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Michael Jackson, 50, legendary 'King of Pop' dead in Los Angeles

Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital Thursda
The music stopped

How will you remember Michael Jackson?

As the King of Pop

As a tragic figure



Pop icon Michael Jackson died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital after being found unconscious and not breathing at his home. He was 50.

The 'Thriller' superstar was found unconscious when fire Department paramedics were summoned to Jackson's Bel Air home at 12:26 p.m. by a 911 call.

They desperately tried to resuscitate the faded King of Pop on the way to UCLA Medical Center, officials said.

Jackson was initially reported to be in a deep coma as members of his famous family flocked to the hospital. Then came word that he had died.

His ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, said through her lawyer she was 'inconsolable' at the news.

Mark Lester, godfather of Jackson's two older children, said he was stunned by the news.

'Were absolutely devastated,' Lester told NBC.

'I lost my little brother today and part of my soul went with him,' said music mogul Quincy Jones.

In a sign of Jackson's enduring magnetism, crowds of mourners gathered outside the hospital within minutes of the news breaking.

'I have known him at his high moments and his low moments,' said Rev. Al Sharpton, who knew Jackson for 35 years. 'I know he would want us to pray for his family.'

The cause of his death was unknown.

His spokesman denied reports he had cancer just last month, asserting Jacko 'is in the best of health.'

Jackson's death capped a life of dizzying superstardom and bizarre scandal and ended his bid to make a comeback with 50 sold-out concerts planned for London this summer.

The music legend burst onto the pop scene as a child star with the Jackson 5 nearly four decades ago. The group from Gary, Ind., produced hits like 'ABC' and 'I Want You Back.'

He became the world's most popular musician when he went solo in the '70s. Once a sure-fire hit machine, he holds the record for the biggest-selling album with 'Thriller.'

He also wowed fans with monster hits like 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It.'

Millions of fans imitated his famed moonwalk dance and he was known worldwide as the Gloved One for his trademark handwear.

But personal and professional woes have eclipsed his talent for years.

He was acquitted in 2005 of molesting a young fan at his Neverland Ranch and caused an uproar by dangling one of his three children out of a Berlin hotel window in 2002.

His latest recordings suffered from tepid sales and a rumored comeback album never materialized.

Jackson's first wife was Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis, whom he married in 1994.

It was a match made in showbiz heaven but they split less than two years later.

He later married Australian Debbie Rowe and they had two children, Prince, 12 and Paris, 11, though she gave up her parental rights.

A third child, Prince Michael II, was reportedly born with the help of an anonymous surrogate mother.

Jackson had faced serious financial problems in recent years as sales wilted. Some reports said he was as much as $500 million in debt.

He faced certain foreclosure on Neverland until he managed to refinance the mortgage on the 270-acre spread.

Some analysts said he could make more than $200 million from this summer's concerts in Britain.

Jackson moved with his kids to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf after his molestation trial, but returned to Los Angeles in recent months."
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