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Thriller 25th Official Party - Italy. 31-01-'08
SonyBMG Italy, in cooperation with TEAMWORLD and MJFC-ITALY, invites you to the Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition official launch party which will be held at the Piper Club in Rome (Italy) on Saturday, February 9, 2008.
NAVI, the world's #1 MJ impersonator, will be the special performer of the evening. After entertaining audiences worldwide and mesmerizing Michael Jackson himself by dancing several times in his presence, NAVI is now ready to rock Rome and the Italian fans after two years from his last show in our country!
Don't miss the chance of celebrating Thriller and the innovative genius of Michael Jackson with the most "thrilling" Italian party of the year!
Source: mjfanclub / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson And His Children Visit Ronn Lucas' Comedy Show. 30-01-'08
On Tuesday afternoon, Michael Jackson and his children attended the Ronn Lucas family comedy/ventriloquist show at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. At least one paparazzi agency attempted to photograph Michael Jackson as he left the show, but they were prohibited from doing so by a bodyguard.
Ronn Lucas has been dubbed "The world’s best ventriloquist" by printed media and over the years he has appeared on a variety of television specials, including a repeat annual appearance on Jerry Lewis' MDA Telethon.
Source: LVRJ / Billie Jean
'The Girl Is Mine' & Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'. 28-01-'08
'The Girl Is Mine 2008' has entered the Hot Canadian Digital Singles Charts this week (02-02-2008) as a new entry at #61.
'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008' featuring Michael Jackson and Akon has entered the US Billboard Pop 100 Airplay Charts this week as a new entry at #47.
Source: Billboard / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson's Superbowl Comeback. 28-01-'08
Jackson wants to kick off a "Thriller" comeback on the Super Bowl stage, The Post has learned.
As part of a marketing plan for the 25th anniversary of the hit Michael Jackson album, a TV spot for SoBe Life Water, a vitamin-enhanced beverage from PepsiCo, will air during the big game next Sunday with a "Thriller" theme, according to documents.
An internal memo from Jacko's former label Sony, written by marketing director Andrew Feigenbaum, prominently mentions the TV spot as "confirmed."
PepsiCo has refused to acknowledge collaborating with The Gloved One on the super-secret project. There was no immediate comment from a Jackson spokeswoman.
The week of Feb. 8 will deliver what the internal memo describes as a "major TV, radio, online and outdoor advertising campaign."
It's likely the covers of the anniversary edition of the album - called "Thriller 25" - which feature photographs of a much younger Jackson with a much darker complexion and a different facial structure, will be seen on billboards around the country.
The official Jackson Web site has been completely redone to resemble a one-stop shop for all things Jackson. Links to the social-networking Web sites MySpace and Face book are new. Lucrative ring tones have been created for all of the songs from the original album as well as for all the remixes and previously unreleased tracks.
There are also plans under way for Jackson to appear at the Grammy Awards on Feb.10 with young hip-hop artists Fergie, will.i.am and Akon, who also accompany him on remixed or new versions of "Thriller" album tracks.
Blockbuster "Beat It" will now feature Fergie, while Akon joins "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and will.i.am provides vocals for "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" and "The Girl is Mine."
Meanwhile, the classic "The Girl is Mine," which featured Paul McCartney, has been completely re-recorded, erasing all traces of the former Beatle.
Next month's Black Entertainment Television Honours program is set to include a tribute to Jackson.
Jackson is scheduled to appear at both events, but not perform.
Jacko has spent the last year bumming around Las Vegas after a year and a half of globetrotting - including stays in Europe and the Middle East, sleeping on the couches of rich pals in the wake of beating kiddie-sex charges in California.
While no specific figures were mentioned, it's clear that the "Thriller" campaign is a multimillion-dollar effort and that the Sony-designed p.r. blitz could be a major boost to Jackson's flagging career. Ironically, the record company dumped the star in 2006.
He hasn't released an original album since "HIStory" in 1995 and hasn't toured since October 1997.
