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Michael Jackson becomes Motown’s latest fallen hero


jackoWhat was supposed to be a yearlong celebration of Motown Records’ 50th anniversary, turned into a major tragedy with the death on Thursday of one of its biggest stars, Michael Jackson.

The 50-year-old self-proclaimed “King of Pop” died of suspected cardiac arrest as he was about to launch a major comeback with a string of 50 concerts in London.

It comes 25 years after the death of another Motown alumnus, Marvin Gaye, who was also on the comeback trail. Gaye was shot to death by his father in a domestic dispute.

Jackson rose to fame as the youngest member of the Jackson 5, a group that Motown founder Berry Gordy was initially reluctant to sign. “He didn’t want any more kid acts because Stevie Wonder was more than a handful,” said former Motown executive Suzanne de Passe, who lobbied Gordy to sign them.