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Miko Brando

Miko Brando

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Michael was given super strength drugs whenever he demanded them, a close friend revealed last night.The strung-out star was on a selfdestruct bender in his final days, demanding a constant supply of uppers, downers and painkillers "Every time Michael cried out in pain, whoever his doctor was would up his doses," the friend said.

"He had his doctors wrapped around his little finger."Few people who knew Michael believed he would even get on a plane to Britain for his comeback concerts, let alone make it on to the stage, other friends said.The singer seemed spaced out when he arrived in a wheelchair for rehearsals on Wednesday evening.With an entourage that included Dr Conrad Murray and best friend Miko Brando, he was wearing women's trousers because he had become so thin that men's no longer fitted.As the evening wore on Michael appeared to recover his form on stage, running through dance routines and overseeing video production.

But behind the scenes he complained of feeling ill.Music producer Al Walser, who had worked with the star before, said he was shocked by Jackson's skeletal appearance.

"I thought this was it," he said.

"I was expecting to wake up and hear he had died."Walser felt the pressure of 50 concerts at the 02 in London would be the death of his friend.

"In the beginning he only agreed to five but the promoters just kept adding more and more," he said.Advertisement - article continues below � Perfectionist Michael was suffering severe mood swings in recent days.

As he popped pills, he veered from over-the-top elation about the way rehearsals were going to screaming fits.When the black moods took him, he refused to get on stage, saying he was in too much pain.Friends believe he feared failure and popped pills to numb the humiliation.But his family's biggest concern was Dr Murray and the daily injections of Demerol.However Brando, son of Hollywood legend Marlon, Wednesday's rehearsals went well."He was fine, he was dancing, he was singing.

He was looking over some technical stuff, some videos that he was preparing to do for the flat screen and behind the stage."Michael is set to top the British charts tonight with his 1988 track Man In The Mirror, set to be his first single No 1 in the UK since Blood on the Dancefloor in 1997.Michael Jackson dead at 50.

All you need to know about the King of PopMichael Jackson dead at 50.

All you need to know about the King of Pop.
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