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American Deke Richards, who helped put together the hit-making production team The Corporation which had an affiliation with Motown, said he was deeply saddened by the death.

The LA County coroner's office has confirmed his death at 2:26pm (0726 AEST) local time.

Michael Jackson dead - more news Earlier, media reports said the pop icon was reported to have died in Los Angeles after suffering a cardiac arrest just after 12pm local time (0500 AEST).

"I am just heading out for dinner with friends and I'm just catching up with the news and I am in total shock," Mr Richards said.

"I am fortunate to have worked with the genius of Michael Jackson and I am very, very sad of his passing.

"He is a talent that will not soon be forgotten.

"He always gave more than he got.

"In the small period of time I helped mould the clay of Michael Jackson, the genius was deep within him.

"I feel honoured to have worked with him." ABC reached number one on the Billboard charts in 1970 when Jackson was only 11 years old.

The song replaced The Beatles' Let It Be in the top spot.



http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25693065-23109,00.html
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