Michael Jackson has died, aged 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home.
The story first appeared on celebrity gossip website TMZ.com and was immediately picked up on Twitter. The BBC, PA, AP and the LA Times later confirmed the singer had indeed passed away.
The superstar had not been breathing when found and was taken by ambulance to the UCLA Medical Center, at which fans and media crews have started to congregate in large numbers.
The news comes just a fortnight ahead of the first of 50 scheduled dates at London's O2 Arena and caused Twitter to grind to a halt and the internet generally to slow down for over an hour.
A first reaction to Jackson's death, as the world generally comes to grips with the news: Michael Jackson Dies, Aged 50