Friday, June 26, 2009

(CNN) -- Michael Jackson, the show-stopping accompanist whose acknowledged albums -- including "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" -- and absorbing date attendance fabricated him one of the best accepted artists of all time, died Thursday, CNN has confirmed.

He was 50.

He burst at his abode in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, California, about apex Pacific time, adversity cardiac arrest, according to brother Randy Jackson. He died at UCLA Medical Center.

Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said an dissection would apparently be done on the accompanist Friday, with after-effects accepted that afternoon.

"Michael Jackson fabricated ability acquire a being of color," the Rev. Al Sharpton said. "To say an 'icon' would alone accord these adolescent bodies in Harlem a atom of what he was. He was a celebrated amount that bodies will admeasurement music and the industry by."

Jackson's afire acceleration to distinction -- and after abatement from adroitness -- is amid the best amazing of actualization business tales. The son of a steelworker, he rose to acclaim as the advance accompanist of the Jackson 5, a bandage he formed with his brothers in the backward 1960s. By the backward '70s, as a abandoned artist, he was topping the archive with cuts from "Off the Wall," including "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.

In 1982, he appear "Thriller," an anthology that eventually produced seven hit singles. An actualization the abutting year on a Motown Records 25th-anniversary appropriate anchored his cachet as the better brilliant in the country.

For the blow of the 1980s, they came no bigger. "Thriller's" follow-up, 1987's "Bad," awash about as abounding copies. A fresh Jackson anthology -- a fresh Jackson actualization -- was a pop ability event.

The pop music mural was changing, however, aperture up for rap, hip-hop and what came to be alleged "alternative" -- and Jackson was apparent as out of step.

His abutting release, 1991's "Dangerous," debuted at No. 1 but "only" produced one astral distinct -- "Black or White" -- and that song becoming criticism for its inexplicably agitated ending, in which Jackson was apparent smashing car windows and clutching his crotch.

And again "Dangerous" was agape out of its No. 1 atom on the anthology archive by Nirvana's "Nevermind," an accident acclaimed for its apologue by bedrock critics.

After that, added absorption was paid to Jackson's clandestine activity than his music career, which faltered. A 1995 two-CD greatest hits, "HIStory," awash almost poorly, accustomed the huge amount of Jackson's recording contract: about 7 actor copies, according to Recording Industry of America certifications.

A 2001 anthology of fresh material, "Invincible," did alike worse.

In 2005, he went to balloon on child-molestation charges. He was acquitted.

In July 2008, afterwards three years abroad from the spotlight, Jackson appear a alternation of concerts at London's O2 Arena as his "curtain call." Some of the shows, initially appointed to activate in July, were eventually adjourned until 2010

Rise to stardom

Michael Jackson was built-in August 29, 1958, to Joe Jackson, a Gary, Indiana, steelworker, and his wife, Katherine. By the time he was 6, he had abutting his brothers in a agreeable accumulation organized by his father, and by the time he was 10, the accumulation -- the Jackson 5 -- had been active to Motown.

He fabricated his aboriginal television actualization at age 11.

Jackson, a accustomed performer, anon became the group's advanced man. Music analyzer Langdon Winner, reviewing the group's aboriginal album, "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5," for Rolling Stone, accepted Michael's able singing and added, "Who is this 'Diana Ross,' anyway?"

The group's aboriginal four singles -- "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" -- went to No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart, the aboriginal time any accumulation had pulled off that feat. There was alike a Jackson 5 animation alternation on ABC.

In 1972, he hit No. 1 as a abandoned artisan with the song "Ben."

The group's acceptance waned as the '70s continued, and Michael eventually went abandoned abounding time. He played the Scarecrow in the 1978 cine adaptation of "The Wiz," and appear the anthology "Off the Wall" in 1979. Its success paved the way for "Thriller," which eventually became the acknowledged anthology in history, with 50 actor copies awash worldwide.

At that point, Michael Jackson became ubiquitous.

Seven of "Thriller's" nine cuts were appear as singles; all fabricated the Top Ten. The then-new cable approach MTV, criticized for its about alone white playlist, assuredly started arena Jackson's videos. They aired incessantly, including a 14-minute minimovie of the appellation cut. ("Weird Al" Yankovic anchored his own distinction by acrimony Jackson's song "Beat It" with a letter-perfect apology video.)

On the Motown Records' 25th-anniversary appropriate -- a May 1983 TV caricature with notable turns by the Temptations, the Four Tops and Smokey Robinson -- it was Michael Jackson who chock-full the show.

Already he was the best accepted artist in America, benumbed aerial with "Thriller." But article about his absorbing achievement of "Billie Jean," complete with the patented astern ball moves, additional his distinction to a fresh level.

People affected his Jheri-curled beard and single-gloved, zippered-jacket look. Showbiz veterans such as Fred Astaire accepted his chops. He airish for photos with Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House. Paul McCartney teamed with him on three duets, two of which -- "The Girl Is Mine" and "Say Say Say" -- became top bristles hits. Jackson became a Pepsi spokesman, and back his beard bent blaze while authoritative a commercial, it was common news.

It all happened actual fast -- aural a brace years of the Motown special. But alike at the time of the "Motown 25" moonwalk, acclaim was old hat to Michael Jackson. He hadn't alike angry 25 himself, but he'd been a ablaze for added than bisected his life. He was accustomed the appellation the "King of Pop" -- a circuit on Elvis Presley's cachet as "the King of Rock 'n' Roll" -- and few questioned the moniker.

Relentless attention

But, as the showbiz adage has it, back you're on top of the world, there's boilerplate to go but down. The adamant absorption accustomed Jackson started absorption as abundant on his eccentricities -- some real, some accounted -- as his music.

As the Web armpit notes, he was accounted to beddy-bye in a hyperbaric alcove and to accept purchased the basic of John Merrick, the "Elephant Man." (Neither was true.) He did accept a pet chimpanzee, Bubbles; underwent a alternation of more desperate artificial surgeries; accustomed an estate, Neverland, abounding with zoo animals and action esplanade rides; and managed to acquirement the Beatles archive from beneath Paul McCartney's nose, which affronted the ex-Beatle immensely.

In 1990s and 2000s, Jackson begin himself pasted beyond the media for his brief marriages, the aboriginal to Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie; his 2002 affirmation that again Sony Records arch Tommy Mottola was racist; his behavior and statements during a 2003 account with British announcer Martin Bashir done for a documentary alleged "Living With Michael Jackson;" his alteration concrete appearance; and, aloft all, the accusations that he sexually confused adolescent boys at Neverland.

The aboriginal such accusation, in 1993, resulted in a adjustment to the 13-year-old accuser (rumored to be as aerial as $20 million), admitting no bent accuse were filed, notes.

He additionally fell acutely in debt and was affected to advertise some of his assets. Neverland was one of abounding backing that went on the block. However, an bargain of actual from Neverland, appointed for April, was alleged off and all items alternate to Jackson.

Interest in Jackson never faded, however, alike if some of it was prurient. In 2008, back he appear 10 improvement shows in London, alpha in July 2009, the account fabricated common news. The cardinal of concerts was after added to 50.

Seventy-five thousand tickets awash in four hours back they went on auction in March.

However, back the shows were adjourned until 2010, rumors swept the Internet that Jackson was not physically able and possibly adversity from bark cancer.

At the time, the admiral and CEO of AEG Live, Randy Phillips, said, "He's as advantageous as can be -- no bloom problems whatsover."

Jackson captivated accessible auditions for dancers in April in Los Angeles.

He is survived by his three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.

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