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Michael Jackson

Born: 1958-08-29 - Died: 2009-06-25
Cause of Death:
Cardiac Arrest

Death Summary: On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson collapse at his rented home in Holmby Hills in Los Angeles. Jackson’s personal physician attempted to resuscitate him with no success.

The Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a 911 call at 12:21 pm (PST). At the time of their arrival Jackson was not breathing. CPR was performed with no response.

The paramedics took Jackson to the UCLA Medical Center, arriving approximately at 1:14 pm (PST). Jackson slipped into a coma and later died at 2:26 pm local time. The current cause of death is said to be cardiac arrest. An autopsy is planned to determine the true cause of death.

Jackson’s death caused fans to gather at the UCLA Medical Center, outside the Apollo Theater in New York City, and in Detroit outside the former offices of Motown.

News of “The King of Pop’s” death spread quickly online crippling numerous sites. Micro-blogging site Twitter experienced record numbers of people using their service to spread the news.

Michael Jackson’s death has seen numerous pop culture icons to leave their condolences. TMZ.com reports the following…

Paul McCartney
"I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.”

Corey Feldman
"I come to you today with great sadness, acknowledging the loss of the greatest entertainer in the history of mankind. For me he was more than that, he was my idol, he was a role model, he was someone to cry to when my childhood was unbearable, he was a brother, he was a dear friend."

"Unfortunately Michael and I had a falling out on Septenmber 10th 2001 and that broken friendship had never been repaired. I have stayed close with his family through the years. As a matter of fact my wife and I attended LaToyas birthday thrown by Janet 3 weeks ago on Susie's actual birthday. Michael was supposed to be there and we were supposed to try and talk things out. Michael didn't show because he was stuck in rehearsals for his upcoming tour.

I am trembling and shaking at the moment and it is very hard to type. I am filled with tremendous sadness and remorse. All I choose to remember from this point is the good times we shared and what an inspiration he was to me and the rest of the world. Nobody will ever be able to do what Michael Jackson has done in this industry, and he was so close to doing it all again. I am truly, and deeply sorry for all of the heartbroken fans and supporters worldwide. I think I am still in shock. So I must end this now.

As far as our concert on Saturday at Universal goes. I will not cancel this show it is a very positive first step in implementing a better standard for the touring world and music industry. As Michael taught me a long time ago......the show must go on. It will be a hard one to get through. But I will brave it and do the only thing I know how to do.........perform.”

"I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever!

My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."

Justin Timberlake
”I can't find the words right now to express how deeply sadden [sic] I am by Michael's passing. We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only Pop music, but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage and all of the things I learned about music from him and the time we spent together. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.”

Eddie Van Halen
"I am really shocked; as I'm sure the world is, to hear the news. I had the pleasure of working with Michael on 'Beat It' back in '83 -- one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace.”

John Landis
"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."

UPDATE: The autopsy of Michael Jackson is now complete and King of Pop's emaciated body was riddled with needle marks and scars, and his head was virtually bald. His body had wasted away to a mere 112 pounds and his stomach was completely empty except for partially dissolved pills, according to the London Sun.

Who was Michael Jackson : Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana to a working class family on August 29, 1958. His father, Joseph, was a steel mill employee and often performed in various R&B groups. His mother was a stay at home mom and a devout Jehovah’s Witness.

Michael was the seventh of nine children; his siblings include Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet.

His father both physically and mentally abused Michael while growing up. His brother, Marlon, recounted one such altercation where Joseph held Michael upside down and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks". Jackson’s childhood abuse would follow him throughout his life.

Michael showed a knack for music very early in his life, at the age of 5 he was performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital. The following year both Marlon and Michael joined the “Jackson Brothers”, which consisted of Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. At first Michael held conga and tambourine duties, then moved up to backup vocals and soon he took over lead vocals from Jermaine.

The groups name was changed to “The Jackson 5” and they toured the Midwest extensively on the “chitlin circuit” (name given to black clubs). The group, of boys mind you, would often open for various stripteases and other adult acts.

In 1968 The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records. Rolling Stone magazine has been quoted calling you Michael “a prodigy” and “child's piping voice, he danced like a grown-up hoofer and sang with the R&B/gospel inflections of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder”.

The Jackson 5 would set various chart records for their 4 biggest hits; “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”).

Beginning in 1972 Michael released a total of four solo studio albums, which included “Got to Be There” and “Ben”. The Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975 after they were denied creative control or input.

In June 1975 The Jackson 5 found a new home with CBS Records and later Epic Records. After a legal battle with Motown The Jackson 5 re-titled themselves The Jackson’s. A total of six new albums were released between 1976 and 1984, with Michael as the lead songwriter.

In 1978 Jackson starred as Scarecrow in The Wiz. While on set Michael met Quincy Jones, who scored the movie, the two would have long last friendship. Jones agreed to produce Michael’s next solo album, Off the Wall.

During a strenuous dance practice, Michael broke his nose and was forced to have rhinoplasty. He often complained of trouble breathing, and would have several more surgeries in an attempt to fix the problem.

Off the Wall featured songs written by Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Rod Temperton. It was one of the first US albums to generate four US top 10 hits. The album reached number three on the Billboard 200. Off the Wall featured one of Michael’s best songs “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.

