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Michael Book Cover'Michael': New Book Coming November 3rd. 31-10-'09

Amidst a sea of MJ insta-books, we believe 'Michael' will be the deepest, most authoritative, and most collectable book on the life and music of Michael Jackson.

Including Rolling Stone's unparalleled, in-depth reporting on Jackson that spans almost three decades.

'Michael' features Alan Light's interview with Quincy Jones on the making of 'Thriller', Gerri Hirshey's one of a kind look into the world of Jackson from 1983, as well as never before published features including a newly reported piece on what went wrong, and a piece on how MJ learned to move, featuring interviews with the break dancers and choreographers that influenced Jackson.

The book also includes more detailed reported stories about the making of 'Bad', 'Dangerous' and the last albums.

Order the book here at Amazon.

Publisher: It Books - Harper Collins
Author: The Editors Of Rolling Stone
ISBN: 978-0-06-196983-6
Pages: 224
Guide price: 21 €

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Pre-Order 'This Is It' On DVD & Blu-Ray. 31-10-'09

Michael Jackson fans in the US and Canada can now pre-order their copy of Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' on DVD, Blu-Ray and ITunes Video today! While an official release date has not yet been announced, Sony's website indicates that fans should "Look For It Soon" and to check this page frequently for the announcement of the delivery date.

To Pre-Order your copy click Here.

Source: michaeljackson.com / Billie Jean


The IMAX Experience Makes MJ Seem More Alive Than Ever. 31-10-'09

Michael Jackson was always larger than life, perhaps even more so after his passing.

How better then to do him justice than on IMAX movie screens, where fans get a visceral experience of "This Is It," his blockbuster concert rehearsal film currently in theaters, which drew in more than $20 million at the box office on its opening day.

While IMAX digital-mastering always offers eye-popping picture quality and sound that makes you feel immersed in the movie's aural world, these enhancements are especially valuable in a concert film - which much of "This Is It" is.

The performances featured in the movie were only rehearsals for Michael Jackson's series of concerts planned for London's O2 Arena. But practice sessions or not, "This Is It" is by definition about the music, and it provides Michael Jackson fans with some magical moments.

One of these is his duet with back-up singer Judith Hill on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," in which he seemingly gets so absorbed that the two sing that lyric over and over again to each other in an improvisatory vocal dance. Another is seeing him jam with lead guitarist Orianthi as she plays electrifying riffs in "Beat It."

Hearing these performances amplified in IMAX's 14,000 watts of digital surround sound is, in terms of sound quality, literally better than having been there.

In terms of seeing Michael Jackson, every subtle nuance of his expressions is visible on the ultra high resolution screen. Again, it's a better view of the King of Pop than fans ever could have hoped for. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in this case seeing Jackson speaking on film, whether his words are praise, constructive criticism, or jokes with his cast and crew, imbues the King of Pop with a humanity that all the photos ever taken of him could never hope to replicate.

Michael Jackson's concerts also planned to make impressive use of new digital film footage shot especially in order to be integrated into the live show: a graveyard sequence for "Thriller," a little girl in a rain forest for "Earth Song," an army for "They Don't Really Care About Us," and a montage that inserts Jackson into a Humphrey Bogart movie in "Smooth Criminal."

Here as well, the sequences really shine in IMAX, especially in the last mentioned sequence. Jackson, decked out in a period suit, backs out a window to avoid the 1940s gangster's bullets. The audience is treated to a mesmerizing explosion of sparkling shards of glass and metallic bullets flying towards us. It's a telling example of the incredible production values Jackson was pouring into what was meant to be both a comeback and a farewell to the stage.

One slight downside to the IMAX experience is that portions of the film captured on less high quality cameras - resulting in noticeably fuzzy picture quality - stand out even more. But they likely still look better than on a conventional screen, and for fans thrilled to see the King of Pop performing his greatest hits it's a minor detraction. Better fuzzy than not at all.

In New York, you can catch "This Is It: The IMAX Experience" at the AMC Loews 34th St. and in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Tickets go for $17.50, as opposed to $12.50 for a regular evening showing. For serious Michael Jackson fans, the extra expense is well worth it to see the King of Pop in the glorious quality his last performances deserve.

Source: NY Daily News / Billie Jean


MJ And Klein -- Affection For Injections. 29-10-'09

UPDATE: A closer look at the documents reveals another shocking fact -- in April, Jackson received ELEVEN "I.M. Injections" in 3 days.