MICHAEL JACKSON'S COMEBACK ATTEMPT
The Gloved One is trying to revive his flagging career with the release of a 25th anniversary ''Thriller'' edition and a flurry of high-profile appearances
* "Thriller"-themed Super Bowl soft-drink commercial
* Re-mixed songs on "Thriller 25" with vocals by hip-hop artists Fergie, Akon and will.i.am
* New track based on "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin"
* Erased any trace of Paul McCartney vocals on "The Girl Is Mine"
* Album will include never-released 1982 tune, "For All Time"
* Grammy Awards appearance scheduled
* BET will host special honouring him
* Launching major TV, radio, online and outdoor ad campaign around Feb. 8
* Negotiating ring tone and other download deals with Sprint and other carriers
Source: NY Post / Billie Jean
'The Girl Is Mine' climbs on UK charts. 28-01-'08
'The Girl Is Mine 2008' made a big jump on the official UK Singles Charts this week. After entering the charts at #78 last week it climbed to #44 this week (week of January 28, 2008).
Source: UK Charts / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson’s NRJ Video Message. 27-01-'08
Here is the Michael Jackson’s video message to NRJ Music in France:
The show was broadcast on TF1 in France on Saturday 26th, the appearance had been organised by NRJ and Sony to coincide with the release of Thriller 25.
Michael Jackson ultimately decided to give a videotaped award acceptance speech instead. Wearing his trademark dark shades and dressed in black, Michael Jackson thanked the fans for their continued support, reflected on the "mind blowing" success that Thriller has had throughout the past 25 years, and reassured the audience that "there is still much more to come from Michael Jackson."
Source: Billie Jean
MTV Italy To Celebrate Thriller 25. 27-01-'08
MTV Italy joins celebrations for the Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition.
On TRL there will be a contest, starting January 22 until January 31, 2008, on TRL.
Contest is intended for all viewers of TRL who:
Must own the “Thriller” album.
Must own Michael Jackson memorabilia like t-shirts, concerts’ tickets, etc…to be taken into consideration. The most prestigious ones will increase the possibility to win the contest.
Must be able to faithfully reproduce a Michael Jackson move.
Participation in the competition will be via e-mail. Competitors must write an e-mail stating why they fulfil the conditions set out above, as well as highlight the reasons they should be preferred over other competitors.
The winner and a companion will fly to Los Angeles to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and walk on the red carpet immediately before the show. Everything will be filmed and broadcast later on TRL. An I-Pod limited edition containing 'Thriller: 25th Anniversary Edition' in digital format will be consolation prizes awarded in dates subsequent to February 1.
From February 4-8, 2008, TRL will give away 10 T-shirts, posters, magnets, and mouse pads promoting 'Thriller: 25th Anniversary Edition'.
MTV Italy and MTV Gold will host a special programming dedication to the King of Pop: 'Live In Bucharest' (1992) followed by 'Ghosts'. MTV Gold (channel 705 of SKy) will honour Michael Jackson as 'Artist Of The Week' from March 10-14 at 2.30 pm and 10.30 pm and March 16 at 8 am.
MTV' series 'The Most Icon' will devote an episode to Michael Jackson.
And MTV.IT will do its part with specials and exclusives.
Source: King of Pop FC / Billie Jean
US Sales 2007. 25-01-'08
Sales figures for Michael Jackson related products in the USA for the year 2007:
Number Ones: 190,885 (+26%)
Thriller: 128,935 (+86%)
Number Ones (DVD): 79,335 (-34%)
The Essential Michael Jackson: 74,670 (+12%)
Off the Wall: 43,470 (+38%)
Live in Bucharest (DVD): 36,815 (-44.5%)
Greatest Hits: HIStory, Vol. 1: 28,330 (-18.5%)
Greatest Hits; HIStory (DVD): 15,780 (+6.5%)
HIStory on Film - Vol. 2 (DVD): 10,095 (-7%)
Bad: 9,765 (-10%)
Dangerous: 9,130 (+7.5%)
Ultimate Collection: 8,295 (-34%)
Invincible: 5,630 (-21%)
HIStory: Past, Present and Future: 3,415 (-2.5%)
Dangerous - The Short films (DVD): 2,315 (-6%)
Blood on the Dance Floor: 1,475 (-5.5%)
Source: king of pop fan club / Billie Jean
24 Hours Of 'Beat It'. 24-01-'08
WJPZ-FM, a student-run, Top-40 radio station at Syracuse University, is changing formats to a rhythm-and-blues-oriented format. And they used Michael Jackson to mark the occasion.
