David Gest (1953 - 2016)

David Gest, who produced a top-rated musical television special featuring Michael Jackson, has died, according to multiple news sources, including The Associated Press. He was 62.

Gest was found dead in a London hotel, according to his friend and former bodyguard Imad Handi. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available, though police have reportedly said they found no suspicious circumstances after being called to the hotel.

“It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today,” reads Handi’s news release.

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Gest, who was married to the entertainer Liza Minelli from 2002 until their divorce in 2007, produced the 2001 TV special “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration – The Solo Years.” The program, which united singer Michael Jackson with his Jackson 5 brothers, became the highest rated music special in television history.

Gest also appeared on 2006 series of the British reality TV show “I’m a Celebrity. … Get me out of here!” He also recently appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the U.K., but only for a brief time. 

Gest was born May 11, 1953, in Los Angeles and grew up in Southern California. He was well-known in the U.K., where he produced three prime-time TV series, a first for an American.

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