Good grief! Two in one day. They say things like this happen in “threes.” I hope they’re wrong!
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop giant Michael Jackson, who took to the stage as a child star and set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday, TMZ website reported. He was 50.
There was no official confirmation of the reported death and spokespersons for Jackson could not be reached for comment.
“We’ve just learned Michael Jackson has died,” TMZ said.
“Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back,” the entertainment site said.
It added, “A source tells us Jackson was dead when paramedics arrived.”
Earlier, the Los Angeles Times said the singer had been rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by fire department paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived at the singer’s home.
The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before taking him to the UCLA Medical Center hospital.
Jackson had been due to start a series of comeback concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer, whose hits included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean,” had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months.
I don’t know whether Jackson was guilty of the child molestation charges that were leveled at him – I suspect he was. But before many of us knew him as Michael Jackson – alleged child molester, some of us knew him from as far back as the Jackson 5 days. I remember him from the 80s and how I dug the Thriller album and video. I even had a poster of him on my wall. A girl in my junior high school had a replica of that red leather jacket he wore in the Thriller video. His musical talents were immense. His name was gold in the 80s and in the early to mid 90s, but then things headed south with the accusations of child molestation, and all the photos we saw of him where he didn’t even look human.
Tinseltown’s shedding a lot of tears tonight.
Update – 8:10 PM: A reader reminds me that Ed McMahon is the “third” of the “three.” I had totally forgotten about that.
OK. No more celeb deaths this week, please!