The station played the song 'Beat It' continuously from midnight Sunday until midnight Monday as a PR stunt. This prompted dozens of puzzled listeners to call the station at SU's Watson Hall to find out what was wrong, according to Lauren Levine, the station's public relations director. Afterwards, the song was replaced with a recording of a heartbeat, which was scheduled to finally flat line.
Source: syracuse.com / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson To Receive NRJ Award In France. 23-01-'08
According to various French sources Michael Jackson had agreed to attend the NRJ Music Awards on Saturday (Jan 26).
The show will broadcast on TF1 in France, the appearance had been organised by NRJ and Sony to coincide with the release of Thriller 25.
It's still not certain whether or not Michael Jackson will attend.
Source: nrjmusicawards / Billie Jean
Single Release Date Change In UK. 20-01-'08
Sony UK have informed MJWN that the CD and three track digital release of ‘The Girl Is Mine 2008′ has been pushed back a week to February 4, 2008.
Source: mjwn / Billie Jean
Johnny Depp Would Play Michael In A Film. 23-01-'08
Johnny Depp has told Bang Showbiz in an interview that he would be prepared to play Michael in a movie or TV film if the opportunity arose. Depp told Bang Showbiz: “I have heard that I based Willy Wonka on Michael Jackson before, but no, that was not my plan, I wish I had thought of that though.”
His most famous role is of course for playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ trilogy but one of the most memorable for Michael’s fans was when he acted as J. M. Barrie in ‘Finding Neverland’.
Source: azcentral / Billie Jean
Rolling Stone Spain Magazine. 18-01-'08
As part of a celebration of the 80s, Rolling Stone Spain is featuring Michael Jackson on cover of their current issue (January 2008, No. 99). This is a deluxe rare collector's item.
Source: mjjshop / Billie Jean
Special Presentation At Lincoln Center, NYC. 18-01-'08
Michael Jackson is the subject of a one-of-a-kind presentation this week at New York City’s Lincoln Center. As part of the Dance On Camera Program, distinguished NY Press film critic Armond White is dedicating an entire evening to the work of Michael Jackson in the music video genre. His “Pop Video Artists and Hollywood Influence” will be held on January 18, 2008 (Friday) at 6:15 pm at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater.
In this 90 minute presentation, esteemed critic and author Armond White will take an in-depth look at Michael Jackson’s early music videos and examine the influence of Hollywood choreographers and Hollywood dance icons in them.
Armond White currently writes for the weekly newspaper, The New York Press and the periodical First Of The Month. In 1992, his essay on Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’ music video, entitled 'Black Or White, The Gloved One Is Not A Chump' won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Music Criticism. In 1994, he was the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. He’s served on the jury for the Sundance Film Festival and his music video presentations have been shown in film and video festivals all over the world since 1993.
Source: Billie Jean
'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008: Michael Jackson With Akon. 18-01-'08
In the USA, the first single to be released from Michael Jackson’s forthcoming 'Thriller 25 Anniversary Edition' will be the newly recorded rendition of 'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ '. It is a new track produced by Akon and Michael, featuring Akon's vocal and a brand new 2008 Michael Jackson vocal track. Not a remix but a new version of this classic!
Source: michaeljackson.com / Billie Jean
First Hard Rock Café In Romania Features MJ Jacket. 18-01-'08
On Sunday, Bucharest (Romania) will enter the exclusive circuit of the towns that host the famous pub network Hard Rock Café, that achieved a great fame due to the collection of objects that once belonged to rock stars.
