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Michael Jackson dies

By | Published on Friday 26 June 2009

So, as everyone in the world must know by now, last night king of pop Michael Jackson died, aged 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his LA home. Three separate attempts to resuscitate the star by his private physician, paramedics and hospital staff all failed. He was pronounced dead at 2.26pm LA time.

The internet went into a frenzy late evening our time as reports that Jackson had been admitted to the UCLA hospital near his home started to surface. Gossip site TMZ.com was the first to report the singer was dead, citing unnamed sources at the LA medical centre. Though, cautious of TMZ’s sources and with the UCLA hospital refusing to comment, most other media organisations remained non-committal until the LA Times said it had had confirmation from albeit still unnamed city and law enforcement officials that one of the city’s most famous residents had indeed passed away. The city’s coroner subsequently conformed the reports, and a few hours later Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson delivered a short statement to the world’s press.

Jermaine told journalists: “My brother, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25th 2009 at 2.26pm. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. Our family requests that the media please requests our privacy at this tough time. And may Allah be with you Michael, always. Love you”.

Fans, media and onlookers gathered outside the hospital where Jackson died, his home nearby in LA, and in New York’s Time Square where coverage of his passing was beamed on the famous news screens. Last time I looked many were still there. Reports say that initial shock and then sadness amongst the fans who had gathered has since been replaced by a more celebratory tone, fans seemingly keen to celebrate the life of one of the most famous and most successful music stars of all time, and the man behind some true pop classics.

There had been speculation about Jackson’s health for years, partly, of course, because of his frail appearance. Rumours of serious health scares became more common in recent months, though most were resolutely denied by Jackson’s people. And once he had signed up to do a fifty night residency at The O2 in London, promoters AEG Live assured reporters that their insurers had done a rigorous heath assessment which the singer apparently passed with flying colours.

The exact cause of Jackson’s death is not known, though an autopsy will be carried out later today with a view to finding out what happened. That said, there is already speculation that Jackson’s death may have been in part the result of overuse of prescription drugs which he was taking as a result of various previous injuries and ailments, including a broken leg and broken back. Some reckon he was taking his medication with increasing frequency in a bid to make himself fit and able to perform at his planned fifty night residency at The O2 in London, which was due to kick off next month.

The Jackson family’s lawyer has given some credence to this speculation by telling CNN: “The people who have surrounded him have been ‘enabling him’. If you think the case of Anna Nicole Smith was an abuse, that is nothing compared to what has taken place in the life of Michael Jackson. I do not know what medications he was taking, but the reports that we have received within the family are that they were extensive. I can tell you for sure that this is something I warned about. Where there is smoke there is fire”.