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Michael Jackson Dead at 50

Aired June 25, 2009 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, remembering Michael Jackson, as the picture of his sudden death starts to come into focus -- sudden, but as you will see in the next two hours, not entirely unexpected, not, at least, by some -- striking words this evening from a family spokesman, who says that what happened to Anna Nicole Smith was nothing compared to what was going on in Michael Jackson's private life -- that from a family spokesman for Jackson.

Just moments ago, brother Jermaine Jackson had this to say.



My brother, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009, at 2:26 p.m. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known.

His personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother, and -- as did the paramedics who transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Upon arriving at the hospital at approximately 1:14 p.m., a team of doctors, including emergency physicians and cardiologists, attempted to resuscitate him for a period of more than one hour. And they were unsuccessful.

Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time.

And may Allah be with you Michael always. Love you.


COOPER: Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson just moments ago. That's the first time that we have seen and heard from anyone in the Jackson family.

Michael's body already at the medical examiner's office -- there is the body right there -- choppered, no freeway procession, no traffic jams, just a short flight across town. The autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

This video we saw earlier in the day of Michael Jackson being taken in an ambulance -- this is the ambulance actually leaving his home. Now, all we know for certain right now is, today, at home, on the west side of L.A., something happened. Michael Jackson's heart stopped. He stopped breathing. Medics were called. Efforts were made, but, despite those efforts, Jackson died.

Now, in addition to the investigation, the outpouring -- as you look, there are the crowds gathering tonight in many places, outside the hospital in Los Angeles, at his home, and at the Apollo Theater here in Harlem in New York, where we will also be looking at his life over the next two hours, a special edition of 360, and then another hour live edition of "LARRY KING."

What a long, strange trip it has been for Michael Jackson, from child star, to creator to the bestselling album ever, to reclusive billionaire and criminal defendant, but, famous or infamous, one of the best-known people on the planet, ever.

Tonight, what we know about how he died, how he is being remembered, and how he lived.


MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER (singing): I will be there. I will be there.

COOPER (voice-over): This is how Michael Jackson first burst onto the music scene, an adorable child, a precocious pop prodigy, set to become a big star.

M. JACKSON (singing): I know he better be good to you.

COOPER: He was born Michael Joe Jackson in 1958 in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. His father, Joe, was a retired steelworker who turned his sons into the original boy band, the Jackson 5, with 5-year-old Michael taking the lead.

PETER CASTRO, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE": He was a symbol for the consummate entertainer. You know, not Sammy since Davis Jr. had someone come along with such a diverse range of talents.

COOPER: He was just 11 when the group's first single, "I Want You Back," made it to number one on the Billboard charts. Two more hits would quickly follow, "ABC" and "The Love You Save."

M. JACKSON (singing): The love you save may be your own.

COOPER: It was clear from the start that Michael would outshine his singing siblings, the young boy being groomed for life as a superstar.

RANDY TARABORRELLI, MICHAEL JACKSON BIOGRAPHER: From the time that most kids were building tree houses, Michael Jackson was building an image. And Michael was happy to play along with that because he understood at a very early age that image-making and public relations was very important.

COOPER: But, even then, there were rumors that, behind the happy family facade, stood a secret, stories of violence, of a father driven, riding his children hard, pushing them to succeed.

TARABORRELLI: When Michael discusses these beatings today, he gets very emotional. It's clear that he hasn't come to terms with any of that yet.

COOPER: Michael still made music with his brothers throughout the 1970s, but managed to move ahead on his own at the same time. He released his first solo album, "Got to Be There," in 1972. His first solo number one hit was a romantic ballad about a rat named Ben.

M. JACKSON (singing): Ben, the two of us need look no more.


COOPER: Five years later, the album "Off the Wall" put Jackson's solo career over the top. It sold seven million copies and produced four top 10 singles. But that would be nothing to compare with what was to come, 1982, and the release of "Thriller."

M. JACKSON (singing): Because this is thriller, thriller night.

COOPER: It was this album, which sold 26 million copies and sat at number one on the charts for 37 weeks, that transformed the child singing sensation into a superstar.

M. JACKSON (singing): Killer, thriller.

TOURE, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Michael was not a phenomenon with "Thriller." He was beyond phenomenon. I mean, the record flew out of stores. It could not be stopped.

COOPER: And with his skyrocketing stardom came the trademark touches, now so much of a part of his persona.

JOHN NORRIS, FORMER MTV NEWS CORRESPONDENT: From the iconic look, to -- to the moonwalk, to the glove.

CASTRO: The red jacket and with the zippers and glasses and the white socks.

COOPER: But there were also the first signs that something wasn't right.

M. JACKSON (singing): Just beat it, beat it, beat it. No one wants to be defeated.

COOPER: In 1984, Jackson carried home a cartload of Grammys, seven in all. He arrived at the ceremony with two dates, Brooke Shields and Emmanuel Lewis. It was also the start of his obsession with cosmetic surgery, an obsession that would change his face forever.

TOURE: Every few months, you would see him, and you would go whoa. Hey, -- that's -- you're looking weird, dude.

