very complicated and emotionally complicated life. Though millions, or even billions of people loved him around the world, there must've been a void inside him somewhere. I believe that Michael was an amazing person, who had so much love for everyone, but the scandles and everything made him seem like... a monster... he definitely deserved, and still deserves more respect than that. Really, he was a beautiful person.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  119. Edea Baldwin

    My two oldest children were toddlers when "Thriller" came out. I can recall them sitting mesmerized, listening to Michael Jackson's songs so lushly and expertly arranged by Quincy Jones. My daughter's first crush was on Michael. She carried an MJ doll around with her until it literally fell apart. My son is a musician, and I know MJ's music had an effect on him. Michael was a flawed, brillliant man, and the joy his music brought will live forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  120. Allison

    Michael Jackson's life was like one of a Hummingbird... so much beauty and magic and wonder fit into to short of a lifetime.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  121. Hanna Kay

    Michael Jackson was an innovator, a genius, and a philanthropist. No matter if you were a fan of him or not, there's no denying his immense talent and musical artistry that he shared with the whole world. He gave all of us a gift of masterful music that taught us how to love everyone despite race or status. He will forever be a legend.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  122. Riley Sticka ; portland oregon

    The man donated near 300 million dollars to charity, he was truly an angel in that regard. Inarguably he was one of the most groundbreaking musicians in history – Up there with the beatles, no doubt

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  123. Jon, Atlanta Ga.

    Someone who cared so much about this World and People displayed in his songs and charity.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  124. pam parker mcgee

    A genius, a brilliant and creative artist, and a human being with all that comes with bing

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  125. karlene

    A life of success, creating and initiating change , caring for the human race as well as torment and public and personal struggle.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  126. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Jack, I would call his life tormented. He was loved by his fans and hated by few. After seeing the compulation of his work last night on the internet I'd have to say genius. When you look back and say that's all there is from him you're saddened by his lost. He certainly seemed strange compared to us. Who do you know that's as talented as him? There lies the answer. Genius, just genius.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  127. Zorica Dragovich

    Re Michael Jackson (and other celebrities)

    Sometimes it seems the cost of greatness is great.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  128. Shannon Connell from Nashville

    Michael Jackson never had a childhood..... so he created his own. Michael Jackson made others millions of dollars...... including his lawyers. Michael Jackson gave the world a reason to smile.... through his talent and the many, many jokes made at his expense, even in his death. Michael Jackson was a misguided soul.... but he DID have a soul. He proved that in the many generous works he performed on behalf of those less fortunate. He was a broken man, with a broken spirit.... broken people make bad mistakes. Broken people with a heart also do wonderous deeds. Let us remember the talent and the good works.... put the bad deeds aside, at least for the moment.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  129. Fallon

    I view Michael's life as a legacy! I dont believe the trash that they tried to acuse him of. No matter what happened in the past, his title will never be taken..
    Fallon, Ms

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  130. ayesha Jamil

    Essentially, Michael Jackson's life can only be characterized as not one in a million, but one in a billion. I don't know how long it would be until the world sees another amazing talent that comes even close to what we have seen from him. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. This week definitely marks the end of an era.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Mr. Black

    MJ's Life was like a melodramatic movie.
    The rise from poverty, the lost childhood the conquering of the music industry, the trials, the pained personal Life, the triumphs in his art.
    No fairy tale ending-real Life came crashing through...

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  132. Tiffiny Whitney

    Micheal's life was beautifully strange. All in all, weirdness aside, I think Jackson's life leaves a legacy of greatness. I loved his music, his philanthropy, and what he stood for. I will sorely miss him.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  133. Sidney Wong

    A legend in music and will remain for decades if not centuries. Never been crazy about him, but I love his music. Don’t much care for his personal life, none of my business. I truly believe he was a humanitarian.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  134. Katrinka

    Just awesome. He will truly be missed. Anyone think any different truly need to check themselves.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  135. Lindsay Desotell

    Even though I am only 19 years old, he had a large impact on my life with dancing and music. One of the first songs I ever listened to was from him. The first song I ever learned all the words to was from him. My father grew up listening to him and always told me about him. His life was very hectic and stressful, but he was a loving and caring man. He was loved by many including his family, friends, and people he has worked with. He has touched many people such as celebrities and influenced many people. Sometimes when you hear his name, you always think of the negative things, but you really shouldn't. He had a huge impact on everyone with his song lyrics, charity, and how much he cared for everyone. As for the past few years and his financial struggles, you could tell he was a lonely man, but no one lost love for him. He will be very missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Troy (From Calgary, AB)


    MTV as a cable channel would have never existed without Michael Jackson. He was the one single person that invented the music video. The MuchMusic video channel here in Canada would have never been created without him A great achievement for him despite his troubles over the years.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Diane

    A man that just wanted a child hood. I remember seeing an interview many years ago and Michael talked about how how he use to look out the window and watch the kids play. He and his brothers were not allowed because they had to practice music. He also played in bars, stripe clubs when he was just a child. All the things he did as a child were adult things, Michael was just reversed ,a man,wanting to be a child, thats all he ever wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  138. Vic B.

    Michael Jackson's life can be characterized as one of generousity. He gave his time, compassion, money, and love to others. From a man who was so empty, lonely, and striving to be loved by others, he gave everything of himself just to be loved in return. What a tragic loss.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  139. Hil

    Micheal Jackson is the TRUE KING of MUSIC he broke racial, generational, and humanitarian barriers. No one can deny he was the greatest performer of all time and his music will live on forever!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  140. Allison O. from Pasadena, CA

    Wasted. I mean he was miserable! So what that he was loved by "millions". Where were we?? How and why does this continue to happen to our favorite stars. Sad.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  141. Blue (Denver, Co)


    We're all tormented in some way. ALL OF US. Michael will be remembered as exactly what he IS... one of the greatest talents, a genius, that this world has ever seen.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  142. Cliff

    I think Michael Jackson was the greatest pop star ever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  143. Diane G.

    Michael had a mission while he was here on earth. He opened the door for the few to be recognized and appreciated by the many, including entertainers and the first AFrican American President. The messages in the majority of his songs were of peace and love, not war. There are those whose lives were saved by his legacy and his contribution to society. I pray and do believe that he is with the Lord today. Wherever he is, I hope he is dancing and singing. It is what he loved to do.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  144. Samba

    Jack, Michael's cross-generational appeal transcended across social and racial barriers. From Dakar to Port Loko, and from Jakarta to Peru, differences were forgotten because of his invincible entertainment. He was a world ambassador and stood against world hunger and apartheid when it mattered the most with the unforgettable and chilling “we are the world” song. If his life seemed strange, his music still matters and off the wall, beat it, and thriller album will live on forever.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  145. Linda G.

