On June 25th, pop lost its King. Late Thursday afternoon, news of
's sudden death due to cardiac arrest shocked and saddened not only the 50-year-old musical icon's friends and family, but also the countless millions he had reached through music, dance, and fashion. From his early work as star singer of the Jackson 5, to his legendary '80s output, to
, the final studio album released during his lifetime, Jackson's tremendous, iconic contributions to the global pop landscape will live on for centuries to come.
As a celebration of
's musical legacy, we asked the Booth community' favorite artists and producers to tell us, “What did Michael Jackson's music mean to you?”
In alphabetical order:
"Michael Jackson was simply the best. I can remember being a child and listening to Michael before I can remember anything else."
"I'm upset that my future kids and grandchildren will live in a world Post-MJ."
"This is a great loss for the industry. Michael's music has touched me since I was a little boy."
Al Be Back
"Man In The Mirror was my introduction to what being was a man was all about. His heart for humanity was way bigger then our heart for him."
"Michael Jackson's music meant to me that there was somebody out there who cared."
"Michael was the dude that we looked to for inspiration. His music was not only innovative but in a class of it's own!"
"I think its safe to say that anybody working in the music industry today has in some way, shape or form been influenced by Michael Jackson's music. His legacy as an artist will live on forever."
"Michael Jackson will be remembered as the greatest entertainer of all time, his accomplishments in the music industry are unparalleled. He's a part of modern History."
"Honestly, when Mike died, a bit of me died. I swear to God, I had one ambition of making it big and meeting Mike. Now I gotta reassess my goals."
"He was nothing less than epic! I watch videos of his performances every other day just to learn and just see what he did that had such an effect on people."
"I remember having the Bad tape, and completely fucking up my room by jumping around going nuts....pumped me up."
"You've always been and will always be an inspiration to me. Thank you for breaking down walls and barriers so that artists like myself can only try to achieve a part of the impact you've made on music. I will continue to discover you through your music and legacy, you'll be forever missed."
"The best music comes from great joy and deep sadness. Michael Jackson had a life filled with huge ups and downs. He Changed The World."
Chase N. Cashe
"Life in musical notes. Every song was a story. Cultural trendsetter."
"Michael Jackson's music was the definition of breaking the barrier. As I listened to his music and watched his videos growing up, he proved to me time and time again that anything is possible. His music and drive for perfection was my inspiration to become a recording artist."
Chipz Da General
"I used to remember Mama dance on the skating rink to that good ol mike.. Definitely The G.O.A.T. He brought us entertainment."
"One of the first cassettes I ever owned was the Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album (that was the dopest cover art). My father introduced me to [him] as a kid, and from there came the fake leather zipperfied jacket and the dancing around the living room haha! The man's catalogue speaks for itself: A legend of our day...R.I.P. to the King of Pop."
"Singer, songwriter, performer and the worlds greatest entertainer- hands down. Four generations [of my family] alone are affected [by his death] and he will affect many more to come. He is da BAR in music and there will be NO Kobe coming close to this Mike anytime soon."
"Hands down, Michael was the man! Straight up Icon, irreplaceable and the greatest entertainer of all time. I remember when I use to watch "Moonwalker" over and over when I was little. Much love to the King Of Pop!"
"MJ is the measuring stick for performers in ALL genres of Performing Arts. His work should be held in the same esteem as all other highly-regarded artists."
Concise (of True 2 Life Music)
"MJ is one of the few artists that had the same profound impact on our generation as he did on our parents generation. His music/performances/videos created an international unifying force that we always have and always will look up to. His legacy is overwhelmingly inspirational, not only in musical genius but as an entertainer and trendsetter... and his videos were OD dope."
"MJ was a genius, the greatest entertainer of all time, his music, dance moves... everything. He will always be remembered, no matter what."
"Michael Jackson is and always will be the coldest on the planet... Anyone who sayz otherwise is lie'n to themselves..."
"If it wasn't for Michael and his music I may have never became an artist at all. His body of work speaks for itself. He was and will always be a great inspiration."
" I just thank God that he was a part of my lifetime. There will be another like him. He is the best entertainer period."
"Extraordinary artist/performer. His energy and passion on stage is what everybody artist should strive to match or even surpass. Hit record after hit record. The King of Pop."
D.A. (of Chester French)
"He taught me the power of perfectionism and a universal message."
