Drug use key question in Michael Jackson’s sudden death

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Reuters, Jun 26, 2009 12:00 pm PDT
One day after Michael Jackson’s sudden death, speculation turned to what killed the 50-year-old “King of Pop” on the cusp of a long-awaited comeback concert series.

A family attorney said on Friday he had been concerned that Jackson’s use of prescription drugs for dancing-related injuries would eventually prove fatal and that the entertainer’s inner circle had ignored his warnings.

A Jackson family member told celebrity website TMZ.com the singer had been given an injection of the painkiller Demerol before he went into full cardiac arrest at his rental home around midday on Thursday. TMZ soon after broke the news that Jackson had died at a Los Angeles hospital.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said the autopsy would begin Friday morning, but it could take six to eight weeks to determine a cause of death, which will likely have to wait for the return of toxicology tests. Those tests will determine if Jackson had any drugs, alcohol or prescription medications in his system.

LEGIONS OF FANS

At dawn on Hollywood Boulevard, fans gathered at Jackson’s star on the Walk of Fame to honor the former child prodigy who became one of the best-selling pop artists of all time before descending into a strange and reclusive lifestyle amid accusations of child molestation.

“His music was the soundtrack of my childhood,” said Tassa Hampton, 32, as she knelt to light a white votive candle amid a growing pile of flowers and posters. “I didn’t realize what a loss it was until he was gone.”

One day after Michael Jackson’s sudden death, speculation turned to what killed the 50-year-old “King of Pop” on the cusp of a long-awaited comeback concert series.

A family attorney said on Friday he had been concerned that Jackson’s use of prescription drugs for dancing-related injuries would eventually prove fatal and that the entertainer’s inner circle had ignored his warnings.

A Jackson family member told celebrity website TMZ.com the singer had been given an injection of the painkiller Demerol before he went into full cardiac arrest at his rental home around midday on Thursday. TMZ soon after broke the news that Jackson had died at a Los Angeles hospital.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said the autopsy would begin Friday morning, but it could take six to eight weeks to determine a cause of death, which will likely have to wait for the return of toxicology tests. Those tests will determine if Jackson had any drugs, alcohol or prescription medications in his system.

TAINTED TALENT?

Jackson dominated the charts in the 1980s and was one of the most successful entertainers of all time, with a lifetime sales tally estimated at 750 million records, 13 Grammy Awards and several seminal music videos.

“Michael was and will remain one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived,” said Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jackson’s first label boss. “He was exceptional, artistic and original. He gave the world his heart and soul through his music.”

Jackson’s reputation as a singer and dancer was overshadowed in recent years by his increasingly abnormal appearance and bizarre lifestyle, which included his friendship with a chimp and a preference for the company of children.

He named his estate in the central California foothills Neverland Valley Ranch, in tribute to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan stories, and built amusement park rides and a petting zoo.

Jackson was twice accused of molesting young boys and was charged in 2003 with child sexual abuse. He became even more reclusive following his 2005 acquittal and vowed he would never again live at Neverland.

Despite reports of Jackson’s ill health, the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.

Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children, and first performed with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5.

His 1982 album “Thriller” yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million internationally.

The following year, he unveiled his signature “moonwalk” dance move, gliding across the stage and setting off an instant trend, while performing “Billie Jean” during an NBC special.

In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996.

Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999, and he later had another child with an unidentified surrogate mother.

He is survived by three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for a brief public appearance when his father displayed him to fans in Germany by holding him over the railing of a hotel balcony.

StreetGangs.Com Staff Posted by on Jun 26 2009. Filed under Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Drug use key question in Michael Jackson’s sudden death”

  1. Kyong Bechler

    This girl needs to be doing far more than 90 days in imprisonment, anything less and I think is always to total insult for the legal system. Ms. Lindsay is already getting off scot-free just mainly because she’s a celebrity. It entirely sends an unacceptable message, especially towards yougsters that look up to her as a role model. I’m learning now that she’ll likely only wind up serving 14 days of her 90 day term. I guess driving whilst DUI isn’t really so poor after all- the stuff these famous people get away with is so unfair.

  2. Awesome,I adore MJ! He was the best to ever sing! We will never ever have someone like MJ! Rest in Peace to the KING!

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