    MJ was a child trapped in an adult body. I think he lived his childhood vicariously through children. Last night , the floor of heaven ahd holes, and the tears came flowing down....it rained harder and longer than I've ever seen it.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  146. latasha

    A humanitarian first...Someone that gave so much of his self; his childhood,his privacy,his music,his life Jack he broke so many doors for ALL AFICAN AMERICANS not to mention busting down the doors to ROCK....lets reflet on that JACK.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  147. Tara from Forest City, NC

    I truly believe that Michael Jackson was a tragic victim of his own life. A boy growing up in a bubble with the critical eyes of the entire world always watching. Was he a freak show or an amazing talent? Or was he just a man who did the best he could with the bizarre life he had been born into? It's impossible to know for sure, but before judging him I have to wonder how any of us may have turned out if our roles had been reversed. Regardless of how he is viewed, his impact on the world cannot be denied and he will most certainly be missed by every spectrum of a society who revered him, were confused, angered, or simply left puzzled by him. He touched us all on some level and I know I will miss him for his musical contribution to the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  148. Takisha Miller

    I feel Michael Jackson was a misunderstand individual. He didn't get to experience much of a childhood and because of the abuse that he suffered and was forced to grow up at a young age. He never really did grow up and just tried to relive the childhood he never had regardless of what people thought of him. He tried to find his happiness but that was always interrupted by the tabloids, paparazzi, or those criticizing his every move. I love Michael Jackson and praise his for all the good he has done in his life. People often reflect on all the negativity and forget about what good deeds a person has done. I feel that his illness and death is due in part to our own doing as the amount of pressure and stress that was put on him as an icon and everything that was criticized for. Well I may not have known you personally Michael but your were always in my heart and "You are Not Alone". RIP King of Pop you will be dearly missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  149. Jason NYC, NY

    When Michael Jackson died yesterday the world didn't stop turning, but it almost did. Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. Ryan from Toronto

    One word.... Misunderstood. Often an easy target due to his look and his behaviour, I believe that he was really just a kid who never wanted to grow up, hence the Neverland Ranch and surrounding himself with children. He was one of the few truly giving souls this world has ever seen. It's sad the way people treated him the past few years. Hopefully people will remember him more for his music and philanthropy. RIP MIKE

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. Fernando

    Michael Jackson created music that will never fade away. He was a very unique man and had no shame showing it.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  152. Darryl Dennis-Atlanta-Ga

    Michael provided the soundtrack to my life. I will always remember when he came to Atlanta for the missing and murdered kids, he came to provde healing to a city that was in terrible pain. He truly had healing powers just to see such talent and showmanship was something special to behold. Long live the King of Pop.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  153. Wayne

    A tumultuous life, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, filled with self absorption to great generosity. A fabulous talent but tormented person.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  154. Michael Southard

    Michael Jackson had so many gifts for so many people. The kind of selflessness that took away from taking care of himself at times. There is no question about his impact on popular music and what his contributions to the world were. People need to remember the positive and the positive only. The negative is there, but keep in mind that much of it was fabricated and falls into an area that none of us can even relate to. There is not one person who has comments that can even relate to what he could have possibly been going through at any time. No one could even possibly comprehend what it was like to walk in his shoes and he was the kind of person who would not wish his life on his worst enemy, yet there were so many people who tried to bring him down for their own personal gain. The journalists today even in his death are still doing this for ratings and showing hardly any tact in the way they are presenting their information today.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  155. Natalie J.

    I characterize the life of Michael Jackson as success and tragic. He lived his life in front of the World. And he did not have the best childhood. All he knew was music, and he showered the world with it. The last 17 years, give or take, haven't been the best, but his music made yu forget that. characterize his life as extrodianry in music and heart wrenching in his personal life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  156. Lourene

    I characterized Michael Jackson as brilliant artist first. But a troubled and unhappy perosn. However, through his pain he brought to the world much joy. The world has really lost one in a million artist.

    Lourene, Darby Hill, Texas

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  157. michelle

    Michael was a very kind and very, very generous man. He was truly a legend.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  158. MJ

    When he opened up, Michael Jackson seemed tormented and lonely...Its so very difficult to really know what went on behind his private life but it seems awful apparent that he constantly felt essential to those around him only for his money and fame. It would be my hope that instead of seeing people as "weird" or "wacko" that in his memory, we would see the person for their inner beauty...and he had a love of humanity...whether it let him down or not.

    Cleveland, Ohio

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  159. ken

    Unfortunately we don't look at the good,we only look the accused(NEVER CONVICTED), Micheal will go down as one of the greatest performers of all time.He is not an OJ,please give him his props.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  160. carol

    How can anyone characterize Michael? I ask you He was this or that compared to WHO on this earth. Admit it the man is and was the most loved human being on this earth! If you don't believe it I challenge you to take one of your infamous so called polls on this topic.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  161. michele from magalia, Ca.

    Michael was an icon loved by many (including me) Michael's life was filled with mixed emotions, as a performer he was probably the most influential man in music history. He left his mark on just about every type of music there is. As a personality he was able tobegin many outcrys that the world would clamp hold of (we r the world and black and white) In his personal life he was a very sad person he just couldn't shed the demons that followed him. As for me I like to think of all the good that he did do for the good of man kind. I bflieve deep inside him was a kind and gentle soul who loved the world and fans he gained thru his music. He tore down a lot of beidges and I really don't think o him as black or white but rarher a man that loved people and his fans. God bless u Michael and I hope now your demons are gone and u r at peace.f

    June 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  162. Sam Taylor Oroville CA

    Mr Jackson was Born, and raised as a Jehovah's Wittiness.
    They teach Isolationism from the World, and spare the rod.
    Tormented is not a strong enough word.
    the J.W.'s might be well meaning, but they too have their
    Lost boys and girls who not only are isolated from the world
    but ridiculed every day of their young lives.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  163. Ms Taylor Hinesville, Georgia

    I believe Michael didn't have a life. He started too early in
    show business and miss out on being a child. What life he had
    was very sad he never grew up!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  164. Jake

    Stars and superstars come and go , legends come rare in life. Michael was the ticket that represented pop and gave the name pop music its title. He had his ups and had his down but his music created harmony and emotions in his listeners.Long live the king of pop

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  165. Jason

    From child superstar to teen sensation to world icon, Michael Jackson experienced it all but he felt that there was something missing. He recently accepted Islam and found his place but it is sad how this fact is downplayed by the media. He had everything in this life but he was missing the most important thing, God, and he finally found it before his calling. May God have mercy on his soul.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Derrick Neufville

    Micheal Jackson was a great man, he brought all the different race of the world together, let us celebrate this man's life because even the negative aspects of it sort of influnece us in a positive way, Like our great late Pres. Linclon, Micheal also now belongs to the ages. for he will always be remember, 'We are the World We are the children. We Love Micheal.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  167. Laila

    can only characterize his life as pure talent. He may have been odd and troubled but every time I think of him I think of the young man who moon walked during Motown 25, who sang Man in the Mirror with such a passion during the Grammys, and who reinvented MTV. No one can come close to MJ’s talent. Elvis couldn’t move like him. None of the Beatles had his voice. MJ was just pure talent and his talent was so very magical. What a great loss.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  168. J.K.

