June 25th, 2009
09:05 PM ET

Michael Jackson's Life: A timeline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/05/20/michael.jackson.tour/art.jackson.gi.jpg caption="Michael Jackson, music legend, died today at the age of 50"]

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.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Diera Daniels

    He was such an inspiration to many people and was truly the king of pop. I believe that his dealth was very trajic to many people.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  2. awura adjoa

    cant believe Micheal Jackson is GONE for good. The world will miss him. may rest in perfect peace for he knew no peace in life on earth. its sad to know that the king of pop who is loved by millions was a very lonely man although he was surrounded by people all the time. although Micheal may be dead his name and songs will 4ever live in our hearts.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:42 pm |

    The worst part is that he has lived his life misunderstood! He has felt like an outcast. KIDS were his comfort and not in a sick pedophile way. He felt comfortable with kids because they don"t judge. He has given his life to entertain us. We have taken so much without even trying to understand him.


    June 25, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Patricia

    As with JFK, Elvis and now Michael, I shall always remember where I was when I heard the shocking and devastating news of his passing. I am blown away and numb! Being only 3 years older than he, I grew up watching his career, listening to his music loudly in my T-Bird, watching his videos and amazed at his meteoric rise to stardom. He constantly wowed me with his style and moves bringing a smile to my face and joy to my heart. He is a part of my life's history as is Elvis. And as with Elvis, Michael changed music... melding his music with film...as always on the forefront of the industry. My heart is saddened and heavy for we have lost an icon of our age. Gone too soon. Now, he is singing with Elvis.

    Love you Michael... Always!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  5. triston

    i love u

    June 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Everyone has a connection to Michael, his music brings up in the minds of every single person many memorable moments and this has made him a very special part of our lives and we also recognize that he sacrificed his entire life to entertain us and there is no one that can sustain such pressure but somehow he managed to do it for so long in a sort of god-like fashion and deep inside we know that's something to admire, this is why we loved him unconditionally...

    I learned today that... A world without Michael Jackson is a world i somehow never expected would come...

    June 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  7. triston

    ur songs were awsome i wish u did not die

    June 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  8. dawn

    My thought go out to Michaels Family & Children. Also the Media needs to stop focusing on the bad things he was accused of because you or I can't prove it , and lets focus on ALL the good things he did. I remeber when he was all the girls could think of, and the guys wanted to be him. Hes a LEGEND and his memory does not need to be dragged through the MUDD!!!!!! Theres alot alot of fans that don't want to re-live the money hungry people out there. I'm 37 and I have teenage boys who are rasied on Michael Jackson & Elvis and the will also remeber, Love him. Michael will live on in my house! The way he should, not by the media and there sick and twisted ways!!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  9. Roy

    Thank you for your continuing coverage of Michael's passing. I am 46 years old, and Michael and the Jackson family has served as an inspiration since I was 8 years old. My heart goes out to his family and other loved ones. May the world remember his humanitarianism as much as his enormous talent.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  10. Kathy from Wisconsin

    His life was strange but his music, dancing and overall level of entertainment was fabulous. I hope that people remember that he was a father, son and brother and respect that there are 3 children without a father.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  11. Betty Heinz

    Michael Jackson was a child that never had the chance to be the little boy. I have questions as to why he was not taken to the hospital last night when the doctor was called? What type of medicatin was given to him by the doctor? Why is there such a hush hush on these questins? Yes he is gone, buy why? Fifty is in our day and age very young. What happened they are not saying?

    June 25, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  12. Joshua

    I'm a 12 year old boy and I love Michael Jackson! When ever I hear his music I have to get up and dance! I only have three words to describe this man "King of Pop!" Michael Jackson's Legacy will live on forever

    June 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  13. Tess

    He is amazing and unforgettable.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  14. jan

    I was so thrilled to learn of Michael's upcoming concert, and was optimistic that he would have one here in NYC. It breaks my heart to know that this will never happen. When The Jackson Five hit the airways in 1969 I became a fan, and continue to be a fan to this day. Truly the King is Dead. This is like losing a member of my own family. My heart breaks for his family, may he rest in peace. Michael, I never can say goodby.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  15. Priscilla

    Michael is in a better place now. May God meet you with open arms in heaven. I watched all the coverage of his trial on Court TvVand read all the court room transcript. That is how much I loved the man. RIP hun.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  16. Bern Houston

