Always in the spotlight, Grammy winner Michael Jackson was a star entertainer whose career captivated audiences and garnered loyal fans worldwide
Yet his later years were mired in controversy with failed marriages, rumors of health problems, and even accusations of child molestation.
Following his death at age 50, the shocking news of Michael Jackson’s death dominated media around the globe.
With grief came questions about the star’s final days. The circumstances surrounding his untimely death were suspicious and left people wondering: how did Michael Jackson die?
Let’s take a look at a few of the key events that led up to the star’s fateful death, noting when Michael Jackson died, how old Michael Jackson was when he died, and more.
How Did Michael Jackson Die?
Michael Joseph Jackson died of a cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 50.
He died as a result of a deadly cocktail of sedatives, primarily propofol, which was administered by his physician, Conrad Murray.
It was later concluded the death was a homicide, and Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in November 2011.
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What Was the Real Cause of Michael Jackson’s Death?
Michael Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication.
What does acute propofol mean? That he died from a fatal overdose of propofol, a sedative, which was combined with other similar drugs known as benzodiazepines.
However, as previously noted, this was not an accidental drug overdose. Since the verdict in Conrad Murray’s civil trial found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide.
Michael Jackson’s Health Issues
Though Conrad was ultimately to blame, the story of Michael Jackson’s death has its roots in the pop star’s deteriorating health over the last 20 years of his life.
It is claimed he suffered from an eating disorder, stress, insomnia, and, notably, an addiction to prescription drugs.
It was this last fact that was said to play a key role in the events culminating in the death of Michael Jackson when he was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA medical center on that fateful day.
Now let’s investigate the important question: when did Michael Jackson die?
The Day Before
June 24, 2009 saw Michael in rehearsals for his final This Is It comeback tour. Nothing seemed amiss that day at the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles, with fellow performers stating that he appeared in top form.
The rehearsal even went on past midnight. Afterward, the “Billie Jean” singer still found the time to greet fans that gathered outside the gate of his mansion on North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills.
Problems began when, after arriving home, he complained of fatigue and insomnia.
The Morning of June 25th
Michael Jackson’s physician, Conrad Murray, gave Jackson a series of drugs over the course of the early hours to help him sleep.
Concern was raised later when Michael failed to leave his room.
When Did Michael Jackson Die?
Murray found the star unresponsive and not breathing, though he claimed he still had a weak pulse.
He attempted to revive Jackson, though statements have questioned his CPR technique and the fact he chose to do it on a soft bed rather than a hard surface.
Questions also arose regarding the time it took Murray to get help.
Notably, there was no landline phone in the residence, and Murray stated he didn’t know the address well enough to call paramedics by mobile.
As a result, 30 minutes passed before security at the North Carolwood Drive property eventually made the call to paramedics.
Emergency services performed CPR there for 42 minutes before rushing Jackson to the hospital.
Here, emergency services attempted to resuscitate Jackson. After over an hour, the star was pronounced dead.
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How Old Was Michael Jackson When He Died?
Jackson was 50 years old at the time of death. He passed away a mere two months from his 51st birthday.
What Did Michael Jackson Die From?
An autopsy report by Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner for the Los Angeles County coroner, determined that Jackson’s death was a homicide as a result of combined drug intoxication.
Two years after his death, the Los Angeles Times published an in-depth report of Michael Jackson’s autopsy that went into further detail about his death.
What Was Michael Jackson Taking Before He Died?
The toxicology report by medical examiners suggested propofol, an anesthetic associated with cardiac arrest, was the most important drug found.
The sedative is a sleep aid, giving a calming effect that helps users fall asleep.
Lidocaine, ephedrine, and lorazepam were also found within Jackson’s system.
Michael Jackson’s Drug Abuse
The finding relates to broader questions regarding Jackson’s health and history of drug use during his later years.
Following his death, police found drugs in his home, including some made out to false names.
Statements were also made by family members, former doctors, and associates expressing concern over Michael’s weight and continued use of prescription medication.
The finding that Jackson died of a propofol overdose led to Jackson’s personal physician, Conrad Murray, being charged with involuntary manslaughter on February 8, 2010.