But I think it was about '85, '86, and I was like, wow, he's not going to be able to get any weirder than this. And, then, two years later, I was like, I was wrong.

COOPER: A 1986 photo showed Michael asleep in an anti-aging chamber. In 1987, he reportedly tried to buy the bones of elephant man John Merrick.

Then, of course, there was Bubbles the chimp and an odd array of disguises.

M. JACKSON (singing): You know I'm bad, I'm bad.

COOPER: If life seemed strange, at least the music still mattered. Jackson's album "Bad" hit the shelves in 1987 and sold eight million copies. And, in 1988, he bought a 2,700-acre ranch for $28 million, and he called it Neverland.

NORRIS: There's a reason it's called Neverland Valley, you know, his fixation on -- on the: "I won't grow up. I'm a lost boy. I'm Peter Pan."

COOPER: With the ranch came the rumors.

TARABORRELLI: Michael began to sort of surround himself with -- with young boys, and much to, I remember, the chagrin of people who were working for him.

COOPER: Nineteen ninety one brought another album, "Dangerous," another number-one single, "Black or White" and more speculation about Michael's mental state. His skin seemed to be getting lighter. Jackson said it was caused by a congenital skin condition.

CASTRO: But a lot of people think that -- that he has bleached his skin. With Michael Jackson, you never know what the truth is.

COOPER: He became more reclusive, and, in 1993, faced his first allegation of child molestation. Jackson denied the charges, but settled the case for $20 million.

Less than a year later, he married rock 'n' roll royalty, Lisa Marie Presley.

TOURE: It was quite obvious to all of us from the beginning that it was a sham, that it was a publicity stunt, and it was just kind of disgusting and silly.

COOPER: And it lasted just two years. But Jackson would marry again later the same year. This time, the bride was Debbie Rowe, nurse to his dermatologist.

She gave him children of his own, Prince Michael, born in 1997, and Paris Michael Katherine, born in 1998. They divorced in 1999, and Jackson got full custody of their kids.

But a third child from a surrogate mother would put Jackson back in the headlines, when he dangled the newborn from the balcony of a Berlin hotel.

TOURE: It's sort of like the anti-King Midas, like, everything he wants to do just gets screwed up.

COOPER: And the tabloid tales were starting to take a toll on the music. Michael's 2001 album, "Invincible," sold a mere 2.1 million copies.

His troubles, quite clearly, were far from over. In 2002, he fought publicly with Sony chairman Tommy Mottola, calling him a racist. A 2003 "Vanity Fair" article said he was financially strapped and stated that he bought the silence of other potential molestation victims.

In January 2004, Michael Jackson stood before a judge and pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges. And even his friends can only guess at what brought the self-proclaimed king of pop to this moment.

URI GELLER, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: No one knows Michael Jackson really but Michael Jackson himself. I once asked Michael here in this house -- I looked into his eyes and I said to him, "Michael, are you lonely?"

And he looked up at me. It was like a 10-second stare. And then he said, "Uri Geller, I'm a very lonely man."

And I think that said it all.


COOPER: Well, it's a cliche of course, the lonely man in the spotlight, but it is also true.

So is this: Artist dies on the verge of a comeback. Michael Jackson was getting ready for a series of concerts in London billed as both a comeback and a final encore.

Here is Jackson announcing the London appearances a little while ago.


M. JACKSON: I will be -- I will be performing the songs my fans want to hear.


M. JACKSON: This is it. I mean, this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call. OK? And I will see you in July.



M. JACKSON: And...



M. JACKSON: I really do. You have to know that. I love you so much, really, from the bottom of my heart.


COOPER: Michael Jackson and his fans in March.

At the top of the program, we mentioned the words of family spokesman Brian Oxman, hinting that this was, in some ways, no surprise because of all of the medications that Jackson was taking for a number of injuries.

He went on to say -- and I quote -- "This is a case of abuse of medications, unless some other cause is involved which I don't know about" -- unquote.

Those are the words of the family spokesman Brian Oxman.

Let's go now go to UCLA Medical Center, where Michael Jackson was taken, and where a crowd has gathered, continues to stay, along with Ted Rowlands.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you can see that crowd behind me that continues to grow, a lot of people coming here to actually listen to Jackson's music and dance outside here.

It's a strange mix of emotions of sadness and celebration about his music.

Jackson was brought here to the L.A. Medical Center, the UCLA Medical Center from his home, the home that he was renting on the west side of Los Angeles, which is only a couple of miles from here, about a six- to 10-minute drive.

Nine-one-one was called at 12:21 Pacific time this afternoon. According to Jermaine Jackson, the family physician was in the house when Jackson apparently collapsed. They treated him at the house. He arrived here at the medical center at 1:14.

And then a team of cardiologists tried to revive him for an hour's time. He was pronounced dead almost an hour later, at 2:26 Pacific time. This is what the coroner's office spokesperson said outside of Jackson's house.


LIEUTENANT FRED CORRAL, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF THE CORONER: We were notified, again, by the -- by LAPD detectives that -- that Mr. Jackson was brought in by paramedics to the hospital and through cardiac arrest, and then he was later pronounced dead.

