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US: Obama thought Jackson a 'tragic' icon: spokesman

27 Jun 2009 4:54 AM

WASHINGTON, June 26 AFP - President Barack Obama regarded Michael Jackson as a musical icon, but thought aspects of his life were sad and tragic, his spokesman said, sending condolences to the pop star's family.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he had talked about Jackson's untimely death with the president earlier on Friday.

He said Obama thought the troubled King of Pop was a "spectacular performer, a musical icon", in a first White House reaction to Jackson's demise.

"I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary."

"The president also said that he had aspects of his life that were sad and tragic, his condolences went out to the Jackson family and fans that mourned his loss."