Michael Jackson Dead; Reports

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[Breaking News]

Michael Jackson, who burst on the world stage as a music prodigy when he was part of The Jackson Five, has died of a heart attack today, according to several media outlets.

According to a Jackson family member cited in a media account, the singer collapsed at his West Los Angeles home Thursday morning. A Fire Department official a 911 emergency call was made at 12:21 p.m. today.

Jackson died at 1:07 Pacific Time, according to a source.

A hospital spokesman declined to confirm the singer's death to The Black Star News saying "I cannot give that information out." The 50-year-old entertainer had been taken to UCLA Medical Center for treatment after the 911 call.

He was reported to have been in a coma this afternoon.

“I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news,” QUincy Jones, the musician and legendary producer has said, in a statement.“I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Jackson for the past two months had been rehearsing for a concert beginning July 13 in London and running through March 2010.

It's unclear whether the stress from rehearsal may have played a role. The concert tickets had sold out within minutes of being announced last year. He was to have performed 50 concerts.

As a young prodigy his hits included "Ben," "ABC," and "I'll Be There." Later performing solo, he broke all records with hits such as "Billie Jean" and “Thriller.”

The video for "Thriller" remains a classic and has been viewed more than 37 million times on YouTube.

He was "an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star," John Landis, who directed “Thriller,” said of Jackson, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times today.

Jackson garnered 13 Grammy Awards and sold more than
750 million records.

He was the seventh of nine children, born in Gary, Indiana. His siblings, who also enjoyed varying measures of musical success, include Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy, LaToya, Janet, and Rebbie.

Please feel free to post your comments on the passing of Michael Jackson directly online or submit to milton@blackstarnews.com for publication.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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