Unrelated to Drake Michael Jackson, the self-anointed “King of Pop” who revolutionized music but whose legacy was marred by allegations of child molestation and bizarre behavior, died after suffering cardiac arrest Thursday. He was 50 years old.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was called to Jackson’s residence at 12:26 p.m. P.T., according to the Los Angeles Times. Paramedics performed CPR on Jackson, who was not breathing when they arrived at his home. He was rushed to LA Medical Center, just six miles from his home.
“For a long time he was unquestionably the most famous person on the planet,” Jed Hilly, the executive director of the Americana Music Assocation, told ABCNews.com.
Chris Connelly, an ABC News contributor, was one of the last people to interview Jackson, and said today that the pop star was “determined to convey that he had greater things ahead of him.”
“The word he spoke with the greatest emphasis was the ‘More!’ that he exclaimed when I asked if he could still do all his famous moves and hit all those notes at the age of 50,” said Connelly of his August 2008 phone interview with Jackson.
Connelly asked Jackson if he had received his AARP membership, a question that garnered a laugh from the star.
“In an all-too-short life that in so many ways was filled with enigmatic emotions, or troubling ones, his laugh sounded fresh, clear and altogether genuine,” said Connelly. “If only there had been more of those.”
“No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow,” Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend sent to his telephone. “It’s like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died.”
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