Rev. Al Sharpton comments on the passing of Michael Jackson -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Rev. Al Sharpton comments on the passing of Michael Jackson

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(NBC) - Longtime friends are remembering Michael Jackson in the wake of the pop superstar's passing.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, friend and sometimes business associate, eulogized Jackson outside of Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre shortly after learning of his death.

"Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color, way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama," Sharpton said. "Michael did with music what they later did in sports and in politics, and in television. And no controversy will erase the historic impact."

He also touched on Jackson's long decline.

"I hope Michael will get the respect he was due. If he had shortcomings, they didn't equal his strengths," Sharpton said. "And if he brought days that we had hoped would never come again, they didn't measure up to the many days and more days that he gave us joy and pleasure."

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