Michael Joseph Jackson died in Los Angeles on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 2:26pm at the UCLA Medical Center. The singer was just 50 years old.
Crowned the King of Pop, Jackson’s musical career spanned over five decades beginning at the age of 11 as part of the group The Jackson 5 with his brothers Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon. As a solo artist he created some of the world’s best-selling records: “Off the Wall” (1979), “Thriller” (1982), “Bad” (1987), “Dangerous” (1991) and “HIStory”(1995) and was inducted into the Rock and Roll twice.
Although he was beloved by the world over, Jackson’s life was plagued with controversy from his drastic plastic surgery, accusations of child molestation, to eccentricities that ranged from sleeping in an oxygen chamber to buying the Elephant Man’s bones.
The incredible talent that made Jackson a superstar also isolated him from the world and he seemed to be on an endless quest to reclaim the childhood that was robbed from him by an abusive, overbearing father who thrust him into the spotlight at a young age. He often referred to himself as a lonely man and was obsessed with the story Peter Pan, even calling his palatial animal-filled and carnival themed residence in California Neverland Ranch.
Michael Jackson was truly a gifted and innovative entertainer who made a profound impact on the music industry, touching the world with his musical genius and shaping pop culture as we know it.