The death of Michael Jackson immediately brought to mind the 1985 “We are the World,” which set the standard for many charity and advocacy singles and albums to come. Jackson co-wrote the song and was among the group of artists who performed in benefit for USA for Africa.
Quincy Jones, who produced Jackson’s albums and “We Are the World,” said, “Divinity brought our souls together… 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 all….”
“I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”
Reaction from Rev. Al Sharpton: “No controversy will erase the historic impact. He learned how to create even beyond his own shortcomings.”
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, via Twitter: “We lost a great entertainer and pop icon. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Jackson’s family, friends and fans.”
Politico’s Patrick Gavin summed up Jackson’s advocacy work and D.C. visits, including a 1984 visit to the White House in which Ronald Reagan later wrote that he was “surprised at how shy” Jackson was.