Michael Jackson, King of Pop, Dies at 50

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25 Jun 2009

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, known internationally as the King of Pop, died June 25 of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles at the age of 50.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Mr. Jackson was found unresponsive Thursday morning after collapsing at the West Los Angeles home he was renting during preparations for his upcoming world concert tour. Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center where he later died.

The seventh of nine children born in Gary, IN, Michael Jackson launched to stardom as part of the Jackson 5; the group's hits included "The Love You Save," "ABC" and "I'll Be There." Mr. Jackson later found unparalleled success as a solo artist with a series of best-selling records, including "Off the Wall" (his first solo album, which sold more than seven million copies) "Thriller" (won eight Grammy Awards and included such Jackson signatures as "Billie Jean" and "Beat It"), "Bad," "Dangerous" and "HIStory."

Michael Jackson in "The Wiz"
photo by Universal Pictures
Mr. Jackson also starred as the Scarecrow in the 1978 film adaptation of the Tony-winning musical The Wiz, which is currently being revived at New York's City Center.

The late pop icon is currently represented on stage with the London production of Thriller Live, which pays tribute to the musical hits and career of Jackson and the Jackson 5. It was also announced in January that the Nederlander Organization had acquired the rights to produce a new musical based on the 14-minute "Thriller," the video spawned from Jackson's top-selling album of the same name. Mr. Jackson was expected to be involved in the creation of the musical.



In recent years the pop icon, who faced accusations of child sexual abuse and financial problems, became more and more reclusive.

Mr. Jackson was married twice — to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe. Both marriages ended in divorce. He is survived by three children.