Celebrities llike Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Jesse Jackson, Clive Davis, Al Sharpton, and Kobe Bryant have penned touching tributes to The King Of Pop for a special commemorative issue of Time Magazine, hitting newsstands on Monday, June 29.
The stars are opening up about the death of Michael Jackson and the mark he has made on pop culture over the past four decades.
Michael Jackson passed away Thursday afternoon after a suspected cardiac arrest. He was 50.
Kobe, star of the reigning NBA champs The Los Angeles Lakers, remembered the musician as a “genuinely nice person” who offered to open his famous Neverland Ranch for the athlete’s wedding to wife Vanessa Bryant.
“One of the things he always told me was don’t be afraid to be different. He’s saying: ‘It’s OK to be that driven, it’s OK to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine.’”
He added, “I remember my fiancee and I telling him we were getting married, and him just being really excited, and actually just offering up the ranch to have our wedding there, because privacy was going to be an issue….We wanted to get married in a church, so that’s what we wound up doing. But he made the offer.”
JC Chasez, who performed with Michael as a boy bander in *NSYNC, wrote: “He was doing vocal drills for an hour before he went out. It’s not something that magically appeared on him, the guy worked hard for it. 40 years old, and the guy is warming up for an hour before every show. He wanted to give that audience the best he had.”
John Mayer: “As a musician, the man was one of the purest substances ever in music,” he wrote. “But it’s frustrating, and somewhat pointless, to ever try and figure out how Michael Jackson arrived at an album like ‘Thriller’ and how you could arrive at something like it. It’s impossible. I mean it’s one of those things you actually don’t want to bring up to musicians because they don’t want to remember that that kind of greatness is achievable, because it skews the entire bell curve completely.”
Other celebs included in the commemorative issue are: Nancy Reagan, Lenny Kravitz, Jesse Jackson, Tommy Mottola, Berry Gordy, Spike Lee, Sheryl Crow, Anjelica Huston, Deepak Chopra, Lance Bass, Oscar De La Hoya, Savion Glover, A.R. Rahman, Peter Gabriel, and more.