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King of Pop, Michael Jackson dead of a HeartAttack!

Singer Michael Jackson, a child Motown sensation who grew into a moonwalking megastar, died in Los Angeles today, a county coroner said.

Jackson, 50, suffered an apparent heart attack at his Bel-Air home and was rushed to UCLA Medical Center around 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. His death was confirmed by Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. Hospital officials were expected to make an announcement shortly.

In a career spanning four decades, the entertainer sold millions of records, earning worldwide adoration in the 1980s. Later he came to be regarded as one of show business's legendary oddities, hopping from one public relations crisis to another.

Quincy Jones, the composer who often collaborated on projects with Jackson, said he was devastated. "I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him," Jones said.

As news spread, a large crowd gathered outside the hospital awaiting word on the performer who had sold 750 million albums, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received 14 Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement. People snapped photos and called friends.
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One fan, Seth Casteel, 28, brought a boombox to play Jackson's music outside the hospital. "People love Michael Jackson," Casteel said. "He touched so many people over the years."

In the Washington area, Dana Bullitt, 35, stood in the pop-rock aisle of the Fye music store in Wheaton tonight, looking for Jackson's albums. Fans had already made a run on the nearby Best Buy and bought up all of his CDs, she said. Upon hearing that Jackson died, "I cried, and I cried and I cried," said Bullitt, of Silver Spring.

Jackson was planning to appear in a sold-out series of concerts in London next month that would have run until March. Promoters of the concerts had recently said that the singer had passed a physical examination to assauge any doubts he was ready for a comeback.

His death was the top news story in Britain, leading all the online news sites and television broadcasts. Self-proclaimed psychic Uri Geller, a close friend of Jackson's, told Sky News in London that the "anticipation of this mammoth challenge that was coming up upon him doing these 50 concerts, wanting to be close to perfection, when he was going to be on stage put him under huge, huge pressure -- that could have been it."

Alan Light, former editor of Vibe and Spin magazines, said, "It's almost impossible to overstate the impact he had on popular music and popular culture." . . . He really defined what the music video could be. He was the ultimate crossover figure, bringing black music and rock-and-roll together."

For all his many successes as a child and young man, Jackson's later life devolved into a series of tabloid headlines, bizarre plastic surgeries, and more courtroom appearances than hit songs. After he was acquited of child molestation charges in 2005, Jackson has led an increasingly reclusive life. He traveled the world with his three children, and the family's whereabouts were rarely known, as they jumped from hotels to rental homes around the world. His Neverland ranch north of Santa Barbara, Calif., is no longer the scene of private amusement fairs for needy children. He narrowly avoided having many of his belongings from the ranch sold at auction this year.

source : www.washingtonpost.com

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