After the news of music legend Michael Jackson's sudden death yesterday, New Yorkers expressed their grief and remembered the "King of Pop" all over the city. The Reverend Al Sharpton issued a statement, "A friend of Michael's for the last 35 years, I call on people around the world to pray for him and his family in the hour... I have known him at his high moments and his low moments and I know he would want us to pray for his family," and later held court outside the Apollo Theatre—which is where the Jackson 5 was discovered—where he said, "I watched him sell stadiums out. Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama. Michael did with music what they later did with sports, and in politics and in television and no controversy will erase the historic impact." Here's video:
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Dancing broke out on 125th Street, in front of the Apollo, and the Daily News reports people chanted, "Michael! Michael! Michael!" A number 2 train subway conductor announced his death to commuters. And a Brooklyn fan said, "We were around to see his rise and fall. I feel disappointed." Radio stations switched to Michael Jackson songs, leaving bicyclists and pedestrians and riding or walking by cars with a Michael Jackson greatest hits soundtrack.
A 13-year-old Manhattan resident told the Post, "I pray that he's still singing and dancing in heaven.... I was shocked. I ran to the guitar store and asked them if it was true. It makes me pray that nothing happens to my mom because she's older than Michael Jackson." A tourist from Maryland said, "He was so young. I hope he had enough time to say, Lord have mercy on my soul. This loss hurts. I hugged my family and told [them] that I love them. This is as iconic a day as when Kennedy was shot."