Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson dies


Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop" who once moonwalked above the music world, died Thursday as he prepared for a comeback bid to vanquish nightmare years of sexual scandal and financial calamity. He was 50...[...] Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center after being stricken at his rented home in Holmby Hills. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home for nearly 45 minutes, then rushed him to the hospital, where doctors continued to work on him for more than an hour. "It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known," his brother Jermaine said. He said Michael was declared dead at 2:26 p.m. PT. Los Angeles police Lt. Gregg Strenk said at a separate news conference that police robbery-homicide detectives have been ordered to investigate, which is common in a high-profile case. Strenk says the coroner's office, which will handle inquiries into the type of death, is taking possession of the body. Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times earlier Thursday that paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's home around 12:26 p.m. Ruda said Jackson was not breathing when they arrived. Law enforcement sources and city officials told the LA Times that Jackson was declared dead by doctors Thursday afternoon after arriving in a deep coma at the hospital. Jackson had announced months ago that he would be doing a comeback tour, but his representatives announced in May that the the star would postpone several of his London shows scheduled for this summer. Jackson, who has sold more than 750 million albums and won 13 Grammys, hasn't undertaken a a major tour since 1997 or released an album of new material since 2001. The 50-year-old singer has been seen in public infrequently since he was acquitted of child molestation in California in 2005. He has struggled to pay his debts, and was forced last year to give up the deed to Neverland, his 2,500-acre ranch and miniature amusement park in California. On May 20, Jackson's representatives announced several postponments to his London comeback shows scheduled for this summer. The opening night at the 02 Arena had been set for July 8 but was be moved back to July 13, promoters said. In addition, other shows scheduled for July were moved to 2010. The delays fueled speculation that Jackson was suffering from health ailments. Also in May, his publicist and general manager filed a $44 million lawsuit against the pop star claiming he has not paid her for deals she's made. Raymone Bain of Washington had been Jackson's spokeswoman for more than five years, speaking on his behalf in all sorts of matters including his child molestation trial. Three years ago, Jackson expanded her role by appointing her the head of the Michael Jackson Co. Inc. and his personal general manager. His 1982 album "Thriller" -- which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" -- is the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. At the time of his death, Jackson was rehearsing hard for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13. As word of his death spread, MTV switched its programming to play videos from Jackson's heyday. Radio stations began playing marathons of his hits. Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital. In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone. "No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend had sent him. "It's like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died." The public first knew him as a boy in the late 1960s, when he was the precocious, spinning lead singer of the Jackson 5, the singing group he formed with his four older brothers out of Gary, Ind. Among their No. 1 hits were "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There." He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his backward-gliding moonwalk, his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves and his high-pitched singing, punctuated with squeals and titters. His single sequined glove, tight, military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses were trademarks, as was his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance. "For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words," said Quincy Jones, who produced "Thriller." "He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him." Jackson ranked alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles as the biggest pop sensations of all time. He united two of music's biggest names when he was briefly married to Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie, and Jackson's death immediately evoked comparisons to that of Presley himself, who died at age 42 in 1977. As years went by, Jackson became an increasingly freakish figure -- a middle-aged man-child weirdly out of touch with grown-up life. His skin became lighter, his nose narrower, and he spoke in a breathy, girlish voice. He often wore a germ mask while traveling, kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions, and surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, a storybook playland filled with toys, rides and animals. The tabloids dubbed him "Wacko Jacko." "It seemed to me that his internal essence was at war with the norms of the world. It's as if he was trying to defy gravity," said Michael Levine, a Hollywood publicist who represented Jackson in the early 1990s. He called Jackson a "disciple of P.T. Barnum" and said the star appeared fragile at the time but was "much more cunning and shrewd about the industry than anyone knew." Jackson caused a furor in 2002 when he playfully dangled his infant son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin while a throng of fans watched from below. In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him, and of engaging in strange and inappropriate behavior with other children. The case followed years of rumors about Jackson and young boys. In a TV documentary, he acknowledged sharing his bed with children, a practice he described as sweet and not at all sexual. Despite the acquittal, the lurid allegations that came out in court took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble. Jackson was 4 years old when he began singing with his brothers -- Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito -- in the Jackson 5. After his early success with bubblegum soul, he struck out on his own, generating innovative, explosive, unstoppable music. The album "Thriller" alone mixed the dark, serpentine bass and drums and synthesizer approach of "Billie Jean," the grinding Eddie Van Halen solo on "Beat It," and the hiccups and falsettos on "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." The peak may have come in 1983, when Motown celebrated its 25th anniversary with an all-star televised concert and Jackson moonwalked off with the show, joining his brothers for a medley of old hits and then leaving them behind with a pointing, crouching, high-kicking, splay-footed, crotch-grabbing run through "Billie Jean." The audience stood and roared. Jackson raised his fist. By then he had cemented his place in pop culture. He got the plum Scarecrow role in the 1978 movie musical "The Wiz," a pop-R&B version of "The Wizard of Oz," that starred Diana Ross as Dorothy. During production of a 1984 Pepsi commercial, Jackson's scalp sustains burns when an explosion sets his hair on fire. He had strong follow-up albums with 1987's "Bad" and 1991's "Dangerous," but his career began to collapse in 1993 after he was accused of molesting a boy who often stayed at his home. The singer denied any wrongdoing, reached a settlement with the boy's family, reported to be $20 million, and criminal charges were never filed. Jackson's expressed anger over the allegations on the 1995 album "HIStory," which sold more than 2.4 million copies, but by then, the popularity of Jackson's music was clearly waning, even as public fascination with his increasingly erratic behavior was growing. Cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm that stops the heart from pumping blood to the body. It can occur after a heart attack or be caused by other heart problems. Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde said Jackson's star power was unmatched. "The world just lost the biggest pop star in history, no matter how you cut it," Werde said. "He's literally the king of pop." Jackson's 13 No. 1 one hits on the Billboard charts put him behind only Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Mariah Carey, Werde said. "He was on the eve of potentially redeeming his career a little bit," he said. "People might have started to think of him again in a different light."

1 komentar:

Dilarang Melarang on June 26, 2009 at 5:34 AM said...

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