Michael Jackson's Death Sparks Reactions Across the World

A glimpse into Michael Jackson's more than 40-year career, from the height of musical stardom to his bizarre personal life and sex scandal.
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reaction to Michael Jackson's death has been a global phenomenon. Here is a sampling:

In Britain

Pictures of Jackson graced the covers of nine British newspapers Friday, while in London, 500 fans flocked to the Liverpool Street subway station for a coordinated moonwalk at exactly 6:15 p.m.

Other Jackson fans clustered outside a downtown theater playing "Thriller -- Live," a musical homage to the King of Pop. The producer said that before the show, the lights would be dimmed and there would be a moment of silence. Others laid flowers outside O2 Arena, where Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 concerts starting next month.

Meanwhile, in Glastonbury at an outdoor music festival, fans played Jackson songs in tents and stalls. Festival headliners, including Bruce Springsteen, are expected to perform tributes over the weekend.

-- Karla Adam

In Nigeria

In the northern Nigerian city of Kano, a conservative Muslim metropolis, there was scant outward mourning for Jackson. At one outdoor bar, televisions showed professional wrestling and speakers thumped local pop music. But at a table of writers downing dark brews, talk turned to the unexpected death.

It was a morphine injection said one writer, who then wondered why Americans are attracted to drugs. Another speculated that it was Jackson's affinity for "artificial body parts" that did him in. Desmond Mgboh said early-childhood fame had turned Jackson into a "commodity," sentencing him to a life of too much pressure.

"He lived beyond his years. He lived too fast," Mgboh said. "Look at his brothers. He had more money, more fame. And he died first!"

-- Karin Brulliard

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company