Thousands of people are converging on the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles as word spreads across the world that Michael Jackson died at the age of 50.
Michael Jackson's immune system collapsed, his heart shut down. He had been rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering from cardiac arrest brought on by the HIV virus contracted during unknown blood transfusions for a heart bypass earlier in life.
After being taken to the hospital in a coma, Jackson was pronounced dead.
He has been infected with HIV since 1996. He also suffered from vitiligo - a chronic relatively common dermatologic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin.
HIV is a member of the retrovirus family that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk.
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s.
With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
Michael Jackson's behaviour manifested symptoms of pederastry or an erotic attraction to adolescent boys. He repeatedly claimed that he loved children and would never harm them. "Children love me. I love children ... They want to be with me. But anybody can come in my bed. A child can come in my bed if they want," he said in a 1996 U.S. television interview.
The singer was scheduled for a come-back with a string of 50 concerts scheduled to start in London on July 13. There have been conflicting reports about Jackson's health. His sold-out London concert series, billed "Farewell to London," was postponed by a few days. In order for concert promoters to get insurance for the concerts, which were scheduled to begin July 13, Jackson underwent a four-hour physical in Los Angeles this spring with an independent doctor who "okayed" his concert plans. His lawyer also said that Jackson abused drugs and was in a very poor health. More updates coming...
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