Michael Jackson was more than an entertainer to Beyoncé, he was an inspiration. In honor of the five-year anniversary of his death Wednesday (June 25), the "XO" singer posted a heartfelt letter about the King of Pop on her website.
"When I was just starting out, my first producer used to make me listen to Michael Jackson's live performance of 'Who's Loving You,' she wrote. "He would have me watch that for hours back to back to back. What he 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."
Through Jackson, Bey learned how to be more free with her art. "Michael taught me that sometimes you have to forget technique, forget what you have on," she continued. "If you feel silly, you have to go from the gut just let it go."
She closed out the letter with a sweet message for Jackson and a show of gratitude, writing, "Michael Jackson changed me, and helped me to become the artist I am thank you Michael."
Jackson passed away form cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 at age 50.
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(Photos from left: Kevin Mazur /Chime For Change/Getty Images for Gucci/Getty Images for Gucci, Brenda Chase/Online USA)