And, at that point, as I said, now, there's no further medical history until we get there and we review the medical records. And then we will assign this to a coroner investigator. And, at that point, we will then prepare a report. And then it will be sent to our deputy medical examiner, where the examination will take place the following day.


ROWLANDS: Jackson's body has been taken from the UCLA Medical Center.

That autopsy is scheduled to take place tomorrow morning. The results of that autopsy are expected as early as tomorrow afternoon -- Anderson.

COOPER: Ted Rowlands reporting.

Ted, we heard from somebody from the robbery homicide unit at the LAPD, and -- and that raised a lot of people's eyebrows. They said that is entirely just routine, correct?

ROWLANDS: Well, routine when you're dealing with somebody like Michael Jackson, that they're going to did a full investigation.

But you heard the allegations from the former family lawyer, Brian Oxman, saying that there could be prescription medication involvement here. So, there is going to be, undoubtedly, a full investigation into the death of Michael Jackson -- at this point, the cause of death, cardiac arrest. But, obviously, after the autopsy and after this -- after this investigation, we will know if -- we will know if there's more to the story.

COOPER: All right, Ted Rowlands from outside of the hospital.

What we're trying to do over these next two hours of our live coverage here on 360, give you all of the latest information, what we know about Michael Jackson's deaths, what is happening now. We're also looking at responses, both -- you just saw outside the hospital. Also, we will show you up in Harlem and also around the world.

We're getting video from around the world right now of people reacting and gathering to celebrate the life and the work of Michael Jackson. And that's something we're going to be doing also throughout these next two hours, celebrating the remarkable career of Michael Jackson.

And, when you think about it, Michael Jackson was just a child when fame struck, started performing at the age of 5, 11 years old when the Jackson 5 released their first single. There is the scene right now outside of the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

As an adult, Michael Jackson talked about what it was like to grow up in the glare of celebrity.

Here's Michael Jackson in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Describe the performance that you put on.

M. JACKSON: Well, whatever I sing, that's what I really mean. Like, when I'm singing a song. I don't sing it if I don't mean it.


M. JACKSON: I would do my schooling, which was three hours with a tutor. And, right after, you know, that I would go to the recording studio and record. And I would record for hours and hours, until it was time to go to sleep. So, it would be nighttime.

And I remember going to the recording studio. There was a -- a park across the street. And I would see all the children playing. And they would be rooting and making noise. And I would cry. It would make me sad that I would have to go and work instead.

Oh, there's a lot of sadness about my past life and, you know, adolescence, and my father, and all of those things that just make me very, very, very sad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, he would tease you, make fun of you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would he -- did he ever beat you?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was difficult to take, getting beaten and going to stage and performing?

M. JACKSON: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why would he beat you?

M. JACKSON: Because he -- he saw me -- he wanted me to -- I guess -- maybe I don't know if I was a golden child. or whatever it was.

And just think. Nobody thought this would last.



M. JACKSON: Because what's wrong with sharing love? I mean, you -- you don't sleep your kids or some other kid who needs love, who didn't have a good childhood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No, I don't. I would never dream of sneaking -- sleep.... M. JACKSON: I would. I would.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, I would never dream...

M. JACKSON: Because you have never been where I have been mentally.

If you really want to know about me, there's a song I wrote, which is the most honest song I have ever written. It is the most autobiographical song I have ever written. It is called "Childhood."

M. JACKSON (singing): Have you seen my childhood.

They should listen to it. That's the one they really should listen to.

(singing): Before you judge me....

This is it. I mean, this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call. OK?

I love you.


M. JACKSON: I really do. You have to know that. I love you so much, really, from the bottom of my heart.


COOPER: Michael Jackson talking about the final curtain call.

With us on the phone now is Sheryl Crow, Grammy Award-winning artist. She got her start as a backup singer from Michael Jackson.

Sheryl, you know, the obvious question, when you first heard the news, what went through your mind?

SHERYL CROW, MUSICIAN: Oh, gosh. You know, total disbelief. In fact, for a moment there, I kind of hoped that he had staged his own -- his own getaway. You know, he's got a lot of gigs coming up and the pressure of that. And I thought, well, maybe he's just staged a getaway.

And, when the news really started trickling in, it just -- it makes my heart sick, absolutely.

COOPER: You -- you think about the pressure he must had been under. We're actually looking at a picture of you singing a duet with Michael Jackson. What was it like doing that?

CROW: You know, I can't -- I can't even explain to you how how -- how life-changing it was for me to sing with him, because, for one thing, I grew up with him, watching him as a 4- and 5-year-old -- I had -- my first record was "ABC" -- and how much he changed all of our lives, and then to be able to stand up there with, I think, the consummate performer of my lifetime and learn from him.

And I can't -- I -- there's no way to express how amazingly talented this person was, because, not only had he been doing that quality of work his whole life; he created dances that no one had ever seen before, you know? And -- and to create something that no one's ever imagined is quite a gift.

And he has literally inspired Usher and Justin Timberlake and every young artist who has come along in that genre. He's had a huge impact on the music business.

