July 7th, 2009
02:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: MJ's talent mixed with tragedy

President Obama on Tuesday called Michael Jackson a 'core part of our culture.'
President Obama on Tuesday called Michael Jackson a 'core part of our culture.'

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) – As millions around the globe prepared to watch the public funeral of Michael Jackson, President Obama told CNN on Tuesday the entertainer's legacy will be a man who had extraordinary talent "matched with a big dose of tragedy."

In a CNN interview focused on his diplomatic efforts at a two-day summit in Russia, Obama took a question about Jackson's cultural impact and called him "one of the greatest entertainers of our generation."

"I think like Elvis, like Sinatra, like the Beatles he became a core part of our culture," Obama told CNN. "His extraordinary talent and his music was matched with a big dose of tragedy and difficulty [in] his private life and I don't think we can ignore that."

But Obama added it's important to "affirm what was the best of him and that was captured by his music."

"Music that Michelle and I listened to from the time we were little kids," said Obama. "I remember listening to 'A, B, C' when I was 8 or 9 or 10, and he kept on producing extraordinary music for years after that."


Filed under: Michael Jackson • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. DX in TX

    You people are acting as if President Obama has dedicated his entire foreign travels to Michael Jackson. He simply did what many of us are doing and that's expressing our opinions about M.J.

    I have to admit some of your opinions are insane and unfounded based on tabloid rumors. Michael Jackson is not a child molester. He is a humanitarian. You hateful critics should pray that you can be a fraction of the person Michael Jackson was.

    Hate is for Losers....

    July 7, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. MBRU

    To all you haters...I have one word for you – JELOUSY! So shut up! You only wish you were half the person Mr. Michael Jackson was. So go back to your boring lifeless, useless, lying lives that are so full of hate and disgust and find something else to do. The sad part is that the main ones who call themselves Christians are the main ones judging him. Leave him alone now and let him rest in peace. MJ is singing the heavenly choir now. As for the parents who lied and forced their kids to lie about trumped up molestation charges.....the truth will come out and when it does...we...the believers...will be waiting for a public apology to Michael Jackson's family. And YES, I like Whoopie Goldberg, Steve Harvey, Donald Trump and all others who have left their children with Michael Jackson at Neverland would DO THE SAME WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!!! Judge not least ye not be judged and if you are going to judge then JUDGE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND KICK ALL THE SEX OFFENDING PRIEST OUT!!!

    July 7, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. johnnie

    cnn stop trying to divide the country,there is only a small division,and that is the republican gop party.michael show proof today that black ,white,asian, latino,indian, and all walks of life. we are the world,we are the children,and for anyone to say their is division among the majority is hog-wash.president obama proved that when he was elected president. mj was and still a force that unites not seperates,the comments from the peter king crowd is appalling. the haters are so jealous,that a man of color embraced the world. he cross barriers that brought people together from all races. it not about race anymore,it is about people,we have the same color blood red.god made us all original , that is a beauty that mj captured.we are a better world because of mj. we are one and live in the greatest country on earth,stop the hate, stop the division, the world is celebrating mj today and mouring his death. we will never go back to the past,the future is all of us together.cnn wake up,america has awaken to hope and change ,we can believe in.the gop is going down in defeat, and tell don lemon to remember who he is ,and stop making excuses for the gop, david gergen stop the jealousy of the president, and cnn ,the people have spoken ,we want unity,not divide.god bless the jackson family and rest michael, rest in peace.we love you

    July 7, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    Michael Jackson was not a perfect man. He had a problem. He was human and many loved him all around the world. What is sad is the fact that so many people in this free country are so hateful. They are even hateful to the President who, when questioned about M. Jackson, gave a response and moved on.

    So sad of you to be so hateful.

    July 7, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Rita, Texas

    Michael Jackson rest in peace. You may have passed away too soon but you have not left us. Your music will live in us and we're not going to forget you. You're the greatest entertainer that ever lived.

    We pray for your family, children and us the fans.
    Gone too!!! soon!!!

    July 7, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. MBRUN

    Obama stated this: "His extraordinary talent and his music was matched with a big dose of tragedy and difficulty [in] his private life and I don't think we can ignore that."
    WRONG MR. PRESIDENT...I CAN IGNORE IT!!!!!! His personal life was no business of mine and I truly love Michael Jackson. Should we ignore the things in your personal life?? Should we believe the lies that were told about you?!! How quickly you forget that people judged you as well. Hypocrisy at its BEST!! I expect more from you!!

    July 7, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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