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Michael Jackson's death: Fans dance into the night

June 26, 2009 |  9:39 am

Although it was relatively quiet this morning at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, that was not the case Thursday, when hundreds of Michael Jackson fans danced late into the night, chanting "Michael! Michael!" and singing songs such as "Thriller," "ABC" and "I'll Be There."

They held up signs that read "King of Pop" and "Michael Jackson Lives Forever." They lit candles and laid yellow roses at a nearby tree, where someone had outlined his name in in red flower petals.

A few people cried, but most danced, smiled and did their own versions of Jackson's dance moves. Vendors ran up the sidewalk with hastily printed T-shirts commemorating his death. Two men sold hot dogs, water and Gatorade from a white pickup parked near several news vans.

Fans carried vinyl records and some wore just one glove. Henry Gonzalez, 20, a student studying neuroscience at UCLA, carried a boom box on his right shoulder that blasted the pop star's hits. A crowd of fans danced around him and followed as he walked up and down Westwood Boulevard.

"I'm the DJ," Gonzalez said at about 9 p.m.

He had been in Westwood most of the day after learning of Jackson’s death. He smiled and bobbed his head to the music.

"I was sad, and then I decided to support him," Gonzalez said. "I'm a dancer. He inspired me a lot."

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz in Westwood

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