COOPER: What was it like being on tour with him? I mean, it must have been kind of surreal being part of that whole scene, that whole entourage.

CROW: Yes. It was -- it was really surreal.

For one thing, it was a huge traveling show. And, at this point, in his career, he was already starting to isolate himself. He wasn't nearly as open, didn't really hang out too much, although I was lucky, in that I got to hang out with him on a number of occasions by myself.

Like, in fact, I -- I have a funny story. He invited me over to his hotel room in Tokyo. And we watched "Amos 'n' Andy" videos and "Shane," the movie "Shane," and just completely unexpected.

But he -- he was -- you know, he was funny. He -- he had a big laugh. He loved practical joking. And I can remember vividly going to Disneyland and being on a ride with him, and he wouldn't let the ride stop. And I -- by the end of it, I was just absolutely ill.


CROW: And he just thought it was the funniest thing that he had ever seen.

COOPER: I also think I remember a story you told on somewhere about Bubbles the chimp. Was Bubbles on the tour as well?

CROW: Yes, Bubbles was on the tour.

And -- and, really, by this time in Bubbles' life, he was much too big and strong to have out in public, let alone on a tour. So, he -- he didn't make the whole tour.

But he was out. And I can remember sitting with Michael, and him poking him in the chest with a ballpoint pen, saying, that's the only way you can get his attention, you can get him to stop doing what he's doing.


COOPER: Uh-huh.

CROW: It was just -- you know, there were some surreal moments, obviously. And I -- I hate to think that those moments, or even this latter part of his life, has usurped the brilliance of his talent and who he was. But, you know, watching that video that you showed about him talking about his childhood and just how heartbreaking that is, you can see how his relationships to fans really informed his -- his ultimate isolation and -- and who he became, as well as his relationship with his father.

So, it is -- you know, it is tragic. It's tragic that, at 50, he's gone. But did we ever think he was going to grow to be an old man before our eyes? It would have almost seemed too -- too surreal.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, I often -- I actually did think about that a lot. And a lot of people talked about that, as, you know, could you imagine Michael Jackson being 80 years old? And what -- what would he be like then?

Do you think he -- he felt enormous pressure about this upcoming concert tour, or this -- these appearances?

CROW: Oh, I'm sure he -- I'm sure he did.

I mean, I think he felt pressure in every way. You know, he has been under real scrutiny for the last 10, 15 years. He's been in real financial trouble. And this was sort of a comeback for him. And he's had so many people express interest in being a part of his comeback, really wonderful producers, Jay-Z, and so many people who have said, look, it's just -- you know, you're -- it could be one big hit.

And I think that he really felt this was probably -- you know, probably a real comeback moment for him. And that's got to be an immense amount of pressure.


Well, Sheryl, I know it's -- it's got to be kind of hard to talk about it, but I appreciate you -- you being on the program tonight. Thank you very much.

CROW: Well, thanks. I -- I'm going to mourn his loss, just like millions and millions of other fans out there. And I'm -- I'm grateful that, for a brief moment in my life, I got to stand on stage nightly and watch him sing "Human Nature" and "Billie Jean," and do -- do those moves and sing those incredible melodies that, you know, were original to him.

So, I'm -- I'm -- I'm sad and I'm grateful at the same time.

COOPER: Yes, it's -- it must had been a remarkable thing.

Again, Sheryl, thank you very much.

CROW: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, just ahead tonight, we're talking about the autopsy, Michael Jackson's body already at the medical examiner's office, choppered there just a few moments ago. There, you see his shrouded body being put on a gurney, and then placed into an ambulance for the short drive to the coroner's office.

Just ahead, we're going to talk with 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what happens next.

We will be right back.



M. JACKSON (singing): Billie Jean is not my lover. She's just a girl who claims that I am the one.


COOPER: "Billie Jean."

There, a statement from Liza Minnelli.

Tonight, there are many questions about Michael Jackson's health problems over the years and in the days leading up to his death. Now, we're not going to go down the road of rumor or speculation. We just want to talk about what we know.

We know that his body was choppered to the L.A. County Medical Examiner's Office. We showed it to you there moments there at the scene -- the results expected as early as some time tomorrow -- tomorrow, according to our Ted Rowlands.

Now we're going to show a picture of -- in -- to you in just a moment. It's -- it can be -- it's a disturbing picture. It's the -- the -- what we think is the last known picture of Michael Jackson, or the last one that we have seen, while crews are working on him in an ambulance.

There, you see Michael Jackson as he is being driven away -- the early indication, cardiac arrest -- the picture, emergency crews using a respirator on -- on Jackson.

Now, cardiac arrest is not the same thing as a heart attack, which is important to -- to understand the difference. With cardiac arrest, the heart literally stops beating, suddenly and completely. And death can occur within minutes.

The question, of course, is why.

Let's talk to 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's a neurosurgeon and also a certified medical examiner.

Sanjay, we -- we know that the autopsy's going to begin tomorrow. How long does it take? What are they going to be looking for?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if -- if it's something really obvious, if there is some sort of structural problem with the heart, some sort of defect, that maybe he had longstanding, but just had never been a problem for him in his life up until now, they will find that out right away, or some sort of blockage, for example, in one of the blood vessels that leads to the heart.

