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June 27, 2009

The Michael Jackson Moment

Posted: 08:50 PM ET

By Sridhar Pappu via Forbes online

art.tribute.giThey aren't mourning the man. Not really. How could they? Mourners are gathering in Los Angeles and New York and elsewhere, weeping over the death of a man they never met, never spoke with, never had any intimate connection to. Yet in the end we knew very little about Jackson, and what we knew was dark and troubling. Hell, what we knew of him is damn right horrifying. You couldn't love Michael Jackson–not the man. But you could love what he once meant to you, what he brought to you, what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins meant when he wrote:

Margaret, are you grieving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?....

It was the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.

No, they are mourning a moment. It's a moment now more than 25 years old when a man-child, born from Motown Soul, finally shed the image of his brothers, the afro, Gary, Ind., and the cartoon show, and came onto the screen to reinfuse pop with a kind of energy the world had never seen, and may not have since. Particularly for those of us in our 30s for whom "Thriller" was the first record or tape we ever owned, Michael Jackson was our introduction to real music, to that particular electricity one feels when something you've never heard before wraps around your whole body, with you on the other end never wanting it to let go.

(Read More)

Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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June 26, 2009

Usher: Michael Jackson Transcended the Culture

Posted: 02:58 PM ET

1art.usherandmji#

Note: Usher will be a guest on LKL tonight!

This loss has deeply saddened me! It is with a heavy heart I composed this statement. May God cover you Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer.  I pray for the entire JACKSON family particularly Michael's mother, children and all his fans that loved him so much.

I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for Him and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways, transcended the culture. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats! With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world.

His legacy is unparalleled.  Michael Jackson will never be forgotten.

Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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Liza Minnelli, Quincy Jones & Usher on LKL remembering MJ

Posted: 12:27 PM ET

We'll be continuing our coverage on the latest in the tragic death of "The King Of Pop," Michael Jackson – and we've got his friends paying tribute to him – tune in tonight to hear from Liza Minnelli, Quincy Jones, Usher, Miko Brando and others!

Here's what they've had to say so far on Michael's passing:

Liza Minnelli says: "He was a kind, genuine, and wonderful man. He was also one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. I loved him very much and I will miss him every remaining day of my life."

Quincy Jones had this to say, "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words.  Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the 80's. To this day, the music we created together on "Off The Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever."

What did Michael Jackson mean to you?!?  We want to know – leave us a comment, or if you have a question for one of our guests tonight, let us know!

Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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A Tribute to My Friend, Michael Jackson

Posted: 12:11 PM ET

By Deepak Chopra

art.jackson.skin.grammys.giMichael Jackson will be remembered, most likely, as a shattered icon, a pop genius who wound up a mutant of fame. That's not who I will remember, however. His mixture of mystery, isolation, indulgence, overwhelming global fame, and personal loneliness was intimately known to me. For twenty years I observed every aspect, and as easy as it was to love Michael - and to want to protect him - his sudden death yesterday seemed almost fated.

Two days previously he had called me in an upbeat, excited mood. The voice message said, "I've got some really good news to share with you." He was writing a song about the environment, and he wanted me to help informally with the lyrics, as we had done several times before. When I tried to return his call, however, the number was disconnected. (Terminally spooked by his treatment in the press, he changed his phone number often.)  So I never got to talk to him, and the music demo he sent me lies on my bedside table as a poignant symbol of an unfinished life.

When we first met, around 1988, I was struck by the combination of charisma and woundedness that surrounded Michael. He would be swarmed by crowds at an airport, perform an exhausting show for three hours, and then sit backstage afterward, as we did one night in Bucharest, drinking bottled water, glancing over some Sufi poetry as I walked into the room, and wanting to meditate.

That person, whom I considered (at the risk of ridicule) very pure, still survived - he was reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore when we talked the last time, two weeks ago.

Michael exemplified the paradox of many famous performers, being essentially shy, an introvert who would come to my house and spend most of the evening sitting by himself in a corner with his small children. I never saw less than a loving father when they were together (and wonder now, as anyone close to him would, what will happen to them in the aftermath).

