LOS ANGELES – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is mourning the sudden death of longtime AFTRA recording artist Michael Jackson.

Jackson, who died June 25 at age 50, joined AFTRA in September 1969 when he was just 11 years old, as a member of The Jackson 5. He created one of the most successful solo careers in history and earned recognition as the “King of Pop.”

Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and made a record-breaking 13 No. 1 singles as a solo artist. His 1982 album, “Thriller,” remains the top-selling album in the world.

“Michael leaves behind a legacy of trend-setting innovation, not only musically but with dance, fashion and media as well,” the union said in a statement. “In the 1980s, Michael’s visually stunning music videos incorporated his flair for storytelling while showcasing his brilliant costumes and impeccably executed dance moves and choreography.”

AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon remembered Jackson, saying, “For more than 40 years, Michael has stood as a cultural icon, his influence on music and culture in general can not be denied – so much of what modern pop has become can be traced back to his original style. The dynasty of credits that Michael leaves us with is formidable, the larger-than-life personality that has made him a media generating presence year after year will not be seen again anytime soon. Although he may be gone, Michael Jackson will continue to inspire current and future music lovers alike.’

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media.

This article is reprinted from www.aftra.com.