26 June 2009
Music legend Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Beverly Hills. Jackson, who had a history of health problems, had been due to stage a series of comeback concerts in the UK in July.
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Michael Jackson's body was airlifted from hospital to the coroner's office in downtown Los Angeles. TV stations here carried live coverage of the helicopter's journey. An autopsy will be carried out later today to establish the precise cause of his death.
Paramedics had been called to the Beverly Hills mansion Michael Jackson had been renting whilst he prepared for a series of fifty sold-out shows in London next month. The singer's brother Jermain told a news conference that after they failed to resuscitate him, Jackson was transferred to a nearby hospital where a team of doctors worked for more than an hour in a vain attempt to revive him.
Only a few hours earlier Michael Jackson had been rehearsing at a local sports stadium, but concerns about his fitness for the concert tour had already begun to circulate, amid reports that he was looking frail. Hundreds of fans have maintained a vigil outside the hospital to which he was taken, some to mourn his passing, others to celebrate his music.
For the all the controversy that surrounded the latter part of his career several commentators here have likened his musical legacy to that of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley.
David Willis, BBC News, Los Angeles
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moved by aircraft or helicopter (here, because of an emergency)
- coroner's office
a place where an official person examines the reason why someone died unexpectedly
- carried live coverage
broadcast news and events as they happened
medical workers specially trained to deal with emergencies
- sold-out shows
concerts so popular, that there are no tickets left to buy
bring someone back to life or consciousness
- vain attempt
when you to try to do something difficult but without much chance of succeeding
- maintained a vigil
stayed in one place to think about and honour an ill or dead person
- mourn his passing
express sadness over his death