"There are certain figures in our popular culture that just capture peoples' imagination, and in death they become even larger," Mr. Obama said. "I have to admit that it's also fed by a 24/7 media that is insatiable."
The president compared the outpouring of grief to what happened when Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra died.
Mr. Obama said Jackson was one of the country's greatest entertainers who had a profound effect on two generations.
"It's not surprising people mourning loss," he said.
Click here for complete coverage of Michael Jackson's death and today's memorial
Watch video of the interview below: