by Andria Lisle
Wow, just wow. The lead singer of the Jackson Five-turned-pop star extraordinaire — reduced, in more recent years, to a caricature of his former self — is dead.
I remember the death vigil TV news crews held for the Duke, and I recall our next-door neighbor in Lafayette, Louisiana, coming home for lunch with the news that Elvis was dead.
But, on a day that's already been dominated by the death of Farrah Fawcett (and, in my personal rock-and-roll iconography, Sky Saxon), I never imagined I'd hear that Michael Jackson had left the building.
Earlier this afternoon, Jackson's staff found him unconscious in his rented home, located in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. They called paramedics, who administered CPR although he had allegedly already slipped into a coma after suffering cardiac arrest. After Jackson failed to respond, he was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Jackson, 50, is survived by his three children, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II. During his brief marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, he was a frequent visitor to Memphis, sleeping at Graceland and shopping at Burke's Books.