The walls of Hard Rock Café Bucharest will for example be decorated with a pair of trousers from Shakira, one of Richie Sambora’s guitars, a costume worn by John Lennon, and one of the peculiar stage outfits of Sir Elton John. Yet, the main attractions are a top once worn by Madonna and the red jacket Michael Jackson used to wear in his Thriller period.
The Café will be located on 32, Kiseleff Boulevard.
Source: Nine O'Clock / Billie Jean
Thriller Live Is Back! 17-01-'08
To coincide with the launch of ‘Thriller - 25th Anniversary Edition’ Flying Music and Adrian Grant are pleased to announce a NEW spring tour for ‘Thriller Live’. Over 50 shows have been announced which will take place mainly in the UK from March 27 - May 25, 2008 plus several in Holland.
To book tickets for ‘Thriller Live’ or for further information about the shows please visit their web site click here
Source: Thriller Live / Billie Jean
The Most Misunderstood Man In The World. 17-01-'08
Matt Fiddes (28) has worked for Michael Jackson as a bodyguard on several occasions - and is proud to count him as a personal friend. When his mum was battling breast cancer, the entertainer even called her regularly to cheer her up. And dad-of-five Matt also had no qualms about his children meeting Michael.
"Michael must be the most misunderstood man in the world.
He is such a nice guy behind closed doors. Once you get to know him, you see that - but for most people his huge international profile tends to get in the way.
Michael definitely wants to keep the mystery going. It's like a game to him. He knows he can go out and be photographed and the photos will be used worldwide.
During a visit to London in 2002, Michael took my stepsons, Archie and Charlie, on a shopping trip to Hamleys toy store. He's a great guy and I didn't have any problem with it. It sounds like a dream come true to most kids, but the boys were too shy to choose anything expensive. They came home with just a few bits and pieces."
Matt Fiddes was introduced to Michael Jackson by Uril Geller after taking part in a fitness video alongside Geller.
"One night Uri called me at 2am and said 'You have to come to my house now, or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.'
I made the three hour trip from Devon to Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire. My jaw dropped when I watched Martin Bashir's documentary at Uri's house. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into Uri's living room and Michael Jackson was sitting there on the sofa.
Michael mentioned he was looking for a bodyguard in the UK and asked me to keep in touch. From then on I was his bodyguard on trips to the UK."
Amazingly, Matt was present at the Renaissance Hotel in London in 2002 when Martin Bashir pitched Michael Jackson the idea for his famous and so very controversial documentary.
"Martin told Michael it would be the best thing he could do for his career.
It was supposed to be about the music and Mike's children were to be kept out of the final cut. Of course it was nothing of the sort and my jaw dropped when I watched the show at Uri's house.”
During filming for Martin Bashir's documentary, Matt also worked for Michael Jackson, who tried to escape the press:
Michael would come up with elaborate plans to escape the crowds. He asked me to dress up like him to distract the fans and he would sneak out the back door. He produced white socks, a military-style jacket and sunglasses for me to put on.
The US security team of four bodyguards came with me through the front of the hotel. People were grabbing my hands and talking to me as if I was their hero. Meanwhile Michael snuck out the back with one bodyguard and had about 20 minutes of hassle-free browsing before he was recognised.
Another time, Michael and I ordered a takeaway curry and escaped to Uri's house in Berkshire. I had to pinch myself when I was sitting on the floor with the King of Pop eating a curry and watching Bruce Lee movies."
Despite the excitement, Matt's memory of the time is tinged with sadness. During the same period his mum, Majella Norris, was diagnosed with breast cancer and given just six months to live. But when Matt confided in Michael, the star didn't waste any time giving his stricken mum a call.
"That really touched me.
Michael's a very sensitive human being and he'd ring my mum every day to see how she was coping.
He makes a big impression on everyone, and she really appreciated his best wishes. Thankfully Mum pulled through and is loving her retirement."
Source: The Sun / Billie Jean
Janet Jackson More Hints Of Jacksons Tour. 16-01-'08
The Jackson 5, one of the most successful US groups of all time, could be getting back together, according to Janet Jackson, who urged her older brother Michael to get back on stage for a reunion.
