King of Pop Michael Jackson Dead at 50 from Cardiac Arrest
by Brandon Lee Tenney
June 26, 2009
The King of Pop. MJ. Jacko. Michael Jackson. The 50-year-old entertainment icon died early Thursday afternoon at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he had been taken after suffering full cardiac arrest. Though reports were slow to reach media outlets (TMZ was the first to report the news), it's now known that Jackson was reportedly unconscious upon arriving at the hospital (via Reuters). Doctors were unable to revive him. And while his life has now ended, in the 50 years prior, Michael Jackson ascended from child star to megastar to king. Jackson is the epitome of the modern-day multi-media megastar.
Best known for his illustrious music career where he wailed and moon-walked his way to over 750 million records sold and 13 Grammy Awards, Jackson also had a long-standing film career. From his breakout performance in Sidney Lumet's The Wiz where he played the innocent Scarecrow to his epic music video crossover films Thriller and Bad, the latter directed by Martin Scorsese, as well as the unforgettable Captain EO in 1986. Always full of life, even when his life was full of turmoil, Michael Jackson even had a brief, yet unforgettable, cameo in Men in Black II -- poking fun at himself, the very man he so often wished to change.
His life was far from normal, though Jackson never truly had a chance to attain any semblance of normalcy -- but it will be his successes outside the norm for which he is remembered: his signatures on the world of music and movies. Michael Jackson was one -- neither one in one million, or a billion even -- but one, wholly unique and never to be repeated. Nor should he be. Michael Jackson is survived by his three children, Prince Michael I, Paris Michael, and Prince Michael II -- as well as his adoring fans, his memory, and his influence on media, both auditory and visual, at large. May you moon-walk in peace, Michael.