As news spread about Michael Jackson's sudden death at age 50, the biggest names in music and many of Jackson's famous friends issued statements and posted on their Twitters to pay tribute to the King of Pop's legacy. Here are some of their memorials: (Plus, look back at Rolling Stone's Michael Jackson photos, cover stories, album reviews and more.)
Madonna: "I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. 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." (People)
Quincy Jones: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the 80's. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it allâ€¦talent, grace, professionalism and dedication.He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
Paul McCartney: "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."
Justin Timberlake: "We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only Pop music but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage 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."
Eddie Van Halen: "I am really shocked; as I'm sure the world is, to hear the news. I had the pleasure of working with Michael on 'Beat It' back in '83 — one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace."
Diana Ross: "I can't stop crying; this is too sudden and shocking. I am unable to imagine this. My heart is hurting. I am in prayer for his kids and the family." (MTV)
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. I truly hope he is memorialized as the '83 moonwalking, MTV owning, mesmerizing, unstoppable, invincible Michael Jackson." (via Twitter)
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." (EW)
The Roots' ?uestlove: "i know we make light of me never getting sleep and overworking. but i'll say that he didn't go in vein. i will do my best to slow down as to not overwork myself to the point in which i can't even enjoy life anymore. im am devastated over this but we all have memories. i just hope that he will get due justice in all the press memorials and whatnot. i know he was mired in controversy the last decade of his life but i think its time we let him rest in peace and learn to separate the ART and the ARTIST. --that is the MJ i will forever remember." (via Twitter)
Lisa Marie Presley: "I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me."
Britney Spears: "I was so excited to see his show in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly in to see him. He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I'm devastated he's gone!" (People)
Lil Wayne: "I personally can't believe it. But it's more unfortunate for the world of music. ... My love goes out to his family. ... A sad day in history, not [just] music." (MTV)
Beyoncé: "This is such a tragic loss and a terrible day. 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. He will always be the King of Pop! Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments in life that take your breath away. For anyone who has ever seen, felt or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you, Michael."
Chris Brown: "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."
The Recording Academy President Neil Portnow: "Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim. A 13-time GRAMMY recipient, Michaelâ€™s career transcends musical and cultural genres and his contributions will always keep him in our hearts and memories. We are deeply saddened by this tragic news and our hearts go out to his family and to music lovers around the globe who mourn this great loss."
Diddy: "MJ 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!" (via Twitter)
Slash: "Really sad news about Michael, he was a talent from on high."
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz: "I have never felt this before in my life. I could measure my childhood 2 now on an mj growth chart. if this is true. Rip. The last legend." (via Twitter)
Ne-Yo: "Michael Jackson will live forever through the thing that he put all of his life energy into: his music. I will do my part to keep the melody alive, to keep the energy forever changing form, but never ever dying!! Long live Michael Jackson."
Usher: "This loss has deeply saddened me, with a heavy heart I composed this statement. May God cover you Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer. I pray for the entire JACKSON family particularly Michael's mother and all his fans that loved him so much. I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for Him and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer In so many ways he transcended culture. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats! With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world. His legacy is unparalleled Michael Jackson will never be forgotten."
Thriller director John Landis: "He had a troubled and complicated life and despite his gift, he remains a tragic figure. My wife Deborah and I will always have great affection for him."
Blink-182's Mark Hoppus: "first album i ever bought was thriller. with birthday money. on cassette. for my brand new sony walkman. truth. rest in peace" (via Twitter)
M.I.A.: "MICHAEL JACKSON the first 2 english words i eva spoke . the future sucx!" (via Twitter)
Wyclef: "I will not be going on TV talking about this, but my memory of Michael was when he came and saw me in the studio, I LOVE MICHAEL" (via Twitter)
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Today, the world has lost one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry. From his performances with the Jackson 5, to the premiere of the 'moonwalk' and 'Thriller,' Michael was a pop phenomenon who never stopped pushing the envelope of creativity. Though there were serious questions about his personal life, Michael was undoubtedly a great entertainer and his popularity spanned generations and the globe. Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over his death and our hearts go out the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide."
Rev. Al Sharpton: "A friend of Michael's for the last 35 years, I call on people around the world to pray for him and his family in the hour. I have known Michael since we were both teens, worked with him, marched for him, hosted him at our House of Justice headquarters in New York, and we joined together to eulogize our mutual idol, James Brown. I have known him at his high moments and his low moments and I know he would want us to pray for his family."
Miley Cyrus: "Michael Jackson was my inspiration. Love and blessings." (via Twitter)
Ludacris: "If it were not for Michael Jackson I would not be where or who I am today. His Music and Legacy will live on Forever. Prayers to the fam. R.I.P." (via Twitter)
Hanson: "We are all is shock to hear that Michael Jackson just died. It is heart breaking to think that we have lost such a musical inspiration." (via Twitter)
Solange Knowles: "Thank you Michael Jackson for being my FIRST of many! My mother took me to my FIRST concert. I was only two years old. I fell in love." (via Twitter)
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" (via Twitter)