x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

'King of Pop' Michael Jackson dead

The artist, whose hit records include "Thriller" and "Billie Jean", died on Thursday after being taken ill at his home. He was 50 years old.

LOS ANGELES // Michael Jackson, who took to the stage as a child star and set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday after being taken ill at his home, the Los Angeles Times said. He was 50. "Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times," the newspaper reported on its website. The paper's report followed news of Jackson's death first reported by the TMZ entertainment website. There was no immediate comment from spokespersons for Jackson, who was known as the "King of Pop," for hit albums that included "Thriller" and "Billie Jean." He had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London next month. TMZ said on its website tha: "Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We're told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back." Earlier, the Los Angeles Times said the singer had been rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by fire department paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived at the singer's home. The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before taking him to the UCLA Medical Center hospital. Jackson had been due to start a series of concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months. The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March. His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time. He lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation. There were 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 four-and-a-half hour physical examination with independent doctors.

*Reuters