July 2nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Jackson 'one of our greatest entertainers'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama called Michael Jackson one of the "greatest entertainers" whose talent as a performer was paired with a "sad personal life," in his first comments about the singer since his death last Thursday.

"I am glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer," Obama said in an interview Friday with the Associated Press.

Obama said he grew up on Jackson's music and that "I still have all of his stuff on my iPod."

"I think that Michael Jackson will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers," Obama also said in the interview. "I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and in many ways sad personal life."

Obama said he didn't see any controversy over the fact that he didn't issue a statement immediately upon the singer's death. He told the AP that he knows "a lot of people in the black community" and that he hadn't heard anything about it.

Filed under: Michael Jackson • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Great. We have had this MJ news coverage 24/7 for a week. Obama do something productive so we can get out of this recession...

    July 2, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Thin is in?

    GOP disaster, real easy question, DO YOU THINK ANY of those children that were helped and saved by the telethon that he HOSTED for over FORTY YEARS WERE MINORITY?

    Do you think McMahon served with some brave minorities side by side, hero to hero?

    Don't bother responding, I know you have no clue.

    July 2, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. RTB

    Hey Al,
    Obama would have become the President even if M.J. was never born. I believe more than enough has been said by the White House regarding the entertainer's death. It has been magnanimous of the Pres. to use his voice to even mention the singers name.

    July 2, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. ber

    How can he not know... I am sure when he tried to book time on TV they were like "Sorry Mr. President right Not is MJ TV not Obama TV". lol

    July 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. angrysob in VA

    I just knew CNN couldn't keep Micheal Jackson out of the POLITICAL Ticker for one day. Looks like Sen Obama had to make a comment about Jackson to take all eyes of the PITIFUL economy! The Dow showed about the same amount of life as Jacko today.

    July 2, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Simmy

    Dear Naysayers, thanks for your "as usual" negative inputs.....I love Michael, and you had better leave him alone! He had a lot to overcome from his childhood, and it's human nature to bear some scars.....It's truly bad that he didn't have family close by to help him in his times of need.....In troubled times they've got to be there....

    In the Thriller video, you rocked my world, Michael....You're gone too soon, but you will never be forgotten......I never can say goodbye to you....God knows best, and He decided that it was time for you to rest.....After working 45 years......

    Michael Jackson retired on June 25, 2009......On his behalf I say,
    "I wish you had given me my flowers while I yet lived......

    July 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Filipina

    I love you MJ and I love you POTUS you are a doing great job.

    July 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
1 2