The musician suffered a cardiac arrest Thursday afternoon and was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital where he died, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Paramedics arrived at Jackson's Sunset Boulevard home after receiving a 911 call. Despite CPR being administered during the short ambulance ride, he arrived at the UCLA Medical Center in a coma.
Jackson, winner of 13 Grammy awards, was a musical pop icon and popularized the one sparkly glove, the moonwalk and other unique dance moves. Five of his albums — "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "HIStory" — became global bestsellers.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born Aug. 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was the seventh of nine siblings that included Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. His childhood was a rocky one, characterized by highs from his success with his brothers as The Jackson 5 and lows from physical and emotional abuse by his father Joe Jackson.
His solo career began concurrently with his time with The Jackson 5, and the songs "Ben" and "Rockin' Robin" became hits for the time. After playing the Scarecrow in "The Wiz," he formed a partnership with Quincy Jones that produced his first major solo album "Off the Wall."
Besides his fashions, vocals and choreography, Jackson's music videos became iconic. To this day, "Thriller" is so beloved and recognizable, people worldwide are still performing the ghoulish dance at the end of the video.
Check out prison inmates in the Philippines performing the "Thriller" dance or check out the original video.
Some of his numerous musical hit singles include "I'll Be There," ""Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Rock with You," "Thriller, "Billie Jean", "Beat It," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin,'" "Say Say Say," "We Are the World," "Scream" and "Black or White." He has the honor of being the only person inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Balancing out his incredible achievements, however, was an eccentric, colorful life that was full of its share of sensationalized stories including his numerous plastic surgeries, speculation about his skin bleaching, his hair catching fire while filming a Pepsi commercial, his pet chimpanzee Bubbles, his interest in the Elephant Man, prescription drug addiction, adopting children and much more.
Perhaps the most infamous stories pertained to accusations of sexual abuse. In the mid-'90s, he settled with his accuser and he was never charged. The subject was revisited by another accuser in 2003, two years after which the whole issue actually went to trial. In May 2005, he was acquitted on all counts.
Lately, Jackson had been rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London. This was seen as his first stab at a comeback after the years of negative press.
For more on Michael Jackson's life and death, check out the Los Angeles Times.