Breaking News: Michael Jackson is Dead
On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died at the age of 50. In this breaking news clip, NBC's Brian Williams, citing the Los Angeles Times, reports that Jackson had been taken from his home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of L.A. after suffering cardiac arrest. An early report said that Jackson was not breathing when paramedics arrived.
The Michael Jackson 911 Call
This emergency 911 call was released to the public one day after Jackson’s death at his home in California. The voice on the tape is Jackson's logistics director Alberto Alvarez, who reportedly later told investigators that Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, told him to put a few vials with rubber tops into a bag before calling 911. What follows is the recorded conversation, placed nearly 30 minutes after Jackson was found not breathing.
“We Are the World”
Jackson's public memorial was held on July 7, 2009 at the Staples Center, the site of his final rehearsal two days before he died. His bronze casket was onstage as notable names from the music world performed Jackson’s songs to a live audience. “We Are the World” was the final song of the day, and although it wasn’t quite as star-studded as the original recording—no performance will ever match that again—it did feature Jackson’s children, and was a moving tribute to Jackson’s spirit and writing.
Michael’s Daughter Paris Gives Tearful Farewell
There was no moment more poignant or surprising at Michael Jackson's memorial than his daughter Paris, in tears, saying, "Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much."
The Father of Jackson’s Kids?
Meet Dr. Arnie Klein, Jackson's dermatologist from 1986 onward and the subject of rumors that he is the biological father of the King of Pop's kids. Klein's assistant was none other than Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife and mother of his two children, Paris and Prince. Klein, appearing on GMA on July 15, 2009, said “to the best of my knowledge” he isn’t the father. He may not have wanted to feed any of the insanity surrounding Michael’s death, but perhaps going on national television and offering a non-answer wasn't the best idea.
Paul McCartney: Jackson Was Lovely
Paul McCartney tells David Letterman about giving Jackson advice to get in the music publishing business. Jackson's response: "I'm going to get yours." This, of course, turned into the 1985 purchase of ATV Music and the acquisition of about 250 Beatles songs. After Jackson died, McCartney said there was "no big bust-up" in their friendship over the sale. We wonder if he would have said the same in 1985.
Joe Jackson: I Did Not Beat Michael
In a bizarre interview on July 20, 2009, Jackson's father Joe tells Larry King he never beat Michael; he doesn't know where the rumors started. They likely started after Michael’s revealing 1993 interview with Oprah, when he said Joe beat him. "Harm Michael for what? I have no reason," Joe said. "That's my son, I loved him."
Jackson's Doctor Thanks Supporters
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician, released a video thanking supporters on August 18, 2009 because he was afraid to return phone calls and use email. But did Murray provide Jackson with a dangerous level of anesthetic that caused his death? "I told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail," Murray said. Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Michael Jackson’s Funeral
Jackson's outdoor funeral service was held at the Forest Lawn Cemetery of Glendale on September 3, 2009, 10 weeks after his death. Along with the Jackson family, in the sweltering Los Angeles heat were Jackson’s longtime friends Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin.
Madonna's Self-Absorbed Tribute
We miss Michael Jackson. And we like Madonna. But as far as tributes go, wasn't this one at the September 2009 MTV Video Music Awards a bit too much Madge and too little Michael? That being said, she did share the odd details of a 1991 dinner and movie date between the two icons, where, as Madonna said, "It felt like he was looking for a friend more than a romance."
Michael Jackson's This Is It
It was a bittersweet moment at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards: at the show's close, MTV premiered this trailer for Michael Jackson's documentary, This Is It. The film, which was released on October 28, 2009, tells the story of what would have been Jackson's farewell tour. With a worldwide gross of $260 million, This Is It is now the highest grossing concert movie and documentary ever.
3-D Michael Jackson Tribute
It's tough to say what was stranger about this Michael Jackson tribute at the 2010 Grammy Awards: Deciding to show the trippy yet boring forest scenes from This Is It, or the fact that the entire performance was only watchable for those wearing 3-D glasses. (For everyone else, it was a big, blurry question mark.) Although the all-star ensemble of Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, and Smokey Robinson did wow with their performance of the King of Pop's "Earth Song."
Michael Jackson's Kids, Undisguised, Accept Award
So we'll stay away from the uncomfortable observation that Paris and Prince Jackson look nothing like their father. We won't go there, promise. But kudos to the Jackson children for their poise and sincerity while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf at the Grammys on January 31, 2010. Their father may not have wanted them to appear on worldwide television, but he would have been proud. "Through all his songs," Prince said, "his message was simple: Love."
La Toya Jackson and Bubbles the Chimp Reunite
In Animal Planet's new documentary, Michael Jackson and Bubbles: The Untold Story, which aired June 22, 2010, La Toya Jackson reunited with her brother's pet, Bubbles, for the first time in 20 years. "You remember me, don't you?" she coos to the largely indifferent chimp. The legendary musician adopted Bubbles from a research lab in Texas in the early '80s and what followed is a beautiful friendship that went from a crib in Neverland Ranch to an animal sanctuary.