King of Pop Michael Jackson dead at age 50

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Officials have confirmed that Michael Jackson died after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center Thursday afternoon.

A person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity said the King of Pop died.  He was 50 years old.

A fire department official told the Los Angeles Times that Jackson was taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Steve Ruda told the newspaper that Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m., Pacific Time.

The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the paper.

Officials confirmed that Jackson died at 3:15 p.m.

L. Londell McMillan, a lawyer for Jackson, did not have any information.  Messages left for other Jackson associates were not immediately returned.

The record-breaking, sensationally gifted "King of Pop" emerged from childhood superstardom to become the entertainment world's most influential singer and dancer, and the tabloid world's most disturbing celebrity.

His death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music's premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

(The AP contributed to this report.)