Although Off the Wall was a huge success, Michael felt it should have made a much bigger impact and vowed his next album would do just that. His next album was Thriller.

Thriller was released in 1982 and was the apex of Michael’s career. The album was in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks, 37 weeks at number one. Seven singles from Thriller made the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, including “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” and of course the title track “Thriller”. Thriller went on to sell upwards of 109 million copies, which made it one of the best selling albums of all time.

Thriller was very lucrative for Jackson, who garnered the highest royalty rate ever in the music industry, almost $2 per album.

On March 25, 1983 Michael performed live on the Motown 25K Yesterday, Today, Forever television special. While singing Billie Jean Michael debuted his signature move “The Moonwalk”. His performance was seen by nearly 47 million people and drew comparisons to The Beatles and Elvis performing on The Ed Sullivan Show”.

On January 27, 1984 Michael was severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Shortly after he had his second rhinoplasty and began to grow self conscious about his appearance.

In the late 1980’s Michael co-wrote, “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie. The song was to raise money for the poverty stricken people of Africa. The song became one of the biggest selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies in circulation.

Around this same time Michael purchased The Beatles’ back catalog of music for an astounding 47.5 million dollars. Michael’s purchase would fracture his friendship with former Beatle Paul McCartney and lead him to say, “I think it's dodgy to do things like that. To be someone's friend and then buy the rug they're standing on”.

Rumors began to spread about Michael sleeping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process, this turned out to be a publicity stunt for his upcoming sci-fi movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Captain EO.

Michael earned the nickname “Wacko Jacko” after a series of odd media stories which included his rumored purchase of the bones of The Elephant Man, purchase of pet chimpanzee Bubbles, and rumors of him possibly bleaching his skin.

The skin-bleaching rumor started because Michael’s skin was getting lighter due to a disease known as vitiligo and lupus. The treatments for the disease only further lightened his skin to the point of almost looking Caucasian. The structure of his face changed as well, and it’s been speculated that Michael had undergone multiple surgeries; forehead lift, thinned lips and cheekbone surgery. Some of the changes were done due to the significant weight loss. It’s unclear if the weight loss was caused by the disease or by anorexia.

Michael released the following statement after he grew tired of the media's portrayal of him.

"Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, 'I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight,' people would say, 'Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth."

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Michael released his first album in five years titled “Bad”. Although Bad didn’t live up to the hype after Thriller it was still a commercial success. In the US it spawned several hits some of which include; "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana".

After his Bad tour was over Michael purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to construct Neverland Ranch, which cost ore than $17 million. The 2,700-acre ranch featured Ferris wheels, a movie theater, and a menagerie. A staff of 40 security guards was hired to patrol the grounds. In 2003 the property was valued at over $100 milliondollars.

After Michael’s long success in the music industry he began being called “The King of Pop” – a nickname coined by a friend of his, Elizabeth Taylor.

In March 1991 Michael released his eighth studio album “Dangerous”. The first single, and biggest hit, was “Black or White”. Dangerous is considered as the most successful New Jack Swing album of all time.

A 13-year-old child named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler accused Michael of child sexual abuse, a claim that Michael denied from day one. The kid claimed that Michael “touched his penis”. Later Evan police that “Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex”, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer's genitals.

Neverland Ranch was searched and Michael agreed to a 25-minute strip search, so a comparison could be done against Evan’s description of his genitals.

The case was settled out of court for $22 million. After the case was over Evan Chandler was tape-recorded saying, “If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael's career will be over”.

Later that same year Michael marred Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis, secretly in the Dominican Republic. The two denied the marriage for nearly two months. Presley described the marriage as, “a married couple's life ... that was sexually active”. The two divorced less than two years later.

In 1995 Michael released HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a 15-track greatest hits album, the second disc, HIStory Continues, contained 15 new songs. It was the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time.

While on tour for HIStory Michael married a dermatologist nurse, Deborah Jeanne Rowe. The two would have two kids together - a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as "Prince"), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. The two had first met in the mid 1980’s when Michael was first diagnosed with vitiligo. The two divorced in 1999 and Michael was given full custody of the children.

Michael released "Invincible" in October 2001, his last studio album. Around this same time Michael helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Michael’s third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket), was born in 2002. The mother was never identified. He claimed that the birth was a result of artificial insemination from a surrogate mother and his own sperm. In November of that year Michael caused global criticism when he dangled “Blanket” over a balcony in Berlin, Germany.

In 2003 Michael was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony. All of the charges stemmed from the same boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was 14 at the time of the alleged crime.

Once again Michael claimed his innocence, stating that he would have the boy over to watch television. Elizabeth Taylor would corroborate this story later on Larry King Live.

During the investigation Jackson was examined by a mental health professional, Dr. Stan Katz, the doctor stated, “Jackson had become a regressed 10-year-old and did not fit the profile of a pedophile.”

The People vs. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California; two years after the charges were originally filed. The trial lasted five months, and Michael was acquitted on all counts.

In 2006 reports began to circulate that Michael was having financial difficulties. The main house of Neverland Ranch was closed as a cost-cutting measure.

Michael was scheduled to perform 50 sold-out concerts at London’s O2 arena from July 13, 2009 to March 6, 2010.
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