Michael Jackson was rushed to UCLA hospital yesterday where he was pronounced dead after medics failed to resuscitate him. The singer was due to appear in a series of 50 sell-out shows at London's O2 arena this summer, which was expected to resurrect his four-decade long career.
However, for the last week the singer has not been in good health, with his father Joe Jackson telling TMZ.com: "He is not doing well." His health deteriorated further through the week and an emergency 911 call was made from his Los Angeles home just after midday. His mother Katherine and sisters Janet and LaToya had rushed to his bedside to be with him.
The singer had reportedly been dependant on prescription pain killers for some time, which were suspected to have caused the heart attack.
Tributes poured in from celebrity fans and celebrities including Uri Geller, ex wife Lisa-Marie Presley, Liza Minelli and Madonna. A representative for Michael's close friend Elizabeth Taylor said: "Dame Elizabeth Taylor is too devastated by the passing of her dear friend Michael Jackson to issue a statement at this time." Ashton Kutcher posted a message via Twitter saying "RIP. Sending love and light to family and friends but especially his kids."
Search engine Google crashed last night as people worldwide searched for information about Jackson after TMZ.com broke the news.
Check out our Michael Jackson tribute gallery, charting his most important moments.
By Pat McNulty