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LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2009: In a twisted case of destiny, Michael Jackson, one of the most influential figures in modern pop culture, died of a sudden cardiac arrest just weeks before his much awaited comeback 'This Is It'. However, the exact circumstances of his deat h will be known only after the autopsy.

Jackson, known as 'King of Pop' by fans and often derided as 'Whacko-Jacko' by the media, was 50.

The 'Thriller' hitmaker, who won 13 Grammies in a careers spanning more than three decades, died last night after collapsing at his home in Los Angeles.

The singer was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA medical centre here by the fire department paramedics after they failed to revive Jackson.

Lieutenant Fred Corral, of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, said Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm (0256 IST) local time.

His mother, brothers including Jermaine, Tito and Randy and sisters Janet and LaToya, had raced to be at his bedside.

“It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home, however, the cause of his death is unknown until the autopsy results are known. Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy, it is a tough time for us,'' Jermaine Jackson, brother of the singer said.

Jackson was dogged with reports of worsening health with rumours of skin cancer and a reported lung failure.

Reports said that the singer had been very frail as he struggled to prepare for his much-hyped 50-date comeback in London, which were due to start on July 13.

RIP Michael, tweets the world
As the world woke up to the news of 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson's death, everyone from Indian politician Shashi Tharoor to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Twitter, the micro blogging website to convey their shock and sorrow.

Tharoor who is on his first ever overseas assignment to the Gulf remembered his meeting with the pop icon. 'MJ's songs and impact will of course outlast the recollections of his oddities. Met MJ once in my UN hat. Musical genius, but distinctly odd (like Mozart?) Wanted to be a UN goodwill ambassador but we couldn't recommend it,' wrote Tharoor.

Superstar Mariah Carey wrote a poignant message saying that Jackson can never be replaced. 'My prayers go out to the Jackson family,and my heart goes out to his children. Let us remember him for his unparalleled contribution to the world of music, his generosity of spirit in his quest to heal the world & the joy he brought to his millions of devoted fans throughout the world.

'I feel blessed to have performed with him several times & to call him my friend.No artist will ever take his place. His star will shine forever,' wrote Carey.

'We lost a great entertainer and a pop icon. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Jackson's family, friends and fans' wrote California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Oscar winning actress Jane Fonda wrote, 'I am stunned, my friend Michael Jackson is dead. he lived with me for a week on 'Golden Pond' set after Thriller.'Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat too payed obeisance through a small tweet, R.I.P. MJ. Gravity singer John Mayer wrote, 'I truly hope he is memorialized as the '83 moonwalking, MTV owning, mesmerizing, unstoppable, invincible Michael Jackson.Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ.'

Srilankan born Oscar nominated rapper MIA wrote, 'Michael Jackson, the first 2 English words I ever spoke, the future sucks!'

Ardent Twitter followers Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher both requested the media to respect the privacy of the grieving family.

'I plea to the public to refuse to consume media that does not respect the anonymity of Michael's children. I plea to the press to respect his wishes of maintaining the anonymity of his children,' wrote Kutcher.

Upcoming singers Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift wrote about the huge influence the star had on their music. 'michael jackson was my inspiration. love and blessings,' wrote Miley Cyrus while Swift tweeted, 'It just doesn't feel real.. Everyone is walking around backstage saying 'Have you heard?'

Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz wrote, 'I have never felt this before in my life. I could measure my childhood 2 now on an MJ growth chart. RIP. The last legend.'

Michael Jackson,50 had died of a sudden cardiac arrest last night here, just weeks before his much awaited comeback.

Courtesy: PTI Click here to visit their site for more news

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