Jackson's celebrity-studded video, "We are the World" was made to raise funds in the wake of an Ethiopian famine in 1985, but in the country itself, his death has surprisingly not made any ripples yet. A few radio stations are playing his music, but Ethiopian state television news has yet to acknowledge his death.
Abu Dhabi-based Faisal Al Qassimi, 26, told ABC News that Jackson was "the epitome of cool," adding that "He represented a taste of something else, all of these places we hadn't been to. He represented music, America, MTV, youth culture, sex appeal...everything a young man here would aspire to."
Self-proclaimed Jackson superfan, Nadeem Bibby echoed Al Qassimi's words, saying, "In Abu Dhabi in the 80s, which was very boring and gray, he was a colorful larger than life figure we could relate to. He was our hero here."
Bibby, 26, said fans in Abu Dhabi "were very shielded from the tabloid smack. We never held him in such a low esteem," adding, "I don't think he'll ever die."
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahraini lawyer who brought Jackson to the Gulf after the pop star's 2005 child molestation trial, and who eventually sued the star for breach of contract, could not be reached for comment.
In London, the tabloid The Sun had a picture of Jackson on its front page, showing him in London just 2 days before his untimely death. Jackson was on a visit to the city, preparing for a series of eagerly-awaited concerts next month. His death was a huge blow for his fans in the U.K., especially those who had managed to get tickets to watch what was tipped to be his curtain call, as he termed it.
Jackson hadn't performed any major concerts since 2001, and previous plans were abandoned due to concerns over his ill health.
As reports came in about his death, those who had seen him perform live remembered how he could command a stage.
"He was famous for being on our 'Amateur Night' that we celebrated the 75-year [anniversary,]" said Cheryl Briggs, who works at the Apollo Theatre in New York City where a young Jackson performed. "Losing him is really sad."
Mark Pope, a 47-year-old from New York who, with his brothers, grew up listening to and copying the Jackson Five, said, "With the death of Michael Jackson, the world loses today, I mean, I can speak for a lot of people, we are losing a musical genius."
Ronald Thomas of New York said, "It meant a lot to me. Its hard to believe. He meant the world to music, that's my opinion. He was so important because he did things that other entertainers wouldn't even dream of doing."
Those fans who couldn't show their devotion in real life mourned their loss online.
Soon after reports started filtering in about Jackson's hospitalization, "Cardiac Arrest" and "RIP Michael Jackson" quickly shot into the trending terms on Twitter, according to the TweetStats.com.
Less than an hour after Jackson's death had been confirmed, more than 500 groups remembering Michael Jackson appeared on Facebook, some with more than 10,000 members.
Immediately after hearing reports that Jackson had stopped breathing, Amish Gandhi, a 31-year-old New Yorker, started the group "Michael Jackson RIP." He said it wasn't long before he noticed that about 100 people were joining the group every minute. By 9 p.m. Thursday the site had more than 11,000 members.