President Obama had nice things to say about Michael in an interview with Associated Press last Thursday.
“I grew up on his music,” The President said, speaking personally about Michael’s death for the first time. “Still have all his stuff on my iPod.”
“I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and, in many ways, sad personal life. I’m 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.”
The President then dismissed any suggestion that members of the black community were upset he hadn’t formally addressed Michael’s death sooner. “I know a lot of people in the black community,” he said. “I haven’t heard that.”
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the media last week Obama thought Michael to be a “spectacular performer and a music icon.”
Gibbs had also sent condolences to the Jackson family and to fans that mourn his loss. Mr Obama also sent a letter of condolence to the Jackson family. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior advisor also said that the President was prepared to discuss Michael’s death during a press conference on June 26th, Gibbs explained, but no one asked him to do so.