If it is something else, if it is a -- a high level of a certain substance, either a prescription or other sort of substance in his bloodstream or his urine, that could take a little bit longer.

And, as we have talked about before, Anderson, with -- with this story and the stories before, sometimes, you never have an absolute answer as to exactly what happens, so an autopsy done tomorrow, but lots of other tests that will probably take days, if not weeks, for it to come back.

COOPER: There's a -- a statement that Brian Oxman, the family spokesman, made earlier to CNN.

I want to play that for our viewers. He -- it's a phone interview he did. It -- it raised a lot of eyebrows and certainly raises a lot of questions and concerns. Let's listen to that.


BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: This is not something which has been unexpected any time. There was a report, because of the -- the medications which Michael was under, this family has been trying for months and months and months to take care of Michael Jackson.

The people who have surrounded him have been enabling him. If you think that the case of Anna Nicole Smith was an abuse, it is nothing in comparison to what we have seen taking place in Michael Jackson's life.


COOPER: Now, again, we don't know if what he is saying is accurate or -- or not. It certainly seems to be his firmly-held opinion.

What will the autopsy show, in terms of -- of any prescription drugs he may be taking -- may have been taking?

GUPTA: Well, you -- you can find a lot of different levels of different drugs through simple toxicology tests.

You know, at the time of an autopsy, you take blood, you take urine, you take various bodily fluids, and you -- you save those, and you examine those for all sorts of different substances.

What is going to be harder to piece together, though, is how much was in his body at the time of his actual death. And was it acting either in isolation or in concert with other medications? And these become very tricky sort of situations to piece together. You can get some definitive answers and find out if someone had a high level of certain substances, but what it all means in the end is -- is a harder question to answer.

COOPER: It was cardiac arrest.

Jermaine Jackson said earlier, in a statement, a few -- a short time ago that his doctor was actually present. If a doctor is on scene...


COOPER: ... can't a heart just be revived?


You know, it -- that -- that -- there's a bit of confusion here. And I know that a doctor supposedly visited him last night as well. Was he not feeling well? Was he having some early symptoms of some sort of cardiac problem, fatigue, chest pain, or something? Who knows. I have not heard the answers to those questions.

But you are absolutely right. You can revive someone from a sudden cardiac arrest, if -- if action is taken immediately.


GUPTA: And one of the best action's to take is -- is actually defibrillating the heart, which means applying a...

COOPER: Right.

GUPTA: ... mild electric charge across the chest and shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm, or just simply even doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


GUPTA: But it doesn't -- I -- I don't know.

COOPER: Obviously -- yes.

GUPTA: And each minute that passes after that, you start to lose valuable time.

COOPER: Obviously, it didn't work in this case.

Sanjay, we're trying to learn more.

We will have a lot more ahead on the death of Michael Jackson as new details come in. We have live reports from Los Angeles and from guests around the world who knew the singer coming up -- plus, a look at his early years, on the pop charts by 11 years old -- imagine that -- the youngest member of the Jackson 5. And he never looked back.





COOPER: What talent, unbelievable. Statement from ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, perhaps the only person in the world who's now going through this kind of unique and surreal experience for the second time in her life. And like her dad Elvis, Michael Jackson's fame simply exploded onto the scene.

Tom Foreman looks back.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Jackson was born to perform: on stage by age 5, on the pop charts by 11. He was the youngest of the brothers in the Jackson 5. But his spotlight was bigger than all the rest combined.

MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR (singing): Oh baby give me one more chance sure do love you

FOREMAN: The first Motown hit in 1969 was "I Want You Back," and there was no looking back. Through song after song, a TV show and family turmoil, he mined pop gold: 13 No. 1 hits in his career.

His youth was a novelty. But raw-ripping talent made his success stick. Jackson could bounce through a melody like a pinball.

Or croon a ballad in the way that belied his years.

Briefly in the mid-'70s he was nearly written off as a washed-up child star, but Jackson regrouped, released the earth-shattering "Off the Wall" and then the breakthrough masterpiece.

JACKSON (singing): Because this is Thriller.

FOREMAN: "Thriller." That and all of the hits that have followed earned him the title the King of Pop.

JACKSON (singing): If you'll be my baby, it don't matter if you're black or white.

FOREMAN: But long before the accolades, the videos, the costumes and awards, the cornerstone of it all was the glorious voice and charm of a kid from Indiana.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


COOPER: What a long, sad, strange journey. Just ahead, much more on the life and the death of Michael Jackson, including the infamy here and the charge of child molestation, charges he was never convicted of.

Erica Hill first joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica. ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, there is word tonight of more arrests in Iran as part of the government crackdown on supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi. According to Mousavi's Web site authorities have arrested 70 university professors who met with him. Mousavi, meantime, vowing to push ahead with his challenge of this month's presidential election outcome.

A partial victory for Savana Redding, the Arizona teen strip- searched in 2003 by school officials looking for prescription strength ibuprofen. Today the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 the search violated her rights but also found school officials couldn't be held financially liable. Lower courts will now have to decide if the school district can be liable.

