Updated at 4:04 PM Pacific Standard Time, June 25, 2009:
Pop music icon Michael Jackson has died at age 50 after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, suffering an apparent heart attack earlier today at his L. A. home.
The Los Angeles Times reports, along with most other major sources now, that Jackson was pronounced dead earlier this afternoon after arriving at the hospital in a coma.
TMZ, who was the first major news source to report that Jackson had died, said in their report that Jackson’s sister Latoya emerged sobbing from the hospital after receiving the news. Paramedics were unable to revive the singer after arriving at the hospital, according to the same report. Earlier reports gave conflicting stories that the singer was in a coma, without confirming he had in fact died.
According to earlier reports today in the Los Angeles Times, TMZ, and other sources, Jackson was not breathing when the ambulance first arrived at his home. He was also administered CPR while en route to the hospital.
The singer was said to be “in bad shape” according to an unnamed family source quoted in the earlier TMZ story. Michael’s father Joe Jackson was also quoted as saying he is “not doing well” in the same story. Emergency personnel received the 911 call at 12:21PM from the singer’s Holmby Hills home in L.A.
Michael Jackson had been planning on launching a comeback later this year with a series of concerts in London, England. Various reports had also surfaced that the concerts might have been experiencing some behind the scenes problems.
Michael Jackson first rose to fame as part of Motown’s child stars The Jackson 5 in the sixties, before becoming a megastar on his own as the self-proclaimed “King Of Pop” in the eighties with albums like Off The Wall and Thriller. In more recent years, he had become equally well-known for reports of his bizarre behavior, changing appearance, and allegations of child abuse.
Despite this, Michael Jackson will no doubt go down as one of the most successful performers of all time, with a legacy which puts him in the same elite company as such music legends as the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.