Rumors that the Jackson brothers could be planning a comeback have been circulating for years, but Janet Jackson told AFP in a recent interview she hoped the time was finally approaching.
"I hope so. I really hope so because I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket," she said. "I do know that my brothers want to and I know it's been kind of tough for Mike. He's kind of on the fence, from what I know about it."
The Jackson 5, who last performed as The Jacksons with six members, were rumoured to be planning a reunion just before Michael Jackson went on trial for child abuse in 2005.
"Maybe he just wants to continue to be a solo artist and if that's what he wants then you have to respect his wishes," Janet said. "But what an impact it would have on the world and he has to see that because everyone else does.
"I think he'd have to be blind not to see that," she added.
Source: AFP / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Staying At The Palms? 16-01-'08
Michael Jackson has been camped out atop the Palms in a suite with his children for almost two months, according to spies.
He may have arrived under the radar, but he's been out in the public with regularity.
Twice in a week, Jackson has taken his three children out to see the sights.
They attended the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur on Saturday and took an after-hours tour of Madame Tussauds Las Vegas the previous Monday.
Jackson spent six months in a Sum Merlin home last year before vacating it at the end of June. The multimillion-dollar home was left a mess, with a Christmas tree still in place.
The former King of Pop moved to Virginia after he had no luck in getting takers for a headliner gig here.
Sources told me over the holidays that Jackson's handlers were making overtures for a six-figure deal to have Jackson host a New Year's Eve countdown party. But, again, he got no takers.
"Too radioactive," is the term I keep hearing.
Source: Vegas Journal / Billie Jean
Another Lawsuit Dismissed. 15-01-'08
A strange lawsuit filed by a young man who alleged he was molested as a boy by Michael Jackson and who also claimed he fathered the singer's two oldest children and saw him dine with Fidel Castro was dismissed today by a judge in Loas Angeles (USA).
Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu granted a motion by Michael Jackson's lawyer, Thomas C. Mundell, to throw out the case after the plaintiff (22), Daniel Kapon, failed to show up for the scheduled start of the trial. Mundell said outside the courtroom:
"I think the judge realized how crazy the lawsuit was."
The lawyer added that Kapon never visited Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County as he claimed, and that the entertainer did not know him. In court papers filed December 17, Mundell said Kapon made a series of unusual statements during his December 11 deposition that undermined the validity of his case:
"These are not good-faith deposition answers. They are the ravings of an unbalanced celebrity stalker."
Kapon's lawsuit alleged Jackson "repeatedly and forcefully sexually molested" him starting in 1987, when he was 2, and lasting until he was 14. He also claimed his mother married Michael Jackson multiple times, and testified that the ceremonies were attended by Elizabeth Taylor, Celine Dion, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Beyonce Knowles, and Diana Ross. Kapon also testified that his mother "was in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' music video. She helped Michael with a lot of his material, his songs, his music videos. Michael Jackson was madly in love with my mom."
Kapon also claimed he fathered Michael Jackson's two oldest children by masturbating into a jar so his semen could be used to impregnate Jackson's ex-wife Deborah Rowe.
And according to additional Kapon deposition testimony, he said he saw Michael Jackson dining with Fidel Castro in New York City.
The case was originally filed in Orange County, but a judge transferred it to Los Angeles County in March 2006 at the request of Michael Jackson's lawyers.
On Thursday, the judge in the case had granted a motion filed by Kapon's most recent attorney, Barry Fischer, to be relieved as counsel. Fischer said that he hadn't heard from Kapon since November and didn't know whether he is "ill, dead or simply refusing to respond." Kapon's mother had stated that her son was homeless and living in a car. The lawyer filed a missing persons report with the L.A. Police Department on January 3 and attached it to his request to step down.
Source: The Daily Breeze / Billie Jean
Akon: "He's Incredible". 15-01-'08
Akon is one of the artists who contributed to the 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition'. He is featured on a newly recorded rendition of 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008'. In an interview to MTV News Akon talked about what it was like working with Michael:
"He's incredible. He's a genius. Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt everything I wanted to accomplish in life has been achieved.
