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Michael Jackson dies in LA hospital at age 50 StoryDiscussionFont Size:Default font sizeLarger font sizeBy DERRIK J.

LANGAssociated Press Writers | Thursday, June 25, 2009 | (43 comment(s))In this 1972 file photo, singer Michael Jackson at age 13, the youngest member of the singing group Jackson Five, sings in his home in Encino, Ca.

(AP Photo, file) LOS ANGELES | Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted "King of Pop" who emerged from Gary to become the entertainment world's most influential singer and dancer before his life and career deteriorated in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

He was 50.The person said Jackson died in a Los Angeles hospital.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.MORE: Gary gatheres to remember Jackson.The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.

Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m.

local time (3:30 p.m.

EDT, 1930 GMT), Capt.

Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times.

The paramedics tried to resuscitate and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the newspaper.Jackson's death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music's premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.His 1982 album "Thriller" — which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," ''Billie Jean" and "Thriller" — remains the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies.He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves and his high-pitched voice punctuated with squeals and titters.His single sequined glove, tight, military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses were trademarks second only to his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.As years went by, he became an increasingly freakish figure — a middle-aged man-child weirdly out of touch with grownup life.

His skin became lighter and his nose narrower.

He surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, often wore a germ mask while traveling and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions.In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003.

He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him.

The case took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.Jackson was preparing for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13.

He was in rehearsals in Los Angeles for the concert, an extravaganza that was to capture the classic Jackson magic: showstopping dance moves, elaborate staging and throbbing dance beats.Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital as word of his death spread.

The emergency entrance at the UCLA Medical Center, which is near Jackson's rented home, was roped off with police tape."Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Jackson has just died," a woman boarding a Manhattan bus called out, shortly after the news was annunced.

Immediately many riders reached for their cell phones.In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone."No joke.

King of Pop is no more.

Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend sent to his telephone.

"It's like when Kennedy was assassinated.

I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died." EmailPrint Back to story 43 comment(s)Please note: Comments from readers will be screened and may not be posted immediately.

If you don't see your comment perhaps: It wasn't clear, concise or focused on the topic in the story.It was a personal attack, vulgar, explicit or degrading, used actual or implied profanity or contained potentially libelous statements.It accused someone of being guilty of a crime.It promoted violence or illegal acts.It contained telephone numbers or street addresses, or e-mail addresses and links to Web sites other than or government agencies.In no way do these comments represent the views of The Times or Lee Enterprises.Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome.

Name-calling, crude and profane language and personal abuse are not welcome.Reader comments will not be edited - they will be approved or declined.

They may be used in the print edition of the newspaper.If you feel a posted comment has violated these guidelines, please email our New Media team the commenter's name, the comment and a link to the article.For more information please read our Terms of Service.real_king wrote on Jun 25, 2009 10:25 PM:" the real king of in peace....nobody did it like he did it and if u think otherwise ur lyin to urself oh and ps elvis is not the king of rock and roll he stole all of his hits from black stars dethrone him...

"JC wrote on Jun 25, 2009 9:39 PM:" My thoughts and prayers are with the Jackson family.

Michael danced like no one had or ever will and a beautiful voice.

Thank God we have video and his music for him to live forever on.

"Valpo Girl wrote on Jun 25, 2009 9:28 PM:" R.I.P the king of pop! "Joe wrote on Jun 25, 2009 9:22 PM:" Throughout the world there have been nothing but kind words to a considerate, talented human being, except here on the NW Indiana Times comment section where the bitterness and hatred is quite evident.

No wonder Michael left this arm pit of the nation.

"tb4000 wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:58 PM:" Anyone on here that makes any disparaging remarks regarding MJ, just know karma will always come back tenfold.

"Re reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:43 PM:" Well if you think your viewpoints align more with God than that of society, I can humbly tell you that you are naive and conceited.

Despite the man's past escapades, he has given more to people than all of us in Indiana combined.

"Winfield Resident wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:26 PM:" What happened to Bubbles the chimp? "Roshandra Bobo wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:17 PM:" God Love you and so do I!Micheal, you have always been one of my favorite artist.

You have been through so much here on earth so now go rest in peace with your father who truly loves you!And to the jackson family, as you know god makes no mistakes.God bless you and keep your family safe.

"Sad wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:07 PM:" The world is a better place without this tortured soul.

So sad.

"Adios Amigo wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:06 PM:" Even though I didn't agree with your life I did love your music.

Rest in Peace oh talented one! "to Reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 8:04 PM:" That is your opinion.

You sound old and like a bible beater.

Please respect the dead and leave things for God to judge.

"I love Michael Jackson wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:58 PM:" R.I.P to the greatest entertainer EVER!!! We will miss you Michael!!! "TO READER wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:49 PM:" LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS ELSEWHERE! "to Reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:47 PM:" Actually he was a great dancer and singer.

