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Even allowing for the problems that blighted the latter part of his life, he leaves a legacy of some of the finest music made in the last fifty years. Here's what his friends and peers had to say about him:
Britney Spears: "I was so excited to see his show in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly in to see him. He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I'm devastated he's gone!"
Madonna: "I can't stop crying over the sad news. I've always admired Michael Jackson - the world has lost one of its greats but his music will live on forever."
Whitney Houston: "I am full of grief."
Jamie Foxx:, "You cannot say enough about what he has given to us musically and culturally. We take for granted people like him. ... All he wanted to do was give us great music and that's what he did. Every single day was dedicated to us."
Justin Timberlake: "We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only pop music, but of all music."
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Michael was a pop phenomenon who never stopped pushing the envelope of creativity. Though there were serious questions about his personal life, Michael was undoubtedly a great entertainer and his popularity spanned generations and the globe."
Music legend Quincy Jones, who produced Michael Jackson's legendary "Thriller" album: "He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
Celine Dion: "Michael Jackson has been an idol for me all my life...It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died. My sympathy goes to the family. It's a big loss and it's not even sinking in right now."
Usher: "I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael...He broke barriers, he changed radio formats. With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world."
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