I remember where I was when Elvis Presley died, and I remember where I was when John Lennon was killed. I was waiting to board a plane on Thursday, checking Facebook updates, when I was hit by the stunning news about the death of Michael Jackson, another musical legend taken before his time. Elvis, Lennon’s Beatles and the King of Pop were the biggest pop sensations of all time, and their timeless music will live forever. I played “Billie Jean” on my iPod as I flew home. Jackson’s legacy spanned several generations but he will no doubt take his place as MTV’s first major icon.

There are plenty of tributes online but Dick Clark — and there is no better authority — may have said it best:

“Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was the most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched.”