I thought of him as a very talented artist. He certainly changed the definition of music videos... My god, I remember when Thriller first aired. EVERYONE had their VCR set to record it. I also think he looked his best on the Thriller album, he should have stopped with the surgeries at that point. Some of his music, in particular the Earth song, touched me deeply. Sometimes, in his videos, I wished that he could have had the power to set the world right.
But he was also a very tragic and flawed person. I was truly sad when he died, but at the same time he was finally released from the strange prison of his life.