Michael's reluctance to grow up was another part of the paradox. My children adored him, and in return he responded in a childlike way. He declared often, as former child stars do, that he was robbed of his childhood. Considering the monstrously exaggerated value our society places on celebrity, which was showered on Michael without stint, the public was callous to his very real personal pain. It became another tawdry piece of the tabloid Jacko, pictured as a weird changeling and as something far more sinister.

It's not my place to comment on the troubles Michael fell heir to from the past and then amplified by his misguided choices in life. He was surrounded by enablers, including a shameful plethora of M.D.s in Los Angeles and elsewhere who supplied him with prescription drugs. As many times as he would candidly confess that he had a problem, the conversation always ended with a deflection and denial. As I write this paragraph, the reports of drug abuse are spreading across the cable news channels. The instant I heard of his death this afternoon, I had a sinking feeling that prescription drugs would play a key part.

The closest we ever became, perhaps, was when Michael needed a book to sell primarily as a concert souvenir. It would contain pictures for his fans but there would also be a text consisting of short fables. I sat with him for hours while he dreamily wove Aesop-like tales about animals, mixed with words about music and his love of all things musical. This project became "Dancing the Dream" after I pulled the text together for him, acting strictly as a friend. It was this time together that convinced me of the modus vivendi Michael had devised for himself: to counter the tidal wave of stress that accompanies mega-stardom, he built a private retreat in a fantasy world where pink clouds veiled inner anguish andPeter Pan was a hero, not a pathology.

This compromise with reality gradually became unsustainable. He went to strange lengths to preserve it. Unbounded privilege became another toxic force in his undoing. What began as idiosyncracy, shyness, and vulnerability was ravaged by obsessions over health, paranoia over security, and an isolation that grew more and more unhealthy. When Michael passed me the music for that last song, the one sitting by my bedside waiting for the right words, the procedure for getting the CD to me rivaled a CIA covert operation in its secrecy.

My memory of Michael Jackson will be as complex and confused as anyone's. His closest friends will close ranks and try to do everything in their power to insure that the good lives after him. Will we be successful in rescuing him after so many years of media distortion? No one can say. I only wanted to put some details on the record in his behalf. My son Gotham traveled with Michael as a roadie on his "Dangerous" tour when he was thirteen. Will it matter that Michael behaved with discipline and impeccable manners around my son? (It sends a shiver to recall something he told Gotham: "I don't want to go out likeMarlon Brando. I want to go out like Elvis." Both icons were obsessions of this icon.)

His children's nanny and surrogate mother, Grace Rwamba, is like another daughter to me. I introduced her to Michael when she was eighteen, a beautiful, heartwarming girl from Rwanda who is now grown up. She kept an eye on him for me and would call me whenever he was down or running too close to the edge. How heartbreaking for Grace that no one's protective instincts and genuine love could avert this tragic day. An hour ago she was sobbing on the telephone from London. As a result, I couldn't help but write this brief remembrance in sadness. But when the shock subsides and a thousand public voices recount Michael's brilliant, joyous, embattled, enigmatic, bizarre trajectory, I hope the word "joyous" is the one that will rise from the ashes and shine as he once did.

Deepak Chopra will be on Larry King Live tonight to discuss the death of global pop icon Michael Jackson.


Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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Michael Jackson Autopsy results now weeks away

Posted: 11:53 AM ET

The results of toxicology tests on the body of Michael Jackson may not be available for six to eight weeks, the Los Angeles coroner's office said Friday.

Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner, said the autopsy exam will be conducted Friday, but few results are expected Friday because of the extensive tests being performed.

"The likelihood is very slim that we will have any results to release today because of the extensive [tests] that we're going to be performing," he said.

The office will likely not determine a cause of death "until we get results of all the tests," he said.

Filed under: Breaking News • Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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Michael Jackson Had a Patent

Posted: 11:24 AM ET

By Tracy Staedter via Discovery.com

Anti-gravity

The news of Michael Jackson's death yesterday threw me off. At first I thought it was a rumor. But alas, no. I grew up with his music and have many favorite songs. Indeed, I consider him the King of Pop. His death was a big surprise, but then this morning, another surprise: Jackson had a patent.

The title: Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.