Arnold Klein injected Michael Jackson with an intra-muscular drug labeled "I.M. Injection" 51 times in three months, this according to documents filed by Arnold Klein himself.

And one prominent L.A. dermatologist says "I.M. Injection" is commonly used as billing code for the narcotic Demerol.

In the documents, most of the procedures appear to be minor, such as acne treatments, lip treatments and Botox -- yet "I.M. Injection" appears over and over on Michael's bill, sometimes several times a day. The I.M. Injections correspond to the dates of the minor treatments.

In one particular case, Jackson went to Klein on April 23rd and received three "I.M. Injections" at $60 a pop.

Then, remarkably two days later -- on a Saturday -- Jackson went to Klein's office and got 4 more I.M. Injections to facilitate an injection of the smallest possible dose of Restylane -- a popular wrinkle-filler.

According to the docs, Arnie Klein -- Jackson's self-described good friend -- charged Jackson $7500 for the weekend visit.

Jackson's three month bill: $48,522.89.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


'This Is It' Headed For $10 To $12 Million Opening Day. 29-10-'09

The opening-day box office for "This Is It" is neither a "Thriller" nor "Bad."

According to executives at several studios who have been tracking the returns, the new Michael Jackson documentary is likely to sell $10 million to $12 million worth of tickets domestically today.

Though that number could vary a bit depending on how later screenings perform, executives experienced in tracking box office said the movie had virtually no chance of collecting more than $15 million or less than $9 million.

"This Is It" sold $2.2 million worth of tickets last night; most of that probably occurred after midnight and can be counted in today's grosses.

Comparisons with other movies are difficult, given that the only major releases studios have put out on a Wednesday outside of summer or the holidays are "The Passion of the Christ," a phenomenon that benefited from group purchases by churches, and "The Matrix Revolutions," the third movie in a blockbuster trilogy. Those pictures collected $26.6 million and $24.3 million, respectively, on their opening days.

The movie's big test will come Friday. Ticket sales Thursday are expected to be slow as most hard-core Michael Jackson fans will have come out last night or today. Saturday will also be slow because it's Halloween, historically a dismal day at the box office even though Sony is trying to generate publicity connected to Jackson's album "Thriller."

If word of mouth is strong and moviegoers beyond the most devoted Jackson fans are interested, that is likely to be evident in healthy ticket sales Friday. If it's a slow day, Sony may be looking at a five-day gross as low as $30 million and a soft two-week run relative to its investment of $60 million in rights to make the movie and tens of millions more in marketing.

Ultimately, however, domestic ticket sales may not be that important. "This Is It" is expected to perform substantially better overseas, where it could be a major hit regardless of how the film does in the U.S. and Canada. Box-office receipts from the 95 foreign countries where "This Is It" opened simultaneously are not yet available.

Source: MJFC / Los Angeles Times / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' Sets New Release Record. 29-10-'09

The highly anticipated Michael Jackson documentary 'This Is It' has already set a record following Tuesday night's limited theater release.

The Sony film grossed an estimated $2.2 million at the domestic box office for its Tuesday night shows, Variety reports. This is a record for a Tuesday October release.

'This Is It' opens today in 3,500 theaters and IMAX screens nationwide, in addition to thousands more overseas.

According to the trade publication, Sony paid $60 million to AEG Entertainment for the distribution rights of the film that is a compilation of rehearsal footage of Jackson last days leading up to his sudden death.

Source: Billie Jean


Murray Due In Court For Child Support Case. 29-10-'09

A lawyer says the physician being investigated in Michael Jackson's death will appear for a November 16 child support hearing in Las Vegas.

Attorney Christopher Aaron and a spokeswoman for Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Wednesday that no warrant will be issued for Dr. Conrad Murray pending his Family Court hearing.

Roger filed a document Tuesday urging a judge to deny Aaron's request to let Murray make only minimal payments on more than $14,000 that Roger says Murray owes a California woman and her son.

Aaron says Murray had to close his medical practice and move due to threats following Jackson's death June 25.

Los Angeles police are focusing a homicide investigation on Murray. He told investigators he gave Jackson a powerful anesthetic before he died.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Gary Indiana Pushes For Jacksons Museum. 29-10-'09

Michael Jackson's father and the mayor of Gary, Indiana, want to build a museum, hotel and performing arts center in the Jackson family's hometown, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.

The Jackson Family Project is still in the concept stages, but Joe Jackson and Mayor Rudy Clay are in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week to meet with possible partners and investors, spokeswoman Lalosa Burns said.

