There’s still nobody in pop and R&B with the stature of Michael Jackson, before his passing and afterward, but of the artists working now, Beyonce arguably comes closer than anybody to claiming a royal title like that of the King of Pop. She appeared in the controversial–but still, on the artists’ part, sincere–Michael Forever tribute last year, and now, on the three-year anniversary of his death, she posted a heartfelt written tribute on her website, in which she recalled how her producers encouraged her to listen to Jackson from the beginning and how that changed her. It’s short, but it’s no less touching for it. An excerpt:
What [Jackson] wanted me to learn was his soul. You could hear his soul. And he was this little kid who hadn’t experienced love but he was a vessel. For whatever reason he could evoke more emotion than an adult. It was so raw and so pure. It was these little things that he did that were just swag. It’s something that’s God-given.
Michael taught me that sometimes you have to forget technique, forget what you have on. If you feel silly, you have to go with the gut, just let it go.
We couldn’t have said it better. Read the full tribute on Beyonce’s website, then–because there’s never a reason not to–watch her performance from last year below.