Friday, 26 June 2009

Pop star Michael Jackson dies at 50

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson, the King of Pop, has died at the age of 50. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles. The paramedics were unable to revive him and he was rushed to UCLA Medical Centre where he was in a coma but declared dead shortly after.

Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II.

Early success

Michael Jackson started his career in entertainment at age 11 as part of the Jackson 5 group. He went on to record ten albums as a solo-artist and dominated the world pop charts during the 1980's. His 1982 album "Thriller" — which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" — remains the biggest-selling album of all time. He also owned The Beatles backcatalog but later sold it to Sony. I was a youngster when "Thriller" was released and I can vividly remember how every kid on the block tried to imitate his "moonwalk". (see video below)


He was married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, from 1992 to 1994. He married nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe in 1997 with whom he had two children. They divorced two years later. His third child was born in 2002 but the identity of the mother is unknown.

Sexual abuse allegations

Jackson has had major ups and downs during his career. Although he was an extremely successful performing artist, he was also accused of sexual abuse at his Neverland Ranch. After a documentary "Living with Michael Jackson" was aired, where he was interviewed by British journalist Martin Bashir, he faced several sexual abuse allegations and was involved in a 5-month trial in 2005, but was acquitted on all counts.

Michael Jackson doing his famous MoonwalkJackson's popularity remained high throughout his career and the effects of extreme public scrutiny certainly took its toll which lead to an addiction to painkillers. He suffered from vitiligo (chronic relatively common dermatologic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin) which caused a dramatic change in his appearance over the years.

Financial problems

In 2006 he moved to Bahrain to get away from all the constant media attention and has been living there since. Towards the latter part of his career he had major financial problems due to his lavish lifestyle and borrowing against his assets, the Neverland Ranch and his music catalogs.

He decided to return to the stage for 50 "This Is It" concerts at the O2 Arena in London from July 2009 to March 2010 (all sold out). He was in Los Angeles to rehearse for the first set of concerts when he suffered cardiac arrest at his home and went into a coma.

He was eccentric and misunderstood but regardless of his personal problems and bizarre lifestyle, he was a superb singer/performer who changed the Pop landscape forever.

Michael Jackson singing "Billie Jean" - performing his famous "moonwalk"

Related links
Pop star Michael Jackson dead at 50 - LA Times
Singer Michael Jackson 'is dead' - BBC News
Michael Jackson dead at 50 - CNN International


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