A day after confessing to an extramarital affair, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford today admitting he saw his mistress in Argentina a year ago, while there on a government-funded trip. In a statement he promised to reimburse the state for what he called a mistake. Meantime a top South Carolina Republican, Glenn McCall, now calling on Sanford to resign.

Farrah Fawcett has lost her nearly three-year old battle with anal cancer. She died this morning in Santa Monica. Her smile and tousled hair were trademarks of the sex symbol as a 1970s TV star in "Charlie's Angels." But she later earned respect for her dramatic roles, winning three Emmy nominations. She shared her very personal battle with cancer in a very public documentary. Farrah Fawcett was 62, Anderson.

COOPER: So much sadness today. We're going to have more on Farrah Fawcett later on tonight, Erica, and of course more on our breaking news on the death of Michael Jackson.

Erica, I actually met Michael Jackson when I was a little kid.

HILL: Really.

COOPER: Yes. Actually, when I was 10. For some odd reason I went to Studio 54 with Michael Jackson and a bunch of people. And I -- and I had no idea who he was. And I saw him dance, and I was like, "Oh, that guy's a really good dancer."

HILL: Did you dance?

COOPER: No, I didn't. I didn't dance.

HILL: Even then you wouldn't dance.

COOPER: Even then I wouldn't dance.

HILL: Even with Michael Jackson.

COOPER: Yes, but I remember...

HILL: I suppose Ellen should feel better.

COOPER: Why I was at Studio 54 at age 10 is a whole other story.

HILL: I think it might be.

COOPER: I know child welfare authorities probably want to talk to my mom.

HILL: I'll ask you about that one in the break.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have a lot -- a lot more live reports from Los Angeles about Michael Jackson. We'll talk to a lot more guests who knew the singer.

We're going live all the way to midnight on the East Coast and then a live edition of "LARRY KING" continues on after that. We also want to hear from you. Actually, it's going to be a two-hour edition of "LARRY KING." So it's another hour and 20 minutes for our program, 360. And then a two-hour edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." You can join the live chat that's happening right now at Maybe I'll tell you more there about that big night at Studio 54.

Also tonight, the other side, the troubled side of Michael Jackson. You really can't get around without talking about that. We're going to take a close look at the losses and the trials of Jackson's personal and professional life, coming up.





COOPER: Quincy Jones saying today, "I lost my little brother, and part of my soul is gone with him." Quincy Jones, of course, collaborated with Jackson on the albums that sold tens of millions of copies.

There was, of course, the music, and that is much of our focus over the next two hours tonight. But as we also know, there was another side: the cosmetic surgeries, the legal controversies, and the questions about his relationships. Michael Jackson's strange life, at times, became even stranger in recent years. The first signs of trouble started at the height of his fame, however.

Randi Kaye has more.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was the king of controversy. His home until last year, Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, a fantasyland filled with exotic pets and a chimpanzee named Bubbles.

But he couldn't hide from preying eyes. By the mid-1980s, fans wanted to know about his ever lightening skin. He wrote it off to a rare disease. As his skin whitened, rumors swirled he had begun sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber to increase his life span, and plastic surgery seemed to have become a hobby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most drastic thing is here. 1991, no question, age 32, where he clearly has a nasal implant. You can see a razor-sharp edge to the top of his nose.

KAYE (on camera): In 1993, amidst all his success, the first allegation of child molestation. Then 13-year-old Jordan Chandler accused Jackson of fondling him. He told a psychiatrist the two had kissed and had oral sex.

Jackson's home was searched, his genitals photographed.

(voice-over) Jackson proclaimed his innocence. And before settling out of court, released this strange videotape.

JACKSON: The information is disgusting and false. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told.

KAYE: Around that time Jackson began a relationship with Lisa Marie Presley. They married in 1994, divorced in 1996. Some considered it a P.R. stunt to save his image.

Jackson later wed Debbie Rowe, a nurse. They had two children. He then had a third child with another woman. It was his youngest son, Prince Michael II, whom he dangled over the balcony in Berlin for adoring fans in 2002. Fans cheered and screamed in fear as he held the infant, his arm around his waist, four stories up. He later apologized.

By 2001, he had begun keeping his children's faces hidden under veils, his own behind a surgical mask. Trouble didn't let up. In this 2003 documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir, Jackson horrified viewers by suggesting letting young boys sleep in his bed was OK.

JACKSON: What's wrong with sharing love? You don't sleep with your kids or some other kid who needs love?

KAYE (on camera): In 2004 another blow from another 13-year-old boy, accusing Jackson of abuse. He said he made him drink wine, which he says Jackson called "Jesus juice," and molested him.

(voice-over) At his trial, where once showed up in pajamas, more than 130 people testified, including actor Macaulay Culkin, who called the charges against his old friend ridiculous. Even before the verdict was read, Jackson seemed ready to celebrate.

Jackson was acquitted on all charges, but the party was short- lived. His legal bills were mounting. It cost more than $20 million to defend himself over the years. Unable to pay the mortgage, in 2008, he sold part of Neverland Ranch.

