Michael Jackson Dead at 50

BREAKING: LA Times: Michael Jackson hospitalized – Yahoo News

Michael Jackson has been rushed to the hospital, a fire department official told the Los Angeles Times. Capt. Steve Ruda said Thursday that Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the newspaper.

L. Londell McMillan, a lawyer for Jackson, did not have any information. Messages left for other Jackson associates were not immediately returned.

There are several reports that Jackson has died. They are not official.  Indeed, they all seem to be based on a single report at the celebrity gossip site TMZ.

Howie Kurtz tweets that TMZ “has a good track record on such matters.”

UPDATE: LAT is now reporting Jackson dead as well.  That’s close enough to official for me.  Headline changed accordingly.

Sad news.  While I was never a huge fan of Jackson’s music, he is undeniably among the most important figures in pop history.  His legacy, of course, has been tainted by numerous charges of child molestation and endangerment.  Suffice it to say that he was a musical genius and a very weird dude.

UPDATE: Oddly, as I was updating the post above, CNN sent a “Breaking News” email that “Pop singer Michael Jackson in coma after cardiac arrest.”  This was followed seven minutes later with “Pop singer Michael Jackson has died, according to multiple reports.”  Quite surreal.

UPDATE: CNN has officially confirmed this with the LA County coroner.  Over at Gone Hollywood, Allie observes, “They say it happens in three’s, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and now Michael Jackson.”  As my wife and others have noted, Fawcett’s passing has been overshadowed in the news cycle by this news.

UPDATE: Richard Gardner reminds me that he posted on the death of Michael Jackson in September 2007.  That, alas, was Michael “The Beer Hunter” Jackson of whom I had previously never heard.

UPDATE: Gone Hollywood has a roundup of Michael Jackson Obituaries.  Also, a report that Michael Jackson died of a prescription drug overdose.  In subsequent posts here, see Michael Jackson News Saturation – Micheal Jackson Tops Iran! and Michael Jackson Dies, Kills Internet.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Obituaries, Popular Culture, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Burgess says:

    Poor Farah Fawcett… Her obsequies will be trampled by this.

  2. Monkey says:

    Yeah, squished between Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson, Farah might get lost in the shuffle.

  3. And Farrah wasn’t a child molester.

  4. Anderson says:

    The South Park dudes just went into overtime rush production, methinks.

    Farrah beats up Michael outside the Pearly Gates for stealing her obsequies, and then the angels, instead of telling Farrah she has to go to hell now, pile onto Michael like L.A. cops.

  5. PD Shaw says:

    Here in a nutshell is the difficulty facing traditional media:

    Suffice it to say that he was a musical genius and a very weird dude.

    Ideally one can only print facts, not the truth.

  6. William d'Inger says:

    Every generation has its shocker. For my generation, it was the death of James Dean. Except for Elvis, and to a lessor extent Diana, these things usually fade away in no time.

  7. Off topic because I don’t give a sh*t about Michael Jackson, but pictures have surfaced of Sanford’s Pampas Babe. Definitey not a Lewinsky. I’d totally govern that.

  8. I believe OTB reported on the death of Micheal Jackson in September 2007.

    What, there is someone else with that name?

  9. Mark says:

    hmm…as far as I know, MJ died of a heart attack. makes that photo you’ve got there kind of…hmm…in poor taste? Maybe it’s just me.

  10. Sara says:

    Michael is the best artist ever lived, he changed the music industry and the world. He will always live in our hearts as the king of pop and music. And if you fucl<ers(above posters) will keep continue to believe what the tabloid is saying then this only comes to show how ignorant and stupid you truly re, grow a frikkin brain and for once think for yourselves and get real with the facts will ya!

  11. Glenda says:

    Sara, I agree with your post. I will never understand how the death of someone well known brings out the ugliness in people on the internet. I witnessed it for the first time when Diana passed, I couldn’t believe my eyes of what people were spewing about this woman. You’re right, they believe the tabloid trash out there as if it’s gospel. You have to wonder how these people look at themselves in the mirror.