Members of VAN HALEN, QUEEN, POISON, SHINEDOWN and VELVET REVOLVER have issued statements regarding the passing of pop music legend Michael Jackson, who died earlier today (Thursday, June 25) at age 50.
CNN.com reports that Michael collapsed at his residence in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, California, about noon Pacific time, suffering cardiac arrest, according to brother Randy Jackson. He died at UCLA Medical Center.
Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said an autopsy would probably be done on the singer Friday, with results expected that afternoon.
VAN HALEN guitarist 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."
QUEEN guitarist Brian May: "Hard to know what to say — what to feel. I find myself wondering what might have happened on his tour... The number of dates in the U.K. that he had committed to was insane. I did have a feeling it was impossible, but I was so shocked to hear that he went so suddenly. Very sad. Of course, I still think of him as a boy — he used to come and see us (QUEEN) play when we were on tour in the States, and he and Freddie [Mercury] became close friends, close enough to record a couple of tracks together at Michael's house. Tracks which have never seen the light of day. Michael was the boy star of the JACKSON FIVE, and always the most screamed at. I remember in their show, they tried very hard to make all the brothers equal in the presentation, but it was abundantly obvious that all most of the girl fans really wanted to see was little Michael. It was Michael who heard our track 'Another One Bites the Dust' when he came to see us on 'The Game' tour ... and told us we were mad if we didn't release it as a single." [Read more of May's thoughts at BrianMay.com]
POISON drummer Rikki Rockett: "Michael Jackson — huge loss!!! The words genius and musical are used in the same sentence too often. Not in the case of Michael Jackson. His musical expression will never be topped and his inspiration will live forever. R.I.P."
SHINEDOWN guitarist Zach Myers: "Sitting in a dressing room in Calgary, Canada I am more saddened than I can remember in maybe the last five years. Call the guy whatever you want... judge his actions, judge his judgments, and judge the man any way in any language you want. But Michael Jackson was the best. There was no one better. There never will be anyone better. People don’t try anymore. You can take any pretty loser who can't sing who has a good smile and sells records and make him a star. Just look at ANYONE on the charts today. Today we lost a part of music history, a legend, and the greatest pop music artist there ever will be. The things Michael created on 'Thriller', 'Off The Wall' and 'Bad' will never be matched. By anyone ever. Michael Jackson was the best. People believed in Michael Jackson who didn't believe in Jesus. And that, my friends, is a legend. God bless Michael Jackson's music, his soul, and his legend. That can never be replaced. Rest in peace, sir. God bless your soul."
VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash (Slash played guitar on two Michael Jackson singles, "Black or White" and "Give In to Me"): "Really sad news about Michael. He was a talent from on high."