    Michael Jackson what a legend!!!!!!! His music will live in our hearts forever.
    Too bad he was so misunderstood by so many. I believe he was a loving, kind, and passionate person.
    His talent was amazing!!!!!! My prayers and thoughts are with Michael and Farrah, tonight as the world mourns their leaving this world.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  17. Marcio Correa

    I was going to sleep, when it came to my mind: "turn on the tv"! CNN reporting the death of my idol in the younger years!? My friend in the end of the long parties, and across the lonely backway to my home I thought "she's out of my life...".
    Dear Michael, God bless you, host you, forgive you... anyone makes mistakes; but you have made so many people happy through your so short life; a life to be remember, a voice we'll never forget!
    A part of my own story has gone with you; I hope to hear you again, someday.
    Oh Lord, have mercy of our dear friend's soul.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  18. Minal Patel Davis

    June 25th, 2009 11:04 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Michael Jackson will surely be remembered as the music icon that he was. As a young child in the home of Indian immigrants, it was amazing how the images and the sounds of Michael Jackson pervaded our home and managed to awe even my parents. I think I was 8 when he first moonwalked across the stage and I remember my mouth falling open as I ran to wake my father to try and explain how he had just glided backward across the stage. I was so disappointed that my dad had missed it! I remember that while my brother was 6 years older than me and there was a cultural divide in our home that his image and sounds never failed to bring us together. Twenty-two years later, my husband agreed that when they first announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Davis at our wedding reception – that we could walk out – or I should say dance/moonwalk out to Billie Jean – my all time favorite song. As a 33 year old professional – this all seems silly but that song will always get me on the dance floor. Just as he managed to capture people of all cultures and languages, he managed to capture people of varying ages, social status and professions with his music. He will truly be missed.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  19. Kevin

    When I heard Michael was taken to the hospital, my heart started beating and pumping like mad that it started hurting, I knew it would be a tough night, I live in the netherlands, writing this at 5:17 in the morning, still watching CNN, I give the Jackson family, and the entire world, my deepest condolences

    June 25, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  20. Nicole lafleur

    Micheal Jackson, out of all his career i think this should be an important message..then and now it is still the same...his faults and all this is the most important message ....
    There comes a time when we heed a certain call (Lionel Richie)
    When the world must come together as one (Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder)
    There are people dying (Stevie Wonder)
    Oh, and it's time to lend a hand -to life (Paul Simon)
    The greatest gift of all (Paul Simon/Kenny Rogers)

    We can't go on pretending day by day (Kenny Rogers)
    That someone, somewhere will soon make a change (James Ingram)
    We're all a part of God's great big family (Tina Turner)
    And the truth (Billy Joel)
    You know love is all we need (Tina Turner/Billy Joel)

    ( CHORUS )
    We are the world, we are the children. (Michael Jackson)
    We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Michael Jackson)
    There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Diana Ross)
    It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Michael Jackson/Diana Ross)

    Well, send'em you your heart so they know that someone cares (Dionne Warwick)
    And their lives will be stronger and free (Dionne Warwick/Willie Nelson)
    As God has shown us by turning stone to bread (Willie Nelson)
    And so we all must lend a helping hand (Al Jurreau)

    We are the world, we are the children (Bruce Springsteen)
    We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Kenny Logins)
    Ooo there's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Steve Perry)
    It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Daryl Hall)

    When you're down and out there seems no hope at all (Michael Jackson)
    But if you just believe there's no way we can fall (Huey Lewis)
    Well, well, well, let's realize oooo that a change can only come (Cyndi Lauper)
    When we (Kim Carnes)
    stand together as one (Kim Carnes/Cyndi Lauper/Huey Lewis)
    yeah,yeah,yeahhhh (Cyndi Lauper)
    if that many celebs thought it was important enough to get involved then it is still important today...so remember him for i think this is the most important message they have all said...and rings true to this day ...thanks AC for paying attention...love ya and he will be missed...

    June 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  21. nana agustina malik

    I think Michael is the most talented musician ever, he is the legend. I was very happy to hear that he is going to make a tour, but then I hear this shocking news. May he rest in peace, May he is in the hand of Allah. You can rest now michael... I love you..

