(06-25) 15:54 PDT DAY: Thursday — Michael Jackson, the troubled recording artist who covered himself in sequins and appointed himself “King of Pop,” died in Los Angeles today. He was 50. The cause was cardiac arrest, according law enforcement sources.

According to wire reports, the singer was unresponsive when paramedics arrived at the Bel Air home he was renting while rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena beginning next month and continuing into 2010.

The concerts, financed by a pair of billionaires, were planned as a way of reviving his career. Those close to the singer hoped it would serve as a trial run for a lengthy world tour, new album, Michael Jackson museum and Las Vegas stage show, according to news reports.

Jackson, however, had publicly protested that he was not physically ready for shows, which sold out almost instantly. The opening dates had already been pushed back.

Earlier this month, he reportedly told a group of fans outside his Burbank rehearsal studio, “I’m really angry with them booking me up to do 50 shows. I only wanted to do 10, and take the tour around the world to other cities, not 50 in one place. I went to bed knowing I sold 10 dates and woke up with the news I was booked to do 50.”

Jackson started singing at the age of eight as a member of the Jackson 5, the family band that included his brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon. It was the start of a long and turbulent career that peaked with the release of 1982’s “Thriller,” which holds the title of the best-selling album of all time.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 3:41 am and is filed under Art News Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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