He was and will continue to be a world-wide household name for generations to come.Other than believing in a book of fairy tales (that's more outrageous than Greek Mythology), what have you accomplished in life? "Memories wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:43 PM:" to reader:your god and my god are god is not a god of hate "to reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:43 PM:" Go back under your rock and leave the rest of us alone.

"Alicia wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:38 PM:" RIP Michael Jackson.

I grew up with your music and enjoyed dancing to it every minute.

May God rest your soul.

"reader shut up wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:37 PM:" Shame on you, "reader." I hope nothing bad happens to your family.

I'll be the better person and say Michael should be remembered for his great contributions to music, regardless of the mistakes he made in his life.

You are a heartless being that should be ashamed to talk of God.

"Deanna wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:34 PM:" Micheal Jackson was a great man.

When I was a baby my mom always listened to his music.

In 1988 my mom was still a huge fan of Micheal Jackson.

My whole family will miss him a whole lot.

Now it is really heartbreaking to see a celebrity like Micheal Jackson die.

Recently I was in choir I was singing man in the mirror by Micheal Jackson.

I will always miss him a whole lot.

"rich cranium wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:33 PM:" 2 words who cares? "Rich cranium wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:30 PM:" how could rudy clay use the same news conference bout the missing little girl to say how michael jackson is so missed and how is heart is very heavy? that was so krass and for the record michael jackson disowned gary,indiana a along time ago and he never wanted to admit he was from there unless it befited him! "Tom wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:29 PM:" To reader-you need to grow up.

To all the family of Michael Jackson still living in N.W.Indiana I give you my condolences.

I feel M.J.

never found himself in his life,never had time in his childhood to get to know the person he was,and never matured mentally into common adulthood.I always thought his love for Diana Ross,made him want to copy some of her features hence the nose,jaw line,and facial features.He owned the world at one time,but lost it along the way.I can't judge him without making assumptions,but I hope he never did cross that line.I feel fame took away his chance at a normal life.He had a voice.May he find peace in the next life.

"Memories wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:25 PM:" RIP to the King of Pop....His music was a huge part of my childhood memories of dancing and having fun with my family...Say what you will about him, he was one of the most talented artists of our time.

"JB wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:15 PM:" Now the riots will start in L.A.

Any excuse to riot.

"SANTOS wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:07 PM:" Good BYE you demeneted,sad and sick man.

"To Reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 7:02 PM:" Wow, what a horrible thing to say.

God also doesn't like people who talk bad about other people.

Keep that in mind before you start preaching.Plus, he wasn't charged with anything.

What makes him so perverted and not other celebs like Madonna? Just sayin...

"Edmonds wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:54 PM:" A lot of little children will be spared now that MJ is gone.

May the lord have mercy on his miserable soul.

"To reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:52 PM:" God doesn't hate anything or anyone.

RIP Michael Jackson.

"G-Baby wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:51 PM:" To the idiot below me...go thump your bible somewhere else...I love God but I am also able to think for myself...RIP Michael...maybe not the best guy, but helluva entertainer "RIP wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:40 PM:" Now 4, Jada! RIP "reader wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:21 PM:" MJ was a perverted influence in our society as a whole.

He was NOT a great singer and he just jumped around on stage.

Know this, what the world LOVES, God HATES! "RIP wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:16 PM:" Sir Michael - My girlfriend and I danced to your music in 1967 at the Hammond Armory and you were the Best.RIP're the Best Ever "Karen from Hebron wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:13 PM:" I hope Michael rests in peace, I believe he was a believer.

My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.

"gina wrote on Jun 25, 2009 6:00 PM:" to bad.....................

"Ozzie wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:56 PM:" They come in 3's.Ed McMahonFarrah FaucetMichael Jackson "Julie wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:53 PM:" Rest In Peace Michael Jackson! May your tortured soul now be at peace.

Thank you for all the wonderful memories your music has given me.

You were truley a music genius and your dancing was just as awesome.

My deepest sympathies to your children, parents and siblings.

"Highland Resident wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:49 PM:" May God rest his soul "R I P wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:48 PM:" Even though I personally wasn't a huge fan, he was a very talented man who had a huge following of fans and got his start here in the region.

Rest in Peace.

"RIP Michael Jackson wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:32 PM:" MSNBC News comfirmed that he died "My Childhood Idol wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:28 PM:" R.I.P.

Michael, we will miss the great music, and lively person you brought to us all!!! "bob wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:27 PM:" WOW, they do go in three's ! "Sherrod wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:19 PM:" R.I.P To The Great Michael Jackson "L wrote on Jun 25, 2009 4:54 PM:" MJ has passed away.

:( "Post a comment Once your comments are approved, they will appear here.Name:Email:Comments:Current Word Count: Image Verification: (Case sensitive) » More Breaking News StoriesGary gathers to remember Jackson2 dead in apparent murder-suicideMichael Jackson dies in LA hospital at age 50Investigators believe they have found body of missing toddlerVehicle rollover causing traffic backup on I-94Witness against Cantrell spared jailMore testimony taken on Indiana budget proposals
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