Celine Dion has expressed her grief over the shocking death of Michael Jackson in a tearful tribute on U.S. TV - insisting the star was under too much pressure ahead of his comeback.
The My Heart Will Go on singer appeared on Late Night With Larry King to discuss the tragic news, after the Thriller hitmaker suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on Thursday (25Jun09) - and Dion struggled to contain her emotions as she talked about her hero.
Dion grew up idolising the star and admits she is finding it difficult to cope with the news of his passing.
She says, "Michael Jackson's been an idol for me all my life. In my house when I was very, very young, and having his posters above my bedroom. He's been my idol all my life.
"It feels like when... when Kennedy died, when Elvis Presley died. It's a big loss. And I have to say that it's not even sinking in right now.
"I grew up with him. And through my (eight year old) son, I'm discovering his music again. He will never die. He will never, ever, ever die."
Dion last saw the superstar several months ago when he came to see her show in Las Vegas - and she admits his "fragile" appearance left her feeling concerned.
She has blamed the looming deadline of his comeback shows in London next month (Jul09) for putting an intolerable strain on his health.
The singer adds, "I think we all live under pressure differently. We live under pressure because we want to give the audience and the fans what they look for, what they expect. We want to do a better album. We want to do a better show.
"I think Michael Jackson lived under pressure all the time, since he's five years old - wanting to please his family and his fans and putting the bar so high that he needed to be suppressing his own self. If you don't have something like your family, your husband or your wife, your children - I mean he probably didn't have the balance."