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Online community stunned by Jackson's death

  • Story Highlights
  • Stunned fans came together across the Web to share memories of Michael Jackson
  • Thursday evening, 9 of the 10 top trending topics on Twitter were about Jackson
  • Many people appeared to find out about his death through social-networking sites
  • Sony BMG removes a calendar for the singer's concert tour from Jackson's Web site
By Brandon Griggs
CNN
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(CNN) -- One female fan on Twitter said "Off the Wall" was the first cassette tape she owned. "I have it on CD now and still listen to it," she said.

Sony BMG removed from this Web page a schedule of dates for Michael Jackson's European tour.

Many people found out about Michael Jackson's death through Web sites like Twitter and Facebook.

"I saw the Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium in 1984," posted a man on his Facebook status update. "Anybody else?"

And on CNN's iReport.com, a tearful Melissa Fazli of Yorba Linda, California, posted an emotional video. "I grew up with Michael Jackson," she said, choking back tears. "This is just a very sad day."

From Facebook to Flickr, Twitter to YouTube, stunned and saddened fans came together across the vast online universe to share their memories of the iconic pop star, who died Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles.

By Thursday evening, 9 of the 10 top trending topics on micro-blogging site Twitter were about Michael Jackson.

Because traditional media outlets were slow to confirm the news of Jackson's death, many people appeared to find out through messages on social-networking sites. Some of those linked to celebrity gossip site TMZ.com, which was among the first to report the news.

"Damn ... it's official," posted one Twitter user, shortly after the news of Jackson's death was confirmed. "RIP to the BIGGEST star the world has EVER seen." Another woman vowed in a tweet never to change her cell phone's ringtone, which was set to "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)," a hit from Jackson's classic "Thriller" album.

Sony BMG, Jackson's music label, removed from its Web site a list of dates for the singer's European tour, which was to kick off next month in London.

Within minutes, Jackson's Wikipedia page had been updated to reflect his death, with biographical information changed to the past tense.

On Flickr, fans posted images from all phases of Jackson's career, from his child-star, large-Afro days to moody publicity shots to dramatic photos of a costumed, windblown Jackson in concert.

While most fans celebrated Jackson's buoyant music and dynamic stage presence, others viewed him as a tragic figure with an increasingly bizarre public image who, in his later years, battled child molestation charges and mounting debt.

One grieving fan posted an image on Flickr of herself, head in hands. "He was ... amazing. And had amazing songs. :( What's so weird is that I was singing his songs today before I found out about this," she wrote. "At least he'll be safe now. Away from all the troubles and stuff. :)"

On Twitter and other sites, several online mourners posted "Never Can Say Goodbye," echoing the title of one of the Jackson 5's early hits. Another fan quoted from Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," saying, "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, then make a change."

The swirling news may have overwhelmed Facebook, which was inaccessible at times Thursday evening. When the site was viewable, people filled their status updates with Jackson memories, lyrics and links to his videos.

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Others remarked on the coincidence of two pop icons, Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, dying within hours of each other.

"Johnny [Carson] is going to have a great show in heaven tonight," wrote a Los Angeles man on Facebook. Ed [McMahon]'s back, and he's got two great new guests."

All About Michael JacksonFlickr.comTwitter Inc.Facebook Inc.Sony BMG Music EntertainmentYouTube Inc.

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