    June 25, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  22. Shelley

    I'm still in shock to hear of Michael's passing. He as the most phenominal entertainer of my life time. He was passionate about everything. Maybe now those who tried to tarnish his name will show some respect and let his family alone and let him rest in peace. They hurt him in life, leave him alone in death.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  23. Lynn

    It hurts so bad to say goodbye to someone as talented as he was, I just hope that CNN will give him the respect he deserves, and stop killing him with such terrible comments I am hearing from Anderson Copper. It's not like other performers such as Elvis, Farrah, Sinatra and others who have been icons in the entertainment world. Give him family time and respect they also need during this time. And stop trying to make his death look like the election night. You guys could do better Michael Jackson changed the face of Music for this country- remember that.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  24. Larry Jaramillo

    you know, I am still in shock, from his sudden death. I love Michael and so does all of my family. I can't believe this happened, the world has suffered a great loss, the music industry, it's just so hard to accept. I was excited to hear that he was trying to work out a deal with one of the large hotels in Las Vegas, but I guess that will never happen now, GOD BLESS YOU MICHAEL AND we will always remember you, WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL !!!!

    June 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  25. Jordan J.

    Michael, I love you and your songs. May you rest in peace and let your legacy live on.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Ann

    I'm on hour 5 of watching CNN today. I'm devastated by the news. I realize it's your job to report everything, but the previous hours of CNN which were devoted to celebrating Michael's musical legacy were much more meaningful to me than the last 20 minutes of his legal issues and financial problems. Please keep to the positive.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  27. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    My hearts goes to Michael Jackson’s family……… Hope they will deal with heart attack, cope and comfortable for Jacksons……. My thoughts and prayers with Jacksons family….. Michael Jackson was my favorite singer, he was really good dance his video………..My heart breaking for Jacksons family.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  28. Natalia

    I still can't believe it, It's so sudden, but all I can say is that you'll be missed. I'll always remember you. RIP MJ.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  29. chris

    All of this attention on Michael Jackson. Sure it's sad and may he rest in peace. However, Michael was a victim of his own lifestyle. I would lay bets that they will find that there was drugs involved in this death.
    Then beautiful Farrah Fawcett passes away after battling cancer for the past three years. She filmed the graphic effects of what cancer is
    as a way of promoting awareness of cancer. She should be the one
    getting the press today. She was never charged with molesting a child and getting away with it. We should be thinking of her today,
    not having the press cram Michael Jackson down our throats all night.
    He was a talented singer/performer who threw his life away by living a strange life, who ran away to another country when other allegations were about to surface. Come on Anderson, give Farrah the press time she so much deserves.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  30. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Im still shocked at this news. While watching the news I was remembering when I was 7 and in the 1st grade when Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video premiered on tv at night and my parents allowed my brother and I to stay up late to see it. The next day going to school it was the big thing that everyone was talking about and asking everyone if they watched it the night before. I think right now that its funny that something as simple as that created such a hoopla for a bunch of 1st grade kids but as an adult you then realize that you saw music history. That is one thing I will never forget.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  31. Leah

    I'm very sad that we have all lost such a wonderful and inspirational entertainer. My thoughts go out to his family, children and his fans. MJ will live on forever in our hearts through his fantastic music. You can finally rest in peace MJ.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  32. Diane N.

    I'll cherish the music and the memories that the music brings, he's at peace now, something he's been looking for for so long. He lives on through his music. Dance in his memory. I will.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  33. Maureen

    I am not a big fan of Michael Jackson, although anyone dying is sad...BUT..Does anybody out there in TV Media Land realize that a very fine woman, Farrah Fawcett, who courageously battled a disease not of her making, past away TODAY also???? I think it is rude and disgusting that this very weird singer, gets all the attention. SHAME on all of you!!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  34. MIR

    The biggest icon from my childhood is gone. I hope in death Michael can find the peace he was searching for in life.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  35. Benigna Marko

    This is so sad. His talents will live in our hearts all of our lives. He was always so brilliant and gave such outstanding performances. He was unmatched by another performer. His talent was just one of a kind. My prayers to the family.
    Benigna Marko

    June 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  36. Adriana

    So sorry to hear about Michael Jackson death...He was such a wonderful musician and performer...My heart goes to his family...

