Michael Jackson's death has devastated the entertainment industry, said Jocelyn Vena in MTV. Singer Diana Ross, Jackson's long-time friend and co-star in The Wiz, said, "I can't stop crying. This is too sudden and shocking. I am unable to imagine this. My heart is hurting. I am in prayer for his kids and the family."
"We are out of our joy. He is out of his pain," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who counseled the pop star when he faced molestation charges, via the Associated Press. "He was constantly challenged in the press and all he really wanted to be was the greatest entertainer and he was that."
Michael Jackson was "the cornerstone to the entire music business," said former Sony Music head Tommy Mottola in The New York Times. "He bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and pop music and made it into a global culture ... No one has ever done what he did in his time—and no one will ever do what he did after his time."
"Michael Jackson enriched our lives, made us happy," said former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, also in the Times. The child molestation charges in 2003, "the persecution caused him so much financial and mental anguish. He was vindicated in court, but the battle took his life. There is probably a lesson here for all of us."