Friday, June 26, 2009

"King of Pop" Michael Jackson dies aged 50

Michael Jackson, one of the most successful pop musicians of all time, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. Jackson sold over 750 million albums in his sometimes controversial career.

The 50 year-old "King of Pop" was rushed to the nearby UCLA Medical Center, and County Coroner Fred Corral said he was unresponsive and pronounced dead soon after. Medical officers are now conducting an autopsy to check for toxicology or other problems - with results set to be published later on Friday.
Fans the world over mourned the pop star as word of his death spread quickly. "Michael Jackson was weightless - a moonwalker, a transformer, a werewolf, he wasn't of this world," wrote the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung Friday. "As long as he had a handle on his weightlessness and could play with it, it was his biggest capital. But in the end it's what killed him. "Even moonwalkers can't lose contact to Earth for very long," concluded the paper.

The descent of a star Michael Jackson at the London O2 Arena in March 2009Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The King of Pop announced his comeback tour in March 2009 Born in 1958 in Gary, Indiana, Jackson became a child star as a member of the Jackson Five. As an adult, Jackson moved on to a successful - and often controversial - solo career. This career peaked with his 1982 record "Thriller," which is the best selling album of all time. In later life Jackson struggled with a series of court cases and allegations about his private life, damaging his career and his financial situation, but he remained a popular character with an enormous fan base. The German newsmagazine Spiegel Online wrote that Jackson had two faces: One was "the monster, more alien than human, lifted, pale and in the end as emaciated as a skeleton." On the other hand, there was "the genius that reinvented pop, sold more albums than anyone else (…) and was admired by the masses - in particular by his musical heirs, who never would have existed without his influence and who are now mourning his passing with an unequalled flood of condolence: Beyonce, Usher, Justin Timberlake, to name three of many." At the time of his death he had been preparing for a 50-concert run in London that was meant to rejuvenate his career, and secure his financial future. "A comeback has seldom been as necessary as it was in Jackson's case," wrote the Sueddeutsche. Though it's now too late for a comeback, the troubled pop icon leaves behind a generation that has at some point tried to moonwalk and a legacy of young musicians - like Beyonce and Timberlake - who are carrying on in his footsteps.

Michael Jackson in 1971, 1977 and 1979 (from left)

Bildunterschrift: Michael Jackson 1983, 1987 and 1990 (from left)

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