That aura ... that's how incredible that aura is.
We about to shake the world up, man. You know how you be with somebody and you can't even explain [the feeling]?
I used to sit and think, 'How does somebody sell so many records and dominate a whole business genre to a point [where] nobody can't be a part of that without associating with you?' The way he thinks ... some artists think regional, some think national, I was thinking international. He thinks planets. It's on another level."
The track is a new take on the original, according to a press release, and was produced by Akon and Jackson. MJ mixed and mastered the new cut.
Source: itunes / Billie Jean
BET Honors Special. 12-01-'08
According to www.michaeljackson.com, Michael is the latest recipient of a BET Honors special. The show will reportedly feature a large segment on Thriller.
The 2008 BET Honors will be taped on January 12, 2008 starting 7pm at the Warner Theatre in Washington, USA. The show will feature as key guests of honor Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Janice Bryant Howroyd, Richard Parsons, Maxine Waters, and Cornel West. John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Wyclef Jean are also expected to appear.
Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, said via statement:
"We are thrilled to pay tribute to the thinkers, trailblazers and trendsetters whose accomplishments serve as inspirations for current and future generations. Each of these remarkable individuals has made significant contributions to the Black community and American culture overall, and BET Networks is proud to recognize them through this very special, new tentpole event."
Hosted by Cedric The Entertainer, the program will air on BET (Black Entertainment Television) on February 22, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The Bet Honors celebrate black achievement in business, entertainment, social justice and philanthropy while providing outstanding musical performances that make BET specials deliver huge results.
Source: www.michaeljackson.com / Billie Jean
Santana To Work With Michael & Quincy Jones? 11-01-'08
Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana and his son Salvador appeared on the tv show 'Mas Vale Tarde' on the Telemundo channel Thursday night (January 10, 2008). During the interview Santana reportedly spoke about working again with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.
In the past, Michael Jackson and Santana have already worked together. The guitarist appeared on the 'Invincible' album on the song 'Whatever Happens'.
Telemundo is an American television network based in Florida, USA and the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world.
Source: SoHood.com / Billie Jean
Michael Visits Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. 10-01-'08
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Michael Jackson was spotted with his three children taking an after-hours tours of Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas (Venetian, USA) on Monday night.
They showed up about 9:45 p.m. and made stops for photos in front of the wax icons, including Michael's own wax figure. Michael also asked to see the newly arrived Evel Knievel figure, which was in the studio where repairs are made.
Source: King of Pop FC / Billie Jean
Thriller Phenomenon Web Site Online. 08-01-'08
Today, the new web site 'The Thriller Phenomenon' has been launched. To visit it, click here
After publishing excellent books such as 'Michael Jackson: The Early Years', 'The Solo Years', and 'For The Record', Chris Cadman, in collaboration with Christina Chaffin, has launched this web site dedicated to the album 'Thriller'.
Source: Billie Jean
A Message From Michael Jackson. 06-01-'08
The web site of Amazon USA has already published a special feature on the upcoming Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition. To view the page, click here
Included on the page is also a special message from Michael and beautiful pictures.
Source: Amazon USA / Billie Jean
Brand New Site Dedicated To Thriller Phenomenon. 05-01-'08
After publishing excellent books such as 'Michael Jackson: The Early Years', 'The Solo Years' and the recently released stunning 'For The Record', Chris Cadman, in collaboration with Christina Chaffin, is about to launch a brand new site dedicated to the album 'Thriller'.
Collectables, books, charts, and much more is what this web site will offer to fans greedy for information regarding the best selling album of all time.
Stay tuned for its official launch on January 8, 2008.
Source: Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Settles Millions In Debts. 05-01-'08
Michael Jackson apparently has gotten his money.
On Thursday, he began paying off millions of dollars in debts, thanks to settlements and lost legal cases.
The payoffs could amount to at least $20 million, by some accounts.
