“It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. Because Michael Jackson kept going, he created a comfort level, where people that felt they were separate became interconnected with his music. Later, it wasn’t strange to watch Oprah on television. It wasn’t strange to watch Tiger Woods golf.” [MJ made people] “comfortable to vote for a person of color for president.”
– Rev. Al Sharpton at Michael Jackson's memorial service. His songs from Thriller were the first songs from a black recording artist to be played in heavy rotation on MTV, paving the way for other black artists during a time when the music channel featured mostly white artists.