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Star tribute to the King of Pop

PUBLISHED: 16:43 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:53 25 August 2010

SANTA MARIA, CA - JUNE 3:  Michael Jackson exits the courtroom after his child molestation trial is turned over to jury for delibration at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse June 3, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

SANTA MARIA, CA - JUNE 3: Michael Jackson exits the courtroom after his child molestation trial is turned over to jury for delibration at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse June 3, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

2005 Getty Images

TWO dance and music legends paid tribute to tragic Michael Jackson hailing him the biggest star of the century .

TWO dance and music legends paid tribute to tragic Michael Jackson hailing him the 'biggest star of the century'.

Len Goodman, head judge of Strictly Come Dancing and Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker are massive fans of the 'King of Pop' who suddenly died last week.

As millions across the world mourn the death of the 50-year-old superstar, the duo talked exclusively to the Times about their memories.

Dance guru Len Goodman, who worked as a welder on the Woolwich Docks before embarking on a glowing dance career, said: "It is an absolute tragedy. He was such a talented individual. I admired him incredibly. I remember when Thriller came out and it took everyone's breath away. He was just an amazing performer. You get a lot of great singers and a lot of great dancers but it's rare that you get them both together. There is no-one to top him as an all-round performer. He is a legend.

"Along with Elvis Presley and The Beatles, he was the biggest star of the century. The mourning will be on the same scale as Elvis. They both died tragically young, they were both hugely gifted and loved by the public. They were both icons.

"Michael Jackson is responsible for so many iconic dance moves. He has had an enormous impact on the dance and music worlds. It is a great loss."

The 65-year-old added: "When my son was about nine I took him to Wembley to see the Dangerous tour and it was incredible. It made a big impression on both of us."

Bucks Fizz star and Eurovision winner Cheryl Baker, of Ightham, near Sevenoaks, also talked about her admiration for the star.

She said: "I loved Michael Jackson. I don't know anyone who doesn't have a copy of Thriller.

"I remember dancing to Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough with my brother when we were in Australia and that memory has stuck with me. It was just one of those moments.

"Elvis was King in the 1950s, it was The Beatles in the 1960s and 70s and in the 1980s it was definitely Michael Jackson. Every decade or so you get someone who blows everyone else out of the water and makes that time their own and Michael Jackson did that.

"He was so far ahead of his time - he made new dance moves and experimented with music and that's what set him apart."

The 55-year-old added: "As far as his personal life is concerned, anyone who has been in the spotlight from such a young age is bound to have problems. He always had that against him, he never stood a chance of being a normal human being.

"But I'm sure he will be remembered for his music in the end.

"None of us are perfect, but his music certainly was."

elizabeth.thornton@archant.co.uk

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