Millions of fans feel the loss
RIP Michael Jackson
Rolling Stone reports…
Michael Jackson (1958-2009)
by David Browne
Michael Jackson, one of the most talented and eccentric performers in pop history, died of apparent cardiac arrest at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at 2:26 p.m. PT today, June 25th. According to reports, he collapsed in his Los Angeles-area home and paramedics arriving on the scene found the superstar with no pulse; he was immediately rushed to the hospital. Although confusion about his status lingered (a spokesman for Sony Music, Jackson’s one-time home, said he was just hearing “rumors” at 3:20 p.m. PT), Jackson was reportedly in a coma, and his death was confirmed just before 3:30 p.m. PT.
Jackson’s health, which has been the source of speculation for nearly two decades, had recently returned to the headlines. Next month, Jackson was set to start a series of 50 sold-out concerts at London’s O2 arena, but the singer postponed the first four shows of the “This Is It!” run in May and had reportedly not shown up for some rehearsals.
Over the course of a career that started 40 years ago, with the Jackson 5’s first hit, 1969’s “I Want You Back,” Jackson was a towering and constantly enigmatic presence in pop music — a giant on the level of Presley, Sinatra and Dylan. He set an almost impossibly high standard in pop music on numerous levels: as a record maker (the silky funk and R&B on albums like Thriller and Off the Wall), dancer (his Moonwalk remains one of the most imitated steps), fashion icon (sequined gloves), video auteur (lavish clips for “Beat It” and “Thriller”) and record seller (1982’s Thriller was the Number One selling album of all time until it was recently deposed by the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975). His singing and music took in gospel, hard rock, funk, and middle-of-the-road balladry, and his vision of himself as an all-around entertainer propelled him to heights rarely seen in pop history.