But in an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Obama said he didn't see any controversy in the fact that he did not issue a formal public statement upon Jackson's death. Obama said, "Look, you're the first person who's actually asked me about it."
The president said that Jackson, who died last week at 50, will "go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers. I grew up on his music."
Obama said that at the same time that he felt Jackson had experienced "a tragic and in many ways sad personal life."
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