D.O. (The Fabulous Drifter)
"I'm reminded of hearing his brother Jermaine talk about how his brother Micheal was a go getter and a competitor. How he would wake up everyday and his mantra was that Thriller would be the biggest selling album the part that effected me was not only did he talk it he did the WORK to make it happen and the rest is HISTORY!"
"Michaels music was more than great. That's a given. However, it was his essence, his mere existence as a force bigger than nature that conquered the world. I thought he was immortal and to his fans he is and always will be that."
"RIP to the King of Pop. The one black man that brought the world together through his music. We will always love you, Michael."
Deacon the Villain (of CunninLynguists)
"As a child, Michael Jackson single-handedly made me a lover of music and performance. About the only thing that would top getting a chance to see MJ perform in his prime would be seeing Jesus walk on water."
"MJ was such a mover and shaker, his business was on tact like when he bought the Beatles catalog. His songs were revolutionary like we are the world, man in the mirror, black or white... Never will be another of such iconic status."
DJ AmpLive (of Zion I)
"Micheal Jackson's music meant al ot to me and the entertainment industry in general. He was the foundation and inspiration for us and what we could achieve."
"I remember growing up listening to Micheal Jackson often and he was the only artist I can ever recall that I wanted to emulate. I tried to Moonwalk for years haha. That's the kind of impact he had on me."
Don Will (of Tanya Morgan)
"MJ is a global icon who's death is probably one of the biggest tragedies I've lived to witness. The world will never see another star of his magnitude."
"I used to moonwalk around everyday with a "Beat It" tee, a glove, and that red jacket. Mike is truly one of the last great superstars we had left, and now that he's gone, that era is gone. I'm bout to go play Moonwalker on Sega right now!"
"Mike was the dude we all wanted to be growing up. Everyone I grew up with thought they could moonwalk or had one glove. The impact on us because of his loss can't be put into words."
"Michael Jackson will live forever through his music. No artist has made a bigger contribution to entertainment."
"Mike was music to me. He was the ultimate success story coming from my city. He showed me that miracles can happen, even from Gary, Indiana."
"Fresh Daily is just a plain way of saying "consistently innovative." Michael Jackson was the epitome of being consistently innovative. He constructed tracks for his albums as though each song could be a single. Personal drama aside, the man was a musical genius and inspiration."
"He is the greatest artist the world has ever seen. His music has played a very important role for me during my childhood, so many happy memories. I feel like I've lost a family member."
Fuze The Mc
"Michael was the epitome of what an artist should strive to become and be aware that they most likely won't. MJ is music and will forever live on through the classics."
"Being born in the mid 80's I grew up knowing Michael Jackson as an icon. For an artist to be the biggest star in the world, breaking barriers and crossing the line of traditional R&B longer than I was alive is something to applaud. He was and will always be the gold standard."
"Michael Jackson was a cornerstone to many styles, genres, and generations. Before I knew who I wanted to be, I knew I wanted to be like Michael jackson. Without him there's an immediate emptiness. He will be sorely missed until the end of time."
"Without doubt, Michael Jackson was one of the most important musical figures of our generation; despite the fact he spent a great deal of his life surrounded in controversy, there's no questioning his impact and contribution to pop culture."
"Michael's music shaped my life growing up, It was the soundtrack to my childhood."
"Micheal Jackson is the greatest entertainer of all time. Always unpredictable too - which made everything he did a classic."
Jesse Boykins III
"He was the man who tried to make the human race better, he surely achieved it with his music and message."
"Michael Jackson defines what a true entertainer, no matter what genre, is supposed to be. We as artists and fans are truly grateful for his contributions to our lives."
K-Rich (of Ko*Staz)
"[His career] meant everything, it was the backbone of music creativity and entertainment!"
"Michael Jackson was one of the most influential artists of our time. He may be gone, but his music is not. His life is an inspiration to every artist and musician, and will continue to be for a very long time."
"To me Michael Jackson meant a lot. He was a music Icon, but more importantly he was a great humanitarian. He will never be forgotten."
"Michael Jackson will live through song forever. He was and will remain inspiration to us all."
"Michael Jackson is the eternal god father of stage presence. The moonwalk. He is the reason I dance when I'm out there."
"Had it not be for Michael Jackson neither myself or the world would have ever known the meaning of true music! It feels like I have lost a brother and my idol!"
"Mike Jackson IS pop music and pop culture for the past 4 generations! There's is no one from 5 to 95 who doesn't know and respect his work!"
