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Sweden mourns death of Michael Jackson

David Landes · 26 Jun 2009, 14:51

Published: 26 Jun 2009 14:51 GMT+02:00

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“What terrible news,” Swedish hip hop artist Timbuktu told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“He already sung like pro when he was a boy. For me, he was bigger than Elvis. He’s shaped me as a person and motivated me to dance and devote myself to music.”

News hit Sweden around midnight on Thursday that Jackson had reportedly been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital in a coma.

By 1am Swedish time, the Los Angeles Times, AP, and CNN were all reporting that Jackson’s death had been confirmed, allowing several Swedish newspapers time to devote much of their front pages to the shocking news.

“I think that everyone is still in shock. And I’ve never seen news spread as fast as this,” Ulf Ekberg of 90s Swedish pop sensations Ace of Base told Aftonbladet.

“He was hugely significant. I’ve met Michael several times. I’m going to remember him as one of the biggest song writers of all time.”

By mid-morning, a makeshift memorial to the late King of Pop had sprung up across the street from the US Embassy, giving Jackson’s fans a central place to offer flowers and messages of farewell.

“I just laid some flowers and some candles,” 39-year-old Malika told The Local near the site of the memorial.

“I grew up with his music in Somalia. He gave me freedom during my teenage years.”

Malika explained that she had booked tickets to London in hopes of catching a glimpse of Jackson at one of the concerts he was scheduled to perform at the city’s O2 Arena later this summer.

She added that, because of Jackson, her generation was given “the moves and the music”.

“I thought he was immortal,” Malika continued.

“There will never be another one like him in the music industry.”

In addition to leaving flowers and saying a prayer for Jackson, she also planned to dance to his music all week long.

“I will be playing 'Off the Wall', 'Thriller' and 'History',” she said.

Flowers were also left by 22-year-old Gunilla and 33-year-old Richard, both of whom had spent the morning planting flowers near the US embassy grounds.

Story continues below…

“It’s hard to believe he’s gone,” said Richard.

Jackson’s death at 50-years-old also hit close to home for Gunilla, who said that leaving some flowers at the memorial “seemed like the right thing to do”.

“My mother is 51, so it’s hard to imagine someone that age dying. And Michael really seemed like he would live forever,” she said.

“He did more for pop music than just about anyone. And he died way too soon.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:27 June 26, 2009 by DAVID T
Now everyone can illegally download his songs so his children can't benefit from their fathers work.
17:40 June 26, 2009 by Holecutter > The Howl From Hell
I'd rather download Benny Hill's ditties than the rubbish MJ put out
20:34 June 26, 2009 by Marc11
Holecutter, give the man his due. He was the best at what he did.
20:42 June 26, 2009 by bolababu
only he wasn't white or he'd have been everyone's best.
21:15 June 26, 2009 by spy
Has Michael Jackson been this stiff since Macaulay Culkin stayed for the weekend?
22:27 June 26, 2009 by Luckystrike
Im curious as to why "The Local" would report this kind of "International" news but not the current situation in Iran.. What gives ??
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