When reports of the death of pop star Michael Jackson [click to read] began to surface early yesterday evening (June 25), celebrities and fans of the star turned to Twitter to express their sentiments.

Everyone from Ice T to Miley Cyrus took the time to express their sympathies via the popular micro-blogging site.

“Rest In Peace Mike. People can say what they want but you were 100% original. WE will always love, miss & remember your GREATNESS,” said rapper/actor Ice T via his Twitter page.

“I will be mourning my friend , brother, mentor and inspiration.. He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been me without him,” MC Hammer added.

Other celebrities including Solange Knowles and Marsha Ambrosius reminisced on some of their first Michael Jackson encounters.

“Thank you Michael Jackson for being my FIRST of many,”
Solange shared on Twitter. “My mother took me to my FIRST concert, I was only two years old. I fell in love.”

“Remembering: Calling my mother while MJ was in the booth and telling her to just listen, I swear he heard her screaming down the phone,” Marsha Ambrosius, singer and former member of Floetry, explained in a Tweet.

And today a number of celebrities released statements expressing their condolences to the family of Michael Jackson and showing their thanks for Michael and his music.

Michael Jackson was my Music God,”
said Wyclef Jean. “He made me believe that all things are possible, and through real and positive music, you can live forever! I love Michael Jackson. God Bless him.”

R&B singer Usher, who has continuously referred to Michael Jackson [click to read] as a major influence in his career, shared his thoughts on the late icon.

“This loss has deeply saddened me! It is with a heavy heart I composed this statement. May God cover you Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer,”
Usher explained. “I pray for the entire Jackson family particularly Michael‘s mother, children and all his fans that loved him so much. I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for Him and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways, transcended the culture.”

With the 2009 BET Awards around the corner (Sunday, June 28) many people have wondered whether or not BET will pay tribute to Michael Jackson in some way. In a statement, Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks explained that the awards show will in fact pay tribute to the singer.

“Words cannot capture the impact Michael Jackson has had on pop culture around the world. He changed the way we hear and feel and move to music; he epitomized what true musical talent and star power really mean,”
said Debra L. Lee in a written statement. “He is and always will be the King of Pop…Our annual BET Awards show, scheduled for this Sunday in Los Angeles, is dedicated to Michael Jackson and will pay tribute to his legacy. All of us at BET Networks send our thoughts and prayers to the Jackson family.”