It is no easy task to try to summarize the illustrious, near half century career of arguably the most influential artist of all time, Michael Jackson. He was more than one of the greatest selling artists of all time, but was also a composer, author, beatboxer, poet, humanitarian and of course dancer. His wide reaching effect and influence on pop culture and the arts, particularly dance is unprecedented.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Michael has had numerous entries in the Guiness Book of World Records. More since he died, some are: Most successful concert series. Seven nights sold out at Wembley Stadium, London, England in 1988. Attendance: 504,000. Most Grammy Awards. Eight Grammy awards in one year and largest selling album of all time, Thriller at 100, million copies. In total Michael has sold over 1 billion albums worldwide and climbing. With all of these achievements and more under his belt, it is no wonder Michael is still one of the most referenced and influential artists to date. By comparison, Madonna, who is considered Guinness’s most successful female artist of all time, has left than half  with 300 million albums sold during her career.

Jackson’s far reaching ripple effect can be seen in many of today’s young artists. From Chris Brown to Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars and the Weekend, Jackson’s influence can clearly be seen in the way they dance and sing. They have also each professed their love and admiration for MJ as well, on many occasions.

In the world of professional dance, the ripple effect Jackson has had is visible not only in the choreographic stylings from dancers in the 80’s and 90’s, but in the younger generations that followed as well. Respected choreographers from the world of ballroom, ballet, contemporary to hip-hop all mention that Jackson has had some influence on their work. Everyone from Mark Ballas and Julie Ann Hough of Dancing With the Stars to Twitch and Paula Abdul of So You Think You Can Dance, have cited MJ’s tremendous influence on their dance journey.
Michael studied the greats in various fields. From the work of Berishnikov to street dancers, from the paintings of DaVinci to the classic melodies of Chopin, he was a connoisseur of art in all forms. The following quotes from various artists show just how wide Jackson’s influence reached across the arts, entertainment and even the world of professional sports!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uc0plr-tiU

Michael Jackson shows off his show stopping abilities in a variety of genres, including a Broadway influenced tap dance sequence.

“It’s impossible to gauge the cultural impact and the loss of a genius. When somebody like that passes it’s bigger than a tour that might have happened, or a record that might have been made, there’s sort of a vacuum…. The sign of great music is seeing how it connects with people of every age… I think for the rest of our careers, as a lot of artist do, we’ll reference his records and music he made.” – Hansen, pop group.

“MJ was an amazing artist. He left a footprint that will never get filled. There’s so many artist making careers off of copying him.” -Jewel

“I think everyone grew up listening to his music, there’s not a song he put out that I didn’t like. he was an incredible talent. there’s never been someone like him & don’t ehin there ever will be. we’ll all remember him the same way, as a big superstar.” -Meghan Fox, actress.

“My favorite memory of Michael Jackson was the 1st time I heard The Jackson 5 greatest hits. As brothers it really made an impact on us & influenced us.” -Jonas Brothers, pop group.

 

Anyone who says that MJ didn’t affect their music, they don’t know how he did. It’s just raw talent, He’s the greatest of all time; there’s a reason why he’s the king of…  everything.” -Good Charlotte, rock band. 

“If you look at any R&B, pop singer, they’re doing Michael Jackson moves.” -Lil John, rapper, producer.

 

Gene Kelly called Michael many times to congratulate him on his numerous achievements. There was a a very special friendship between the two  and Michael was always incredibly touched by any compliments he received both from Gene Kelly and other greats. After the Motown 25 “Billie Jean” performance, Michael received a call from Fred Astaire telling him how amazing he thought he was. He specified that Michael was “an angry dancer” like himself. Michael took these kinds of compliments as the best reviews he could possibly receive. By “angry” Astaire meant passionate and strong. It was a positive word in that context.

 

Dancers turned singers:

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

“I was so excited to see his tour in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly into see him. He’s been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I’m devastated that he’s gone.”

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

“Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt sorrow upon hearing the news of Michael Jackson’s passing. I was blessed to be able to work with, and witness firsthand, his tremendous talent and growth through the years as he truly became an icon. Today we have all lost a legend who has touched each of our lives through his music and showmanship over the past five decades. To his family, the entire Jackson clan, and to all his adoring legions of fans throughout the world, my prayers and deepest condolences to all.”

 

P Diddy

P Diddy

“Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life. He made me believe in magic. I will miss him.”

 

Madonna

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. My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

 

 

MC Hammer

MC Hammer

“I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration. He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been me without him.”

 

Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce Knowles

“The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be. I love you Michael.”

 

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake

“We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of, not only pop music, but of all music. I can’t find the words right now to express how deeply saddened I am by Michael’s passing. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations, and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him onstage and all of the things I learned about music from him, and the time we spent together. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.”

 

World leaders: 

“Some people – sweet, attractive, strong and healthy – happen to die young. They are masters in disguise teaching us about impermanence.” -Dali Lama

 

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

“Michael became close to us after he started visiting and performing in South Africa regularly…We became fond of him and he became a close member of our family. We had great admiration for his talent and that he  was able to triumph over tragedy on so many occasions in his life. Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry and we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide.”

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

“He basically helped save my party from terrible financial distress, so he was very kind to me personally. He was an immensely gifted man and I think he basically meant well. I know about all the trouble he had in his life and I hope he will be remembered for his contribution as an artist. I hope his children turn out well. That would be the greatest tribute you could have.”

 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

“I grew up on his music…still have all his stuff on my iPod. I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and, in many ways, sad personal life. I’m glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer.”

