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Latoya Jackson

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LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson, the 13-time Grammy-winning musician and internationally known cultural icon, died Thursday in Los Angeles after falling into cardiac arrest.

He was 50.Paramedics rushed Thursday afternoon to Jackson' rented home in the tony neighborhood of Holmby Hills.

Jackson couldn't be resuscitated on the scene and was taken to the UCLA Medical Center.

Jackson arrived at the hospital in a coma and was pronounced dead at approximately 2:30 p.m., a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.Article Controlsemailprintreprintnewslettercommentssharedel.icio.usDigg It!yahooFacebookTwitterrssNeither the police nor paramedics have specified if anyone was with Jackson at the time of his collapse, but according to a statement from Jackson's brother Jermaine, Jackson's personal physician had tried to resuscitate him at the house.

LaToya Jackson, the artist's sister, ran crying into the hospital after he was pronounced dead, TMZ.com reported.Throngs of paparazzi, television journalists and fans swarmed the hospital's parking lot shortly after Jackson arrived.

The crowds grew after news of his death broke out, clogging traffic around the hospital.Jackson earned a fortune during the 1980s and 1990s through live performances and sales of critically acclaimed albums like Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.

Forbes estimated the artists had earned more than $500 million by 2003.

Yet, by that year, Jackson had also fallen into deep financial distress, owing as much as $200 million to creditors including Sony, his record label.

The artist's money troubles stemmed from a fast-spending lifestyle--he owned a $50 million Southern California ranch and holed up in $10,000-per-night suites at the Four Seasons--as well as the mammoth legal cost of defending himself from 2003 allegations that he molested a 13-year-old boy.

Read All CommentsThe case went to trial in 2005.

After nine months of headline-grabbing proceedings, Jackson was acquitted of all charges and moved to the island nation of Dubai where he reportedly lived as a guest of the sheikh of Bahrain.

He was forced to sell his beloved Neverland Ranch in 2008.

Jackson's sudden death comes on the cusp of what the singer hoped would be a return to the limelight.

He had not released an album since 2001 but agreed to perform a 50-show run starting July 8 at London's O2 Arena.

Fans snatched up all of the roughly 1 million tickets for the concerts in just a few hours.

Jackson would have earned an estimated $50 million from the performances, according to the trade magazine Billboard.

AEG, the sports and entertainment company slated to produce the London concerts, had no comment Thursday evening as to whether ticket-holders would receive refunds.



http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/25/michael-jackson-obit-business-celebrities-jackson.html
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