Tom Foreman | Bio
I'm sitting in my office, the Capitol glowing in the twilight, listening to the Jackson Five. And it's not just because Michael Jackson has died. I've listened to these songs routinely since I was a child. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but they've always been on my playlist.
"S is for save me. T is for taking it slow. O is for Oh no. P is for please, please don't go."
Now and then people who are your own age, by dint of their success, their self-composure, and their sheer confidence seem as if they are light years ahead.from some parallel universe where the normal laws of physics, fame, and fantastic possibilities are simply beyond our comprehension, and certainly beyond our capabilities.
That was Michael Jackson for me. He grew up in Indiana, while I was growing up in Illinois. He was only one year older, but I was an adoring fan from the start. His talent was beyond imagination. For me, he stalked the stage like Elvis and the Beatles. And my heavens.he was only twelve? I was eleven and stumbling into adolescence like a dog wearing boots; while he was gliding beneath the spotlights, dancing, crooning, slaying audiences like a master. Everything about him said cool.
Tonight on 360°, remembering the King of Pop. Family, friends and fans are shocked by the death of Michael Jackson. He collapsed at his home in Los Angeles, about noon Pacific time, suffering cardiac arrest, according to his brother Randy Jackson. He died at UCLA Medical Center. Michael Jackson was 50.
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Program Note: For more on Michael Jackson's life, legacy, and sudden death, tune in tonight, AC360° at 10 p.m. ET
Michael Jackson, one of the most popular entertainers of the past century and the "King of Pop," died Thursday, June 25, and after suffering sudden cardiac arrest, CNN has confirmed.
Click through the timeline to read more about Jackson's life, much of which has been spent in the public spotlight.
There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father. He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one. He was spiritually and psychologically raped at a very early age – and never recovered. Watching him change his race, his age, and almost his gender, you saw a tortured soul seeking what the rest of us take for granted: a normal life.
But he had no compass to find one; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence. Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life. But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end. He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.
I loved his music. His young voice was almost a miracle, his poise in retrospect eery, his joy, tempered by pain, often unbearably uplifting. He made the greatest music video of all time; and he made some of the greatest records of all time. He was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone.
I grieve for him; but I also grieve for the culture that created and destroyed him. That culture is ours' and it is a lethal and brutal one: with fame and celebrity as its core values, with money as its sole motive, it chewed this child up and spat him out.
I hope he has the peace now he never had in his life. And I pray that such genius will not be so abused again.
We're bringing you a two hour edition of 360° tonight on the death of Michael Jackson. The pop music legend died this afternoon at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after collapsing at his home and suffering cardiac arrest.
At the hospital fans quickly gathered outside. At one point Jackson's music could be heard from a fraternity house across the street. As the music played people were crying, many were in shock over the loss of the 'King of Pop'.
Tonight, we'll look at the life of Michael Jackson. There were the classic hits from the days of the "Jackson 5". Flashback to 1969. Their first Motown hit was "I Want You Back". There was no looking back. Years later, Jackson dominated the music scene as a solo artist. His debut solo album, "Off the Wall", sold over 7 million copies and had four top 10 singles. In 1982, "Thriller" was released. It's the wold's best-selling album of all-time, selling more than 100 million copies. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards over the years and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
But in more recent years there were the accusations of child molestation. He denied the charges each time. Though, in 1993 he paid an unspecified amount to a 13-year-old old boy in an out of court settlement. Ten years later, another boy would accuse him of the same charges. That case went to trial in California. Jackson was found not guilty.
The trial and several unrelated lawsuits put a massive dent in Jackson's fortune. He was planning a comeback with 50 sold-out concerts in London that were to start next month.
Instead his family is now planning his funeral. And, questions remain: Why did Jackson die? An autopsy is expected to be performed tomorrow. And, what will his legacy be?
Share your memories of Michael Jackson below.
Join us for this and our coverage on the death of another icon, Farrah Fawcett, tonight on AC360°. See you then!
American Heart Association
The source of this information is the American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association urges the public to be prepared for cardiac emergencies:
Know the warning signs of cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest a victim loses consciousness, stops normal breathing and loses pulse and blood pressure. They may suddenly collapse.
Call 9-1-1 immediately to access the emergency medical system if you see any cardiac arrest warning signs.
Give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help keep the cardiac arrest victim alive until emergency help arrives.
If you don’t know CPR or haven’t been trained, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives.
What is cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. It’s not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
Sudden death (also called sudden cardiac death) occurs within minutes after symptoms appear.
What causes cardiac arrest?
The most common reason for patients to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is heart disease.
Other factors besides heart disease and heart attack can cause cardiac arrest. They include respiratory arrest, electrocution, drowning, choking and trauma.
Cardiac arrest can also occur without any known cause.
Can cardiac arrest be reversed?
Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes after cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest can be reversed if it's treated within a few minutes with an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. This process is called defibrillation.
A victim's chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes.
How many people survive cardiac arrest?
Each year, EMS treats nearly 300,000 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital. More than 92 percent of cardiac arrest victims don’t survive to be discharged from the hospital. In cities where defibrillation is provided within 5 to 7 minutes, the survival rate is as high as 30–45 percent.
What can be done to increase the survival rate?
Early CPR and rapid defibrillation combined with early advanced care can result in high long-term survival rates for witnessed cardiac arrest.
If bystander CPR was initiated more consistently, if AEDs were more widely available, and if every community could achieve a 20 percent cardiac arrest survival rate, an estimated 40,000 more lives could be saved each year.
We're learning from our affiliate, KTLA, that Michael Jackson has been hospitalized. He was taken to the UCLA Hospital with cardiac arrest. We'll keep you posted with more details. More information tonight.