Pop Star Michael Jackson has Died

June 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael Jackson, who began his music career as a child and became the "King of Pop," has died at the age of 50.Fire officials told reporters they were called to his Los Angeles home around 12:30 p.m. Thursday. They say they performed CPR and took Jackson to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson spoke briefly at a press conference. He said a physician tried to resuscitate Michael unsuccessfully. When paramedics arrived, they too attempted to revive Michael. At approximately 1:14 p.m., acccording to Jermaine, a team of doctors and cardiologists at UCLA Medical Center continued to try to resuscitate Michael for more than an hour. They were unsuccessful, and Michael was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. Thursday.

Jermaine requested privacy on behalf of the family.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson was initially in a coma. The Los Angeles County Coroner said the pop star passed away at 2:26 p.m. in the hospital. His autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Robbery-homicide detectives were called to the star's home, but officials claimed their presence should not be read into. They say they were on the scene due to the high profile nature of the star's death.

During a press conference in New York, Michael's brother, Jermaine Jackson, said doctors tried to resuscitate Michael for about one hour without success. Jermaine also asked the press to respect the family's privacy. Jermaine ended the conference by saying, "May our love be with you, Michael, always."

Michael Levine, former publicist for Michael Jackson told reporters that Jackson was physically and emotionally fragile, but he was smart when dealing with the media. Levine also said Jackson did not show signs of panic attacks, but Levine says he did try to create an atmosphere of balance for the star.

Fans and members of the media crowded UCLA Medical Center and both his homes in Holmby Hills and Encino. Fans said they couldn't believe their pop icon was gone. Even fans too young to have experienced the release of his most famous albums claimed his music was still prominent in clubs, on the radio and in their daily lives.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce also announced they would place flowers on Jackson's Walk of Fame star on Friday morning.

In New York City, a crowd gathered at the Apollo Theater, where Michael Jackson first performed at 9 years old.

Jackson took center stage with The Jackson 5, a music group composed of his brothers and managed by his father, when he was just a 5-year-old boy. The group signed with Motown Records and had several hits, including "ABC" and "I'll Be There."

The Jackson 5 recorded 14 albums with Motown before moving over to Epic Records and becoming The Jacksons.

Fueled by his amazing dance moves and polished music videos on MTV, Michael Jackson became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s. Michael's first solo album with Epic, "Off The Wall," produced four number-one singles in 1979. The largest-selling album of all time, "Thriller" -- which was released in 1982 and had seven hit singles -- went on to sell more than 50 million copies worldwide. The album won Jackson seven Grammy Awards.

Michael left The Jacksons in 1984. Then, in 1987 he released another hit album "Bad," followed by "Dangerous" in 1991.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994. The two divorced 19 months later. During that time, he put out his album "HIStory" in 1995.

Jackson married again in the mid-1990s, this time to dermatologist Debbie Rowe. He had two children with Rowe, but the marriage didn't last either. The couple divorced in 1999.

Most recently, Jackson became known for his odd behavior, his financial problems and charges he was a child molester. However, his seemingly bad publicity didn't stop the "King of Pop" from doing what he does best: make music. Jackson was scheduled to kick off a big series of summer concerts in London in July.

Producer Quincy Jones released the following statement:
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the '80s. To this day, the music we created together on 'Off The Wall,' 'Thriller' and 'Bad' is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all ... talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

Dick Clark released the following statement:
"I knew Michael as a child and watched him grow over the years. Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched. He was truly one-of-a-kind."

John Landis, who directed Jackson's epic "Thriller" music video, released the following statement:
"I was lucky enough to know and work with Michael Jackson in his prime. Michael was an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star. He had a troubled and complicated life and despite his gifts, remains a tragic figure. My wife Deborah and I will always have great affection for him."

Smokey Robinson's publicist, Deborah Radel, quotes Robinson:
"It's always hard to lose a friend."

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement:
"Today, the world has lost one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry. From his performances with the Jackson 5, to the premiere of the 'moonwalk' and 'Thriller,' Michael was a pop phenomenon who never stopped pushing the envelope of creativity. Though there were serious questions about his personal life, Michael was undoubtedly a great entertainer and his popularity spanned generations and the globe. Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over his death and our hearts go out the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide."

Lisa Marie Presley released the following statement:
"I am completely shocked and saddened by Michael's death. My heart goes out to his children and his family."

Stevie Wonder's publicist issued the following statement:
"Stevie is not available for any comment for the time being. He is emotionally distraught and chose to be quiet right now."

The Gaye Family issued the following statement:
"On behalf of the sister, Zeola Gaye and the immediate family of Marvin Gaye, their deepest condolence goes out to the family and to all of Michael's fans around the world."

Chaka Khan issued the following statement:
"The earth will feel the void of his passing. I'll miss him, but now he's free."

Elizabeth Taylor's representatives say she is too broken up to comment on Michael's death.

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