Michael Jackson has died

Crowds form outside the hospital where Jackson died.
Crowds form outside the hospital where Jackson died.

LOS ANGELES, CA (NBC) - Pop superstar Michael Jackson is dead at the age of 50.

The singer reportedly suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to U.C.L.A. Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Even as a 12-year-old, Jackson showed the world he was special.

He charted four number one hits in 1970 as lead singer of the Jackson Five.

Solo success followed in the late 1970s and achieved mega-stardom in the 1980s.

His album "Thriller" spawned three number one hits including the title

song and its milestone music video.

"Thriller" remains the second best selling album of all time.

Jackson not only dominated music charts, he also influenced dance and fashion.

More hit albums followed, but by the early 1990s Jackson's increasingly odd behavior began to take a toll on his popularity.

Excessive cosmetic surgery substantially altered his appearance and in 1994 he shocked fans by marrying Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie, a union that lasted little more than a year.

A second marriage, to Debbie Rowe, followed in 1996 and produced two children.

The marriage ended in 1999.

Jackson went on to have a third child by a surrogate mother.

In 2002 he made headlines worldwide when he dangled a baby from a hotel window in Germany.

A year later he was arrested on charges of molesting a child at his Neverland Ranch...charges of which he was acquitted two years later.

Increasingly reclusive following those events, Jackson had nonetheless announced plans this past March for a series of concerts this summer in London that he called "The Final Curtain Call".

It's a curtain call he never got to make.