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Michael Jackson dead at age 50 after suffering cardiac arrest

UPI News Service, 06/25/2009 

Pop star Michael Jackson died in Los Angeles Thursday after falling into a deep coma, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 50.

Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest at his home and paramedics were unable to revive the eccentric entertainer known as the King of Pop, the entertainment news Web site TMZ said. Emergency workers reportedly performed CPR on him in the ambulance as he was transported to UCLA Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Citing law enforcement sources, the Times said robbery-homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances of the performer's death, even though there was no evidence of wrongdoing, and the Los Angeles County coroner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

A large crowd had gathered outside UCLA Medical Center and continued to grow throughout the afternoon.

The singer and father of three, who is said to have suffered myriad health problems, was slated to start a 50-date residency at London's O2 arena next month. The concert series was widely viewed as his comeback with millions of people clamoring to buy tickets to the gigs, which were to be his first full concerts in nearly a decade.

The Indiana native and youngest member of the family pop group the Jackson Five grew up to enjoy a successful solo career with hits like "Thriller,""Beat It" and "Billie Jean." His moonwalk dance, military-style costumes and glittery glove also helped cement his place in pop-culture history.

Jackson's career was later overshadowed, however, by reports of strange behavior and excessive plastic surgery, as well as numerous legal and financial problems. He was plagued by child molestation accusations, but never convicted of abusing youngsters. He has maintained a relatively low profile in recent years.

The recording artist with the trademark falsetto voice is survived by his three children -- Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II; his parents Joe and Katherine Jackson; and his siblings Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet Jackson.

Two marriages, to singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley and former dermatologist nurse Deborah Rowe, ended in divorce.

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International


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