Pop star Michael Jackson, who bridged the gap between black soul and white pop music, has died in Los Angeles, according to media reports. He was 50.
Jackson suffered cardiac arrest at his home Thursday afternoon, and paramedics were unable to revive him.
Hundreds of fans and media gathered outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after reports began circulating that he had been transferred there.
His family were also reported to be on their way to the hospital.
There had been recent reports that Jackson was in poor health, and his London concert series, billed as a farewell to London, was postponed by a few days.
However, the concerts quickly sold out, a testament to the enduring appeal of the singer, known as the “King of Pop.”
Jackson left an indelible mark on pop music, largely on account of his 1980s hits such as Beat It and Billie Jean.
His music set the world dancing, with a catchy beat and innocuous lyrics.
He also set a new standard for music videos with the creative and gripping Thriller, a horror-film spoof that Jackson wrote and produced with John Landis in 1983.
He won two Grammy Awards for the Thriller video, and MTV named it the best video ever made.
In recent years, he was much in the news for his financial and legal troubles, including the auctioning of personal items and the battle over his Neverland ranch.
His odd personal appearance and relationship with his children also detracted from his image.
But he remained one of pop’s most successful musicians, winning 13 Grammy Awards and selling 750 million albums worldwide.