    Bizarre and Ingenius ! That is the only word that could describe Michalel. His personal life was tormeneted by abuse from his father at an early age and people that surrounded him to take advantage, which led to his adult-life childnessness. He was the epitome of entertainment and can never, ever, be replaced or compared to any artist or entertainer-past, present or future!! He was above all else, a good, kind, and sincere man, living in a child's mind.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Kem


    I would characterize the life of Michael Jackson as:

    The King of Pop~Musical Genius~World Renown Entertainer~Transcended Race~Fashion Trendsetter~Compassionate Philanthropist…and yes my 1st real crush! He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to the Jackson family.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Keith

    Simply put – genius. He entertained the world with his music and dancing and constantly had us asking, "How did he do that?". However, he really wanted to know the life of a regular kid that was never afforded to him. I think his song "Leave Me Alone" may have been his theme song. Genius like his will never be understood or fully appreciated. I hope he has the peace now that he never had in life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  171. Charmaine

    It never ceases to amaze me that we expect so much from others but not ourselves. We expected Michael Jackson to be an amazing singer, an incomparable entertainer, an incredible entertainer, and a tremendous humanitarian. We expected this despite knowing what abuse and media spotlight does to people. And on top of all this, people expected Michael Jackson to be normal. Michael Jackson's life as exactly what we all should have expected from a great artist whose personal life was subject to constant scrutiny and pressure. I hope that we all remember that if we are to be forgiven and understood for our idiosyncrasies, we must also forgive and try to understand those of others.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  172. Tanner

    King Jackson was a brilliant entertainer in all areas of his life, but he was never fully understood by the world. I now know how Lennon fans felt almost 30 years ago.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  173. Volvic

    Michael Jackson's legacy is his music that delighted and touched the lives of so many all around this universe. His music became the common denominator for all, friends or enemies, it soothes the savage beast hiding in all of us. It would have been a magic-miracle if he could have lived the happiness that his music gave to us. Music has no race, sex, ethnicity, etc., it is just music that moves us then, now and forever. May his family soon feel the peace of happy memories that will keep him alive in their hearts and minds.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  174. Prince Sargbah

    He was a great man. Though, he may have had some irregalaraties, yet people must realize that he too was a human being and everyone makes mistakes. Michael! will there another him?

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  175. Vincent

    I think that Michael Jackson was to the music world as Martin Luther King was to the Civil Rights Movement.

    There will never be another!


    Katterbach, Germany

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  176. Samantha

    It is a sad event that Micheal Jackson has left this world. But he looks like he died along time ago he was so thin and frail it was like he was a walking corps.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  177. Natnael Bekele From ETHIOPIA

    Jack ,Micheal's music and life touched almost every LIVING THING in every corner of the planet...I will tell you this because I remember when i was 5 and the Thriller comes on ...and we didn't have a TV at the time and i will go to the neighbors house to watch it... I mean this is AFRICA we talking about ...even if his PERSONAL life is enigma to everyone except for himself , his memories lives on a young men who listened to Micheal Jackson's song as a boy in ETHIOPIA 🙁

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Gabriel

    Gifted by God, cursed by the world, tormented by family, rejected by foes. Above all he gave like no other, guaranteeing him a place in the Kingdom. Shame on the name callers, now he's gone, watch how they survive.Thats Michael Jackson..................

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Tosin

    Michael Jackson's life can't be characterized accurately enough by anyone besides himself and those that were closest to him. However, from his contributions to the entertainment world and from his publicized image struggles, we can say that he covered the yin and the yang. And, he wasn't so much a smooth criminal as he was a troubled hero.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    i see michael jackson as a man looking for the childhood he never had. and in the process he gained fame and fortune. .he seemed to have brought people together he transended generations after all that he deserved to find himself and be the child he deserved to be. RIP MICHAEL LOVE THE WALLER FAMILY

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  181. Dan, Vancouver, Canada

    Like it or not, MJ was an icon. Whether you remember him for his music or for his "other activities", the point is he will be remembered. He may been have a tormented genius, but the fact remains that he was a genius.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  182. Will from Michigan

    I grew up listening, watching cartoons and even buying music of The Jackson Five and Michael Jackson. Watching the cartoons as a youngster I felt the entire Jackson family contributed positively to race relations in this country.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  183. Sergio


    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  184. Gayle

    A waste...just like all of the others with too much talent, too much money, and too little sense. How many more will we lose before we stop idolizing the wrong people in our society?

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  185. Adriana

    MJ was a talented lonely child.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  186. Andy in Fremont, Indiana

    You still had to love the man for who he was. A child star, an unbelievable musical talent, and finally a global humanitarian that truly did the best that he could in life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  187. Jeff Grice

    Michael Jackson was a grown man who never realy grew up. He always maintained somewhat an "innocence of childhood". The most important things to him were performing and helping others. I think all the bad press and allegations against him over the years really hurt him deeply. Regardless of allegations against him and all the controversy that sourrounded his, he made a huge impact on the music industry and the world as a whole, which will never be matched again. Hopefully the media won't try and sensationalize the details of the cause of his death, but will just remember him for what he meant to the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  188. WDM

    From observation, I perceive him to have been a person very much in touch with his emotions through his songs and actions. Sometimes emotions cause people to no act rationally and I believe he feel victim to that at times but he was over all a caring person and lived more for others than himself. He accomplished a lot in his life and he will be missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  189. Jonathan Cotie, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Michael Jackson's life was iconic, a true pop legend... his never before seen talent, his groundbreaking music, and legendary status will live for years and centuries to come. I grew up as a little boy to MJ's music and silver glove and am deeply saddened by his sudden death. Michael Jackson will be remembered for his enormous contributions to music and danse around the world... long live the King of Pop.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  190. James

    Micheal Jackson was the Elvis Presiley of pop music. You could argue all day of who's number one but in his own right micheal changed music of all genres. Micheal endored o much in his life and if you want to know what it's like to live a life backward just look at Jackson's life. He didn't have a regular childhood, he was was headlining shows where as a normal 5 yr old would be just starting kindergarden. God bless Micheal Jackson!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  191. Peppy Thomas

    Michael Jackson's life was awesome, but yet horrific! He had everything any child would want except a normal childhood. I can't believe how many psychologists and psychiatrists overlook or misjuge the importance of being a child. I can't imagine what his life was like. He had two major issues: his dad and their religion. His life reminds me of the Tom Hanks' movie Big. In the end, what matters most is what and how we came to know him and that's his music! Everything else is irrevelant!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  192. Antoine Nelson

    I think it is joy and Pain Jack.. He lived his life under a spot light and that was his punishment for Making the whole world dance.. every life has its good and bad. Does the few questionable things that happend in his life out way the Great things the man did not just In music but in his life around the world? I dont think soo I think he Was One of the good guys But along the way i really do think he got lost.. But Much love to the King of R&B and music.. Jack I choose to remember the good rather then the bad. Every life is its pains..

