Michael Jackson dead

21:00, Jul 02 2009
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MEDIA STORM: Media set up across the street are seen outside the emergency room dock at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital.
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EMERGENCY: Police tape hangs across the street near the emergency room dock of UCLA Medical Center, as news of Michael Jackson's death spread.
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UNBELIEVABLE NEWS: A Michael Jackson fan cries outside hospital.
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OUTPOURING OF GRIEF: Michael Jackson's fans gather outside hospital.
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MOURNING: A Michael Jackson fan outside UCLA Medical Centre where the pop star died.
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DEATH OF A STAR: Fans mourn at Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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DEVASTATING: A Michael Jackson fan reacts to news of his death.
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BAD NEWS: A Michael Jackson fan reacts to news of the pop star's death at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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UNBELIEVABLE: A Michael Jackson fan reacts to news of the pop star's death at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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GROUP HUG: A Michael Jackson fan reacts to news of the pop star's death at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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PICTURE THIS: Tourists in an open top van pass by the outside of the rented home where singer Michael Jackson was staying before being taken away in an ambulance in Los Angeles.
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LAST RESPECTS: Ryan Mossell places a flower outside of the rented home where singer Michael Jackson was staying before being taken away in an ambulance in Los Angeles.
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POLICE LINE: Policemen on motorcycles arrive outside the rented home where singer Michael Jackson was staying before he was taken away in an ambulance in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson has spoken about his brother's death as tributes flow from across the entertainment world.

The superstar, whose 1982 album Thriller yielded seven top-ten singles and sold 21 million copies, reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead by doctors after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma.

Across the United States, people reacted in stunned disbelief as word spread.

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GREETINGS: Michael Jackson is greeted by Sir Howard Morrison after arriving at Auckland Airport.
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HELLO THERE: Michael Jackson is greeted by Sir Howard Morrison after arriving at Auckland Airport.
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ROCKING OUT: Michael Jackson performs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in November, 1996.
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MAD FANS: Fans wave hello to Michael Jackson during his 1996 New Zealand tour.
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GOLDEN BOY: Michael Jackson performs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in November, 1996.
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TO THE POINT: Michael Jackson performs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in November, 1996.
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FAKE JACKSON: A Michael Jackson lookalike entertains fans outside the Carlton Hotel where the real pop star was staying.
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CHANT BEGINS: Michael Jackson fans gather for the pop star's show at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, November, 1996.
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TRIUMPHANT: Michael Jackson performs at Mt Smart Stadium in 1996 in Auckland.
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HAPPY FACES: Fans enjoy Michael Jackson's performance in Auckland in 1996.
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IN THE MOMENT: Michael Jackson peforms at Mt Smart Stadium in November, 1996.
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MAN BEHIND THE MASK: Michael Jackson arrives at Starship Hospital in mask during his November, 1996, New Zealand tour.

Within minutes of Jackson's arrival by ambulance at UCLA Medical Centre people began arriving by the hundreds, the crowd quickly filling a grassy entrance outside the hospital.

As word spread that Jackson had been pronounced dead, several people burst into tears. Others simply stood in disbelief. Still others whipped out cell phones and began calling or texting friends.

A spokesman for the LA Coroner, Fred Corral, told CNN that the LA police department was told Jackson had been unresponsive to resuscitation attempts. He was pronounced dead at 2.26pm local time (9.26am NZ time).