"Everything is in the proposal and concept stage," Burns said.

The plan is for a hotel built around a Jackson family museum and a Michael Jackson performing arts center and theater, she said.

The proposal will be outlined at a news conference at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, according to a statement from Brenden Theatre Corp.

Joe and Katherine Jackson started their large family in a two-bedroom house in a working-class neighborhood in Gary. All 10 Jackson children were born in Gary between 1950 and 1966, including one who was stillborn.

The Jacksons moved from Gary to Los Angeles, California, in 1971 amid the success of the Jackson 5 group, which featured Michael Jackson and four older brothers.

Their home at 2300 Jackson St. is still a shrine for the occasional tourist.

"We do hope to have, even if not the house, a replica of the house" included in the project, Burns said.

Callers to the Gary City Hall who are put on hold are treated to the Jacksons singing "2300 Jackson Street," a song about growing up in the city they sing is "always home."

"We're all united and standing strong, and still today we're one big family," the lyrics say.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Jackson's Kids Get Private Movie Screening. 28-10-'09

TMZ has learned that Michael Jackson's kids will see "This Is It" tonight -- in their own private screening.

Sources close to the family tell TMZ the kids were invited by Sony to see a screening of the movie tonight on the Sony lot in Los Angeles. We're told the kids have been sick with the flu all week, but still plan on making the screening tonight.

Michael's mother, Katherine, will not be in attendance.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Jackson Wanted To Be Fresh King Of Bel Air. 28-10-'09

TMZ has learned Michael Jackson was involved in negotiations to buy a $38 million 15 bedroom, 16.5 bath Bel Air mansion just before he died -- and the deal was 7 years in the making.

Sources connected to the situation tell us MJ fell in love with the 18,020 square foot estate back in 2001 and actually entered into escrow -- but the deal fell through because Jackson ultimately couldn't afford the place.

But recently, Michael was trying to work out a new deal with the owners, in the hopes of coming into enough cash to score the place after his "This Is It" concert series in England.

A source tells TMZ: "Jackson brought his kids to see the house and they fell in love with it ... They begged him to buy it."

The kids' favorite part? We're told they were all fired up about a secluded area under the house which was nicknamed the "Bat Cave."

Sources say Jackson had hoped to use the land to recreate as much of Neverland as he legally could, but as we all know ... he never got the chance.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Dr. Arnie Klein Files Claim Against Jackson Estate. 28-10-'09

Dr. Arnie Klein, the former friend and dermatologist of the late Michael Jackson, has filed a creditor's claim against Jackson's estate seeking $48,522.89 for three months worth of services. Read on for details…

In the papers filed Tuesday, Klein claims that he performed services between March 23, 2009 through June 22, 2009. Jackson passed away unexpectedly on June 25.

The services listed in the court papers include numerous entries with listings such as "I.M. Injection," "Botox Under Eye," "Latisse," "Restylane," "Acne Surgery," and other services and after-hours fees.

The court filing comes on the same day of the premiere of Jackson's 'This Is It' film.

Source: ET / Billie Jean


Review: 'This Is It' A Homage To Greatness. 28-10-'09

Watching "Michael Jackson's This Is It" will have fans grieving once again, but this time, it won't only be for the fallen King of Pop, but for what we lost — a brilliant entertainer who gave every inch of his body and soul for what might have been one of the most spectacular comebacks of all time.

Jackson never got to complete that comeback, dying days before his London concerts were to begin in July, but "This Is It," culled from hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage for those shows, does it for him. Even though it's been well edited, the amazing performances Jackson delivers in this film are not a result of camera magic, but Jackson's own.

When Jackson announced his "This Is It" concerts earlier this year, many wondered whether Jackson had any magic left at all. Besides his tattered reputation, he was rumored to be in frail health and hadn't performed a major concert in almost a decade. There were well-deserved skepticism about whether Jackson had the vocal and physical agility to stage the kind of concerts that wowed fans in his prime two decades earlier.

"This is It" gives both answers an emphatic yes. Even though Jackson's looks — with his weirdly delicate face and his stick-thin frame — still makes one squirm with discomfort, once he starts to perform, that discomfort gives way to amazement. At 50, Jackson was still an amazingly gifted dancer with moves that leave your mouth agape. Though we only see him do the moonwalk once, and just fleetingly, his stop-on-a-dime spins, deft footwork and body jerks recall the Jackson the world fell in love with 25 years earlier with "Thriller." And Jackson's voice still dazzles — even when he's trying to play it down.

