The King of Pop is dead: Michael Jackson passes away - aged 50

Thursday, June 25, 2009

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Singer Michael Jackson died last night after collapsing at his home in Los Angeles.

The singer stopped breathing and suffered a massive cardiac arrest, although the exact circumstances of his death are unknown.

Paramedics failed to revive the 50 year-old and he was taken to hospital in a coma where he was pronounced dead.

His mother, brothers including Jermaine, Tito and Randy and sisters Janet and LaToya, had raced to be at his bedside.

Police said that an emergency call was made from the house at 12.21pm local time [8.21pm uk] today and paramedics raced to the scene.

Jackson, who has three young children, was seen being taken into an ambulance by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and moved to the UCLA Medical Centre, according to celebrity website TMZ.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the star was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his home.

When emergency staff arrived, they were forced to begin resuscitation procedures immediately.

Ten bodyguards followed the ambulance to hospital where the star was rushed into the emergency room on a stretcher.

Doctors again tried to revive him, but attempts failed.

Jermaine Jackson told reporters that medical staff had tried to resuscitate his brother for an hour after he collapsed at his home.

"His personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother, as did the paramedics who transported him to the UCLA," he said.

"On arrival at 1.14pm (local time) a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for one hour but they were unsuccessful."

Jackson's mother and brothers raced from the family home nearby to be at his bedside.

His sister, La Toya, was seen running into the hospital sobbing.

A source close to his family said tonight: 'It's so tragic but he was such a wreck physically that all the signs were there.'

His ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley said that she was
'heartbroken' for his children.

'I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. Words fail
me,' she said in a statement.

His sister La Toya was spotted running in the UCLA Medical Centre sobbing shortly after he was pronounced dead.

Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, arrived at UCLA hospital to be with the rest of the family shortly after 3pm.

Jackson's longtime publicist Michael Levine said he wasn't surprised by the news.

He said: "As someone who served as Michael Jackson's publicist during the 1st child molestation incident, I must confess I am not surprised by today's tragic news. "Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years. His talent was unquestionable but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world.'

Jackson had apparently been 'doped up to his eyes' for several weeks with anti-pain prescriptions including Vicodin.

The source, who asked not to be named, said: 'He has pain in his back and that is the reason for the drugs, but it is obvious that the painkillers have taken over his life.'

He added: 'His family is telling him to ditch the medications and get on with the tour.'

Another family friend said that his ex-wife Debbie Rowe is expected to receive initial custody of the children while long term arrangements are sorted.

Another family source said he had become increasingly withdrawn over recent weeks, leaning on his mother Katherine for support as his health deteriorated.


via CNN

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