Pop legend Michael Jackson died after lapsing into cardiac arrest, and emergency officials were unable to revive him. He was rushed to UCLA Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, officials and reports are confirming.
Jackson was 50 years old.
TMZ.com first reported that the pop superstar, with 13 top hits in his storied career, died. Mainstream media followed about a half hour later.
Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Steve Ruda told KTLA News that paramedics responded to a 911 call at Jackson’s home around 12:26 p.m., and he was not breathing when he arrived.
A Los Angeles police detective confirmed for reporters that Mr. Jackson was brought to UCLA Medical Center at about 1 p.m. and pronounced dead around 2:30 p.m. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is investigating to determine cause of death. The LAPD Robbery/Homicide Unit is also investigating, but the detective warned media to not “read into anything,” saying it was the high-profile nature of this death that triggered a police investigation.
The detective would not say if the death was suspicious.
CNN was one of the last major media outlets to confirm the singer’s death, but they did bring something new to the table. While TMZ reported that Mr. Jackson went into cardiac arrest and never recovered, a Los Angeles coroner said he went into cardiac arrest twice, indicating his heart may have restarted at some point.
“We were told that Michael Jackson was brought in by paramedics. He suffered two cardiac arrests and was later pronounced dead … there is no further medical history confirmed yet,” the coroner told CNN.
A cardiac arrest, which can happen during a heart attack, is the stoppage of blood circulation after the sudden stoppage of the heart contracting. Cardiac arrest stops the flow of oxygenated blood “" and thus oxygen “" to the brain and other organs.
La Toya Jackson was seen running into the hospital sobbing.
The singer’s family is believed to be at the hospital, which has been blocked off by police.
Many in Hollywood have been quick to react sadly to the news.
“We will always remember Michael in our hearts as a true Apollo legend, known for his professionalism and grace,” said Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. “Michael first performed at the Apollo in 1969 with his brothers when he was only nine years old, winning Amateur Night, and catapulting their career as the Jackson 5. Our sympathy goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed.”
“I am so very sad and confused … I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him,” said Lisa Marie Presley, Mr. Jackson’s ex-wife, in a statement. “This is such a massive loss on so many levels. Words fail me.”
“You cannot say enough about what he has given to us musically and culturally. We take for granted people like him … all he wanted to do was give us great music and that’s what he did. Every single day was dedicated to us,” Jamie Foxx told the TV show “Extra.” “I’ll tell you this. Seeing him in concert in 1983 … to watch people faint in the audience. Grown men fainting. Women fainting just because he was that dynamic … all you can say is that you hope we put our arms around his family. So much turmoil toward the end of his career … and I think that’s the only thing that you can really hope for is that there is finally peace to this whole situation.”
Mr. Jackson had been planning a comeback tour, with several concerts in London scheduled for July. Jackson’s 1982 Album, “Thriller,” won eight Grammy Awards and is the top selling album of all time.
“The King of Pop” recently underwent a series of physical tests and was working out with bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno to get in shape for the shows.
Mr. Jackson leaves three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.
Blast’s Conception Allen is in the Los Angeles area gathering information. Stick with Blast for more as this story develops.
John M. Guilfoil of the Blast staff contributed to this report
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