Michael Jackson, like perhaps only Elvis Presley before him, was a pop icon who inspired a deep, emotional connection with his fans around the world. As a musician, singer, songwriter, dancer, humanitarian and celebrity, he occupied a rare place in the hearts and minds of millions.
For some, Michael Jackson fandom was more than a passing interest - it was a lifestyle. Jackson's grip on these admirers remained strong even after his behavior became more erratic and controversial, and while his musical output slowed.
Billboard talked to some of these "superfans" in the days following Jackson's untimely death. For them, the loss is as great as losing a member of their own family. Yet each, in his or her own way, sees this is a moment to celebrate Jackson's achievements and insure that his legacy is well-preserved for the future.
Joby Rogers, a U.S. based impersonator, insists that he and other superfans will keep Jackson's spirit and music alive. "He could be standing still for seven minutes -- just standing there, breathing -- and people would go crazy," Rogers said. When he passed, it really felt like I lost a sibling."
Jainette Manbrink, a Michael Jackson fansite administrator in Sweden, sees Jackson as as an inspiration for other people who suffered abuse as children. "I love his music and talent, and the fact that he began very poor and had a very strict childhood but rose above the pain," she said. "I needed someone and I couldn’t use my own parents as my role model, so I turned to Michael."
U.K.-based impersonator Michael Lewis thinks Michael Jackson "was the ultimate misunderstood person. But he has more talent in one little finger than most people can get in a lifetime. For me, he was the purest soul we had on this earth -- an angel sent from heaven.
Check out what these "superfans" have to say, and then add your own thoughts about what Michael Jackson meant to you and how you would like to see him remembered and memorialized for future generations. Upload your videos for all of Billboard.com's readers to share.