Madonna Opens VMA's, Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson

Madonna called Michael Jackson a "hero," a "king" and a "human being" as she paid tribute to the King of Pop at MTV's "2009 Video Music Awards," prior to Janet Jackson's anticipated performance.

"When I was six, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the sick," she says of the music legend. "I never had a mother but he never had a childhood."

Madonna said when she learned of Michael's death while preparing for her tour, she felt as if she had "abandoned him."