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Michael Jackson has died, according to media reports.
The 50-year-old King of Pop was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on Thursday afternoon after he stopped breathing in his Los Angles home. Several media outlets later reported that Jackson had died.
Representatives for the singer did not immediately comment.
Jackson had been busy rehearsing for a high-stakes comeback tour, set to start within weeks in England, with dozens of dates scheduled and tickets selling out quickly. To prepare for the rigors of performing, he was training with Lou Ferrigno, the star of the TV show The Incredible Hulk.
On Thursday afternoon, he collapsed in his home near UCLA and was unresponsive when paramedics arrived, a source says. Paramedics performed CPR, and Jackson was seen with an oxygen mask over his face being hauled on a stretcher to an ambulance, which took him to the hospital just minutes away on campus.
In his 50 years, Jackson went from the cute little singer in his family's group to dazzling headliner and unquestionably the reigning pop star of the '80s to – amid accusations of child molestation – social outcast. The seventh of nine children of Joseph and Katherine Jackson, Michael was born in Gary, Ind., on Aug. 29, 1958, and began his career performing with his brothers. His professional debut with the Jackson 5 came at age 11.
The group set chart records with its first four singles, including "I Want You Back" and "ABC." As a solo artist, Jackson also recorded four studio albums for Motown Records before moving, with his brothers, to Epic Records, where they continued to record as the Jacksons until 1984.
Forming a partnership with producer Quincy Jones after working together on the 1978 movie musical The Wiz – Jackson played a rather sheepish Scarecrow to Diana Ross's Dorothy in this urban adaptation of The Wizard of Oz – Jackson released his solo album Off the Wall, which he co-produced with Jones. Released in 1979, the disc spawned hits including "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You." His second Epic solo album, 1982's Thriller, is often cited as the best-selling album of all time.