Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The media has commonly referred to Jackson as the “King of Pop” because, throughout his career, he transformed the art of music videos and paved the way for modern pop music. Jackson was described in 2003 as “extremely important” and a “genius”. For much of his career, he had an “unparalleled” level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions. Jackson’s music and videos, such as Thriller, fostered racial diversity in MTV’s roster, helped to put the relatively new channel into public awareness, and steered the channel’s focus from rock to pop music and R&B, shaping the channel into a form that proved enduring. Jackson’s work continues to influence numerous artists of various music genres. BET described Jackson “as quite simply the greatest entertainer of all time” and someone who “revolutionized the music video and brought dances like the moonwalk to the world. Jackson’s sound, style, movement and legacy continues to inspire artists of all genres.
Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” died on June 25, 2009 at age 50. His death was sudden and unexpected, leaving many grieving fans wondering what happened. How did he die?
An unidentified man called 911 from Jackson’s California mansion at 12:21 p.m. He reported that Jackson was unconscious and not breathing. In excerpts from the call, the man said that Jackson’s personal doctor was the only other person present and was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the unconscious Jackson without results.
An autopsy was done the very next day. The doctors, however, said they couldn’t immediately establish a cause of death. Los Angeles County Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey reported that, “the cause of death has been deferred; the medical examiner has ordered additional testing such as toxicology and other studies.” Toxicology tests would show if Jackson was taking drugs when he died. This means that it could take 4-6 more weeks until there is an official cause of death. In the meantime, speculation is rising.
After the autopsy, foul play and external trauma were ruled out. That leaves behind a theory that it was medication that caused Jackson to suffer a heart attack. A heart attack is a blocking of the arteries that deprives the heart of adequate blood and can cause cardiac arrest. However, cardiac arrest can also be caused by factors other than a heart attack, including medications. Jackson’s brother Jermaine said it was believed that Jackson went into cardiac arrest due to an interruption of the normal heartbeat.
It has been reported that Jackson’s personal doctor injected Jackson with Demerol about half an hour before he went into cardiac arrest.
Demerol is a narcotic analgesic with effects similar to morphine. It’s prescribed for relief of moderate to severe pain, and is sometimes used prior to- or during a surgical procedure to enhance the effects of the anesthesia.
Unlike some common pain relievers, which block the nerve endings from transmitting messages of pain to the brain, Demerol acts on the central nervous system, basically tricking the brain by replacing the feeling of pain with a “high.”
It is possible that Jackson was “heavily addicted” to the painkiller Oxycontin and was injected daily with that medication, along with Demerol. Brian Oxman, Jackson’s family spokesman and lawyer, told reporters that he had been concerned about the prescription drugs Jackson took for pain he had. He commented to reporters: “I said one day, we’re going to have this experience, and when Anna Nicole Smith passed away, I said we cannot have this kind of thing with Michael Jackson. I do not want to point fingers at anyone because I want to hear what the toxicology report says and the coroner says. But the plain fact of the matter is that Michael Jackson had prescription drugs at his disposal at all times.”
While the official cause of death is still unknown, many believe that medications were the cause. Jackson was taking several strong medications. An overdose of a prescription drug can be fatal. Also, mixing several drugs can be very dangerous. If you are taking several medications, ask your doctor about possible dangerous interactions.
News of his death brought a swift and stunned reaction, with celebrities expressing sadness on Twitter and fans thronging to Times Square. Ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ daughter, said she was heartbroken for Jackson’s three children and other family members
He is survived by his three children, his parents, his four brothers, three sisters and an army of fans who correctly assume he cannot be replaced. “We will never see his likes again,” Larry King said on CNN. “It was hard to love him, but hard not to”.