By Jim Johnson

Rock artists began late Friday night (June 3rd) to pay tribute online to Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer who passed away earlier that day at the age of 74. Ali, who had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, was taken to an Arizona hospital earlier this week while dealing with respiratory issues. The boxer, born Cassius Clay Jr., was one of the most famous athletes ever, reigning as the heavyweight boxing champion three times.

One of sport’s most colorful, larger than life athletes, Ali was known for his poetic trash talking, famous fights like the “Rumble in the Jungle” and the “Thrilla in Manilla,” and his stance as a civil rights activist and conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam. Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. His life and career left an huge impact on people in sports, entertainment and across all walks of life.


Bob Dylan: “If the measure of greatness is to gladden the heart of every human being on the face of the earth, then he truly was the greatest. In every way he was the bravest, the kindest and the most excellent of men.”

Paul McCartney: “Dear Muhammad Ali. I loved that man. He was great from the first day we met him in Miami, and on the numerous occasions when I ran into him over the years. Besides being the greatest boxer, he was a beautiful, gentle man with a great sense of humour who would often pull a pack of cards out of his pocket, no matter how posh the occasion, and do a card trick for you. The world has lost a truly great man. Love Paul”

Ringo Starr: “God bless Muhammad Ali peace and love to all his family.”

George Harrison Estate: “RIP Muhammad Ali Condolences to Muhammad Ali’s family, friends and fans from the Harrison estate.”

Brian Wilson: “Very sad to hear about Muhammad Ali’s passing. He really was one of a kind and will be remembered forever. Love and Mercy to his family and friends today.”

Mike Love: “I had the great pleasure of meeting Muhammad Ali backstage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco that the Beach Boys were part of. He was still known as Cassius Clay, but not for long. I, like millions followed him on his epic journey. He inspired us all by his example of strength in the face of tremendous pressure. We all know the story. More than 20 Years later, Muhammad joined us at our 1988 ‘Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame’ induction where I greeted him from the podium with, ‘Salaam Alaikum’, out of respect for his faith. We had the opportunity to spend quite a bit time with him, which we will always hold dear. Whether you agreed with his position or not, with regarding the war, you had to respect him. Ironically the man who earned his fame through boxing became known as a man of peace. He was a great soul who as of his passing will have the prayers of many millions of us who cared for him and cared about him. Salaam Alaikum, Muhammad Ali. Peace and Love be with you”

Paul Stanley: “THE GREATEST has died. Nothing else need be said.”

Billy Idol: “Loved meeting him.”

Marky Ramone: “Muhammad Ali THE GREATEST”

Madonna: “What is going on??!! We are losing all of our National Treasures. Our Pillars of Humanity. He was the Greatest!”

Sammy Hagar: “The greatest of all time without a doubt. gone! can’t believe it. sad day indeed.”

Guns N’ Roses: “You were and will always be ‘The Greatest of All Time’ R.I.P.”

Slash: “RIP to a great American icon & legend.”

Duff McKagan: “RIP Muhammad Ali. GOAT by a mile.”

Matt Sorum: “Rest in Peace Mohamed Ali. You are the greatest there ever was”

Lenny Kravitz: “Boxing was the vehicle that delivered him to the world but his greatest achievements were one outside of the ring; freedom fighter, civil rights leader, soldier of love, and a king.”

Bret Michaels: “Muhammad Ali was truly an inspiration not only as an athlete and boxer, but as a fighter in life. I had the honor of meeting him and his amazing family at Fight Night in Arizona after my brain hemorrhage. Sharing such a great cause to raise money for and Muhammad’s inspiration made the fight in me stronger. To his family and friends, you are loved and the man will be missed. He was a legend in and out of the ring.”

Foghat: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Muhammad Ali. He was ‘the greatest’. Our thoughts are with his family & friends.”

Scott Ian: “HE was the man.”

Vernon Reid: “Not possible, to say in words what Muhammad Ali meant to us, for us. Not possible at all.”

Ice T: “Something very few have EVER done.. Put a fist on the CHAMP.. God Bless my IDOL… ‘Ali’ There will never be another.”

Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy: “Muhammad Ali transcended Boxing and even sports itself. . . he was not only ‘The Greatest’ but a 20th Century icon like Elvis & The Beatles.”

CHECK IT OUT: Paul Simon on Friday night (June 3rd) announcing the death of Muhammad Ali during his performance of “The Boxer” in Berkeley, California:


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