Thursday, July 30, 2009
LONDON (AP) -- Michael Jackson was due to make his triumphant return to the stage in London next month -- but instead his sudden death has left millions of fans feeling they've lost a lifelong friend. The dramatic death of the brilliant singer seemed to obscure his recent controversies and kindle warmer memories of Jackson the child star and Jackson the show-stopping, moonwalking headliner. The worldwide chorus of grief united the famous -- statesmen and superstars alike -- and the legions of ordinary people who grew up with "Thriller" and "Beat It." Word of Jackson's death jolted nearly everyone, from a young man in Colombia who was named after the King of Pop, to Malaysians who named a soy drink for him, to a generation of people around the world who have tried, in vain, to moonwalk.