Wow. I remember when he first came to prominence, when he was 10 and I was 11. He was an exceptional talent and grew up to be one of the biggest stars on the planet - deservedly so. In those days, to be famous and successful as a performer, you needed to have real talent. And he had it in spades.
He has had such a troubled life. He had no childhood. He faced his demons in adulthood but we don't know if he won.
I was just thinking about Michael Jackson a couple of nights ago, about how when he was a child and was appearing with the Jackson 5 at the Royal Variety Performance, Elton John said he felt sorry for them because they had been made to wait so long.
He was interviewed by Oprah, where they both talked about the childhood abuse they had suffered.
How could he have died of a heart attack? He was only 50. What was going on there?
This has really shocked me. No doubt we will be learning more over the next days and weeks.
See also, Celebrating the Legend That Is Motown.