The Last Dance: Michael Jackson's Final Curtain Call

King of Pop's final moments on stage documented in pictures

By Xana O'Neill
|  Wednesday, Jul 8, 2009  |  Updated 9:58 AM PDT
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Life and Times: Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson rehearses for his planned shows in London at the Staples Center on June 23 in Los Angeles. Jackson died two days later at the age of 50 in a hospital after going into cardiac arrest.

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The stunning, final photos of Michael Jackson performing on stage show him dancing, smiling and appearing full of life just two days before his sudden death.

The King of Pop's final curtain call was documented in photographs taken during a June 23 rehearsal in Los Angeles for his 50-show tour. As he sang and danced on stage -- against the backdrop of an illuminated sign that read "This Is It"  -- the 50-year-old singer changed into classic ensembles as he prepared for what was supposed to be his epic career comeback.

"This is it, really this is it," Jackson said during his last public appearance announcing the tour on March 5.

On stage, Jackson performed his classic King of Pop choreography, backed by several dancers.

"When he hit the stage at rehearsal, I was thrilled that the magical Michael Jackson was back," Kevin Mazur, a photographer at the Staples Center in Los Angeles told the New York Post. "I felt the same adrenaline rush as when I photographed him the first time moonwalking." 

Jackson had planned a series of concerts in London beginning on July 13 and running through March 2010. Tour promoters initially planned a tour that would have brought Jackson to Europe, Asia and the Americas into 2011.

The singer died suddenly last Thursday at a Los Angeles-area hospital after he was found in bed at his home with a pulse but not breathing.

It took up to a half hour for paramedics to be called after the singer collapsed because his room in the rented mansion didn't have a telephone and his personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, didn't know the street address, a lawyer for the doctor said.

The coroner completed an autopsy on the singer Friday and found no trauma or evidence of foul play. Jackson's family also had a second autopsy completed. Officials are still waiting for the results of toxicology reports, which take several weeks, though it was confirmed he was on prescription medication.

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