That’s good news for the creditors, but bad for Jackson. In this latest refinancing of a $300 million loan secured by his interest in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jackson may only have received about $25 million in fresh cash. He was otherwise so cash poor that he and his kids were living in Las Vegas with his mother, waiting for the deal to be finalized.
Still pending is a deal to let him set up shop at London’s O2 Arena for performances over a three-month period beginning in February. (We reported that story first exclusively on Dec. 11.) But Jackson’s legendary eccentricities have made getting insurance for him nearly impossible.
Sources tell me the new owner of Jackson’s humungous debt is HSBC Private Banking, with Sony Music acting as a guarantor.
It seems that every 18 months, Jackson manages to refinance the loan, originally begun at Bank of America in 1995. Always at risk is his 50 percent stake in the publishing company that contains all the songs written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
“The Beatles catalogue,” as it is known, has come to be Jackson’s only security and the smartest investment ever made by a performer. He can thank his then-attorney John Branca for leaving him with some protection against his own whims.
What remains a mystery is the fate of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif. Technically, the Ranch is still in danger of being foreclosed on. A default notice, first reported in this column, for $23 million, has been in effect since Oct. 19. Its 90-day grace period runs out in two weeks.
Thursday, a title company sent a smaller lien holder on Neverland, F. Marc Schaffel, a “Request for Payoff of Lien or Judgment,” asking for information so they could remove him from the bill. But that still leaves Fortress Investments, and their $23 million. It’s unclear whether Jackson has the money or inclination to save Neverland. He hasn’t lived there since June 30, 2005.
In the current rash of payoffs to eagerly waiting parties, Jackson is thought to have divided about $4 million between Schaffel and a former manager, Dieter Wiesner. Another million may have gone to sometime lawyer Brian Oxman. About $5 million is thought to have been owed to Darien Dash, cousin of Damon Dash, who sued Jackson almost 10 times that last year. There are also about four different sets of legal teams awaiting unpaid bills, and one major accountant.
One pending question will be a payoff for Prince Abdulla of Bahrain. He recently sued Jackson in the UK for $7 million.
Source: fox news / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Strokes Lawsuit. 04-01-'08
Michael Jackson, Will Smith and Tupac Shakur are all being sued for stealing the same song.
Blues musician Syl Johnson - real name Sylvester Thompson - has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the three artists claiming they all used his 1967 tune 'Different Strokes' without paying him for the rights to do so.
Johnson claims Jackson's 'Blood on the Dance Floor', Smith's 'Who Stole The D.J' and Shakur's 'Peep Game' all illegally sampled his track.
The 71-year-old soul singer has also filed papers against the rap group N.W.A. for their song 'Real N**gaz Don't Die', and KRS-One for his tune 'Criminal Minded'.
Source: people.monstersandcritics.com / Billie Jean
Janet Is Her Brothers' Biggest Fan. 03-01-'08
Michael's sister Janet graces the cover of the January edition of the magazine Prestige Hong Kong. She also gave an exclusive interview to the magazine where she for example talked about her brothers:
Question: There’s been talk of a Jacksons world tour. Will it happen?
Janet: I really don’t know. I hope it happens. I would love for it to happen. I’m probably [my brothers’] biggest fan. I think it would be great if they did. They’re so loved and definitely missed and there’s so much history there, musically speaking even, there’s so much that they have to give . . . there’s so much youth still there. I think about how Mick Jagger is 65 million years old, like a dinosaur or something, all of them [The Rolling Stones], and I look at my brothers and none of them look their age. Not that they’re old, they just still don’t look their age and it really trips me out. And I hope they do [stage a world tour]. They still love their music.
Source: Prestige Hong Kong / Billie Jean
Jackson Five No Show For Dupri’s New Years Bash. 02-01-'08
Bless his little cotton socks, Durpri tried but failed to reunite the Jackson Five in a desperate attempt to see in 2008 with a bang! Janet Jackson’s other half had promised a Jackson Five reunion and performance at his Atlanta club Studio 72. Sadly only four Jackson’s made it Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon.
Source: Billie Jean
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