On this day of memorial services for singer Michael Jackson, whose followers have turned out in droves in Los Angeles, Obama, who had not had much to say publicly about the musical icon, had this to say:
"I do not think there was any doubt, he was one of the greatest entertainers of our generation, perhaps any generation,'' Obama said. "I think like Elvis, like Sinatra, like The Beatles he became a core part of our culture.
"You know, his extraordinary talent and his music was matched with a big dose of tragedy and difficulty in his private life and I don't think we can ignore that,'' the president said. "But it's important for us to affirm what was the best of him and that was captured by his music, music that Michelle and I listened to from the time we were little kids.''