Vatican Paper Makes Tribute to "King of Pop"

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Michael Jackson will never die "in the imagination of [his] fans," the Vatican's semi-official newspaper said after news spread of the pop star's death.



Marcello Filotei wrote this Friday in L'Osservatore Romano, comparing the death of the 50-year-old "King of Pop" to that of Elvis Presley.

Jackson died Friday of cardiac arrest at a Los Angelus hospital.

Noting how Jackson was a "child prodigy" with an "extraordinary soul voice," Filotei acknowledged the pop star's many successes, such as his megahit 1982 album "Thriller," "known even by those unfamiliar with this genre of music." The album continues to rank as the best-selling album of all time.

The writer acknowledged elements of the singer's life that drew wide criticism, such as his many plastic surgeries that changed his appearance radically, his increasingly pale complexion, and the allegations of pedophilia in 1993 and 2005. Jackson settled out of court in 1993, and was found not guilty of all charges in 2005.

"But no accusation, however serious or shameful, is enough to tarnish his myth among his millions of fans throughout the entire world," wrote Filotei.

The pop singer was set to begin a 50-concert series titled "This Is It" in London on July 13.