Jackson, Michael: King of Pop Diest at 50

June 25, 2009–Michael Jackson, the world’s greatest pop star died on Thursday afternoon in L.A. He was 50.  
According to reports on the Los Angeles Times’ web site, Jackson was rushed midday Thursday from his home to a Los Angeles hospital, where he could not be revived.

Jackson was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges. He had been scheduled to perform 50 sell-out concerts at London’s 02 arena from next week to March 2010.

Jackson, the seventh child of the Jackson family, started in the music business at the age of 11 as a member of the Jackson 5 with his brothers. The group had a number of hits on Motown in the 1970s.

Five of his solo albums are some of the top-selling albums of all time: “Off the Wall,” 1982’s “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “HISstory.”

He was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and had 13 Grammy awards and 13 number one singles. He has sold over 750 million albums worldwide. His total earnings have been estimated at $500 million dollars.

His music videos on MTV, such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” were some of the most influential early music videos, and his sound influenced numerous hip hop and R & B artists.

He was tried and acquitted of sexual abuse allegations in 2005.  He then married nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe, with whom he fathered a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., also known as Prince, and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.  After they divorced in 1999, he retained full custody of the children. In the early 1990s, he was briefly married to Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley.

He lived at Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara from 1988 to 2005. It was sold to Colony Capital, although he still owns a stake in the property.

To celebrate his 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a compilation album, “King of Pop,” in various countries, but it was not released in the U.S.