LOS ANGELES - (From CBS News) Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted "King of Pop" who emerged from childhood superstardom to become the entertainment world's most influential singer and dancer before his life and career deteriorated in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday. He was 50.
Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's brother, gave a press conference in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon. He said that his brother died at 2:26 p.m. local time, and it is believed that Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his home, but that the cause of death is unknown until they received the results of an autopsy.
Jackson's personal physician tried to resuscitate him at his home, as did the paramedics, Jermaine Jackson said. Then at the hospital, doctors tried to revive him for more than an hour, but were unsuccessful.
"We will be with you Michael, always," Jermaine Jackson said.
Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m. local time, Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times. The paramedics tried to resuscitate him and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the newspaper.
The Times also reported that law enforcement sources said that Los Angeles Police Department robbery-homicide detectives have opened an investigation into the death, though they stressed there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The detectives plan to interview relatives, friends and Jackson's doctors to try to figure out what happened. The L.A. County coroner's office will determine a cause of death.
The coroner's office received Jackson's body Thursday evening. They anticipate performing the autopsy Friday morning, but the final cause of death will not be conclusive because they need time to conduct toxicology and tissue studies.
Earlier Thursday evening, with speculation reaching a fever pitch, the Times cited city and law enforcement sources as saying Jackson had been rushed to hospital by paramedics and was not breathing when they arrived at the sprawling mansion where he'd been staying.
Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman, who said he had worked with the family for 20 years, said that Michael Jackson had been "using medicine for quite a while."
"I have warned," Oxman said. "These enablers around have done this."
Word of the sudden emergency, fuelled by rampant media speculation about the possibility of Jackson's death, brought a swarm of news helicopters to the air above the hospital and a growing mass of people on the grounds outside.
CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reported that outside of the U.C.L.A. Medical Center, a crowd quickly gathered.
"We've seen a lot of people crying, a lot of fans," Tracy said. "Weirdly enough, there is a fraternity house across the street that is actually playing Michael Jackson music right now which has led to a kind of surreal environment."
Jackson, 50, has been in the public eye for more than 40 years.
With his unforgettable catchy Jackson Five tunes and incredible stage presence, the public has been infatuated with the shining child star turned awkward adult, who reached international superstardom. As soon as Jackson glided across the stage with his signature moonwalk dance, it was all over from there - fans were immediately hooked.
His album "Thriller," released in 1982, was a chart-topper that set the bar for pop music.