Variety, the NY Times, the LA Times and the Associated Press are all reporting that pop icon Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack after being rushed comatose from his home in Bel-Air to UCLA Medical Center, where he could not be revived. As of this writing, CNN still had not confirmed Jackson’s death and there has been no official report.
UPDATE: CNN has just confirmed with the LA coroner that Jackson has in fact died.
Firefighters were called to the popstar’s home around midday on reports that he was not breathing. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department told CNN that rescuers were called to Mr. Jackson’s home at 12:21 p.m. Pacific. “When paramedics went on the scene, they treated the patient, then they immediately transported the patient to UCLA.”
Television news is showing images of large crowds gathering outside the UCLA Medical Center with security blocking all entrances to emergency room. The reports of Mr. Jackson’s death rocketed around the world at the speed of the internet with the news leading Friday morning newscasts in Japan.
The pop music icon from Gary, Indiana, widley known as the “King of Pop, was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges in 2005. Jackson was scheduled to perform as many as 50 sell-out concerts in the O2 arena in London, beginning in July and continuing into 2010. The shows were widely seen as a possible comeback for the “King of Pop”, with the potential to earn him up to $50 million.
The seventh child of the famous Jackson family, Michael started in the music business at the age of 11 as a member of the Jackson 5 with his brothers. The group had a number of hits at Motown in the 1970s. Five of his solo albums are counted among the top-selling albums of all time: Off the Wall, 1982’s Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HISstory. He was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and had 13 Grammy awards and 13 number one singles. He has sold over 750 million albums worldwide and his total earnings have been estimated at $500 million dollars.
Jackson has three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.