DEAD: Michael Jackson

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Michael Jackson (aged 50)
American singer, songwriter and dancer

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. He was also known for his unorthodox lifestyle, residing in a private amusement park he called Neverland Ranch, and often becoming the focus of tabloid scrutiny. Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

DEATH: On June 25, 2009, less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died from a cardiac arrest. Conrad Murray, his personal physician, had given Jackson various medications to help him sleep at his rented mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. Paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 pm Pacific time (19:22 UTC), and arrived three minutes later. Jackson was not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for more than an hour after arriving there, but were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm Pacific time.

Jackson had taken propofol, lorazepam, and midazolam; his death was caused by a propofol overdose. News of his death spread quickly online, causing websites to slow down and crashfrom user overload, and putting unprecedented strain on services and websites including Google, AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter, and Wikipedia. Overall, web traffic rose by between 11% and 20%. MTV and BET aired marathonsof Jackson’s music videos. Jackson specials aired on television stations around the world.MTV briefly returned to its original music video format, and aired hours of Jackson’s music videos, with live news specials featuring reactions from MTV personalities and other celebrities.

Jackson’s memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park’s Hall of Liberty. Over 1.6 million fans applied for tickets to the memorial; the 8,750 recipients were drawn at random, and each received two tickets. The memorial service was one of the most watched events in streaming history, with an estimated US audience of 31.1 million.

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