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  193. Canada

    Micheal help when he thought of helping. He was a troubled boy/man that lived life like a young boy. Seen going out having spending spree's buying toys both small and large with his young friends. As Urie Geler said he had both huge amounts of money at one time, fan by the millions and lived a lonely life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  194. Linda

    Bittersweet, he was denied his childhood but gave so much to his fellow man, he was a music icon and brought happiness to people while I'm sure he struggled with his own. He was a target at times for people who wanted his money, yet he gave it away and spent so freely. I for one will miss his music, his music is his legacy, not the negativity that so many people brought on him.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  195. Mandy from Huntsville, AL

    Michael Jackson's life should be, and I believe will be, remembered in an amazing light. He was a man of genius and great talent. He brought joy to many, although the joy in his life was seemingly missing. His talent and legacy will forever have a remarkable impact on the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  196. sam grogan

    Michael was a great artist and his music will be remembered through out history while his is no Elvis he was just as important to the music industry as anyone so let remember the great artist that he was to the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  197. Shani

    Michael Jackson was a human being with flaws and issues just like every other person on earth. But he was a genius and a brilliant artist who touched the lives of people for over four generations. People between the ages of 70 and 16 years of age love and adore him. He was other-worldly and his life will be characterized by his ability to touch people of all ages, races and backgrounds and to bring them together.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  198. David Bennsky JR

    I am an arist, and tried to mimic the work ethic of MJ, and he has made me who I am today. He's was the one who people looked up to, and was a ICON for the ages, and with the music today, their is no ICONs anymore, he was the last true ICON, the king of POP will be missed. My prayers are with his family.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  199. Dami Cole

    All major news networks have suspended regular programming for the last 24hrs to cover the life and sudden death of this man. I think that is enough of a testament to the life of this ENIGMA.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  200. Jeremy Allen

    I would describe Michael Jackson's life as a life of ups and downs, but leaving an impact so vast, he is looked upon as the King Of Pop. His life has always been musical and he has always lived a great deal of hard-work, and ambition. His life has been extraordinary in the sense of his achievements, his touring around the world, and the magnificent people he was honored to meet. He has touched many people, witnessed many things, and performed many places.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  201. tekayla

    he was a humble man atleast he was saved I know that it jus makes me think he woke up that day like everyone else and didn't even know that, that was goning to be the last breath he was gonna take but now you home micheal and your safe you dont have no more worries micheal we love you may you rest in peace now

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  202. Joseph Wardy...Randolph, NJ

    An Indian tribal leader was once asked who he was. He responded...." a part of me is mean and another part is kind" he was trhen asked which one he favored. He said..." The one i feed the most.

    There was a part of Michael Jackson that appeared weird and suspect as it pertained to his relationship with children. But Michael Jackson more often than not fed the world brilliantly with his dancing and singing, transcending the color barrier and on numerous occasions showed a sign of compassion toward humanity and the people who exist in it. Michael Jackson's premature death is a great loss as an entertainer and as a human being.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  203. Vic

    This was a man who had almost everything and made a few mistakes, like we all do. I would have to say this mans life from what I knew was something that went from respect to peopkle wondering what the H#ll is he thinking. He was obviously a man who believed in giving. He cared for many and inspired many. I remmeber his "Man In the Mirrior" song that came out my senior year in High School and it made a change in how I looked at my last quarter in school. I just wished this whole thing was a hoax. I would also hope his creditors bight the bullet and never collect for his kids sake. I really hope that the sales that have happened since his death keep on soaring for years to come.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  204. Kathy Price

    Michael Jackson never had a chance at a normal childhood nor a normal life as he grew up. I would say that he made the best of what he knew to be normal. I admit he went off the deep end a few times but none of us can judge him for something we don't know or understand. I am 11 years older than the age he died at and remember him all through his career. I don't think anyone will ever top him.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  205. sean

    I would have to honestly say that I was in fact touched by the short and extraordinary life of Michael Jackson. I sat my 7 year old son today and told explained the importance of charity. I told him that with the one life that we are giving it is beneficial for all mankind to not only live to reach our fullest potential, but to never shy from doing something to help other people in anyway we can. In a time like today with all that is going on in the world it is important that we accept the gift that Michael gave us in his music. He made songs about lovte, charity and brotherhood. These things are vital for mankind to survive in this troubling time of concern of nuclear attacks, and injustice taking place in Iran today. Lets not focus on the negative but use the positive energy in his music to spread the message of peace and love throughout the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  206. Joseph A

    Michael Jackson was the greatest musician and entertainer ever lived, period!
    His legendary status was felt literally around the globe! May the Lord grant him a resting place, and condolences to his family.
    He will be greatly missed! God bless his soul.

    Joseph A

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  207. Dee Dee

    I think that Michael WAS and will ALWAYS be a great human being. Regardless of what any tabloids over the years have said about him. He was more than the King Of Pop, He was an Icon to be admired, There has been a few negative news casts recently and I was under the belief that a person was innocent until proven guilty, well he was acquitted @ his trial but he is still being crucified by "so called reporters" like Nancy Grace, I think he should be admired forever i know that i will admire him and Love him and his music until the day i leave this earth.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  208. Sean Raymond

    Jack, you summed up Michael's life perfectly. You are one of the few television commentators that wasn't afraid to show the good and the bad of his life. I think that Michael's legacy will be of both triumph and tragedy, and for being the superstar of multiple generations, with a career lasting more than 40 years. Thank you.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  209. Arathi

    I lived in a small state in India. During my childhood, only music that I enjoyed listening to or dancing to was Micheal Jackson's song. His music was part of birthday celebration, new year celebration or any family parties , weekend parties with my friends or any other day. It is amazing to me how his music reached all corners of the world especially when internet did not play any role at all. He helped us throughout lot of ups and downs and it is sad that he had to go through immense suffering . He is my HERO and NOT A WACKO

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  210. Stephen R. Collier

    I've only seen three celebrities that weren't on stage performing. I saw Michael Jackson at Treasure Island in Vegas, walking not twenty feet from the slot machine I was dumping money into. The lead up to that moment was strange. There were large crowds around the casino and they blocked off the doors so we couldn't get in. I don't remember how I got in. But all of the sudden there was Michael walking quickly through the casino by himself but with a small mob of people following a little ways behind him. I remember thinking "Man, that guy must never get a moment's peace!" and wished he could get time to himself, away from his tremendous fame. I hope he has that peace now.

    Virginia Beach

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  211. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We all know that Michael Jackson had the most exotic things that money could buy, so did King Solomon. It's a possibility that Michael Jackson may have characterized himself after King Solomon in a lot ways who also died an unhappy and broken man.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  212. Rose, MD

    I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Michael who contributed a lot to the entertainment world and to the health and welfare of children.

    I honestly believe he was a victim of extortion during his child molestation charges and believe his childish naive ways and abundance of money made him an easy target.

    I pray for peace to his family (and love for his children) and finally peace to Michael who may have never experienced peace any other way then through death.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  213. SS

    He lived 10 years beyond his age.Or else, how would you have a showman leading his times at 5? How would you ever find a life on earth lived for 50 years, with 45 years of it being famous? He carried his dreams, his family's and dreams of millions around the world over his shoulders at an age when people start learning to sing and dance. He became an adult when he was little, losing years of childhood into the glam world. A torment that massive can only come with a talent so unparalleled.
    Nobody knew this was coming, except may be the man himself.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  214. Ugonna Wosu

    Jack, I would use just one word to characterize Michael's life; Inspirational. Sure, I could use more flashy words, like "Amazing", or "Phenomenal" or "Genius". But to me, the most important thing that ANYONE, any human being could EVER do, is to inspire people. This man managed to inspire hundreds of millions of people, maybe even billions. That is how you keep the world turning, by getting future generations to continue what you started. He should rest soundly knowing he did that.