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WHO'S BAD? Michael Jackson performs at A Night At The Apollo, 2002.
HISTORY: Michael Jackson performs at Jurundong Park in Bandar Seri Begawan, 1996.
THRILLER: Michael Jackson performs during his concert in Taipei, 1996.
STARTING SOMETHING: Michael Jackson sings for Elizabeth Taylor during a television special honoring Taylor's life and career.
BEAT IT: Michael Jackson during his second Bangkok concert, 1993.
THAT EXPLAINS IT: Britney Spears presents the Performer of the Millennium award to Michael Jackson at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.
BLACK AND WHITE: Ed Sullivan poses with a young Michael Jackson after his appearence on The Ed Sullivan Show.
HIS-STORY: Michael Jackson listens to South African President Nelson Mandela as he greets crowds at the fourth annual Kora All-Africa Music Awards at Sun City, 1999.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Michael Jackson shakes hands with New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
WELL, WELL, WEELL: Michael Jackson meets US President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.
DON'T STOP: Michael Jackson waves to fans from atop a limo following his arraignment on child molestation charges, in Santa Maria, California, 2004.
MAN IN THE MIRROR: Michael Jackson testifies in Santa Maria Superior Court, 2002.
UH, OH: Michael Jackson holds his youngest child, Prince Michael II, from a third floor balcony at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, 2002.
REMEMBER THE TIME: Michael Jackson and his wife Deborah Rowe-Jackson pose for a wedding photo.
THE KING'S DAUGHTER: Michael Jackson leaves the Bethesda hospital in Budapest with wife Lisa Marie Presley.
OFF THE WALL: Pop star Michael Jackson is pictured in this Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department booking mug in Santa Barbara, California, 2003.
BEHIND THE MUSIC: Michael Jackson during an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley.
Michael Jackson's most recent album, Invincible, was released in 2001.
1995's HIStory remains Michael Jackson's most controversial album
Michael Jackson's third best-selling album, dangerous, was released in 1991.
Michael Jackson released Bad in 1987, the only album in history to feature five Billboard Hot 100 number 1 singles.
The world's best selling album, Michael Jackson's Thriller, was released in 1982.
1979's Off the Wall is considered Michael Jackson's most ground-breaking album.
Released in 1975, Forever, Michael, was Michael Jackson's last album with Motown.
Michael Jackson's first solo-album, Got To Be There, released in 1972.
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SUDDEN COLLAPSE: Doctors tried for more than an hour to revive Michael Jackson.
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LEGEND: A picture of Michael Jackson from the Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition album.
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BACK THEN: A Michael Jackson picture from the Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition album.

He said an autopsy would be carried out tomorrow. A helicopter has reportedly flown the superstar's body from the LA hospital as the police launch an investigation into his death.

Jermaine Jackson said paramedics had attempted to resuscitate the pop star while they took him to the hospital.

"Upon arriving at the hospital ...a team of doctors including emergency physicians and cardiologists attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour. They were unsuccessful."

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SUDDEN COLLAPSE: Doctors tried for more than an hour to revive Michael Jackson.

"Our family request that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time and may all love be with you Michael always. Love you."

Jackson was taking prescription drugs as he battled to get into shape for his gruelling concert comeback due to get underway in London next month.

Jackson, who fought long-running battles with prescription medication throughout his career, was taking the drugs after suffering injuries during training for his comeback, lawyer and spokesman Brian Oxman said.

Michael Jackson std
LAST PICTURE: An exclusive Entertainment Tonight picture of Michael Jackson.

Mr Oxman told CNN that he had harboured concerns about Jackson's use of drugs, saying members of the star's entourage were "enablers" and comparing his case to the drug overdose death of Playboy centrefold Anna-Nicole Smith.

"This is not something that has been unexpected... because of the medications which Michael was under," Mr Oxman said from the hospital where Jackson's family members had gathered.

TRIBUTES FLOW

Jackson's former wife Lisa Marie Presley said she was shocked at Jackson's death. "I'm heart broken for his children who were everything to him, and his family," the daughter of Elvis Presley said.

"This is such a massive loss on all levels. Words fail me," she told CNN.

Music producer Quincy Jones, who collaborated with Jackson on three of his best-selling albums, Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, said in a statement: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic an unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at this young age, I just don't have the words."

Actress Brooke Shields, a longtime friend of the King of Pop, said: "My heart is overcome with sadness for the devastating loss of my true friend Michael. He was an extraordinary friend, artist and contributor to the world. I join his family and his fans in celebrating his incredible life and mourning his untimely passing.''

Pop star Madonna told People magazine: "I can't stop crying over the sad news ... I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever. My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.''

Representatives for actress Elizabeth Taylor, another of the singer's long-time friends, said she was "too devastated by the passing of her dear friend Michael Jackson to issue a statement at this time.''

At Times Square in New York, where people had begun gathering as word spread that Jackson had fallen ill, a collective groan went up from the crowd as the words announcing his death flashed across a giant TV screen.

During Los Angeles' notoriously slow-paced rush-hour commute, Jackson's music could be heard blaring from several cars along busy Wilshire Boulevard.

