World Mourns Michael Jackson’s Death
Written by Janet
Before his comeback in London, death claimed Pop King Michael Jackson, yesterday at age 50.
The dramatic death of the brilliant singer seemed to obscure his recent controversies and kindle warmer memories of Jackson theand Jackson the show-stopping, moonwalking headliner. The worldwide chorus of grief united the famous — statesmen and superstars alike — and the legions of ordinary people who grew up with “Thriller” and “Beat It.”
His death jolted everyone from a young man in Colombia who was named after the, to Malaysians who named a soy drink for him, to a generation of people around the world who have tried, in vain, to moonwalk.
Actress Sophia Loren said it was horrible, and she and her children had been frequent visitors to his Neverland Ranch.
London, shocked fans gathered at the Lyric Theatre, where a live show based on Jackson’s record-selling album “Thriller” is being performed, and waited for news about refunds for some 750,000 tickets to his sold-out, 50-night run.
A spokeswoman for AEG Live — the promoters for the London concerts — declined to say how ticket refunds would be handled. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she was not authorized to speak to the media.
There were poignant memories of his final public appearance when he came to London for a March news conference to announce his “This is it” concerts, which he said would mark his farewell to the London stage. A candlelight vigil atwas planned to honor the singer. Former South African President Nelson Mandela issued a message through his foundation saying Jackson’s loss would be felt worldwide.
Jackson sang at a birthday concert for Mandela in 1998. In 1999, according to local media reports at the time, he lunched with Mandela at a small gathering at which the South African anti-apartheid leader celebrated both his 81st birthday and his and wife Graca Machel’s first wedding anniversary.
Several world leaders weighed in.
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who had met Jackson, said: “We lost a hero of the world.”said his thoughts are with Jackson’s family. called it “lamentable news,” though he criticized the media for giving it so much attention. Former
“I don’t think anyone can be indifferent to, my husband included,” French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy told RTL radio in France. “I will enormously miss his voice, his songs and his presence in our world,” she said.
In Romania, where a tumultuous Jackson concert in 1992 helped mark the country’s new freedoms after the fall of the Soviet bloc, singer Lucian Viziru said he was stunned by the tragedy.
In Bogota, Colombia, a 24-year-old tattoo artist named Michael Tarquino said his parents named him after Jackson. He recalled growing up with electricity rationing for hours at a time and waiting for the power to return.