It's a system that consists of a special shoe that has a hitch designed to attach to a projection in a stage. When the shoe engages with the component in the stage, the performer can lean forward beyond his or her center of gravity.

(Read More on Tracy Staedter's blog)

Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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The world pays tribute to Michael Jackson

Posted: 09:05 AM ET

From street corners, buses and subways to phone calls, e-mails, text messages, online posts and tweets, people around the world commented, pondered, and paid tribute to pop legend Michael Jackson, who died Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Around midnight at London's Leicester Square, as news of Jackson's death spread, Luis Carlos Ameida and his friends were surrounding a car listening to the star's music.

Ameida said he'd gotten tickets to see Jackson at his "This Is It" concerts beginning on July 13 in London.

"From a young age, you know, I used to have the video game," said Ameida. "I used to have the white suit, and I'd wear it on my birthday. I used to moonwalk ... I remember my mum used to send me to lessons to be like Michael Jackson. And when I heard the news, I had tears in my eyes because of that connection I had because of all the songs he used to play."

In Glastonbury, southern England, where the world's largest music festival was to kick off Friday morning, initial rumors and then confirmation of Jackson's death added to confusion and then shock among festival goers.

"As I was walking back through the crowd it was the word on everyone's lips," Sally Anne Aldous, 29, told CNN over the phone.

You can see some of the tributes HERE and you can pay tribute to "The King of Pop" on the LKL blog – just leave us a comment.

Filed under: Breaking News • Larry King Live • Michael Jackson


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Autopsy results on Michael Jackson due today

Posted: 07:37 AM ET

An autopsy on entertainer Michael Jackson has been scheduled for Friday and results are expected by afternoon, according to the Los Angeles, California, coroner's office.

The "King of Pop," who was preparing for a comeback tour, died Thursday at age 50.

Jackson, under apparent cardiac arrest, was taken from his home by paramedics to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where a team of physicians tried to resuscitate him for more than an hour, said Jackson's brother Jermaine. He said the music idol was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. (5:26 p.m. ET).

Another one of Jackson's six siblings told CNN that he learned of Jackson's death through his manager, Frank Dileo.

"Frank told me that Michael last night was complaining about not feeling well. He called to tell him he wasn't feeling well," Marlon Jackson said. "Michael's doctor went over to see him, and Frank said, 'Marlon, from last night to this morning, I don't know what happened.' When they got to him this morning, he wasn't breathing."

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda told CNN that a 911 call came in from a west Los Angeles residence at 12:21 p.m. Jackson was treated and transferred to the UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said.

Filed under: Breaking News • Michael Jackson


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June 25, 2009

LIVE 2-HOUR SHOW AT MIDNIGHT ET

Posted: 11:12 PM ET

In case you missed our 9 o'clock hour, here's Larry's interview with Celine Dion.

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BREAKING NEWS: MULTIPLE SOURCES REPORTING MICHAEL JACKSON DIES AT AGE 50

Posted: 06:57 PM ET

(CNN) - Entertainer Michael Jackson has died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports including the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. CNN has not confirmed his death.

A Los Angeles fire official told CNN that paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson's home after a 911 call.

A Los Angeles fire official told CNN that paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson's home after a 911 call.

Jackson, 50, had been in a coma at the hospital, sources told CNN.

Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, said he was told by brother Randy Jackson that Michael Jackson collapsed at his home in west Los Angeles Thursday morning.

Family members were told of the situation and were either at the hospital or en route, Oxman said.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda told CNN a 911 call came in from a west Los Angeles residence at 12:21 p.m.

Ruda said Jackson was treated and transferred to the UCLA Medical Center.

Asked specifics of the patient's condition, he said he could not discuss them because of federal privacy laws.

The music icon from Gary, Indiana, is known as the "King of Pop." Jackson had many No. 1 hits and his "Thriller" is one of the best-selling albums of all time. Video Jackson "as big as it gets" »

Jackson is the seventh of nine children in a well-known musical family. He has three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.

At the medical center, every entrance to the emergency room was blocked by security guards. Even hospital staffers were not permitted to enter. A few people stood inside the waiting area, some of them crying.

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