LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Pop star Michael Jackson has died.
The 50-year-old Jackson suffered cardiac arrest on Thursday and was reportedly not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at the home he was renting around 12:30 p.m.
The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center where he later died.
Often known as the “King of Pop”, Jackson emerged from childhood superstardom to become one of the most exciting performers of his generation, known for his crotch-grabbing dance moves and high-pitched voice punctuated with squeals and titters.
His 1982 album “Thriller,” which included the blockbuster hits “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” remains the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies.
His single sequined glove and tight, military-style jacket were trademarks second only to his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.
As years went by, he became increasingly freakish, with lighter skin and a narrower nose.
Jackson surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, often wore a germ mask while traveling and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions.
In 2003, he had been accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy at the ranch but cleared of the charges two years later.
While his career never fully rebounded after the allegations, Jackson will always be remembered for the King of Pop he was.
An autopsy will be performed on Jackson in Los Angeles Friday.
Funeral arrangements are pending.