Singer and songwriter Michael Jackson dies at age 50

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson in 1988
Image: Alan Light.

Michael Jackson, a singer and songwriter who was dubbed as the 'King of Pop', has died today at the age of 50. Initial reports had stated that Jackson is in a coma after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center.

According to TMZ, rescue crews from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to his home in Holmby Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California where they found Jackson not breathing. According to Fire Captain Steven Ruda, a 911 call was received from Jackson's home at 12:21 p.m. PDT (19:21 UTC), and paramedics responded just before 12:30 p.m. PDT (19:30 UTC). Paramedics unsuccessfully attempted CPR, for a suspected cardiac arrest. According to Lieutenant Fred Corral, the L.A. County Coroner, Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. PDT (21:26 UTC).

The Los Angeles Times and Associated Press have said they have confirmed his death with anonymous sources familiar with the situation. According to CNN, the road on which Jackson lived has been blocked off in an attempt to reduce traffic.

Jackson began his career with The Jackson 5 which debuted in 1966. Despite numerous hits and best sellers, Jackson is probably most known for his 1982 hit Thriller. It's estimated that the album sold as many at 109 million worldwide.

The news failed to reach some quarters quickly. As of 01:00 UTC the web site of the O2 arena, where Jackson had been scheduled to perform his This Is It concerts in July, was still advertising tickets for sale. Several companies, including Ticketmaster, Seatwave, and AEG Live, now face having to reimburse all ticket sales. AEG Live had already faced problems obtaining insurance for the concerts.

Many celebrities were quick to publish comments and tributes:

Britney Spears
"He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed."
Ludacris
"If it were not for Michael Jackson I would not be where or who I am today. His music and legacy will live on forever. Prayers to the family."
John Mayer
"I hope he is memoralised as the '83 moonwalking, MTV owning, mesmerizing, unstoppable, invincible Michael Jackson."
Miley Cyrus
"Michael Jackson was my inspiration. love and blessings."
MC Hammer
"I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration... He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been without him."

Several, including Celine Dion, Randy Jackson, and Donald Tarlton, compared the news of Jackson's death to the news of the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and John Lennon. Talking to Larry King, Dion said "It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died. It's an amazing loss."

A Yorkshire businessman who was working with Jackson on a proposed future project said "I didn't think he would go out in these circumstances. It's not the way I would have expected him to go at all. He's going to become a Marilyn Monroe or an Elvis Presley."


Related news

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about Michael Jackson, and the Death of Michael Jackson on Wikipedia.
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