The physician was sentenced to four years in jail over his role in Jackson’s death. However, he was released after only serving two years as a result of good behavior.
His license to practice medicine in California remains suspended. He’s currently practicing medicine in the Caribbean.
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What Were Michael Jackson’s Last Words?
The story of Michael Jackson’s last words is a sad one.
According to Conrad Murray, the last person to see Jackson alive, his last word was “milk.”
“Milk” is what he called propofol because it has a milky appearance.
As Murray remembers, then, Michael Jackson’s last words were repeating his request for “milk,” or propofol.
Reaction to Michael Jackson’s Death
On June 26, 2009, the day after he died, the world mourned the legend, remembering his legacy in many ways. The broader reaction to the superstar’s death was considerable.
There was a widespread outpouring of mourning from fans and celebrities across the world, and groups gathered outside the gates of his Neverland Ranch and hometown of Gary, Indiana.
No less than Barack Obama stated later that the star would “go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers.”
Each year on his death anniversary, millions of fans worldwide still mourn the King of Pop.
Did Michael Jackson Ever Have a Funeral?
Michael Jackson’s public memorial service took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7, 2009.
Beforehand, a private service for family was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park located in Hollywood Hills.
Who Attended Michael Jackson’s Funeral?
Though they had a private memorial beforehand, Michael Jackson’s family also attended the public memorial.
His brothers sat in the front row, and each wore a single white glove as a tribute to their brother’s iconic fashion statement.
Celebrities at Michael Jackson’s funeral included Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Brooke Shields, Queen Latifah, and Smokey Robinson.
Perhaps the most touching portion of the service was when Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris gave a speech.
“I just want to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” she said through tears. View the emotional video below:
Was Michael Jackson’s Casket Closed?
Yes, Michael Jackson’s casket was closed. The casket was made of solid bronze, lined with blue velvet, and plated with 14-karat gold.
What Was Michael Jackson Worth When He Died?
When he died, Michael Jackson was worth approximately $500 million.
Currently, Michael Jackson’s estate is worth almost double, coming in at $873 million.
Why Did it Take So Long for Michael Jackson to be Buried?
The Jackson family couldn’t bury Michael’s body until weeks after his death. This was because doctors removed his brain in an effort to discover what killed him.
It took until August 2009, almost two months after his death, for his brain to be reunited with his body so the family could give him a proper burial.
Lawsuits Following the Death of Michael Jackson
In the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, the grieving Jackson family filed multiple lawsuits in the search for justice.
On June 25, 2010, a wrongful death suit against Conrad Murray was filed by Joseph Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father.
The suit claimed that Murray was negligent in multiple ways, including lying to cover up Jackson’s propofol use, keeping insufficient medical records, and general negligence in how he administered prescription drugs to Jackson.
Joseph Jackson dropped the lawsuit on August 15, 2012.
Then in 2010, Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother, and his three kids, Paris Jackson, Prince Jackson, and Bigi Jackson, issued their own lawsuit.
They sued AEG Live, the concert promoter behind Jackson’s planned This Is It tour, for hiring Murray, claiming that it was a negligent decision to appoint him.
Not only did the jury find their verdict in AEG’s favor, but Katherine Jackson was also later charged $800,000 for bringing up the lawsuit.
2022 Documentary Sheds Light About Michael Jackson’s Death
2022 saw the release of TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson?
The controversial documentary shed light on Michael Jackson’s substance abuse and how it helped lead to his death.
“To say that Conrad Murray is the beginning and ending of his story simply isn’t true,” says documentary host Harvey Levin. “…Michael was gonna get what he wanted, and if you said no he would find someone who would do it for him”
Guests who provide illuminating commentary in the documentary include Michael Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe and even Conrad Murray, who gives his side of the story.
Remembering Michael Jackson
Legendary entertainer Michael Jackson was taken from us too soon. Though not the first celebrity to die of a narcotics overdose, his death still came as a shock to millions of fans who are still mourning his death.
We’ll always remember the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and all the joy he brought to the world.
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