And he made her part of his family: Taylor served as the godmother for Jackson's eldest children, Paris Michael and Prince Michael.
But he was generous before he needed her as an ally. In 1991, Taylor married her last husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky, on Jackson's sprawling Neverland Ranch. The ceremony featured A-list guests including former President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, the drone of paparazzi and police helicopters, and hot air balloons Jackson launched in an attempt to drown out their noise.
Jackson's 2009 death floored Taylor. She took to Twitter to mourn. "My heart...my mind...are broken," she wrote the day after he died. "I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him. I don't think anyone knew how much we loved each other. The purest most giving love I've ever known. Oh god! I'm going to miss him."
She absented herself from Jackson's star-studded, media-thronged funeral, tweeting, and "I just don't believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others. How I feel is between us. Not a public event. I cannot be part of the public hoopla. And I cannot guarantee that I would be coherent to say a word."
After his death, Taylor continued to stick up for Jackson, though not as publicly as she had in the past. (To be fair, she wasn't much of a public personality in her final years.) Last May, she went on Twitter to chastise Dr. Arnold Klein for talking to the press about Jackson. (Taylor, like Jackson, was a patient of the Beverly Hills dermatologist.)
"I thought doctors, like priests took an oath of confidentiality," Taylor tweeted. "May God have mercy on his soul."
That devotion followed her to her grave. On Thursday, Taylor was buried at Glendale, Calif.'s Forest Lawn Cemetery, the same cemetery where Jackson is entombed.