"I'm trying to conserve my voice," Jackson says at one point — then delivers a vocal that is spine-tingling — and these are just run-through's, not the actual show.

Fans never get to see what would have been the "This Is It" concert — full dress rehearsals weren't due to happen until the show went overseas for final rehearsals. Instead, the movie takes from segments of taped rehearsals, and also weaves in film segments Jackson planned for the concert to give at the very least an idea of how the concert might have looked.

A graveyard scene meant to be in 3D was planned for Jackson's performance of "Thriller," and a computer-animated dancing army would have accompanied Jackson on screen for a militaristic version "They Don't Care About Us." Jackson kept much of the same moves from his classic "They Way You Make Me Feel" video — including the floor humping — as well as the groundbreaking choreography from his "Beat It" clip.

But whether it was through new visuals and different musical arrangements, he appeared to be breathing new life into his well-worn catalog, promising fans a show that would have taken Jackson and his fans to new heights. Jackson is gentle but authoritative as he demands perfection from his crew, whether it's gently taking the audio crew to task for making his earpiece too loud or attempting to elicit a grand performance from his young star guitarist.

"This is your time to shine," he says in that famously soft soprano voice before delivering a high wail and challenging her to do the same on her guitar.

The film doesn't give viewers much insight into Jackson outside of performance mode — we only see him rehearsing or hear him talking about music, or the meaning of his songs. Yet the film does give a glimpses into Jackson's personality — alternatively playful and shy, firm yet understanding, often saying phrases like "with love" after giving a command.

The film also splices together different performances of the same song at times, leaving one to wonder why. Is it for a visual effect? Or did he not complete enough in one take?

Thankfully, there appears to be enough full takes so one's mind does not play into conspiracy theories. There were certainly critics of "This Is It" before its release — those who wondered whether it would be an exploitative flick, a quick attempt to cash in on his newfound popularity, and those who felt the preparations for the concert contributed to his death.

But "This Is It" is a beautifully made, loving tribute that gives Michael Jackson what he so desperately wanted — affirmation that he indeed was the greatest entertainer of our time.

"Michael Jackson's This Is It," released by Columbia Pictures, is rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images. Running time: 111 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Grammy Museum Extends MJ Exhibit. 28-10-'09

In conjunction with the premiere of the Michael Jackson concert film “This Is It,” the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has expanded the temporary exhibit of Jackson memorabilia installed immediately after the singer died in June.

“Michael Jackson: A Musical Legacy” includes a new interactive exhibit tied to his “Billie Jean” video, as well as his fedora and gloves, six embellished jackets, original song lyrics, a Jackson 5 costume and other items, including some that have never been exhibited in a museum before, according to Grammy Museum officials.

The facility earlier this year had hosted “Michael Jackson: HIStyle,” which was being dismantled on the day he died. Some of the items were quickly moved into a new space to accommodate fans.

“The overwhelming response to our earlier exhibits speaks to Jackson’s unparalleled place in music history and the public’s deep connection to his music,” said Robert Santelli, the museum’s executive director, in a statement issued today. “We’re excited to share even more of Jackson’s life and legacy with his fans and we hope it serves as a fitting tribute to one of the most significant entertainers in music history.”

The new exhibit is scheduled to remain on display through next summer.

Source: MJFC / LA Times / Billie Jean


MJ On Track For 6th Billboard # 1. 28-10-'09

As Michael Jackson's movie "This Is It" is about to open in theaters, the film's companion album of the same name is already doing brisk business.

Industry prognosticators suggest that the Epic Records set -- which was released on Monday, October 26 -- could shift 300,000 copies by week's end on Sunday (Nov. 1) night.

Depending on how much the movie's opening impacts the album's sales through the course of the week, the set could post a higher figure -- perhaps 350,000 copies.

With numbers like that, it would seem like Jackson will be a sure thing for the No. 1 slot next week on the Billboard 200 albums chart. If the King of Pop hits No. 1, it will mark his sixth chart-topper, following "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous," "HIStory" and "Invincible."

Jackson already owns the No. 1 selling album of the 2009 calendar year with "Number Ones" -- 2 million sold this year and counting. Additionally, his "Thriller" is the year's 11th best-seller (1.1 million) and "The Essential Michael Jackson" is the 15th biggest (986,000).

