(Transcript of Madonna's wonderful tribute to Michael Jackson delivered at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. RIP MJ.)
"Michael Jackson. [Audience cheers] I have a little bit more to say than that. OK, here we go again.
Michael Jackson was born in August 1958. So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was six, he became a superstar, and was perhaps the world’s most beloved child. When I was six, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick. I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood. And when you never get to have something, you become obsessed by it.
I spent my childhood searching for my mother figures. Sometimes I was successful, but how do you recreate your childhood when you are under the magnifying glass of the world?
There is no question that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest talents the world has ever known. That when he sang a song at the ripe old age of eight he could make you feel like an experienced adult was squeezing your heart with his words. That when he moved he had the elegance of Fred Astaire and packed the punch of Muhammad Ali. That his music had an extra layer of inexplicable magic that didn’t just make you want to dance but actually made you believe you could fly, dare to dream, be anything that you wanted to be. Because that is what heroes do and Michael Jackson was a hero.