    RIP Michael Jackson.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  215. Nerissa Cannon

    Micheal's life was no different than scores of people; filled with emotional and physical pain, long suffering, lonliness, rejection and love, a little peace here and there and finally acceptance. Into heaven. Different levels of life for him but life nevertheless. He was a great example of endurance, strength and accomplishment and we love and will always miss the man who dared to look in the mirror.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  216. Marla

    Michael Jackson was a very talented artist. He was a fabulous dancer, singer, and preformer. I mourn his death and my prayers go out to the family. I may be young but i am still a huge fan and his legacy will live on forever. We love you M.J.!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  217. Kathie

    An eternal child. Denied a childhood, he spent his entire adult life trying to reclaim what he never had. And like a child, he would not allow himself to be denied anything. In the end, he surrounded himself with people who enabled his illusion and allowed him to self-destruct in a larger-than-life way.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  218. Carla from Mobile, AL

    I would characterize Michael Jackson as a talented but tormented soul who got on stage at age five and never left. I was "introduced" to Michael through the "Thriller" album when I was about 5 or 6 and I remember being utterly afraid at the video, but being so enthralled with the man that I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. Even through all of Michael's scandals, I am convinced that it is not fitting for him to be measured as we would someone else. The man was a product of a combination of his father's dogged and misguided ambition and his sincere desire to somehow fit in. Michael did so much for our culture- he transcended race and socio-economic status and took his music all over the world where people fell in love with him. And today, along with all of those people, I am praying that Michael has finally been released from that torture and torment and has found the release in death that he never could have in life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  219. lutrell

    i will remember michael for the joy that he bought us in his music and dance i will also remember him for his careing and his giving michael didnot hurt anyone if anything he hurt hisself michael was a kind and giving person we should have more like him michael will be greatly missed we loved him and will always remember him, god Bless his family they will be in our prays We love you michael rest in peace

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  220. Sandra

    Michael Jackson packed about 5 lifetimes in his 50 years. Like the rest of us, his life was complex. Overall, his contributions to his craft, his generosity will be remembered as the great gifts they were. The controversies and tabloid fodder will be remembered as well but less so. Yes, he was the King of POP. To his fans, the rest does not matter.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  221. maria, hollywood ca.

    Michael Jackson was a sweet and gentle soul, but if i have to characterize his life i would say just like mine, wierd bazare, and sadly misunderstood.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  222. felisha

    Michael Jackson's life in my opinion could be characterized as a mystery.....he was an outstanding musician and a great dancer. No one in the public though, knew what went on behind closed doors ... all we know is that we will mourn this loss, but celebrate his life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  223. Lamont Alcorn

    A friend asked me if the day of Michael Jackson's death will be remembered on the same level as 9/11 or President Obama's innauguration. On the surface, the question sounds rediculous, but when I think about it, hearing the news yesterday, the moment, like 9/11 seemed like one of the few times where the world stopped and held its breath in shock.

    Michael Jackson was not just a musician or a celebrity. He was a transcendent historical figure who revolutionized pop culture. I supposed the best way to sum it up would be this: When I heard Farrah Fossett died, I said, "wow." When I heard Michael Jackson died, my heart sank.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  224. PAT California

    His life was not like any other's! Like the Bermuda Triangle at it worst, a turmoil! But now that he's gone, let's remember the positive parts of his life and the good he did. He was one of the greatest, if not THE greatest of performer in the world. The bad will fade. The good will be remembered.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  225. Paul LoBene

    Michael paid the price for true immortality, his name and legacy will live on, but how sad that his life was filled with trials and tribulations that overshadowed his true genuine being. We will miss you.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  226. Bob

    Michael was consumed – and he was consumed by us. We all share in his ultimate demise.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  227. Cha'mari and Taylor

    Okay first thing I have a problem how you going say that he dangled his baby out the window umm no it wasn't even like that he was trying show the world his baby and the press and people took it wrong second he aint touch them little boys they just wanted his money.The press is said these days...Micheal is at reast now and they wanna sit here and talk about the bad times in his why don't yall talk about the good times..

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  228. Joshua (pank) Johnson

    He was one of the most caring big hearted people that this world has ever seen. He had one of the biggest impacts on music through the entire history of music. I feel he was often miss judged. Sadly this happens too often to people of his intelligence. He may have passed but his music will live on forever. I feel like I have lost part of my childhood. Rest in peace my friend, you unfortunately didnt have it here.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  229. Rashod cross

    Micheal jackson was an extrodinary human being, born in Gary, Indiana one of the poorest cities in America,

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  230. Megan Glendale, AZ

    His life was one of a kind, touching many people. I wasn't even born when the Thriller album came out. It was when I saw him on the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards that I fell in love with his music. I am 22 years old and I even know the Jackson 5 songs!! He has created American pop culture, and will always be an icon. Just look, several movies have had used his songs, and dance moves, in their film. His music will live on forever!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  231. Jeneille, St. Vincent

    He was a musical genius whose music broke down color barriers and bridged generations. It cannot be denied that that he helped to define the industry as we know it and his music and legacy will transcend his mortality.

    May he finally Rest In Peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  232. David

    He was the Mozart of Song AND Dance. A connection to the roots of American Popular Music. Fred and Ginger would have gotten exactly what he was up to. It disturbs me immensely that he seems to follow the pattern of sacrificial genius, like Orpheus whose adoring lovers literally tear him apart. And he played right into it. He was so subtle and ethereal, he was a portal into a higher level of consciousness, and seeking to maintain that could have driven him mad. No matter the drama and the questions, one thing is certain: The world is a lot less funky today.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  233. eric

    Musically and his heart were great..
    His personal life was a catastrophe.

    Eric, Ca.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  234. Sharon James

    As an American I Love the Rule: If You Do Not Have Something Good To Say – Don Not Say Anything At All!

    Micahael Gave & Left The World With Hope of Coming Together!

    Let's come together. He worked hard to try and sing about change, donated to make a difference. All of us are different, and someone always can find fault in other individuals.

    Let just All focus on coming together to make a better world.


    Thank You For Hearing Our Views.

    May God Bless Michael and the work he has done here on earth.

    Blessings to His Family, Dear Friends, & Peers

    And Blessings To the World!

    A Sad Day For The World!

    Thank You CNN

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  235. Alex, Kansas

    Tragedy and suffering masked by unbelievable success. Michael Jackson was the king of pop and had everything money could buy and nothing it couldn't. His father was abusive and hurt Michael in a way he was never able to overcome. Despite that, he blindly cared for his fellow man and worked to help those in need. I was never a fan of his music but always respected him because of his work with various charities. Not even Shakespeare could write a story this sad.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  236. Marggie F.

