President Barack Obama gestures during his interview with The Associated Press, Thursday, July 2, 2009, in the West Wing of the White House in Washington.(Agencies)
President Barack Obama called Michael Jackson a brilliant performer whose talents were paired with a tragic personal life.
"I'm glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer," Obama said in an interview 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, and said he was unaware of any dissatisfaction in the black community with his response.
"I know a lot of people in the black community and I haven't heard that," Obama said.
The president said he grew up on Jackson's music and "I still have all his stuff on my iPod."
"I think that Michael Jackson will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers," Obama said. "His brilliance as a performance also was paired with a tragic and in many ways, sad personal life."
Jackson died June 25 at age 50.