    June 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  37. Letty-TX

    If MJ is really gone this is truly a tragedy! I grew up on ur music. You will sorely be missed. We love you and will miss u sorely! Many thoughts and prayers for the Jackson (including the CHILDREN) family! God Bless!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  38. patty

    The world has lost a true superstar today. Although Michael was different in many ways,no one can deny how talented this man was. One of my first albums that I ever owned as a kid was "Thriller" and my parents had to tell me to turn the volume down so many times. What a great memory. He will truely be missed. To the friends and family of Michael my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  39. Laura

    I fear he will be Elvis like and we'll have years upon years of "Michael Jackson is alive" and MJ sightings.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  40. Catherine

    Michael touched people's hearts and his influence spanned multiple generations. I deeply hope that the media will be as kind in death as they were nasty in life.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  41. Presley

    Jeff Goldblum's manager/agent confirms he is alive & well, it was a hoax, a bad and tasteless hoax...via Twitter

    June 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  42. wak548

    He crossed the color lines. Remember MTV would not play any African American videos. He was the 1st to get played.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  43. Janie

    Whatever one thought of Michael Jackson's perosnal like there is no doubt that he was a genuis musically. And it is through his music just like Elvis that he will live on. May he rest in peace.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  44. Everyday Santa

    June 25th, 2009 8:15 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’ve never responded to an issues using any form of
    media. But, I was drawn to express how I am feeling. Why is it necessary to revisit the negative news when many people are in shock with the sudden death of Michael Jackson? I wish those in front to the camera would allow the public to morn for a while before rehashing his past or allowing their own views to slip in to their reporting. I am shock to hear about Michael and even more disturbed by the negative comments given so soon after his passing! If you have ever lost a close friend or family member you understand the need to remember the happier times. Can we respect him in his death if only for a little while? I remember as a kid saying ” I’m going to marry Michael Jackson” :^) I need a little time before he is torn down in public again.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  45. James

    Wow another famous person died. cnn has been reporting on this for hours now while the real news roles by in small print at the bottom of the screen.That old guy with the bs news show says he's going to bump farrah for this story,shame on him. his show is at least an hour. D#mn Ed Mcmahon died ,he still ows me a milloin dollers

    June 25, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  46. debra

    I'm watching the sad news about Micheal and feel so sorry for his family and children. I personnally don't like how the reporters and commentators are trying to get people to comment on Micheal's legal problems and having Jeffrey on at this time is not appropriate. Let's remember the true artist and talent that Micheal was at least for a few hours.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  47. Denis John

    I am saddened by the death of Michael Jackson as I enjoyed
    his music,,, but it saddens me that the death of Farrah Fawcett has been virtually ignored by CNN,,, she has been such an inspiration to so many people ,,, like my wife and myself who have dealt with the horror of cancer in our family,,It reminds me of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa who died days apart,,, but Mother Teresa was only given the briefest mention,,,, both great women,,, but one was more news worthy it seems. I pray for you all

    June 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  48. Claire Childers

    "Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight. Here one day, gone one night." Michael Jackson, you're home.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  49. Chanel A. Hubby

    I grew up listening to Michael's music. I think he truly was an angel sent from heaven to make peope think about how we could make this world a better place for everyone and to treat people with love, kindness & respect. Alot of people didn't get a chance to see that or just didn't want to. They only wanted to judge him. Michael, may you spend the rest of eternity sitting beside the father in heaven. To the Jackson family; may you take comfort knowing that millions of people are praying for your family & his 3 beautiful children. Everyone knows this is a very difficult time for the family & i hope the media will give you the respect & privacy you deserve. I LOVE YOU MICHAEL – RIP


    June 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  50. Elizabeth J

    I am not happy. I watch CNN all the time. And, I am saddened with the way you are reporting this story. I LOVED Michael Jackson when he was a black man, and a real musician. I did not love musicians then. I knew no black men. I was in the fourth grade and I loved him so much that I dreampt about him. He was amazing to me. I was a young white girl living in Massachusetts who was completely and utterly in awe of him.I wanted his glove. I really do have that perfect image in my head forever. (I have blocked out the past 20 years of his life)
    Farrah died on the wrong day. It is not fair. She was in no way the artist Jackson was, but was for me, a person to connect with as a woman ( or should say, a young girl ) It is not at all nice that you do not even give her a second of your time or television space. You make me very sad. Farrah was perfect and amazing. She could do no wrong. And, you know, that really is no less important to 10 year then a beautiful black man and his one glove. I loved her. And, I loved him. Be nice to both of them please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO.Be nicer to Farrah, you are already being quite nice to Michael Jackson. Too nice.- Elizabeth

    June 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
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