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Michael Jackson Passes Away
Jun 26, 2009, 17:18
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Michael Jackson, the onetime child star turned King of Pop, died in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon after he stopped breathing in his home and was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center. He was 50 years old.

Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiners office confirmed live on CNN that Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. An autopsy is set for Friday.

Representatives for the singer did not immediately comment.

Jackson had been busy rehearsing for a high-stakes comeback tour, set to start within weeks in England, with dozens of dates scheduled and tickets selling out quickly. To prepare for the rigors of performing, he was training with Lou Ferrigno, the star of the TV show The Incredible Hulk.

There were some doubts among Jacksons circle about his ability to perform his upcoming concert schedule. "Michael is physically just not ready [for the concerts]," a source close to Jackson said last month. "He weighs even less than he did during his trial, which was almost nothing. Hes 50 years old."

On Thursday afternoon, Jackson collapsed in his home and was unresponsive when paramedics arrived, according to reports. Paramedics performed CPR, and Jackson was seen with an oxygen mask over his face being hauled on a stretcher to an ambulance, which took him to the hospital just minutes away.

The tragic turn of events was just the latest twist in a life that will be remembered for career highs and personal lows. In his 50 years, Michael Jackson went from the cute little singer in his familys group to dazzling headliner and unquestionably the reigning pop star of the 80s to amid accusations of child molestation social outcast.

The seventh of nine children of Joseph and Katherine Jackson, Michael was born in Gary, Ind., on Aug. 29, 1958, and began his career performing with his brothers. His professional debut with the Jackson 5 came at age 11.

The group set chart records with its first four singles, including "I Want You Back" and "ABC." As a solo artist, Jackson also recorded four studio albums for Motown Records before moving, with his brothers, to Epic Records, where they continued to record as the Jacksons until 1984.

Forming a partnership with producer Quincy Jones after working together on the 1978 movie musical The Wiz in which Jackson played a rather sheepish Scarecrow to Diana Rosss Dorothy in this urban adaptation of The Wizard of Oz Jackson released his solo album Off the Wall, which he co-produced with Jones.

Credit: World Wide Web

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