, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Tributes have flooded in from across the country for pop legend Michael Jackson.
Kenya’s music icon Eric Wainaina told Capital News that like other fans he received news of MJ`s death with devastation, as he was incredibly close to his fans and had a loyal following right up to the end as shown by his sold-out comeback show.
Wainaina and his band members had just finished a performance at around 1 am, when they received the news.
“He was doing amazing things, firstly just cracking the barrier between black music and white music. I think that is one of the things that made him so famous and so influential.”
“In many ways, many artistes look at MJ and ask themselves what is the formula that makes you write stuff that lasts forever. For me, he was influential in that regard,” said Wainaina.
Singer Kevin Wyre told Capital News: "Before Michael there was no one who quite entertained people on stage. He went an extra mile.”
“Being a performer, he really inspires me especially with his dance choreography, his interaction with the crowd. He was just the greatest on stage, he deserved the title king of pop and king of performance on-stage”.
Another local pop singer Amani said she was shocked by Michael’s death.
"He is a legend, he is an icon. For an artiste you hope that your music will be as wide spread as his was."
“He has had such a long pop career usually never tend to have such a long span due to the change the culture. He’s been around for a while, he truly left a mark in the world,” she said.
They both said, they had been looking forward to Jackson’s planned comeback tour.
Amani and Wyre whose music careers have been inspired by MJ, said they were shell-shocked.
"I find it hard to believe this could be a reality. In the past, health issues of Michael Jackson have always been rumoured. I can only imagine this is down to the amount of stress he was under to come out and perform," Wyre said.
Capital FM`s Old School and soul DJ Adrian who is currently on tour in Malaysia said he learnt of MJ`s death while in his hotel room.
“His music has and still continues to be a great influence in my career. I always incorporate an MJ song in my mix even if I’m playing new music,” he said.
He added that his music will continue to inspire many for generations to come. “It will live on. Thriller is still selling, and now I’m sure even more,” he said.