Popstar Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50, it was confirmed tonight.

Paramedics were called to the singer's rented LA home around midday local time (8pm UK) on Thursday after he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his house, Capt Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times.

The paramedics tried to resuscitate him and took him to UCLA Medical Centre, Ruda told the newspaper.

The King of Pop was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, Los Angeles coroner Fred Corral told cable news channel CNN.

Ed Winter, the assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County, confirmed his office had been notified of the death and would handle the investigation.

A huge crowd of mourning fans has begun to congregate outside the hospital.

According to celebrity website TMZ.com, there was a scene of chaos as Jackson was admitted to the hospital, with people who were with the singer screaming, "You've got to save him! You've got to save him!"

There are reports his sister LaToya Jackson ran into the hospital sobbing shortly after the ambulance arrived..

Jackson had been due to perform 50 farewell concerts at London's O2 Arena next month.

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who worked with Jackson throughout his solo career, was one of the first stars to pay tribute to the popstar.

He told MSNBC: "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news." He said Jackson "had it all - talent, grace, professionalism and dedication".

He added: "I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

Demi Moore paid tribute on Twitter, writing: "I am greatly saddened for the loss of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Especially for their children!" Her husband, Ashton Kutcher, also posted: "RIP. Sending love and light to family and friend but especially his kids."

He added: "Plea to the press to respect his wishes of maintaining the anonymity of his children. I plea to the public to refuse to consume media that does not respect the anonymity of Michaels children."

Foreign Secretary David Miliband wrote on Twitter: "Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael."

Rev Al Sharpton, a leading US civil rights campaigner and friend of Jackson, told Sky News: "As a friend of Michael's for the past 35 years, I call on people from around the world to pray for him and his family."

Matt Blank from the Michael Jackson World Network fanclub told BBC News 24 he was "a bit dumfounded and a bit shell-shocked by it all".

He added: "I find it hard to believe this could be a reality.

"In the past, health issues of Michael Jackson have always been rumoured. I can only imagine this is down to the amount of stress he was under to come out and perform."

He added: "It's just unimaginable that Michael Jackson is no more, it's just unbelievable."

Uri Gellar, a close friend of the star, told the BBC: "I'm devastated - it's very, very sad.

"I'm still trying to hold on to the glimmer that it's not true. It's too surreal for me to absorb that Michael is no longer with us."

What did you guys think of MJ, pit?
i was at a jazz band practice when one of the directors got a text about jackson's death that made him laugh his ass off and he wouldnt show any of us. anyone get that and want to share? please?