The "This Is It" album contains 14 studio recordings of Jackson's hits like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" and two versions of the from-the-vaults title track, which plays over the film's end credits. It also includes three demo recordings and a spoken word poem titled "Planet Earth."

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


MJ Music Will Stay At Sony, No Universal Talk. 28-10-'09

According to Roger Friedman, Michael Jackson’s recorded music will likely stay with Sony Music.

Contrary to reports today, no one connected with Michael Jackson has any idea of talks to move Jackson’s records to Universal Music Group.

A source close to the action says of Michael’s post-2004 unreleased catalog, “There is much music.”

But how much completed music is another issue. Jackson was arrested in 2003, and endured two years of trial-related misery. It’s unknown if he was writing very much at the time.

Following his acquittal, Jackson spent a year or more abroad, in Bahrain, Ireland, and briefly in France. In Bahrain he was supposed to be recording an album for Prince Abdulla under an agreement that was never fulfilled. Following that he wrote a few songs with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, and another with Pras of the Fugees. A few of those recordings exist for inclusion on a CD. Also, the charity single “What More Can I Give?” featuring Celine Dion and a bunch of stars has never officially been released. Sony’s Tommy Mottola refused to put it out in 2001 after Jackson recorded it.

Moving from Sony would be a problem anyway. Jackson’s estate is still a 50% owner of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The estate has representatives on the board of directors of that company. For better or worse, Michael Jackson and Sony are a marriage with divorce a minor possibility.

Source: MJFC / showbiz411.com / Billie Jean


Watch The Michael Jackson This Is It Red Carpet Live. 27-10-'09

Here’s a fun way to spend your Tuesday afternoon. Michael Jackson, a huge draw even though he’s no longer with us, is taking the stage for the last time, via the This Is It documentary. The behind-the-scenes movie, set to be shown in theaters for just two weeks, debuts tomorrow with a red carpet premiere at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m. PT. And the red carpet activities will be streamed internationally online on multiple sites, including Crackle, ThisIsIt-movie.com, Ustream and Facebook.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has enlisted Premiere Entertainment to produce the webcast, hosted in the U.S. by Big Boy and Luscious Liz of KPWR, with five more international hosts webcasting in a promised nine different languages.

At this point, we’re used to red carpet streams for awards shows like the Oscars. If the Michael Jackson stream does well — and it is likely to — red carpet streams may soon be another booming category of live online content. The only problem is, the web audience gets left in the dust when the VIPs head into the theater to see the real show.

Source: newteevee / Billie Jean


'This Is It' Producers: No MJ Body Doubles. 27-10-'09

The people behind "This Is It" are furious over reports that the Michael Jackson featured in the movie is a body double -- claiming those reports are "pure garbage."

The controversy began earlier this month after Joe Jackson claimed the media was going to "tear this movie apart" -- and insisted it was "mostly body doubles."

But a rep from Sony -- co-producers of the flick -- tells TMZ, "This story is pure garbage and there are no body doubles.

Audiences will begin to see the film tomorrow and every time they see The King of Pop they will know that every frame is unquestionably Michael as he rehearses and prepares for the London concerts that were to have begun this past summer."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Dame Elizabeth Taylor Calls Jackson Film A 'Brilliant Piece Of Filmmaking'. 27-10-'09

Dame Elizabeth Taylor is candidly sharing her thoughts on 'This Is It,' the highly anticipated film comprised of Michael Jackson's final rehearsal footage. Read on to read what she thought of the film.

Dame Elizabeth tweeted nearly 20 messages praising the film, as well as Michael Jackson's music and talent.

She wrote the following on Monday:

"I was honored with the great privilege of seeing 'This Is It' last week. I was sworn to secrecy, but now I can let you know about it."

"I wept from pure joy at his God given gift. There will never, ever be the likes of him again."

"Kenny Ortega did a masterful job of directing the process that goes into making a complete show before hitting the stage."

"I truly believe this film should be nominated in every category conceivable."

"It is the single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen. It cements forever Michael's genius in every aspect of creativity."

"From 'Black And White,' 'Man In The Mirror.' The inspiration behind 'We Are The World.' We must take his words of responsibility seriously."

'This Is It' opens worldwide in IMAX -- with Michael's amazing music pulsing through the powerful 14,000-watt digital surround sound IMAX system -- and conventional theaters Wednesday, October 28.

Source: Billie Jean


'This Is It' CD In Stores Today! 26-10-'09

Michael Jackson's latest release 'This Is It' will be released today, October 26, 2009 - One day ahead of it's previously scheduled release date.

