Vale: Michael Jackson

UPDATED: The "King of Pop." Michael Jackson, has died aged 50 following a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital.

michael-jacksonAmerican pop music legend Michael Jackson died of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital today, just weeks before he hoped to resurrect his four-decade long career with a series of sold-out shows in London.

Jackson was taken to the University of California at Los Angeles medical centre, and paramedics administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the ambulance. He arrived at the hospital in a coma and was reported dead about three hours later.

The world-famous entertainer had planned a series of 50 concerts in the O2 area beginning on 12 July. Although in the last two decades his reputation was sullied by accusations of child molestation and his bizarre public behaviour, the shows sold 1m tickets within hours, proving the King of Pop has enduring appeal, even among fans who were not yet born when he released the “Thriller” album in 1982.

Jackson was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s home at 12:26 p.m. He was not breathing when they arrived. The paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and took him to the hospital.

Paramedics were called to a home in the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard. Jackson had rented the Bel-Air home for $100,000 a month. It was described as a French chateau estate built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater.

The home is about 2 1/2 miles, about a six-minute drive, from UCLA Medical Center. An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the time to travel between the home and hospital as two minutes.]

The news comes as Jackson, 50, was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.

In May, Jackson had rented the Bel-Air residence and was rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London’s O2 Arena. Jackson had won the backing of two billionaires to get the so-called “King of Pop” back on stage.

His backers envision the shows at AEG’s O2 as an audition for a career rebirth that could ultimately encompass a three-year world tour, a new album, movies, a Graceland-like museum, musical revues in Las Vegas and Macau, and even a “Thriller” casino. Such a rebound could wipe out Jackson’s massive debt.

Jackson performed on countless music television shows, including his family’s own animated series, and even travelled to Australia to apear on Perth’s Telethon to buy the rights to The Beatles songs from millionaire Robert Holmes a Court. His video clips also revolutionised MTV.

Former Countdown host Molly Meldrum on radio today said, “It’s really hard to work out the Michael Jackson thing, because he’s always been a star.

“He didn’t really know a real world. When he wasn’t rehearsing he was watching shows like My Three Sons, Leave it to Beaver and The Partridge Family.

“I’ve done interviews with him since 1977. But once the Thriller thing happened…. all the interviews were vetted.”

“He was in that stratosphere of John Lennons and Elvis Presleys. It’s hard to believe he is gone.”

UPDATED: As tributes pour in, Jermaine Jackson has given a Press Conference saying: “This is hard…. My brother the legendary King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25th 2009 at 2.26pm. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However the cause of his death is unknown until the results of  the autopsy are known. His personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother.

“Upon arriving at the hospital at approximately 1.14pm a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour. They were unsuccessful.

“Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time,” he said.

“May Allah be with you Michael, always. Love you.

This post updates.

Source: LA Times, Guardian

50 Responses

  1. @ Harry,

    I couldn’t have said it any better. In all his interviews he was always so fragile and innocent. He could never have done the crap that idiots said he did.

    It would have really been nice for him to perform one concert, that way, people will realise why he is the greatest enterainer ever. The reviews for one concert would have no doubt been amazing. if that did happen, then everyone would have forgotten about the other crap.

    You are the greatest Michael, and I hope you have a fantastic time in heaven, you truly deserve it. After all, some idiots on this planet did not respect you at all.

  2. Those who believe Michael Jackson was guilty, you are all entitled to your own opinion but he was found innocent, I believed him when he spoke that interview and broke down when the interviewer was calling him a monster. He was the worlds biggest pop star, he did some strange things but molesting children was not one of them. He loved children so much, why would he do such a thing?

  3. First the iconic Farrah, and then the legendary Michael 🙁 … What a shocking and sad day, but thank you, Michael, for some fantastic music, especially the masterpiece ‘Thriller’ album… † RIP †

  4. wait, what, have I been moderated, or has my submission fallen into the depths…

    He was the last true entertainer of the 20th C, may he dance in heaven, or wherever it is that legends go to rests for a long while…

    RIP MJ 250609

  5. Terrible terrible news, this man revolutionized music, and despite all the allegations (to which he was cleared in court) he left an impression on music that will live on forever.

    Shocking news at such a young age, I feel for his children who now have to grow up without their father.

    An Icon in Music


  6. Such sad, sad news and I can understand why this passing has had so much coverage as he really was a true musical legend and genuine megastar. RIP.

    Also speaking of the coverage, I was doing some writing overnight and had a news channel on when the story first broke and I must say that is was quite interesting going from the coverage on the various news channels via Foxtel to the coverage by our free to air channels as they sought out information of any kind and had reporters landing at any point of interest they could find..
    For instance, I listened to Uri Gellar(sp?) speak to 4 different news anchors via phone in the space of 20 to 30 minutes.

    It was an interesting television experience over that initial 4 hours or so and reminded me of the 911 coverage, which I also managed to see from the early moments via the news channels.

  7. Hmm, sure he did change the face of music. But i mean c’mon people this man was not some saint, he was a deeply disturbed individual. Whether or not he was found not guilty, he still did some extremely innapropriate things with children.

    People blast the Chaser for creating a joke involving child actors playing dying children. But then people talk about Michael Jackson being such an amazing person. Even though there is a strong possibility that he actually sexually abused children. If this was someone on today tonight being called a paedophile, everyone would want him to be locked up, but because he made music, well he is a true hero? Who out there would have wanted him babysitting your children?

    I guess its true, as soon as a celebrity dies, they become this amazing person, no matter what sick and twisted lives they led.

  8. @DansDans (Hate to say it, but these things always happen in threes).

    Yes they do and these Farrah and Michael go along with Ed McMahon who passed on Tuesday, maybe not well known in Australia but being Johnny Carson’s sidekick for 30 years and with a resounding “H-e-e-e-e-e-ere’s Johnny!” wrote himself into our Pop Culture (into film witht eh Shining for one),. Not forgetting the tPublishers Clearing House giveaways (you might’ve already won $10 million dollars!) and we saw that in quite a few TV shows and Movies, so he was and should be included in the passing of three big stars in a Pop Culture sense.

  9. OMG R.I.P michael jackson i came to school today and everyone was talking about him i wasnt even born we he made all these great music he is the King of Pop i dont think anyone can take that title away from him

  10. Hate to say it, but these things always happen in threes….

    BTW RIP M.J. I might not have been a big fan of your music, but I loved your creativity and your video clips were amazing (Black and White anyone?)

  11. MJ is the greatest singer ever . King of Pop? yes. King? Definitely.

    I love his music and will always do so. I hope his family are respected, as Michael has given us so much. And he, although no longer here, will give the next generations the long list of hits.

    We will never forget him.

Leave a Reply