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Celebrities and friends show respect to MJ! [MADONNA, 50 CENT, USHER, BROOKE SHEILDS, LIZA + MORE!]

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It all starts with the FANS! sad =/

In last few hours since news broke that pop icon Michael Jackson died suddenly on Thursday in Los Angeles, many of the legendary singer's friends, colleagues and family members have paid tribute to the late singer.

On Friday (June 26), the memories kept coming, as Brooke Shields, Slash and little sister Janet remembered Jackson as a friend, brother, music pioneer and, obviously, the King of Pop.

"Janet Jackson is grief-stricken and devastated at the sudden loss of her brother," manager Kenneth Crear said in a statement to MTV News. "She is in pre-production on a film and is flying immediately to California to be with her family." Since Jackson released her statement, she has been seen in Los Angeles.

"My heart is overcome with sadness for the devastating loss of my true friend Michael," Brooke Shields, who dated Jackson in the '80s, said in a statement to MTV News. "He was an extraordinary friend, artist and contributor to the world. I join his family and his fans in celebrating his incredible life and mourning his untimely passing."

Jackson's longtime pal, Emmanuel Lewis, according to his agent is "sincerely devastated at this time," adding that the loss is "very personal and very emotional": "Former 'Webster' star Emmanuel Lewis, who befriended singer Michael Jackson in the 1980s, has been profoundly impacted by the singer's death on Thursday afternoon."

Slash and Jackson teamed up for a legendary 1995 VMA appearance. In a statement to MTV News, the former Guns N' Roses guitarist said, "Michael Jackson was one of the most talented and dynamic performer/singer/songwriters I ever had the pleasure of working with, he was amazing. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding his personal life in recent years overshadowed his unparalleled contributions to the music world, which is a tragedy in and of itself. But his music will live on forever no matter what and his memory will be adored and admired for years to come."

Kanye West took to his blog Friday and posted a photo of Jackson and then left the simple comment: "Thank you for everything, Mike."

Legendary acts like Smokey Robinson and Tina Turner are also remembering Jackson. "It is always hard to lose a friend. I will miss Michael and all that he brought to the world through his music and his creative genius," Robinson told MTV News in a statement. "I know that his legend will live on and that the world will miss him dearly."

"I am shocked and saddened by Michael's passing," Turner, who worked with Jackson on the now-classic charity single "We are the World," told Spinner. "I, along with his millions of fans, looked forward to seeing him tour one more time. Now, may he rest in peace."

Lil Wayne said he personally can’t believe that Michael Jackson died. “It’s more unfortunate for the world of music”,and that his heart goes out to his family. He said it’s a sad day in history,not just music.

Chris Brown said in a statement to MTV, “Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer. I am devastated by this great loss, and I will continue to be humbled and inspired by his legacy. My prayers are with his family. Michael will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. He’s the greatest … the best ever. No one will ever be better.”

Chris Brown has paid homage to Michael in the past, at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards by mimicking Michael Jackson’s iconic moves. (wonder if he is appropriate for the B.E.T awards Tribute?)

"I think it's probably deeper than people would expect, actually," Kobe Bryant said. "Being out here in L.A., I had numerous conversations, just over the phone and also at his house, just talking about work ethic and paying attention to details. He was extremely inspirational for me because he helped me understand that it's OK to be different. And when I say different I mean different in the sense of being obsessed with your craft ... and working your tail off and being consumed by what you do. He helped mentor me in that department. I think we lost an absolutely brilliant, brilliant mind and just a genuine nice person."

Fabolous, who has sampled MJ's music in his songs, said he learned a lot from watching Jackson as a kid. "I was just very disappointed the whole day ... I grew up on Michael Jackson," he said. "One of my first albums my mom bought me was Thriller, so just to see him pass was like a big loss to me and everyone who grew up around me."

JC Chasez, who performed with Jackson along with 'NSYNC at the 2001 VMAs, described the show as "a childhood dream come true." "It was kind of like my life had come full-circle at that point. First you dream about being able to dance like him and the next thing you know you're standing next to him while you're dancing. As a professional, you want to reach the top of your game. Then you find yourself on the MTV awards and you share that moment with him. He's a language. He's a piece of vernacular when you talk about dancing, singing ... entertainment."

Sheryl Crow toured with Jackson for two years in the late '80s, and she was one of the people lucky enough to get to know the personal side of Jackson. "I did a couple of duets with him. He reached out to me on a couple of occasions and invited me to come up to his hotel room to watch movies," she recalled. "A big room with a couple of bodyguards and us throwing popcorn across the room at each other. He was just very childlike and loved to practical joke ... very childlike and innocent and then he'd walk out onstage and you'd see this magnetic, very strong artistic talent up there."

One woman who has definitely used some of the Jackson aesthetic in her own career, Ciara, admits that MJ was her biggest inspiration. "He was part of the reason why for me," she said. "Whenever someone asks me who inspires me to do what I do, I always say Michael. That's it for me. He's everything to me. He's really a part of the reason why. He's going to be remembered in so many ways for me. I feel it's important for me to continue to let my generation know how important he was to music."

Usher, who was significantly influenced by Jackson, added, "It's pretty hard right now, man. Michael Jackson transcended culture. He transcended love, man. He changed the barrier of life and the way we looked at things."

Liza Minnelli remembered the days they'd spend together. "We would hang together when we were in New York. We would go to [dancer and choreographer] Martha Graham's. I would take him to Martha Graham and he'd say, 'Oh, I got to learn that,' and we'd run upstairs to practice. Anyway, I loved him."

Teddy Riley, who worked with Jackson on both "Dangerous" and "Remember the Time," is still reeling from the loss, but feels honored to have had a chance to work with the King of Pop. "Such a huge impact he had. A lot of the major people out there, they've grown up to Michael Jackson., and I've grown up to Michael Jackson, and it's been a dream to work with him ... he made my dreams come true. It's a big impact and I think everyone out there is going to miss him," he said.

Madonna said: "I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson," she said. "The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."

Also 50 Cent, The Game and more pay Tribute in song...


The Game, Chris Brown, Diddy...."Better on the other side" click here

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