"I'm in shock. He's gone. The legend of music,'' Becky Williams said in disbelief as she stood outside Jackson's home in Los Angeles, Holmby Hills.

Another neighbor, Roxana Radnia, was driving past Jackson's home when she saw an ambulance.

''I was just listening to his music, to 'Thriller,' yesterday on my iPod,'' said Radnia, 21. ''And now this. It's surreal.''

IN NEW ZEALAND

Music stores throughout the country are reporting noticeable increases in Michael Jackson CD and DVD sales.

Ryan Munro, sales assistant at Auckland's Newmarket CD and DVD Store, said the store had sold "a lot more" than usual.

"We've pretty much sold out - we've got one left."

Eve Benson, sales assistant at Wellington's Slow Boat Records, said customers were after "old-school" Michael Jackson records.

"We've had people phoning up up trying to get vinyl ... there's been a lot of talk in the store."

While the small independent store usually sells about one Michael Jackson record a week, today they had sold at least half a dozen by 2pm.

Meanwhile Sir Howard Morrison and Sony Music boss Paul Ellis have paid tribute to Michael Jackson, describing him as a musical genius.

Ellis, a former New Zealand Idol judge, said it was "an incredibly sad day for music worldwide".

Jackson knew the lyrics to all the great songs from the 1920s right through to today, he said.

"This is the thing I knew from working with him," Mr Ellis said.

"He was a walking, human jukebox."

Sir Howard, who met Jackson when he toured New Zealand in 1996, called his death a "great shock".

"You can't put him in a little pocket and explain how good he is ... the man is a genius in dance form, in choreography, voice, arrangements and dedication," Sir Howard said.

COMEBACK CONCERTS

Jackson had been due to start a series of comeback concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer, whose hits include "Thriller" and "Billie Jean," had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months.

The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within hours of going on sale in March.

Jackson started out as a child star in the band The Jackson 5 more than 40 years ago.

He has lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation.

There have been concerns about Jackson's health in recent years but the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.

CHILD STAR TO MEGASTAR

Jackson was born on Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. Five Jackson boys - Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael - first performed together at a talent show when Michael was 6. They walked off with first prize and went on to become a best-selling band, The Jackson Five, and then The Jackson 5.

Jackson made his first solo album in 1972, and released  ''Thriller'' in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.

The next year, he unveiled his signature ''moonwalk'' dance move while performing ''Billie Jean'' during an NBC special.

In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.

Jackson has three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.

TIMELINE:

A look at the career of Michael Jackson:
   - Aug. 29, 1958: Michael Joseph Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children.
   - 1963: After several years of training, The Jackson 5 begin to perform in public.
   - Dec. 14, 1969: The Jackson 5 appear on the ''The Ed Sullivan Show.''
   - 1970: Their first album, ''Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5,'' includes the hit singles ''I Want You Back'' and ''I'll Be There,'' which go to No. 1.
   - 1972: While still singing with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson puts out his first solo album, ''Got to Be There.''
   - 1979: Jackson's first solo album as an adult, ''Off the Wall,'' is released. He becomes the first solo artist to place four singles from the same record in the top 10.
   - 1982: His album ''Thriller'' wins a record eight Grammys and becomes the world's biggest selling record of all time. Along with the title track, it includes the songs ''Billie Jean'' and ''Beat It.''
   - 1983: Jackson electrifies the 50 million viewers of the ''Motown 25'' television special by singing and dancing to ''Billie Jean'' while wearing a black fedora, one white glove, and pants that end above his ankles.
   - 1984: During production of a Pepsi-Cola commercial, Jackson's scalp sustains burns when an explosion sets his hair on fire.
   - 1985: Jackson and Lionel Richie write what becomes one of the fastest-selling singles ever with ''We Are the World.'' The song was produced to raise money for victims of the Ethiopian famine.
   - 1987: His album ''Bad'' produces five No. 1 singles and sells at least 22 million copies worldwide.
   - 1995: Releases the album ''HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I.'' In August, the song ''You Are Not Alone'' becomes the first single in pop music history to enter the Billboard chart at No. 1.
   - 1997: The album, ''Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix,'' sells in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, disappointing numbers for Jackson.

- Reuters, AP, and Stuff.co.nz