Entertainment

Reports: Michael Jackson has died

Posted June 25, 2009

— After a decades-long career in the music industry, Michael Jackson has died, newspaper the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear. Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m., Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the newspaper.

The hospitalization was first reported by the Web site TMZ.

Jackson's death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music's premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

His 1982 album "Thriller" - which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" - remains the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies.

In February 1984, Jackson won eight Grammy Awards – the most to be won by anyone in a single year.

He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves, his high-pitched voice punctuated with squeals and titters. His single sequined glove and tight, military-style jacket were trademarks second only to his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.

As years went by, he became an increasingly freakish figure. His skin became lighter and his nose narrower. He surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, often wore a germ mask while traveling and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions.

In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him. The case took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital as word of his death spread. The emergency entrance at the UCLA Medical Center, which is near Jackson's rented home, was roped off with police tape.

In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone.

"No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend sent to his telephone. "It's like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died."

Jackson was planning to perform 50 concerts this summer at London’s 02 arena.

Jackson is survived by his three children Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.

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  • All child molesters should die Jun 25, 2009

    What a shock. I'm so sorry. Farrah and now MJ. Very sad.

    Beth

  • The Fox Jun 25, 2009

    [raleighlynn: "David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson. That's four. So much for groups of 3. We just count to three, then start over."]Carradine falls into the Bea Arthur, Dom Deluise cluster.

  • oldnavychief Jun 25, 2009

    Well I got censored - let me try to approach it from a different way - Just because a person has talent does not make him a good guy - how easy it is to get on the "wow, he's gone and I'll never forget where I was when I heard" bandwagon and so quickly forget the comments y'all made during his "troubles" - I feel sorry for the family and those that enjoyed his art - lest we forget there have been many famous and sucessful artists that we would not welcome into our homes - my point is while y'all are glorifying his art, let's not forget the man behind the art - is that better GOLO?

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH Jun 25, 2009

    I bet Farrah is officially "p.o."ed now...Her death is now overshadowed by Michael's.

  • stopthehaters Jun 25, 2009

    this is terrible nobody buut aperson of color nows th estruggle then to attain that kind of fame and $ and having all the industry(old school) robbing you and ol gangsters like frank sinatra getting you snubbed cause you sold out msg faster. we know you gonna be bad in heavan cause you already been to hell. PS if your reading this Hi Liz!! YKW

  • kittiboo Jun 25, 2009

    This is so sad to me. He had such a high point in his life- so talented. Then he had some serious lows, and I don't know that he ever recovered. I feel for his family, the children he leaves behind- I hope their mother is able to be with them.

  • C6-YA Jun 25, 2009

    Most Gen X'ers (Including myself) will remember Michael and his chart topping songs. RIP Gloved one.

  • mxteam44 Jun 25, 2009

    I vaguely remember when Elvis died. I imagine, this will be alot like that...all over the world.
    R.I.P. Michael. I wasn't your biggest fan, but I appreciate a talented entertainer when I see one.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jun 25, 2009

    Ha ha! I'll bet there's a certain governor in South Carolina who just praised the Lord for delivering one of the biggest news stories of the decade to distract the press from his attrocious behavior. Thanks Michael!

  • Hear_me_now Jun 25, 2009

    Michael who?

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