Rock Hall of Fame curator praises Michael Jackson - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Rock Hall of Fame curator praises Michael Jackson

CLEVELAND (AP) - Pop singer Michael Jackson had a body of work that few people have matched in their careers, the curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said Thursday.

Curator Jim Henke said only a handful of artists in the past 40 years achieved what Jackson did.

"The thing about him is, he really excelled as a singer, as a songwriter and as a performer," Henke said. "He really tapped into the American popular culture starting in the '60s with the Jackson 5 and pretty much through the '80s, with 'Thriller' and all that."

Henke said it's unfortunate that Jackson's personality quirks overshadowed his legacy as a musician. He said there are few artists who can rival the critical acclaim and commercial success achieved by Jackson, who died Thursday in Los Angeles at age 50.

"He sold millions and millions of records, but his records were also critically acclaimed and widely held as being great accomplishments," Henke said.

Jackson's albums include "Off the Wall" and "Thriller," the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. His songs include "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Bad."

Jackson was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson Five in 1997 and as a solo artist in 2001. He has a permanent exhibit in the hall.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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