The Los Angeles Times is reporting that law enforcement and city officials have confirmed that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died today after suffering what has been reported as a cardiac arrest. Jackson was 50. According to reports, Jackson was not breathing when paramedics were called to his Los Angeles home this afternoon, June 25th. Paramedics at the scene performed CPR on the singer, who was then transported to the UCLA Medical Center. Jackson arrived at the hospital in a deep coma; attempts to resuscitate him failed as he was completely unresponsive. He was declared dead at 2:26 p.m. PST.
Immediately following news of Jackson’s hospitalization, an unnamed member of the Jackson family told TMZ that the singer was in “really bad shape,” with Jackson’s father Joe adding that his son was “not doing so well.” In recent years, rumors of ill health have dogged Jackson, though the singer nor his reps ever confirmed any reports. (Read the music world’s reactions to Jackson’s death.)
Jackson was in Los Angeles for rehearsals for his This Is It! run of concerts at London’s O2 Arena, scheduled to begin on July 13th and run through the early months of 2010. As reported in the new issue of Rolling Stone, sources say that Jackson was frequently absent from the show’s rehearsals, and the run’s opening four shows were postponed for what an AEG Live rep called the “massive and technically complex” nature of the show.
As a testament to Jackson’s appeal despite years out of the musical spotlight, all 50 shows of the London run quickly sold out. Jackson is survived by his three children and an immeasurable musical legacy.
Michael Jackson in Rolling Stone:
• Rolling Stone’s Essential Michael Jackson Coverage
• Greatest Artists of All Time: Michael Jackson
• Greatest Singers: Michael Jackson
• Thriller: Behind the Video Set
• 1983 Cover: Life in the Magical Kingdom