He promised one more tour. JACKSON: This is the final curtain call.

KAYE: Tickets were on sale for next month's shows when he died.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin covered Jackson's trials, tribulations. He joins us now.

Your thoughts? I mean, it's obviously a tragic loss.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is a tragic story. And that trial was certainly the most surreal legal...

COOPER: You were actually standing there when he was on the car?

TOOBIN: That was the day of his arraignment, and he looked so shrunken, so sick, so sickly. And yet when he saw his fans, and there were hundreds of them there, he jumped on the car and actually started dancing a little bit. We'll see how long we stick with the shot. But he started dancing, and you could see the electricity of what the crowd did for him.

But through most of the trial, I sat about three rows behind him. He looked terrible. I mean he was very difficult for him to make an appearance.

COOPER: And at the start of that, is that the trial where they showed the Martin Bashir documentary?

TOOBIN: The first day of the trial -- again, such a bizarre experience -- they played, not just the segment that we just saw.

COOPER: The prosecutors?

TOOBIN: The prosecutors played the a full two-hour documentary, which included a lot of music. And during the trial, in this part of the -- in the courtroom, the jurors were snapping their fingers and singing along, and Jackson was sort of tapping his feet. This was on the first day of his trial.

COOPER: You -- his attorneys were kind of freaked out by -- by what happened there. And about all of the people surrounding Jackson.

TOOBIN: I was actually standing a few steps away with Ben Brafman who was then his lawyer, who we will be here later...

COOPER: Later on tonight.

TOOBIN: Later on the tonight. Who was trying to keep a straight face. He didn't want this to happen. He didn't know this was going to happen. This was just Jackson responding to his fans.

COOPER: Hmm. Do you think he -- how much was he in control of what happened to him of all of the people around him? Do you know?

TOOBIN: He seemed very much -- the people around him were not a big -- very savory crew. His criminal defense lawyers, Ben Brafman, Tom Mesereau, excellent lawyers. Other than that, the spokesman, the hangers on, people who were living off his money, were a pretty appalling group. Every time there was a -- one of them made some sort of public statement, it was always publicly discredited later on.

He never seemed to have what -- a normal person might call a friend. Everyone needed something from Jackson. And he seemed to lead a very sad life.

And the testimony in the courtroom, even though, to be sure, he was acquitted, the nature of his relationship with young children, the 13-year-olds who got more than $10 million in the settlement, the 13- year-old who was the accuser in this case, it was at very least an unhealthy relationship.

COOPER: Also seems to be so many sides came out. On the one hand he was a brilliant businessman in that he -- he owned the catalog for the Beatles. I'm not sure about his own catalog but a lot of other artists, as well, and yet he seemed constantly to be in financial turmoil.

TOOBIN: Well, that decision that he made in the '80s to buy half of the Beatles' catalog was one of the great business decisions anyone could have made, but that was the last good one he made, because he mortgaged that throughout the rest of his life. He borrowed against it, because his own career stalled. The last 15 years of his life.

COOPER: This seemed so lavish and just bigger than life.

TOOBIN: We saw a shot of Neverland with the amusement park, with the hundreds of acres. It cost millions of years -- dollars a year to support. And his lifestyle was wildly lavish. Remember, he moved to Bahrain for a while.

COOPER: The question now, of course, what happens to his kids. Three kids and who knows about his estate?

TOOBIN: Does he even have a will? Who are his beneficiaries? Who will take care of the children?

COOPER: We'll continue to talk with Jeff throughout these next two hours. Much more ahead on the passing of Michael Jackson and just the remarkable career and life of this man. We're going to look at his legacy, from the music to all sorts of aspects of his life. I'll talk live with the Reverend Al Sharpton, who knew Jackson, and Jackson family attorney -- one-time Jackson family attorney Debra -- Debra Opri. We'll be right back.







COOPER: Madonna saying in a statement tonight, she cannot stop crying.

Michael Jackson was only 50 years old, his passing leaving a profound mark on so many people around the world tonight. Joining us now is the Reverend Al Sharpton and the Jackson family attorney, Debra Opri.

Reverend Sharpton, obviously, what did you first think when you heard?

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I was shocked. I called Joe Katz, who had also been one of the attorneys, who ironically had been working on this European tour, and I talked to Michael a few months ago, teased him that I wanted to come to England and see a moonwalk one more time.

I just couldn't believe it. I've known him probably 35 years. I was just three or four years older then him, so I kind of grew up with him. He and the Jackson 5 and the mother and father would come and do civil rights benefits when I was a teenager. And then, in parts in his life, once when he was fighting over this catalog, you were talking about.

COOPER: Right.

SHARPTON: Many people remember, he came to Harlem, to my headquarters. And we actually marched on the record company. I think the only march that Michael ever participated in.

But Michael was very much committed to trying to do big things, even in humanitarian ways. You must remember, Anderson, Michael Jackson did "We are the World" before Live Aid. Michael Jackson became a star that transcended racism and cultures before Tiger Woods or Barack Obama.

COOPER: MTV showed very few African-American artists until Michael Jackson.

