On This Day: The Shocking Death of ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson in 2009

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since Michael Jackson passed away at the age of 50. His death sent waves through the music world, and his fans and family were left with incredible grief and confusion. What could have possibly happened?

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Eventually, it was revealed that Jackson died from acute propofol intoxication. And to the shock of many, one person was convicted for their involvement in Michael Jackson’s death.

The Los Angeles coroner determined that Jackson’s death was actually a homicide. He had been prescribed and administered propofol in addition to a number of benzodiazepine medications for his anxiety. This combination of medications proved fatal, even when used according to his doctor’s instructions. Thus, Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for overmedicating Jackson and causing his death.

The Legacy of Michael Jackson

In the wake of his death, Michael Jackson is still known for his incredible contributions to pop music. He’s inspired the likes of Beyoncé, Usher, Justin Timberlake, and an entire generation of pop artists.

Jackson’s career started at just the age of 5 as one of the members of his family band, the Jackson 5. His childhood, though successful musically and professionally, was marred by abuse at the hands of his father.

Still, Jackson pushed forward with his music career as an adult. His solo career began when he was only 13 in 1971. The title track of the album Got To Be There charted immediately and paved the way for one of the most successful solo careers of any musician in history.

His breakthrough album was definitely the 1979 release Off The Wall. At the time, Jackson had already been exposed to what would be considered proto-hip-hop at the time. The resulting album had elements of beatboxing, pop, and funk. He nabbed a Grammy for the album. 

His success continued with Thriller in 1982, which is still considered the best-selling album in the world. By the time of his unfortunate passing, Jackson had received 15 Grammy awards. Now that’s a legend!

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

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