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Rockers Remember Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is perhaps more famous dead than alive. When the King of Pop passed away last week at the age of 50, the world seemed to stop turning for just a minute. In the moments after TMZ broke the news of the death, the Internet nearly collapsed. Twitter buckled under the pressure, and some of those Tweets were from celebrities expressing condolences.

The evening of Jackson’s death, musicians from every corner of the music world remembered the star and his legacy. A memorial tribute is being planned. As you can imagine, it will be big – fit for a king. In the interim, Noisecreep looks back at tributes to Jackson from some of the biggest names in rock.

Tracii Guns danced with Jackson in the “Beat It” video. “The Jackson 5 was my first concert at the L.A. Forum on the ‘Dancing Machine’ tour,” Guns says.

Queensryche are known for massive stage production and singer Geoff Tate’s vocal abilities. Tate says he picked up a little of that from Jackson. “He made performing seem easy and inspired my generation with his music and his grace.”

Testament‘s Alex Skolnick says he wasn’t a fan of Michael Jackson – until the singer brought in Eddie Van Halen and changed the way we view pop and rock music. “For the song ‘Beat It,’ he and producer Quincy Jones brought in Eddie Van Halen, who was my favorite guitarist and arguably the most influential hard rock guitarist of all time. By doing so, they made a statement that hard rock and R&B could go together, forever altering the course of pop music.”

Jackson was not only a music innovator – he was also a genius when it came to using video to promote his music. The clip for “Thriller” is probably the best known music video in history – using a cadre of dancers, special effects…and zombies. Scott Ian of Anthrax noted Michael’s indirect link to the metal world, telling Noisecreep, “Besides the musical, dance and technical genius of the man, and the influence he’s had on four decades of artists, Michael loved zombies!”

Poison the Well guitarist Brad Clifford even admits to dancing to Jackson’s smooth tunes! “When I was five, I stole one of my dad’s gloves and put it on, then danced around my living room listening to “Thriller” over and over again, the only record I owned or wanted to own. That was the first time music spoke to me on a deep level.”

Adam Gontier, the singer for Three Days Grace places ‘Thriller’ among his all time favorite albums. “I remember buying ‘Thriller’ when I was pretty young. I used to sit in my room and sing along with it. It was a brilliant record. One of my all time favorites for sure. He’s done so much for music, and it’s certainly a tragic loss.”

More stars react to Jackson’s death.

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