"To me, Michael Jackson represented the epitome of pure raw talent and artistry. There has never been music that has affected me as much as his."
"Michael Jackson's music meant authenticity, originality, and pure talent- which is what made him great..."
"Michael Jackson is infinite. If rappers could wear high waters, penny loafers, and shiny gloves and still be cool, they would, because MJ did it. Definition of an icon."
Marty James (of One Block Radius)
"He was the greatest entertainer of all time. We all grew up with MJ and it's like piece of each of us died with him. He was one of kind."
"Michael Jackson will be missed in physical form, but real talk he was/still is the soundtrack for all human beings who enjoy great music."
"Michael's music is a part of my soundtrack to life.. with songs like Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, Black or White, Heal the World, Man in the Mirror, and more he will always remain with me as an artist. It's inspiring that Michael's music was able to cross over and unite people for peace from all different races, ethnicity, genders, and age groups."
Mickael Zibi (of The Cold Chamber)
"Michael was an inspiration for all of us, the first CD I got in my life was from MJ. He will be missed and was one of a kind, we lost the last "REAL" entertainer."
"At one point, his music was the soundtrack to my life. I don't care if you grew up to be the toughest killer or ruthless drug dealer later on in life, before that, you loved Michael Jackson. Guaranteed..."
"As a shorty watching him perform at award shows really set the standard for showmanship. Off the Wall is one of my favorite albums of all-time and the success of Thriller speaks for itself. Those two Quincy Jones produced albums also set a standard for consistency, flow, and continuity. As I put my first album together, those albums are two of the measuring sticks."
Mojo The Cinematic (of Dujeous)
"Michael Jackson was a once-in-a-lifetime talent. His music has always been an inspiration to us. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on forever. Salute."
"Michael Jackson meant the world to me. His music was like movies, which will live on way past any of us mere mortals..."
"I got to be honest: Michael Jackson meant more to me as an icon than a musician. I was very young at the time of his true phenomenon. My older sister was his biggest fan and to me, that made his legacy and greatness appear that much greater because I looked up to my older sister! I still remember getting his sega game for Christmas, watching Thriller on VHS, and stealing my sister's silver glove...lol. He was a worldwide icon that will truly be missed."
"Forget about Mike's music... his aura was a presence throughout my childhood that is second to none. Who hasn't tried to moon walk? I mean seriously his impact covers so many current generations where in the world can they have his funeral? Can't even have that in a stadium he's so big. That's Michael Jackson."
"Heard the ruff demo version of Off The Wall before Quincy's production. His thought process was absolute genius, changed the way I structured songs."
"MJ set the bar. Everything today was influenced by what Michael Jackson has Innovated - his Death was like losing a Family Member - from growing up with Michael Jackson through his success and through his struggles. His music spoke to us and will continue to speak forever - R.I.P."
"I can't even remember music before my first Michael Jackson tape. His "Magic" was my childhood and crossed over all genres, generations & continents. Forever The King of Pop."
"I don't there is anything I can say about mike that hasn't already been said man honestly. What I will say is Mike was like an extended member of all of our families. We've all followed him since the day everyone from this generations birth. Its like he was a distant cousin man."
Q Da Kid
"Simply the greatest of all-time."
"I don't know if there is enough words to describe the impact that Michael Jackson had on me. A profound impact. He is the first artist I ever was a fan of, and literally the reason I chose a path in music. I remember Being 4 or 5 years old, with my thriller jacket on, dancing and singing for my family members, knowing then, at that young age, that I wanted my life and career to be in music. Michael Jackson, for me, will always be the greatest entertainer that ever walked the earth, and more importantly, the reason I fell in love with music."
Rapper Big Pooh
"Michael Jackson taught us all how to be STARS, its just that his would always and will always shine the brightest."
"I can't put into words what MJ's music meant to me. I'll just say I wouldn't be writing, singing, arranging or performing music if it wasn't for him."
"Michael Jackson was the definitive superstar talent of our generation. His music gave us a universal message of love, hope and happiness. He is forever etched in our conscience. May he rest in peace."
"MJ is definitely the King of Pop. He influenced everyone growing up. Its unfortunate and sad we lost him, but his music and legacy will last forever."
"MJ inspired everybody who does music within his generation, including us, and he will be a legend forever. Virgin Islands loved and will always love MJ."
"Most artists in music are niche fillers. They see what the game is missing and they fill in the gaps. MJ wasn't a niche filler, he was and forever will be a part of the fabric of our music. He was one of those artist who really showed us what making great music was all about, and his style and melodies will forever be used by the industry greats to continue to make that great music. He will always live through us."
