The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has passed away at age 50. The pop star was rushed to hospital after collapsing at a rented Los Angeles home. He fell into a coma shortly after and was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at the UCLA hospital at 2.26 PM Pacific Time.
The results of his autopsy have not yet been released.
The seventh child of the Jackson family, Michael Jackson started his career in the Jackson 5, a Motown band that was reportedly discovered by Diana Ross (but was actually discovered by Motown executive Suzanne de Passe).
Michael soon grew in fame and talent to become one of the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV with singles such as Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller. He was very concerned with the rights of children and donated more than USD$300 million to various foundations.
In 1993, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of famous singer Elvis Presley. They were divorced less than two years later, but remained friendly. He later married former nurse Debbie Rowe in 1996, divorcing her in 1999.
Throughout the 1990s, Michael Jackson was embroiled in a number of scandals, the most famous being the bleaching of his skin to remove the visible effects of vilitigo (a chronic relatively common dermatologic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin) as well as being embroiled in a number of child sexual abuse allegations. He was also known to be addicted to a number of drugs. The scandals all but killed his career and the pop-star soon became a recluse.
Prior to his untimely death, Michael Jackson was deeply in debt and was scheduled to perform 50 sold-out concerts to over one million people in a career reviving move.
Michael Jackson is survived by his three children, Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II (aka Blanket). Although there is no evidence of criminality, Los Angeles Police Department detectives have opened an investigation into his death.
For more official information on Michael Jackson, his website is located at http://www.michaeljackson.com/