Michael Jackson's former manager Frank Dileo has died aged 63.
The music executive – who became the singer's manager in 1984 after working on his 1982 'Thriller' album - died in Los Angeles on Wednesday after suffering complications from heart surgery he underwent six months ago, according to his publicist Karen Sundell.
His wife Linda and his business associates paid tribute to Dileo – who also worked with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and singer Taylor Dayne – saying they were "deeply saddened by the loss of the legendary, iconic and highly respected music industry figure".
Jackson – who died in 2009 aged 50 – credited Frank as being "responsible for turning my dream into a reality" after working alongside him on 'Thriller', which sold more than 50 million copies and spawned a host of worldwide hit singles including 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It'.
The 'King of Pop' also wrote in his book 'Moonwalker' that Dileo's "brilliant understanding of the recording industry proved invaluable" when he was making the LP.
Dileo – who was vice-president of promotions at Epic Records - managed the singer during his 1988 'Bad World Tour' but the pair split in 1989 without explanation following five years together.
He later reunited with Jackson in 2009 to take charge of his 'This Is It' London concert residency, but the 50 shows at The 02 were ultimately cancelled following the singer's untimely death.
John Branca, the co-executor of Michael's estate, described Dileo – who starred as Tuddy Cicero in Martin Scorsese's 'Goodfellas', as well as in both 'Wayne's World' movies – as "one of a kind".
He said: "He was not only one of the great veterans of the music business, he was a beloved friend to me and all who were lucky enough to have had him in their lives.
"He was one of a kind and we will miss him."