Disc one features the original album masters of some of Michael's biggest hits arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film. The disc ends with two versions of the never-released "This Is It." This song is featured in the film's closing sequence and includes backing vocals by Michael's brothers, the Jacksons.

Disc two offers previously unreleased versions of some of the artist's classic tracks. This disc also features a touching spoken word poem from Michael Jackson entitled "Planet Earth" that has never been heard before.

To Order the 'This Is It' 2 CD Music Collector's Edition with an exclusive 11x17 movie poster click Here and tomorrow are go to Free Record Shop.

Source: michaeljackson.com / Free Record / Billie Jean


Jackson Family To Celebrate Christmas. 26-10-'09

The Jackson's were all brought up as Jehovah's Witnesses. Although a Christian - based religion, Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays or Christmas.

Michael, however, enjoyed celebrating the holiday season, especially with his children.

Michael's mother, Katherine, now has full custody of the children and has determined to put aside their former tradition and to keep the children's lives as normal as possible. And part of that is to celebrate the Christmas holiday with them.

La Toya has said "We grew up as Jehovah's Witnesses and so didn't celebrate Christmas. But I think it's very important that Michael's children celebrate it, because that's what he did with them. I want them to continue to have that. I've spoken to my mother about christmas and she said she will be celebrating."

Source: Contactmusic / Billie Jean


MJ Exhibition At O2 Opens Tuesday. 26-10-'09

Michael Jackson: The Official Exhibition showcases some of the most personal and iconic memorabilia from The King of Pop's extraordinary life and his unparalleled career.

The exhibit will chronicle Michael's rise to fame with The Jackson 5, his record-breaking solo career as a global superstar, and end with the spectacular show he had planned for The O2 Arena before his untimely death. This extensive collection will be exhibited across nine different themed galleries and include more than 250 objects.

The Official Exhibition will open on October 28, 2009 in The Bubble at The 02 before and close on January 31, 2010.

Get your Michael Jackson Exhibition Tickets Now!

Source: MJFC / michaeljackson.com / Billie Jean


Preview WBSS (Demo) From 'This Is It' Album. 26-10-'09

As Billie Jean reported earlier, this weekend Sony Music will be revealing unreleased demos of some of Michael Jackson's greatest hits on MichaelJackson.com.

Today fans can preview 'Wanna Be Startin' Something' (Demo) from Michael Jackson's upcoming release 'This Is It' on October 27, 2009.


Source: michaeljackson.con / Billie Jean


Net 'Closing In On Jackson Murderer'. 26-10-'09

Michael Jackson was murdered and his killer will be caught soon, one of his closest friends in show business says.

Teddy Riley, co-producer of Jackson's multi-platinum Dangerous album and founding member of R&B band Blackstreet, says he and Jackson's family are confident they know who the pop artist's killer is and that they will be caught soon.

Blackstreet are in Australia as VIP guests for Wednesday's world premiere of the film about Jackson's life, This Is It.

Asked if Jackson was murdered, Riley told AAP: "I said that the first day.

"I called the family and I said listen, 'He was murdered'.

"Somebody didn't like something he said or something he's doing or didn't want him to go to the top so they had to get rid of him."

Riley worked extensively with Jackson over the last 18 years and counted himself a close personal friend.

Blackstreet co-founder Chauncey Hannibal agrees the singer was murdered.

Jackson's family have accused those close to the singer of murdering him and the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Jackson's death was a homicide caused primarily by Propofol and another sedative.

Riley and Hannibal saw Jackson two days before he died on June 26, in rehearsal for his planned comeback sell-out tour in London.

Riley said Jackson was in "great health" just prior to his death but admitted he did suffer some pain because of his skin.

Asked who killed the singer, Riley replied: "You're going to find out.

"We've got so many people we think it could be. It's going to come out.

"He was doing so great at his rehearsals. I was over at the studio two days before ... two days later he was gone.

"He was in great health. Only thing that bothered him is he gets in pain. When he works hard, he gets home, he's in pain because of his skin. Other than that he was in great shape."

Riley said no current artist would ever enjoy the iconic status achieved by Jackson.

"(His death) has definitely affected us really badly, our whole family, we still think he's here, people think Elvis still lives, well Michael Jackson lives on in a lot of people's hearts."

Blackstreet are playing a two date mini tour of Australia in December.

They will be at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on December 4 and The Forum, Melbourne on December 6.

