La Roux used to stare at pictures of Michael Jackson for hours at a time.

The flame-haired British electro pop star told was captivated by the look of the late 'Thriller' singer as he was the "source of so much intrigue" for the singer - real name Elly Jackson - when she was a child.

She said: "The first record I remember hearing by Michael Jackson was when I was seven years old - there was a cassette of 'Dangerous' on top of the videos in the living room. I remember not liking the music but liking the cover. I would look at pictures of him for three hours. When you're that age, Michael Jackson blows your mind.

"He was the source of so much intrigue when I was a kid. He had everything a pop star needs - the lifestyle and the massive mental health issues."

Although she was first exposed to Michael's 1991 album 'Dangerous' Elly, 22, is a bigger fan of the more funk influenced material by the singer - who died last year of acute intoxication of the anaesthetic Propofol just weeks before a series of comeback concerts in London - naming 1979 album 'Off The Wall' as an influence.

She added: "'HIStory' was the first Michael Jackson record I bought, when I was eight, but 'Off the Wall' can't be beaten. I'm getting into funk at the moment and it's an amazing funk record. Plus, his vocals are softer."