Sir Paul McCartney has posted an extended written tribute to Michael Jackson on his official website.
The full statement reads as follows:
It's so sad and shocking. I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.
I send my deepest sympathy to his mother and the whole family and to his countless fans all around the world."
Memories of Michael
I first heard from Michael when he phoned me over the Christmas holiday season in 1980 and my initial reaction was "who is this and how did he get my private telephone number?". Michael laughed and explained who it was and, as we talked and I asked him why he was ringing, he said "Do you wanna make some hits?" and that was the start of our adventure together.
He came over to England with his close friend and minder, Billy and they visited our house in the country many times as Michael and I put together the ideas for our songs together. First of all, we came up with and finished an idea for a song I had started which became 'Say Say Say.' We recorded in Air Studios, London with George Martin producing and eventually went to California to make the video for the song. Funnily enough, I was staying at the ranch that Michael later bought and made into Neverland.
My memories are of his great sense of humour and we seemed to spend most of the time playing around and having a laugh. He became very friendly with my family and we had lots of great times together. Although we drifted apart in later years I will always remember fondly the fun we had working and playing together. My family and I send our deepest condolences to his family and, like them, we know that his great talent will never be forgotten.