Friday, June 26, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON - (1958 - 2009)


As you've SURELY heard by now, MICHAEL JACKSON passed away yesterday, after suffering an apparent HEART ATTACK at his home. He was 50 years old.

Michael collapsed at the rented mansion where he was living. Paramedics were called at about 12:30 P.M. They arrived within minutes . . . and found him unresponsive and in CARDIAC ARREST.

They spent the next 42 minutes or so trying to revive Michael . . . both at his home and en route to the hospital. Their attempts were unsuccessful. Michael was pronounced dead at about 2:30 P.M. at UCLA Medical Center. (--Here's video of the ambulance leaving Michael's home . . .)

An autopsy will be performed today . . . and results could be in by as early as THIS AFTERNOON. There's no word who was with Michael at the time of his collapse. But we're hearing that his three children may have been present. Either way, they're now in the care of Michael's mother, KATHERINE JACKSON.

As for the kids' futures, there's a good chance they'll remain in the care of the Jackson family.--DEBBIE ROWE . . . the mother of Michael's two oldest kids gave up her parental rights a few years back.

In addition to his children, Michael is survived by his parents, JOE and KATHERINE JACKSON . . . and his eight siblings . . . --Brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon, and Randy . . . and sisters Janet, LaToya, and Rebbie.

(--Michael's brother Jermaine issued an official statement from the family. You can watch it here . . .)



Here's MICHAEL JACKSON'S life in a nutshell . . . --Michael was the seventh of NINE children born to JOE and KATHERINE JACKSON in Gary, Indiana. Joe pushed his kids to be entertainers from early on. Michael and four of his brothers debuted as the JACKSON 5 in 1964 when Michael was just six years old. They recorded numerous chart-topping hits over the next several years, including "ABC", "Dancing Machine", "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There".

In 1978, Michael played the Scarecrow in "The Wiz" . . . a quote-unquote "urban" remake of "The Wizard of Oz" that starred DIANA ROSS as Dorothy and Michael as the Scarecrow. One of Michael's bosses on that film was legendary music producer QUINCY JONES. They ended up forming a partnership that led to Michael's HUGE solo success in the 1980s.

Quincy produced Michael's 1979 solo album, "Off the Wall" . . . then "Thriller" in 1982 . . . and "Bad" in 1987.--"Thriller", as you probably know, is likely the best-selling album of all time. (--Some sources actually give that title to the EAGLES' "Greatest Hits" album.)

In March of 1983 . . . riding the success of "Thriller" . . . Michael performed "Billie Jean" on a TV special celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown. That's where he first unleashed the MOONWALK upon the world. The following year, his hair caught on fire while he was filming a Pepsi commercial.

In 1984, he threw his older brothers a bone by doing one last JACKSONS album, "Victory" . . . followed by a world tour.

In 1985, Michael co-wrote the charity single, "We Are the World", with LIONEL RICHIE on behalf of USA For Africa. Just about every major pop star at the time contributed vocals and showed up for the video shoot.

In 1993, Michael sat down with OPRAH WINFREY, and denied rumors that he bleached his skin. From that moment until his death, he blamed his pale skin on a dermatological condition called VITILIGO.

He also revealed that his father had beaten him and his siblings when they were young. --Also that year, Michael was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch. He settled that case out of court for an undisclosed sum . . . which was said to be at least $15 million.

Before settling, though, Michael made a statement in which he denied the allegations . . . claimed he would be vindicated in a court of law . . . and complained about how his penis was photographed during the police investigation. (--He also admitted to having been treated for a dependency on painkillers. That dependency allegedly continued right up until Michael's death . . . and many people are speculating that it CONTRIBUTED to his demise.)

(--Here's video of that statement . . .)

Despite settling the case, the specter of those allegations would continue to haunt him for the rest of his life.

In 1994, Michael married his first wife, LISA MARIE PRESLEY. They divorced in 1996 . . . but not before shocking millions by KISSING for the cameras at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. Several months after divorcing Lisa Marie, Michael married DEBBIE ROWE . . . a nurse at his dermatologist's office. Debbie bore Michael his first two children . . . son Michael Joseph Jackson Jr . . . (--a.k.a. Prince Michael Jackson Jr.) . . . and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.

Michael and Debbie divorced in 1999 . . . and Debbie subsequently signed all parental rights over to Michael.

In 2001, Michael released his 10th and final album, "Invincible". But by then, Michael was seen as more of a freak show than a bankable artist. Even though it sold something like 10 million copies worldwide, it wasn't really seen as a success when measured against his past achievements.

In 2002, Michael produced a THIRD child, Prince Michael Jackson the Second . . . also known as BLANKET. The mother's identity was never revealed . . . but Michael claimed the child was conceived via artificial insemination . . . using HIS sperm. --Michael introduced the kid to the world by dangling him from the balcony of a fourth-floor hotel room in Germany.(--Here's video of that craziness . . .)

2003 saw the release of journalist MARTIN BASHIR'S documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson". In the video, Michael discussed sharing his bed with children.--Shortly thereafter, one of the kids featured in that documentary accused Michael of sexual harassment. --Michael was hit with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit abuse.

In May of 2005, Michael was acquitted of all charges.--With his finances allegedly in ruins, Michael sold off the Neverland Ranch in November of last year. Michael hadn't lived there since the place was searched by police as part of the investigation into the child molestation allegations years earlier. Michael retained an undisclosed ownership stake in the property . . . which had fallen into pretty serious disrepair from years of neglect.

Michael was scheduled to kick off a 50-date run at London's O2 arena, beginning July 13th. All 50 shows were sold out. Despite being dogged by the usual rumors of failing health . . . including talk of skin cancer . . . Michael was getting in shape for the gigs right up until the end. --He'd hired "Incredible Hulk" star LOU FERRIGNO as his personal trainer, and even held a rehearsal gig the night before his death at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

There has never, is not now & will never ever be an entertainer like Michael! You will be missed!! -- Nazzy


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