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'King of Pop', Michael Jackson diesFri, Jun 26, 2009 11:34 IST
The pop icon who moonwalked his way to the top of music charts died on Thursday at the age of 50. During his last days Michael Jackson was preparing for what was to be the greatest comeback of his career.
The King of Pop was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at UCLA Medical Centre where he was taken after paramedics failed to resuscitate him at his rented home in Holmby Hills.
It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known, Michaels brother Jermaine told a news agency.
Michael Jackson, whose 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time (with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide), began his career as a child prodigy in the 1960s when he was the precocious, spinning lead singer of the Jackson 5. He reached his peak in the 1980s with a series of hit albums and songs that made him the most exciting performer of his generation. His high-pitched singing, punctuated with squeals and titters, combined with his unique dance movements the backward-gliding moonwalk and the crotch-grabbing moves made him a superstar whose fame matched, if not surpassed, the celebrity of the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Jackson was even married to Presleys daughter Lisa Marie for a brief period of time.
In his late thirties and early forties, Michael Jackson changed into a somewhat sad and freakish figure who was constantly haunted by controversies, lawsuits and, most of all, a plastic surgery gone horribly wrong. He often wore a germ mask while traveling and became increasingly reclusive.
He surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch and battled a lawsuit in which he was accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003. In 2005 he was cleared of all charges.
Since then there have been sporadic reports of Jacksons failing health and a few months back there was a strong rumour that he was suffering from a terminal illness. The rumour was denied by the singers spokesperson. In his last days, Jackson was on the cusp of redeeming his musical career with an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13.
But Michael passed away on June 25, leaving behind a huge musical legacy. He is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II.
Musician Quincy Jones, who produced Michaels bestselling album Thriller, is saddened by the singers sudden death.
For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words 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, Mr. Jones is quoted by AP.
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