Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Jones described Jackson as "a man-child in many ways," but emphasized his dedication and professionalism, saying he evoked Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr. and James Brown at the same time. His hours of practice and rehearsal created a near-perfect performance every time, Jones said.
Jackson broke down cultural boundaries with his music but was "the gentlest of souls," Jones wrote. The two started working together on the movie musical, "The Wiz," in 1978 and went on to produce "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" during the '80s.
The convergence of Jackson's music and MTV was earth-shattering, Jones wrote. He speculated that 100 years from now songs like "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" will still be sung.
A massive turnout is expected in Los Angeles Tuesday for a public memorial service for Jackson, who was 50 when he died June 25 in Los Angeles, where he had been rehearsing for a series of concerts in London.
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