Washington/Melbourne, June 26 (IANS) The King of Pop is dead...The death of singer Michael Jackson with best-selling albums like "Off the Wall", "Thriller" and "Bad" has shocked the world with messages pouring in for his family and close friends in Hollywood and around the globe.
The 50-year-old moonwalking former child star, who became known the world over as the King of Pop, was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his home early Thursday afternoon, according to media reports.
He was taken to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Centre, where he died at 1.07 p.m. Pacific time Thursday (1:37 a.m. IST Friday).
"I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children who I know were everything to him and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me," said Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley.
Madonna also issued a statement, saying: "I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever. My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."
"Michael Jackson was my generation's most iconic cultural hero. Courageous, unique and incredibly talented. He'll be missed greatly," said Russell Simmons, hip-hop entrepreneur and founder of Def-Jam Records.
At the time of his death Jackson had been preparing for a 50-concert run in London that was meant to represent his comeback and secure his financial future.
In Australia, Jackson's fans expressed their grief over his death.
Thomson Kottarathara wrote in The Age newspaper website: "Sad day for music. MJ was a legend. Love all the timeless music and the images he provided us with. MICHAEL, you will remain in our hearts. RIP."
Yann said: "The king of pop is dead, am sure anyone from the X generation will feel little bit sad, in the 80's we had the greatest concerts, their where the great days. The moon dance unh!! that was so cool. And then the 90's came thats when Michael just went coucou!!"
Jackson rose to fame as the lead singer of the Jackson 5, a band he formed with his brothers in the late 1960s. In 1982, he released "Thriller", an album that eventually produced seven hit singles.