 

David Cameron

David Cameron, former UK Prime Minister.

“I know Michael Jackson’s fans in Britain and around the world will be sad today. Despite the controversies, he was a legendary entertainer with an extraordinary talent. Everybody will be thinking of his family, especially his children, at this time.”

 

Rev Jesse Jackson

Rev Jesse Jackson

“We are out of our joy. He is out of his pain. He was constantly challenged in the press and all he really wanted to be was the greatest entertainer and he was that.”

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“He was one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry. Our hearts go out to the Jackson family, Michael’s children and to his fans worldwide.”

 

 

Rev Al Sharpton

Rev Al Sharpton

“As a friend of Michael’s for the past 35 years, I call on people from around the world to pray for him and his family.”

 

 

Sports Legends:

Kobe Bryant has repeatedly professed how advice from The King of Pop shaped his iconic NBA career. At night he’d play Michael Jackson’s Thriller over and over, reciting the lyrics as if they were his own. “And then, at 18 years old, Michael Jackson becomes my mentor,” Kobe says. “And right after that, Michael Jordan tells me, ‘If you need anything, just call.’ I mean, seriously? It’s a dream you simply cannot f— up.” – Kobe Bryant

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

“Words can’t express my shock and horror. I was honoured to meet him. I think any celebrity who met Michael Jackson was completely awed. I know I was. I kept thinking, ‘Oh, my God, oh my God. It’s him, it’s him.’ So for me he was the celebrity of all celebrities.”

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

“Obviously I love his music. … A very sad moment, I think, in the music world. He touched many people. Same for me. But I’ll obviously still listen to his music for many more years to come.”

 

Icons of film, music, the stage:

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

“Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson. His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him legend.”

Sir Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney

“It’s so sad and shocking. I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael.”

 

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

“I’m devastated. He was a dear, dear friend. All I can tell you, and I’m so upset, is that he was a wonderful man, a really nice, wonderful man. He was a genius talent and I will miss him until the day I go.”

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

“He was my friend. He was one of the reasons I got into the music business. He inspired me. He taught me. He laughed with me. He paved the way for African American artists to be played on MTV which was huge. My heart is full of grief for his family and his children and I pray that they take solace in the incredible legacy of his music and art.”

Celine Dion

Celine Dion

“I am shocked. I am overwhelmed by this tragedy. Michael Jackson has been an idol for me all my life. He was not only a talented person but he was unique – a genius. It’s such a loss. It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died. My sympathy goes to his family.”

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

“I am heart broken. My prayers go out to the Jackson family, and my heart goes out to his children. Let us remember him for his unparalleled contribution to the world of music, his generosity of spirit in his quest to heal the world, and the joy he brought to is millions of devoted fans throughout the world. I feel blessed to have performed with him several times and to call him my friend. No artist will ever take his place. His star will shine forever.”

Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

“It doesn’t seem possible. How could Michael Jackson not be with us? This experience is surreal. He was one of the most gifted and original talents the world has ever known. He inspired a generation of young people and amazed the rest of the world. There has never been anyone like him. There will never be another Michael Jackson. I can’t wrap my mind around this terrible news.”

Barry Gibb

Barry Gibb

“Michael was my friend, the only recording artist I truly knew and who truly knew me. He was the Godfather to my son Michael. We have lost a dear member of our family, we are devastated. Michael you will live forever in our hearts. Fly away butterfly take it to your journeys end. We will always love you.”

Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Dame Elizabeth Taylor

“My heart…my mind…are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can’t imagine life without him. We had so much in common and we had such loving fun together. I was packing up my clothes to go to London for his opening when I heard the news. I still can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. It can’t be so. He will live in my heart forever but it’s not enough. My life feels so empty. I don’t think anyone knew how much we loved each other. The purest most giving love I’ve ever known. Oh God! I’m going to miss him. I can’t yet imagine life with out him. But I guess with God’s help… I’ll learn. I keep looking at the photo he gave me of himself, which says, ‘To my true love Elizabeth, I love you forever.’ And, I will love HIM forever.”

 

Dick Clark

Dick Clark

“I knew Michael as a child and watched him grow over the years. Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent  will never be matched.”

Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams

“Michael Jackson died then….It’s all so very sad. Couldn’t get a lyric to fit on one of the new songs…When he passed away I rewrote it with him in mind….I went on iTunes the other day to listen to snippets of his Michael’s songs…MY god…(understatement of the decade) he was good…They sound different somehow now that he’s gone.”

 

LL Cool J

LL Cool J

“He was one of my childhood idols. I salute you King of Pop. You made the whole world moonwalk together.”

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

“Michael Jackson was easily as influential as James Brown, and that’s saying a lot. He was the Fred Astaire of his time. Nobody moved like Michael, he was truly the King of Pop.”

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

“Michael Jackson was my inspiration. Love and blessings.”

John Mayer

John Mayer

“Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ. I think we’ll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player.”

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

“There will never be another talent like Michael Jackson. He was the first live performer I ever saw. I got to see him at Madison Square Garden when I was eight. If not for him, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. He gave me joy as a child and showed me the way to go. He was music. Period May you rest in peace sweet Michael. You gave us all you had to give.”

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

“Michael Jackson was my musical God. He made me believe that all things are possible, through real and positive music. He can live forever. I love Michael Jackson. God bless him.”

 

 

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

“I was inspired by him because he was a great artist”

 

Today and every year during his birthday, Michael Jackson tributes, marathons, dance offs and beyond dominate radio airwaves, television series and especially the artists of today who carry forward his legacy through their own artistic expression, sprinkled with a little MJ magic.