Tears welled in the eyes of Palmerston North rapper Sam Hansen, aka PNC, when he heard about the death of pop icon Michael Jackson.
Jackson was pronounced dead in Los Angeles at 9.26am [NZ time] yesterday. He was 50 years old.
Hansen, who lives in Auckland but was at his mother's Feilding home yesterday, said he owed his career to Jackson's music.
"He, by far, was my biggest influence musically. People ask me if you hear his influence in my music, but just me making music in itself is a byproduct of Michael Jackson.
"I wouldn't make music if it wasn't for the impact of Michael Jackson, and I don't think urban music, as a whole, is even urban music without him."
Hansen cracked a beer and spent yesterday morning watching Jackson's music videos after reading the news online at 10am.
"I thought it was funny when I'd hear my mum talking about when John Lennon died, or people about when Kurt Cobain died, but when I saw those words on that screen my eyes started to water, you feel silly 'cos you don't know that person, but it was a part of my life, and everyone's life, growing up."
The first album Hansen owned was Thriller, his favourite song is Billie Jean, and he listens to Jackson's music every day on his iPod.
"His catalogue is unrivalled, maybe the Beatles and that's about it for hits.
"I hope people just reflect on the music he made and remember that he was the greatest musician, or at least to me, of our generation."
Another Palmerston North fan who took Jackson's death hard was assistant baker Brendan Andrews, who owns about 80 of his albums, singles and compilations.
Mr Andrew said he was "absolutely gutted" when he heard the news, especially since he bought VIP tickets, worth $2000, to Jackson's upcoming concert in London.
He was unsure at this stage what would happen with the tickets.
Palmerston North music store Mango Music had its Michael Jackson stocks "cleaned out" by nostalgic fans, as did The CD & DVD Store in the Downtown shopping mall.
The CD & DVD Store will have its Michael Jackson stocks replenished over the weekend. RIP Jacko P6, Editorial P8
- Manawatu Standard
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