    I feel that Michael Jackson also known as the King Of Pop led an great career. Him starting out so very young means alot. He was born with a natural talent & he graced the world with his presence at a very young age. He gave up his whole entire childhood to entertain people across the world which may have later caused problems. Even though "M.J" Had more legal problems then he should have, he still led an amazing legacy. Im 16 years old & i love his music. He was the Elvis of our time. Despite his problems, IS and always WILL be THE BEST!!! He was more than magnificent & he will be missed forever & ever. Love & blessings to his family. R.I.P Mr Jackson!!! 🙂

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  237. Theresa Garland TX

    Michael Jackson's life can be characterized in one word: AMAZING! He accomplished things that no one else has ever accomplished. Yet for all of his accomplishments and adoring fans, he appeared to be such a lonely person inside. His three children seemed to provide the only real joy in his life. My prayers and condolences go out to the children at the center of this whole ordeal, for they have lost their FATHER. May God watch over those children and guide them through the inevitable turmoil that they are about to endure. Hopefully, we will all remember those children as we mourn Michael Jackson.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  238. Andre LaRochelle

    Michael was a real life superhero. Michael Jackson single handedly brought an entire world together, and united us with love, music, and dedication. Michael is by far one of the most influential people in all of history. Michael worked relentlissly and diligently to bring joy and happiness to a world, seeking absolutely nothing in return. Michael has always been my hero, and no matter what negative controversy surrounded his life, he always looked beyond it to continue his goal of bringing love to the world. He has saved millions of lives, and demonstrated the characteristics of a true saint. He was a real life angel on earth, and I know in my heart he will be an amazing angel in heaven. I love him with all my heart. Michael's passing is uniting the world in ways never seen before. No one single event has united the world in ways that this has. I always dreaded this day, but I will continue to celebrate his life as I always have.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  239. sahra

    i love micheal jackson. he reminded me, when somalia my be loved country was peaceful and we played his music and danced, while washed dishes, cooked food and washed clothes. The job was hard but his music made it easy for us. I love micheal rest in peace, I will never forget him and cherish the good times. thank you

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  240. Brianna

    Michael Jackson's ife was just like a rollercoaster ride. He had enormous highs but also he had enormous lows. He was without a doubt a legend for this generation that turned the music industry on it's head. But evenwith that amazing title given. He was still just a guy that had deep troubled issues. The price of fame is crazy. I hope he finally found peace where he . Rest In Peace King of Pop.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  241. amina knowles

    Mr Michael Jackson was timeles and so far ahead of his time are the only things that can be said about him as entertainer and person he will never be forgotten and he will always be loved....

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  242. Emilio Henry

    Michael Jackson brought alot of joy, memories, and love to millions of people around the globe in such a short period of time. 50 years on this earth for such a gigantic figure brings to mind the fraility of life, it also brings to mind that we must not take friends and family for grantid, but respect and protect one another. I will always remember waking up on saturday mornings and waiting for the Jackson 5 cartoon to come on. I along with many will miss this talented human being. Peace Michael..!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  243. shirlbs

    When I think of Micheal Jackson I think of a man who was so misunderstood by all, a loving man who loves kids yet some are just to happy to exploite that and sue him. I heard of Micheal death and was shocked and all I could think of was his poor mother and his siblings, that lady even if she has other kids is hurting now for her baby, may his sould rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  244. Mary

    I would characterize Michael Jackson's life as inspirational, monumentally talented, and monumentally misunderstood.

    I grew up with him, and have loved him my whole life. I'm 47 years old and have followed him since I was a small child. He has inspired my love of music and he has blazed the trails for new and exciting music, dancing and videos. He is a true icon in this business.
    He is a once in a lifetime talent. I don't think I'll ever see anyone in my lifetime as inspirational and iconic as Michael Jackson. He inspired me to think about, care about and love all people all around the whole world. We can see how the whole world loves him back.

    Unfortunately I think he was also grossly misunderstood. We expected him in his private life to be as dynamic and charismatic as he was on stage, but in real life he was very quiet and very shy. People misunderstood this about him and gave him derogatory names. Also, because he missed out on HIS childhood, he tried to give good childhood experiences to other children but other people just didn't understand this – they thought it was weird – I thought it was wonderful, compassionate, thoughtful and wonderful. Some tried to make money off of him by wrongly accusing him of doing things he would never even dream of doing. Unfortunately too many people believed the lies. I believe the truth about him and I love him forever.

    Thank you Michael, for the life, light and love you have brought to me.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  245. Marylou

    Micheal was an icon to the music industry. He was a victim of the press making money out of his life. Inspite of all the ugly stories about him, he is loved by everyone. Young and old alike, he touch the hearts of everyone. I hope we all said all these good things about him while he is alive. Michael, I hope you are watching all that mourn and show that they love you. You are the greatest of all. I just wished all the ugly things around you just left you alone. Take a good rest. You deserve it. You will be missed.

    Marylou, Canada

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  246. sean

    In a time like today with all that is going on in the world it is important that we accept the gift that Michael gave us in his music. He made songs about love, charity and brotherhood. These things are vital for mankind to survive in this troubling time of concern of nuclear attacks, and injustice taking place in Iran today. Lets not focus on the negative but use the positive energy in his music to spread the message of peace and love throughout the world. I believe his song, "man in the mirror" should be aired on cnn today regarding all that is going on in the world today.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  247. Regina in Atlanta

    If there were a real life Peter Pan it would have been Michael. He was an innocent spirit who survived a tortured and difficult childhood to change the world with his music. He broke through color barriers and truly earned the title of "King of Pop". He will be missed. RIP Michael.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  248. Joy Star

    Michael Jackson was a phenomenom. He was a genius. He gave his all to his art and sacrificed himself as a result. He's surely left his footprints in the sands of time, never to be erased. Adieu KING OF POP. You will forever be remembered.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  249. scd

    Humanitarian. Let's remember the positive. If it was not for Michael Jackson, a lot of barriers, post civil rights would not have been broken. All that success mad him lonely. None of us can understand what it is lke to have our childhood stripped away and to be a target for money hungry vultures. Michael Jackson is an example of what we need to be to make change in this economic suffering country. So before people judge him by the bad in his life, let's try to take a page ou of his book and try to make change.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  250. Anirau

    SIMPLE...Let's make his death a national holiday...He tried his best to change the world through his music...and fortunately some of us were listening.
    June 25, 2009, Tribute to Michael Jackson!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  251. Bill from Austin, Texas

    A perfectionist longing to please his father, family, and the rest of the world, living in a world you and I will never understand.

    He was a romantic idealist, faced with the harsh realities of being in the spotlight 24×7 and having his every move scrutinized. Denied a childhood, he was a child at heart and always sought to recreate the childhood he felt he missed out on.

    As usual with megastars these days (Elvis, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith), the intense public scrutiny and yes media unraveled him and got him away from his passion of entertaining people.

    He will be missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  252. Danika

    For those of us who grew up with Michael Jackson, he was like a member of the family or a close friend. His music was the soundtrack of my youth and there were times when my body ached from dancing, for hours, to his music. By accepting his genius and the joy it give us, we also accepted the unsavoury parts of him – much of which we will never really know for sure. I for one am sure glad that Michael Jackson came into this world. His music and legacy will live on forever. God Bless and those he has left behind.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  253. Elizabeth, Los Angeles

    Troubled, starting from his childhood ... a boy who could not grow up ... a man who could not accept being a man ... a tragic (albeit talented) person who never seemed to know exactly what to do and most unfortunately made choices that left those of us wanting to like him every reason to doubt his mental acumen. And all these comments about him being the greatest entertainer in the history of the world ... ? There was no Internet during the Astaire/Crosby/Sinatra era(s). Those guys had far more talent (and you could understand their words). North Korea could have nuked Hawaii yesterday and we wouldn't have known.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |

    Michael Jackson was a sweet and gentle soul, but if i have to characterize his life i would say just like mine, wierd bizarre, and sadly misunderstood.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  255. Tashaya

    He was one of the greatest entertainers ever! He influenced so many people. Rather you were a diehard fan or not you knew who he was and loved his music. You couldn' help but love it. I caught my then14 month old daughter dancing to one of his music after he announced his big comeback. Just couldn't help but love him. No one can ever recreate what he has already created. I will miss him dearly. I will always be a big fan!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  256. David C

