Pop king Michael Jackson had been rehearsing for a comeback series of concerts when he died Thursday at age 50. Los Angeles authorities say he was found unconscious at a mansion he had been renting and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
According to the Los Angeles Times, paramedics arrived at the home and found Jackson in full cardiac arrest. A doctor was with him already performing CPR, but attempts to revive him failed. The LA County Coroner will investigate, but there are said to be no indications of foul play.
Jackson had been rehearsing in LA for a series of sold-out concerts in London which were intended to reinvigorate his languishing career. Jackson, though deep in debt, had continued to enjoy a lavish lifestyle, although he had not released a record since 2001.
Johnny Caswell, a principal at Centerstaging, the Burbank soundstage where Jackson rehearsed, told the LA Times that the pop star was “very frail” but had approached the rehearsals with great energy.
Rand Phillips, CEO of promoter AEG Live, told the newspaper last month that a medical screening of Jackson uncovered “no issues whatsoever.”
Radio stations and TV networks were scrambling last evening to air retrospectives of Michael Jackson’s life. CBS pre-empted an hour of primetime for a one hour special, “CBS News: The Life and Death of Michael Jackson.” “Dateline NBC” was expanded to two hours for a special tribute to both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, who had died on Thursday morning.
The child singing star from Gary, IN who performed with his brothers as The Jackson Five. went on to make best selling albums as a solo act. His brief marriage to Lisa Marie Presley made tabloid headlines, as did many of his other activities, although he often tried to hide from the public spotlight. A trial in California on child molestation charges ended in acquittal in 2005.