Michael Jackson died Thursday afternoon (June 25) at the age of 50 after suffering cardiac arrest, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Reports say the legendary pop singer suffered cardiac arrest at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills and was not breathing and had no pulse when paramedics arrived after a 911 call around 12:26 p.m. PT. They administered CPR in the ambulance but were unable to revive him. At the hospital, staff attempted to resuscitate Jackson, but he was unresponsive
From his early career in the 1970s with his family group the Jackson 5 to his decades-long career as a solo artist, Jackson stood as one of the most successful and beloved pop artists of all time.
The Jackson 5’s first single, 1969’s “I Want You Back,” hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and the Motown group went on to become one of the most popular acts during the ’70s with hit singles like “ABC,” “I’ll Be There” and “The Love You Save.”
In 1978, Jackson joined Diana Ross in the big-screen musical “The Wiz,” an adaptation of the Broadway musical based on “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” His career as a solo artist took off with 1982’s Thriller, which stands as the biggest-selling album of all time. Over the course of his career, with hit albums like Bad and Dangerous, Jackson scored five #1 Billboard 200 albums and seven #1 Billboard Hot 100 singles.
But Jackson’s career faltered as he suffered several scandalous legal battles. In 1994, he settled a civil suit stemming from child-molestation accusations. In 2005, he was acquitted on 10 felony counts in a child-molestation trial brought against him, including four counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 and four counts of administering alcohol to enable child molestation.
Still, he released a greatest-hits album in 1995, which hit #1 on the Billboard chart, and embarked on a hugely successful world tour. His 2001 album, Invincible, also reached the top Billboard slot; it would prove to be his final studio album.
At the time of his death, Jackson was gearing up for a comeback, rehearsing for a series of shows in London’s O2 arena that would jump-start a world tour, a new album and possibly a movie. In what is believed to be his final public appearance, Jackson showed up at a press conference in London wearing one of his signature quasi-military outfits and announced the initial plan for the concerts. Describing the shows as a “final curtain call,” Jackson told the assembled crowd of fans and media, “This is it. This is it! I just want to say these will be my final shows, performances in London. … When I say this is it, it really means this is it.”
On June 9, TMZ caught Jackson sitting in a black SUV. Asked if could still do the moonwalk, his signature dance move, Jackson replied, “Why wouldn’t I be able to?”
The singer is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.