    Its a shame he went like this, hes not a young man but he's not old either. I am a huge fan of his as a child I idolized him and wanted to be him coming from a family of color he was our SUPERMAN, not only did black people love him the whole world fell in love with him from his childhood to his early adulthood. I don't know Micheal Jackson personally though it does seem like he was a close friend of everyones family. I say all of this to simply say this, the world has been blessed and honored to have witnessed this talented man. R.I.P. Micheal Jackson your biggest fan

    David Crockett

    Greensboro, NC

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  257. SLM

    An artistic genius with a deep sensitivity who stuggled for a modicum of normalcy in his terribly abnormal life. To me,he always seemed to be completely in control in his music and utterly bewildered in his private life. I loved the man. We were born 25 days apart...he has always been a part of my life.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  258. Martin - Phoenix

    In two words....Exalted and Troubled!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  259. Britt

    Michael Jackson gave us clean music. Please comment on the clean, real music he gave us. No profanity, putting women down, gang signs etc. Just lovely music that we could all dance and celebrate. A musical genius.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  260. Diane Robinson

    Micheal Jackson, ( a Music Icon)
    asa child I watched him grow into a beautiful loving and talent young man. His personal life my have been a little odd, but he was the greatest in the music industries. and he will be missed. His music will last forever. My prayers goes out to his family.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  261. faye583

    MJ was a great entertainer but he was a not a happy child or an adult. My heart goes out to his family and children... God only knows what will become of them. I hope they will be placed in a normal, loving, and happy home.

    MJ had a strange life even as a child but Janet also knew extreme fame and she didin't go off the deep end. I don't know if he found peace on earth but I hope he finds it in heaven.

    BTW I can't wait to watch Wolf to dance Thriller... I loved him dancing on that female talk show!! Hey Mr. Cafferty.. will you dance with Wolf?


    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  262. Hope, New Haven, CT

    Jack, I grew up in India in the pre-globalization days and in our annual concert at school, we ALWAYS sang "Heal The World". Iguess that sums up what micjael Jackson meant to the world.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  263. Malia

    Michael was a revolutionary musician. A pop culture staple, and icon. He was a gifted, passionate performer. The best there ever was or will be. And the legacy he has left, his music, will live on forever and continue to inspire.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  264. Leslie C. Wood

    Naive, sad, lonely, and troubled. He thought it was 'never to late to have a happy childhood' but for him, it was.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  265. Tammy

    MJ was more than anyone can express in a short message, but mostly his memory will be of his generosity to everyone, his rise to fame and fortune during the 70's and 80's. He was a humanitarian for several great causes, and gave so many sick kids a day to remember when they could come and play at Neverland. I pray the world can mourn for him without the media dredging up past. He will be sorely misses world wide.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  266. Aleen F.

    Within many great artists lives a tortured soul. May Michael find his peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  267. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Michael Jackson led a very complicated life that was centered on his tremendous talent. No one can diminish the gift that he gave to the world of music, but his personal demons sadly overtook his life in his later years. I choose to remember him as the multi-talented singer/dancer that took our breath away with every performance he did and not the sadness that he endured until yesterday.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  268. Charlene Young

    In one word his life can be summed up as AMAZING! His life was so many things to so many people. There will never be anyone like him, a unique person with incredible talent. The other side of his life seemed sad, lonely and misuderstood....the man child. My heart hurts for this man child. In spite of all his success, he was still the wounded child.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  269. MJ from Atlanta

    I would characterize Michael as a person who was so misunderstood. He seemed genuinely tender, fragile, sensitive, but very, very loving. He seemed to have been haunted by his abusive childhood and never really 'got over' it. Being that he had such a tender, sensitive personality, the abuse he suffered mentally scarred him in his adult life, thus causing him to 'change' his features (as if putting a mask or Band-Aid on) to "cover up" the pain. Hopefully now, he is in no "pain", and will peacefully rest.........

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  270. Semeret Neguse

    The way I can characterize Michael Jackson would be that he was a humble and sincere person! He's voyage to the world scene started at a young age. He was destined to be the change we all hope to obtain through unity and vision. He alone, made us all accept that no matter who you are in the world, change for humanity is a great call. He deserved our recognition and apperciation for to his great talent, hard work and strong beliefs for a better world. We will miss you, MJ. May your soul rest in peace. 1958-2009. Your love will stay in hearts forever!!!

    Fort Worth, TEXAS

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  271. Mike Smith

    It is a shame that Michael could not have the same happiness in private life that he had on stage, and even worse, we took what very likey was a pure love for children and made it a twisted perverse act. The only good of this, is, he will not have to put up with the torment any longer. The world is going to miss this tremendous human being.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  272. Monika,Toronto,Ontario

    There has been a great amount of pressure given upon Michael throughout his life. However successful, there were moments of troubled times that he stood strong and overcame. He will be forever missed and remembered in history. No doubt one phrase that will continue on with his greatness "KING OF POP".

    June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  273. Christine - Thousand Oaks California

    He was a man-child. Never having a childhood, ironically, he never really grew up. His complex relationship with his father made him a victim of great emotional confusion and ambiguity. His child-like naivete was both a blessing and a curse.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  274. Takisha Miller ,Germany

    I feel Michael Jackson was a misunderstand individual. He didn't get to experience much of a childhood and because of the abuse that he suffered was forced to grow up at a young age. He never really did grow up and just tried to relive the childhood he never had regardless of what people thought of him. He tried to find his happiness but that was always interrupted by the tabloids, paparazzi, or those criticizing his every move. I love Michael Jackson and praise his for all the good he has done in his life. People often reflect on all the negativity and forget about what good deeds a person has done. I feel that his illness and death is due in part to our own doing as the amount of pressure and stress that was put on him as an icon and everything that was criticized for. Well I may not have known you personally Michael but your were always in my heart and "You are Not Alone". RIP King of Pop you will be dearly missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  275. Maria Babich

    Dear Jack, I can't stop crying and humming his music today. I have never been emotional over any other celebrity's death in my life. I could not figure out why, but then I realized why, he was such a HUGE part of my youth and I am sad to think that there will be no more Michael memories in the future. You can have a friend in life even if you never met them in person. It is strange but true. He lost his childhood so that I could have a happier one.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  276. Racquel Dozier

    I would characterize the life of Michael Jackson as one with different levels of intensity. From having nothing to having way too much, I believe his life became quite hectic and hard to handle. To me, his life was not that much different than any normal person. The difference was that he was in the spotlight and expected to act a certain way because of his stardom. When people place that much pressure on anyone, things are bound to happen and lives are overly scrutinized.

    It is unfortunate that he had to go so early, but I am happy that he lived long enough to break down barriers and provide great music for all. His music brought people from all walks of life together from the young to old to black to white.