Ron Clutch (of Nappy Roots)
"To put it simply, he was the greatest!"
"Michael Jackson's music was the soundtrack of my childhood. He will be missed but his music will live forever."
"Michael Jackson is the greatest entertainer of all time and his music and talent was a inspiration to my career as an artist. He will be truly missed by everyone young and old. Ironic thing is, Michael and I have the same birthday and he died on my mother's birthday. Completely mind blowing!"
Shaun Bless (of the Soul Diggaz)
"His name needs to a definition for amazing, wonderful, spiritual, beyond music, and historic. He touched everyone."
"Michael Jackson showed me that time is essential and the most precious thing in the world. What you do with it is your legacy that you leave on earth."
"Michael Joseph Jackson's music was the soundtrack of my life at various points. To know how the kind of effort he put into his music greatly impacted my approach towards albums and song-making. His music epitomizes timelessness, value and greatness. Will always miss him."
"Michael Jackson was my favorite artist growing up - I was listening to him way before I was listening to hip hop. For me, he shaped the way I think about pop music and really set the standard across genres and around the world."
"I remember rocking my red zipper jacket as a child. He's the first artist that made me want to be an entertainer."
"I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. Ever since I could remember my parents religiously played his music. I just was with my father the other day and he was playing Thriller. He was and always will be the greatest entertainer to ever do it and he will truly be missed."
"Micheal Jackson represents some of the best moments of my childhood, and proof of the concept of music being universal. I feel sad that this is the end of an era, yet, fortunate to say I was alive for the incredible impact he had on me, and the rest of the world. He will def be missed."
"Lets look past his personal issues...its deeper then that. He changed the world with his music. Before Obama, Michael brought together people of all different colors and religions with his music. That's how you know a legend is gone. Nowadays its all one hit wonders; his music stamped time and is forever timeless."
"Words can't even describe it. He along with the composition of Quincy Jones made the greatest album in modern music history. Enuff said."
"M.J made me believe that music can make people happy. He made me feel that I can achieve that with every song I make."
"Michael Jackson was truly incredible. I can only dream that my music impacts the world the way his did."
"Michael Jackson was the main inspiration for the way I produce music. His spirit of peace meant more to me than just a song. To this day, I will start with the man in the mirror..."
"Michael Jackson's music, performances, videos and presence were absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking and unparalleled. He defined four decades of music history with his natural talents, and he will truly be missed forever!"
Ultraman Ra Hannah
"Michael Jackson's music is the blueprint from where all new music was spawned."
"He was ahead of his time and made every artist no matter what genre, step their game up. When you listen to his music he doesn't have any bad songs. He has songs you may like better than the other but each was in a lane all by itself. There will never be another artist like Michael Jackson."
"Mike is the epitome of artistry, entertainment, and what success was, is and always will be in the music business. He is your favorite artists favorite artist."
"I grew up on Michael Jackson's music, he was one of the greatest entertainers period! Nobody will ever sell the amount of albums he sold especially with the industry the way it is and the internet! He will be forever missed and his music will live on."
"Michael Jackson was, is, and forever will be the definition of a pop star. He bridged gaps and brought the world together through music, something I will never find again in my lifetime."
"Michael Jackson was the ultimate songwriter, entertainer and professional of our time. His unique brand of music influenced all genres of music over the past 20 years."
"As everyone, I was raised musically by Michael Jackson. Many people don't know this but I was actually a singer and a dancer when I was a kid. God forbid any of my talent shows singing and dancing to Michael Jackson songs get leaked, but his music inspired me to become an entertainer. I remember when I first saw Moonwalker! Oh my god! Just the memory of seeing the video to Smooth Criminal for the first time and how amazing of an artist he was, brings tears to my eyes knowing that that man is gone. But he is forever immortal in my eyes because of his contributions to so many people from so many generations in this world."
"For as long as a I can remember, Michael Jackson has been instrumental in my life. I remember being 6 years old and going to Latch Key in the mornings at like 6:30AM. EVERY DAY I played his "HISTORY" album super loud. 6:30 AM. Billie Jean was the anthem. Throughout my life, I can remember a plethora of other great memories of Michael Jackson's music, including riding with my mother in the mornings of my 12th Grade Year to show choir at 6:30 AM in the morning (ironically) and blasting "SMOOTH CRIMINAL"."