It is the first time the band has played in Australia and is likely to feature some Jackson tribute material.

Source: The Australian / Billie Jean


Jackson Family Member: Movie Is 'Riveting'. 26-10-'09

Finally a member of the Jackson family is speaking out about the Michael Jackson movie "This Is It" -- up to now the family has either been silent or negative about the flick.

But Jackie Jackson -- who saw the movie on Thursday night -- liked it a lot, telling TMZ:

"My brother's movie 'This Is It' is truly riveting. Michael is electrifying! We get a glimpse of a true genius at work. His passionate message for healing the world, saving the planet and our children's futures is something he was always striving for in his lifetime."

So far Katherine Jackson is unmoved -- we hear she will not see the movie.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Irish Choir Places Michael's 'The Fields Of Athenry' Tapes Under Bank Lock And Key. 25-10-'09

The priceless recording of Michael Jackson singing the 'The Fields Of Athenry' with an Irish choir, has been placed in a bank vault until its exact ownership is determined.

News of the amazing recording was revealed this week as the late King of Pop's movie 'This It It' opened in cinemas worldwide, but the revelation is set to spark off an international battle for royalties should the Caheraggin Village Choir opt to release the song which could turn out to be his last ever recorded single.

The amazing recording featuring the late Jackson singing six verses of the popular Irish song only emerged last week when the choir revealed that they had the digital tapes of the impromptu session recorded while the star was living in Ireland in 2006.

However, now their spokesman Kevin Gillane has revealed that the choir and its trustees have determined that after all, they may hold the entire rights to the recording as technically Jackson was merely a guest on their recording.

'Technically, what we were doing when he sang the song was recording the Caheraggin Christmas choir single, so it was recorded in our time. We were in the former Sunset Studios recording our album with owner, the late Gerry McGrade when we were asked to work on doing some backing vocals for material that Mr Jackson and his people were working on.

"However, it was during our paid-for time and down time in his recording that we got together to sing the 'The Fields Of Athenry', so technically, this creates a different issue for the choir and the trustees. That is why we have placed the tapes in the vault," he said.

If the song proves to be releasable, then the village choir from Caherraggin and the song's writer Pete St John could be in for a massive windfall. St John already benefits from the song being used in football grounds in Liverpool, Glasgow and wherever the Munster and Irish rugby teams play.

Jackson became attracted to the song because of the line "Michael, they have taken you away." The song refers to the deportation of an Irishman during the Famine years of the mid-1840's.

The Field Of Athenry

Pete St. John wrote the song in the 1970s and it was first recorded in 1979 by Danny Doyle, reaching the top 10 in the Irish Singles chart.

The recording was discovered by the secretary of the Caherraggin Choir group, who were brought in to perform backing tracks in rehearsal sessions while Jackson spent five months in the county recording in 2006. Mr Gillane said last week they had known about the recording for three years but were unwilling to record it out of friendship and respect for Jackson.

However, they have now denied reports that they are now merely exploiting the singer's publicity.

"No, that is not the case," said Mr Gillane. "That is why we met last night (Saturday) and decided to ensure that the digital tapes, and all the recorded materials be placed in the bank vault. We do not want to be seen as exploiting the situation at all.

However, AEG who own the rights to 'This Is It' said that they were not involved in any way with negotiations with the Irish choir as the recordings were now made under their jurisdiction.

Music analysts have estimated that the recording could be worth as much as 20 million dollars to the owners of the tape.

Marve Herbstein, the NY publisher said that he is aware that several record labels are investigating the reports and that Sony Music may not be able to claim ownership of the Jackson recording if the singer performed as a guest on the Irish recording.

"Whatever way it works out, a new Michael Jackson single, away from all the controversy of 'This Is It' would be worth at least twenty million dollars for starters to whoever owns the rights," he said.

Source: News From Ireland / Billie Jean


This Is It: A Dancing Michael Jackson Cat Game For iPhone. 25-10-'09

When Robot Symphony alerted us to its upcoming iPhone debut, MeowWalker, we were prepared to dismiss it out of hand based only on the premise of combining Michael Jackson with the staple of lazy internet humor, cats. But instead of a tasteless cash-in, the trailer for the dance game (after the break) reveals what could turn out to be our, well, third favorite Michael Jackson-based game, right after the Genesis Moonwalker and the arcade Moonwalker. Sha-meow!

