Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, Dies at Age 50

Celebrity News Jun. 25, 2009 AT 8:22PM
Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Michael Jackson departs the Santa Barbara Superior Court in Santa Maria, California following the end of the 58th day of Jackson's child molestation trial. May 23, 2005. Credit: E. Neitzel/WireImage.com

Michael Jackson, best known as the King of Pop, has died. He was 50.

Look back at Michael Jackson's life

He went into cardiac arrest at his Holmby Hills home in L.A. Thursday (a 911 call was placed shortly before 12:30 p.m. PT), according to TMZ, which first reported the news. Paramedics were unable to revive the singer (who had no pulse upon their arrival), the site reports.

He was then rushed to UCLA Medical Center while in a deep coma before passing away, The Los Angeles Times reported. He was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. An autopsy is set for Friday.

Michael's father, Joe Jackson, confirmed to E! News his son had a heart attack. "He is not OK," he said. "His mother is on her way to the hospital now to check in on him."

See Us' photo tribute to stars who have died too soon

According to X17, more than 10 members of Michael's entourage arrived at the hospital just after 1 p.m. PST after following the ambulance. "They all got out of the SUVs in a panic and Michael was wheeled into the emergency room on a stretcher," the site reports. "There was definitely a sense of urgency and everyone looked worried." TMZ reports that his sister LaToya ran in the hospital sobbing after her brother was pronounced dead.

See more of today's top celeb news photos

LOOKING BACK

Born Aug. 29, 1958, Michael Jackson was the seventh child of the famed Jackson family. He kicked off his career at age 11 as a child star in the band The Jackson 5. While still a member of group, he launched a solo career in 1971. Jackson went on to win 13 Grammys and boast 13 number one singles. His 1982 album Thriller remains the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies.

Said Neil Portnow, of the Recording Academy: "Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim. A 13-time GRAMMY recipient, Michael's career transcends musical and cultural genres and his contributions will always keep him in our hearts and memories. We are deeply saddened by this tragic news and our hearts go out to his family and to music lovers around the globe who mourn this great loss."

Jackson wasn't only known for his signing: He inspired countless artists with his dance move known as the moonwalk. (However, he also outraged some with his crotch-grabbing dance moves.)

Despite the professional success, he has drawn much criticism for his wacky personal life. His physical features changed drastically: His skin became lighter and his nose narrower. Jackson - who often wore a germ mask and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles - also palled around with children at his Neverland ranch. In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003.

In August 1994, Jackson wed Lisa Marie Presley but divorced in 1996. He went on to wed Debbie Rowe, a nurse. Two children were born through artificial insemination: Prince Michael Jackson, in 1997, and Paris Michael Jackson, in 1998. He also had a third child, Prince Michael Jackson II.

Jackson was set to headline 50 sold-out shows at London's O2 Arena beginning in July, billed "This Is It" -- his final London performances.

How we use your email
X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Us Weekly and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

comments powered by Disqus