SHARPTON: Correct. So he was a trail blazer. A lot of people will concentrate on his idiosyncrasies, but the reason he was so loved is he opened doors and was so creative and such a genius. I remember...

COOPER: We're going to show the picture of you and he together. I'm told we just got that.

SHARPTON: That's about the late '70s. That's Janet, really. COOPER: Wow, Janet. James Brown.

SHARPTON: James Brown, Michael and myself.


SHARPTON: And I remember Michael came to James Brown' funeral, and I introduced them to speak. And he didn't want to say anything, and I said, "You should speak." And Deanna and Yamma and the other Brown kids wanted him to speak.

And I remember standing at the casket and him looking down at Mr. Brown, whom he idolized. And he says, "I hope he gets in death the credit that he never got in life, what he was due."

And that's all I can think about today, what Michael said about James Brown I hope happens for Michael, because he was not just some eccentric freak. This guy had vision and creativity that really revolutionized the world.

COOPER: And Michael Jackson stood on the shoulders of James Brown. Just as so many artists have stood on the shoulders of Michael Jackson.

SHARPTON: And he said that. He learned from the James Browns, the Jackie Wilsons...

COOPER: I mean, you look -- you look at James Brown on stage, and then you kind of see -- you can see a little bit of Michael Jackson.

SHARPTON: You see the camel walk of James Brown, the moonwalk of Michael Jackson. You see Elvis. You see -- he almost had an encyclopedia kind of mind when it came to entertaining, came to show business. He was brilliant like that. And I think people, particularly for young people, talk about that genius. Because he didn't just get there because he was lucky. You don't outsell everybody because you're lucky. He was disciplined. He was committed. And he took great risks, and he opened up America and opened up the world.

COOPER: Debra, have you talked to any members of the Jackson family? What are you hearing tonight?

DEBRA OPRI, FORMER JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: I spoke with the family. They're devastated.

But Reverend Sharpton and I were with Michael when he was at James Brown's funeral, and I represented James Brown. And they were legends, those two. And I commend Michael Jackson's accomplishments. And he'll live forever. He'll live forever.

COOPER: Did -- did the family say -- I mean, do they have plans? Are they gathering anywhere? Do we know anything?

OPRI: Everyone has to get to where they need to be, and you know, repeating conversations I probably feel a little uncomfortable. But I can tell you I'm very worried about Katherine. And she was her son, and her son was her. And I'm very, very concerned about Katherine.

And my heart goes out to the entire family: to Joe, to Katherine, to all the kids. And it just shouldn't have happened like this. Shouldn't have happened.

COOPER: We've got to take a short break. I want you both just to stand by. We'll have more on just the remarkable life and very tragic death of Michael Jackson. We'll be right back.









SHARPTON: ... "Sharpton, how many people?" I mean, he was the guy that was involved totally in whatever he was about. And I think that people kind of don't give him credit for the kind of discipline and the attention that he would really give something. If he was in it, he was in it 1,000 percent.

COOPER: And this is a question I'm going to ask Reverend Sharpton.

Debra, what do you think then happened to Michael Jackson? I mean, incredible talent. Brilliant in some ways, even in some business ways, to get the Beatles catalog early on. You know, clearly a very smart business decision. And yet, kind of in the circle of people who -- who, you know, maybe some had good motives. Maybe some didn't. What do you think happened to Michael Jackson?

OPRI: Michael was a brilliant entertainer, a genius with music. He loved his family. He loved his fans, and he loved his music.

But Michael had a very soft heart, and he was an easy touch. And I think there were a lot of people who got to him. And his mother always, always said, he was a target. And she said, "We can't protect him. He'll have to learn."

And you know, his family was always there for him. And they will be here for him now. And all I can tell you is what happened to Michael Jackson? Life happened to Michael Jackson.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, same question, what happened to Michael Jackson?

SHARPTON: I think that Michael Jackson grew up on stage. He loved the stage. He loved the -- and I think that my last conversations over the last couple of years, he was hurt by a lot of people. Debra is right, that he trusted a lot of big names, that he went out for and stood up for that he felt didn't stand for him.

His family never budged from him. They never let him down. A lot of other people hurt him, and he felt betrayed. And I thought this tour would help bring him back. That's why I was talking with the attorney, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Because the people would give the energy and the electricity.

But I think a lot of people that you will hear saying a lot of great things over the next couple days, they broke Michael Jackson's heart way before it gave away today.

COOPER: Yes, I know. I'm having that thought, seeing all these people putting out statements. Wonder...

SHARPTON: Where were you yesterday?

OPRI: Where were you yesterday? Well put.

COOPER: Debra Opri, appreciate you being on and Reverend Sharpton, as well.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

COOPER: Sorry it's under these circumstances.

SHARPTON: God bless.

OPRI: God bless.

COOPER: We're just at the top of the hour right now. If you're just joining us, we are remembering Michael Jackson and, at the same time, searching for answers. Why did this happen? Why did his heart stop? Why did he die today? He was only 50 years old.

And we have late-breaking details on the sudden tragedy. We'll get to them in just a moment. But first his brother Jermaine, grieving, speaking about -- speaking out after such a heartbreaking loss.