    Instead of remembering him for the issues in his life, we should remember him as the musical genius he was. He also helped many and we should see that too. Let's continue to pray for his family as they mourn and grieve their son, their brother, their father, their uncle their friend. I am grateful for the gift of music he has given. I grew up with him and will miss his creative musical talent. May he Rest In Peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  277. jonathan richard dunn

    Im only 15... but i know of MJ and his music/life from my parents...... i would characterize his life as a sad fantasy.... it seems that he was mostly happy when he Was performing and making music.... i believe he's misunderstood..... he was a strange man but he was loved for the joy he brought through music..... even down to my generation..... i hate i never got to see him perform

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  278. Maxine White

    Micheal Jackson the person was very well misunderstood. He was deprived His childhood by His father. He was criticized by the public. However, there is not a person alive, who can speak negative of His talent. The child in Him long to get out. Because, He never had a childhood, He purchased an amusement park, so He could see other children have the fun, He never had. It gave Him pleasure being around Kids and making them happy. I don't believe He ever mistreated a Child in His life. The man in Him wanted to be a father so He could make up for how He was treated by His own. He was most certainly a genuis and His legacy will live on.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  279. Sheereen B-Alabama

    Michael could be described as a man who was as strange as he was naive. He not only crossed color barriers, he also united both the young and mature by given them a common interest, music. He will be terribly missed, and has had a positive impact in so many people's lives.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  280. Myrna Rodz

    Kaliedoscope of talent (R.I.P.) ..sadly,he was surrounded by many people, but very few friends, ... shhh, here comes the vultures.

    from: Puerto Rico

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  281. sandra hawkins

    wonderful entertiner, there will never be another one, all of you coming, give homage to this trailblazer, just like he did to mr. james brown. the media tried to destroy him but the love the public has for this man is much bigger than the medias attempt to destroy him will ever be. elvis was huge , michael is gigantic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  282. Neil Prasad

    What an amazing dancer, performer and singer. I don't care what bad he did. Screw the people that still hate him.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  283. Penny Quashie

    His life was sadder than his death, he never had an opportunity to experience the best things in life, which is LOVE,PEACE AND JOY,and I pray his heart was right so that he could have that in eternity.

    Penny Q.
    Englewood, N.J.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  284. Dawn in Atlanta

    Michael Jackson was very talented but not a complicated as people might think.
    He was a machine of his father and longed for the childhood he never had.

    He was an introvert and I believe this contributed to his prescription drug addiction (to be confirmed)
    He could inspire people through music which has the ability to transform all genres, economic levels, race, religion, etc.

    But that was Michael the entertainer; Michael the person in my opinion was a troubled soul.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  285. YBird

    Michael Jackson possessed tremendous creativity and I think he should be characterised by his music and philanthropy. His videos also harkens back to a time when women were not so sexualised in popular entertainment and music videos told stories!! The man had class and his significance to pop culture globally will endure and will be recalled for generations to come! May he rest in peace.


    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  286. Angela A.

    I would categorize Michael as someone who went down still trying to live his life the best way he new how. Flawed, just as we all are, but moved to do much good. He was among the first celebrities to begin to look beyond their own borders for the sake of Charity. After "We are the World" many celebrities also started to do the same.

    I'm saddened by how some of the media is covering his death, because like you Jack – I also remember some of the good Micheal tried to do while he was on this earth. None of us are perfect, but I'm sure it wasn't easy being in the lime light for people to point out all your imperfections. May He rest in Peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  287. Scott Seamster

    He was exploited by many and remained graceful.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  288. denise

    I was 16 the first time I heard Michael and have loved him ever since,
    As I grew up around crazy adults, I have always prefferred the company of children.. so every cell in my body tells me he NEVER did anything to hurt a child.. and only tried to bring love and laughter to their lives.
    I think of him as a musical instrument. A beautiful little boy who wanted to give pleasure to the world through his music... I don't think of him as a man, but rather the most magnificent instrument of love and song.
    I think his cardiac arrest began 15 years ago, when some greedy people thought of a way to get rich quick.
    It is terribly sad what people did to him, said about him and thought of him, because he didn't live his life as everything thought he should.
    He never had a childhood... and didn't want to become the adults he had all around him, so he played. I don't think he has a sexual bone in his body...
    I do hope the people who hurt him terribly... including the Dr that was with him and gave him a shot... but didn't call 911 himself... do some soul searching... and wonder if they became the people they hoped to be as children.
    I love Michael... and pray he has the peace now... the world would never give him!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  289. Ange from Wickliffe ohio

    He was still "little Michael' in an adult body...thus, the fascination with little kids...he wanted little michael back... he took this song seriously...Just call my name and I'll be there..
    . he was a good person, was there for everyone... forced to give up a childhood....didnt want to get older...he wanted to be little michael.
    Ange from wickliffe

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  290. Victoria

    Michael Jackson was a brilliant entertainer who touched people through his music for forty years. Every entertainer who came after him was influenced by him. He will forever have a legacy. Michael Jackson cannot be blamed for the way he was treated by OTHERS, starting at an early age. He was seen as the moneymaker and was treated as such, and that is not his fault. He made mistakes, but he's also human, which people tend to forget when referring to Michael Jackson. The "bizarre behavior" he elicited is really not so bizarre, as it was childlike and that was what he was: a child at heart. There is no way to characterize Michael Jackson, as he was an enigma. I think it repsulsive that people make negative remarks about him when he did nothing but try to promote love and peace through his music and his work. He of all people deserves to rest in peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  291. Elaine

    Michael Jackson was a gentle soul. He endured an alleged childhood of both physical and emotional abuse.Which I believe had a lot to do about how he lived his life. He was harshly judged, by the media and deeply revered by his fans. Love him or hate him, he has left his legacy of genius for eternity. His generosity and kindness is what I'll think about when I hear his music, he has my deepest compassion. May he finally rest in the Peace he could never find on earth.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  292. Letitia

    I would characterize Michael's life as one filled with chaos and caring, tragedy and triumph, love and loneliness, hurt and hope, foes and friends, accusations and accomplishments. It was a great dichotomy indeed.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  293. Carmen Floyd

    Michael Jackson's life was a living sacrifice. this is a man that was consantly abused by the media and other hateful critics and all he ever wanted to do was love the world through his music. he gave us the greatest entertainment we've ever seen and we will ever see! this world is so currupt now, we didn't deserve him anymore. his talent could only be explained as a man that was touched by God himself. the hate that this world gives to those pure in heart is unbelievable. but they did it to Jesus so who is Michael but a man.....God sent for him to come home...he will suffer no more!!

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  294. kat

    I know i will always miss Michael Jackson Triller was like one of my favorite songs.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  295. Munro, D

    I think we should all remember Micheal Jackson's Legacy and the beautiful work he have done. Its very rare that a person could put everything and more into what they do, but Micheal Jackson did that. He broke down Barriers and gave life to those who were lost. He was a victim of greed and false accusations. But now he's in peace. It is a tragic end, but he did accomplish his purpose here and never stopped trying to do more. Let his work and drive be an example to us all in leading our life and teach our kids the way. Lets remember his Love, his music. He has been a victim not a criminal, those who falsely accused him was the criminals, who live life in the dark and will end life in the dark. But Micheal is now in the light, lets remember the child, the man, the Legend Micheal Jackson.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  296. Steve Chapman

    A far too often ungrateful and mistreatment of one of God's finest works. So sad

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  297. Kelvin

    Michael Jackson's was about as complex as they come. Mysterious as the ocean both powerful and engaging, but as bewildering as calculus. I hope he has finally found peace.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  298. Dan Douiglas

    Michael Jackson like Vincent Van Gogh was a genius whose art enriched our lives. Torment is the price he paid to create the beauty of his music, which like Vincent's painting has eternal power.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |