Michael Jackson's father suffers stroke in Brazil

Joe Jackson (centre), arriving for the screening of the film Sicario in Cannes.
Joe Jackson (centre), arriving for the screening of the film Sicario in Cannes. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (AFP) - The father of "King of Pop" Michael Jackson was in a Brazilian hospital Monday, after suffering a stroke hours before a huge birthday bash in his honour, doctors said.

Officials at Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital said they admitted Joe Jackson at about 1700 GMT on Sunday (1am on Monday, Singapore time).

"The patient is being treated in the intensive care unit after being diagnosed with ischemic stroke associated with cardiac arrhythmia," the hospital said.

Local media said the huge US$200,000 (S$274,000) birthday celebration in Jackson's honour - he turned 87 on Sunday - went on as planned, even though the guest of honour was in the hospital.

Jackson wrote in anticipation about the celebration on his website http://www.jwjackson.com, saying he planned to mark the day "in style".

"Join me on the 26th of July to celebrate 87 full years on earth," he wrote.

"The greatest adventure you can take on this world, is to live your life and enjoy the ride." Reports said one of Brazil's famed samba clubs was scheduled to perform, as were well-known local singers, while a sumptuous spread of Brazilian fare was on the birthday menu.

The Jackson family patriarch's most famous offspring, singer Michael Jackson, died six years ago.

An autopsy determined that the pop legend's July 2009 death was caused by an overdose of the powerful anesthetic drug Propofol, which he had been misusing as a sleep aid with the help of his doctor.