Fans around the world react to the death of singer Michael Jackson, who collapsed at his Los Angeles, California, home on Thursday and died at UCLA Medical Center. He was 50.
Some say the death of the music icon is like losing a relative. "It’s like my generation’s Elvis passing away," says one man.
Mothers recall passing on his dances such as "The Moonwalk" to their children, and one fan says Jackson’s name was one of the first celebrity names she learned as a child.
His autopsy was completed, but further tests must be carried out before the cause of death can be determined, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner said.
Craig Harvey said the tests would take four to six weeks, after which "we anticipate being able to close the case and issuing a final cause of death." Among the tests to be carried out, he said, are neuropathology (brain) and pulmonary (lung) tests.
Harvey added, "We know that he was taking some prescription medications," but said he was not able to divulge what.
The possibility that Jackson may have been taking medication that could have contributed to his death at the age of 50 weighed heavily Friday on a number of people close to the star. Watch coroner’s office discuss Jackson’s death. Jackson’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, said in an online blog posted Friday that she was not surprised by Thursday’s news.
She said she divorced him in January 1996, after less than two years of marriage, because she was "in over my head in trying" to save Jackson "from the inevitable, which is what has just happened."
Jackson talked with her about his death during "a deep conversation" 14 years ago about "the circumstances of my father’s death," she wrote, referring to Elvis Presley. The singer collapsed in the bathroom of his Memphis, Tennessee, mansion — Graceland — on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. While his death was ruled the result of an irregular heartbeat, the autopsy report was sealed amid accusations that abuse of prescription drugs caused the problem.
The similarity to the "King of Rock" apparently resonated with the "King of Pop." "At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, ‘I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did,’ " Presley said. Watch crowds gather at the hospital. »
"I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that."
That conversation haunted Presley as she watched television coverage of Jackson’s death Thursday, she said.
"I am sitting here watching on the news [as] an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears," she wrote.
"A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn’t predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened."
Her blog can be found online at http://blogs.myspace.com/lisamariepresley
Meanwhile, police — who had spoken Thursday with Dr. Conrad Murray, who was with Jackson when he died — were trying to reach him again Friday.
A car that Murray had parked at Jackson’s home was impounded and may contain medications pertinent to the investigation, said Detective Agustin Villanueva of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Public records show the impounded car was registered to a Texas woman who is an associate of the cardiologist, who is licensed in California and Texas and also has an office in Las Vegas, Nevada.
AEG Live, the promoter of Jackson’s planned tour, said their deal with the singer included a dedicated private physician of his choosing and that Jackson chose Murray, his physician of three years.
A source close to the family said Murray spent much of the last two months with Jackson, as he prepared for his upcoming concert series. The doctor is said to be cooperating with officials.
Jackson was in cardiac arrest when paramedics took him Thursday from his home to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where the music idol was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. (5:26 p.m. ET). Listen to the 911 call »
He had been preparing for a comeback tour — aimed at extending his legendary career and helping him to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.
Jackson began his professional work at age 5, singing with his brothers, before shooting to superstardom as a solo singer. He had numerous No. 1 hits — the best known being "Thriller," the best-selling album of all time, at an estimated 50 million copies worldwide.
After dominating the popular music scene for years, Jackson became reclusive and mired in scandals that included child molestation charges. He reached a settlement with one accuser and was acquitted in another case after a highly publicized trial in Santa Maria, California, in June 2005.
Jackson is survived by his three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.
Condolences and appreciations continued to pour in Thursday from around the world. President Obama said he considered Jackson a "spectacular performer" and expressed his condolences to the Jackson family, the White House said Friday.
At a briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he spoke with the president Friday morning about the death of the pop superstar.
"He said to me that, obviously, Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown’s 25th anniversary."
But Gibbs said the president also noted that "aspects of his life were sad and tragic. His condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans that mourned his loss."
In a written statement, Jackson’s second ex-wife, Debbie Rowe Jackson, said, "Though Michael is now at peace, the world has lost a beautiful and loving soul. I appreciate the outpouring of support and prayer for Michael, all of his family, me and our children, and hope our privacy can be respected at this difficult time."