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Singer a 'window' to Western culture

THE death of Michael Jackson was top news in Chinese cyber space, with the country's largest Website,, devoting a page to the "most remarkable singer ever."

Tencent, a popular Website among young Chinese, made Jackson's death the lead story, ahead of all international and domestic news.

On, Jackson's official Chinese Website, more than 27,000 postings appeared in the hours after his death was reported.

Most fans expressed disbelief, others were busy planning activities to commemorate their idol.

Beijing Netizen "Rock" said he will organize a memorial service that will be open to every Jackson fan in the city.

"Let's dress in black and hold candles for him," he said on the Website. "Those present should control their emotions, and no extreme behavior is allowed."

At some music stores in Chinese cities, workers were busy putting out Jackson's CDs and videos.

"We expect his songs will become popular again," said a staffer at a video shop in the Joy City Shopping Mall in downtown Beijing. "The best way to commemorate the King of Pop is to retrieve those lost memories by listening to his songs again."

Some of Jackson's Chinese fans praised the singer for opening up Western culture to them.

"He was much more than a pop star to me," said Liu Han, a 30-year-old programmer at a Beijing firm. "My first knowledge about Western music and society came from his songs."

Said Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, "He was a window through which Chinese young people looked into the world."

"His moon walk, his long hair and even his negative news -- all of them influenced a whole generation."

Many Jackson fans said they loved his singing and dancing, and that there was no one else like him.

"Some people think he is both a genius and a freak," said Wang Xiaofeng, a music critic.

Most Chinese people knew more about his plastic surgeries and skin disease than his music, despite that Jackson's perfection and excitement on the stage was almost incomparable, said Wang.


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