The gameplay is simple: tilt and swipe the phone to make a lanky, Thriller-jacketed feline perform MJ's signature dance moves to the tune of the Michael Jackson songs already on your phone. The addition of quirky animation and (especially) sound effects, which reimagine Michael's weird vocal tics as cat noises, result in something that we can't get enough of. Which means, according to the MJ canon, we haven't stopped.

MeowWalker brings an addictive action game to the iPhone and iPod Touch starring a stylish cat who knows all your favorite dance moves. Designed exclusively for the iPhone, tilt and swipe your way to success as you try to impress the crowd. Survive level after level by wowing the crowd with your moves, dancing under spotlights, and deflecting projectiles thrown by hecklers. Compete with your friends AND the world for the highest score as levels progress into a frenzy!

Features:

• Beautiful hand-drawn cartoon graphics and animation

• Addictive action gameplay that's easy to pick up and play

• MeowWalker Radio, an innovative feature that selects songs from your iPod library that complement the game. Make sure you have your favorite Michael Jackson songs ready :)

• OpenFeint integration for online leaderboards and achievements. Compete with the world for the highest score and the most "licking"!

• Intuitive controls that combine tilting and swiping into a kinetic experience

Source: robotsymphony / Billie Jean


Jackson's 'This Is It' Moved Friends To Tears. 25-10-'09

For Kenny Ortega, Travis Payne and Michael Bearden, "It" is a bittersweet feeling.

The three men expected to be spending their time this summer and fall working on Michael Jackson's concert engagement at London's O2 Arena, which was scheduled to begin in July. Instead, they are talking about Jackson's last days and the new movie about that time, "This Is It."

In an interview, they described "This Is It," the movie that they've made from rehearsal and backstage footage of Jackson, shot just before he died June 25. The film, which has been dominating advance ticket sale outlets, opens wide on Wednesday.

The full movie wasn't screened for critics, with only 12 minutes of footage available to the media before the interviews. But as director Ortega describes it, the film tries to blend backstage footage with the performance to give an inside glimpse of those last days at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The scenes show the superstar working on his dance moves, figuring out choreography, practicing on stage and running the show. From the clips, there's no question that Jackson was in charge. His physicality is vibrant: At one point, he dances with a troupe of top-notch hoofers and keeps up with all of them. There's no indication of the infirmities that would ultimately take his life.

All three men -- Payne was the show's choreographer and Bearden its music supervisor -- stressed how they wanted this movie to represent the Jackson they knew.

"It was an honor project," Bearden said.

 

According to Ortega, the film is for the fans. He said he was inundated with e-mails from fans wanting to know just what Jackson had planned for the concerts he would never give.

Above all, they said they were concerned about Jackson's three children. They said that they wanted to make a film that his kids -- Prince Michael, Paris and "Blanket" -- would be able to see in years to come that would make them proud of their father.

Though the men acknowledged a heavy responsibility, there were light moments during the interviews.

Payne and Bearden both smiled as they talked about working for the King of Pop and how he'd try to tell people what he wanted.

"I know you mean well, but ...," Jackson would say as he corrected colleagues, they recalled.

But all of them talked about he emotional toll that making this film has taken on them.

There were "a lot of tissue moments on this film," Bearden said.

Ortega added that he didn't know whether he could handle the emotional stress involved in making this movie so quickly.

Ultimately, according to Ortega, the movie proved to be cathartic.

"I thought I'd collapse," Ortega said. "I thought I'll never get through it, it's too hard, it's too soon, but in fact it was healing and helpful."

He hopes Jackson's fans will feel the same way.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Warhol Portrait Of Michael Jackson Up For Auction. 24-10-'09

Christie's auction house will offer up a portrait of Michael Jackson by Andy Warhol in New York on November 10, 2009.

The auction house told The Associated Press on Friday that the 30-by-26-inch portrait should fetch an estimated $500,000 to $700,000. It's one of a small group of Warhol silk-screened images of Jackson created in 1984.

The painting depicts Michael Jackson smiling in a "Thriller"-era jacket, with squiggles of red and yellow in his hair.

Deputy chairman Brett Gorvy says the seller is an anonymous private collector in New York who bought it from the Andy Warhol Foundation in the 1990s.

The image is part of 47 lots being auctioned, including two other Warhol paintings.

A New York art gallery sold a similar Warhol portrait of Michael Jackson in August to an anonymous buyer. The gallery would not disclose the price, but said it was more than a million dollars.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Preview 'She's Out Of My Life' And 'Beat It' Demo From 'This Is It' Album. 24-10-'09

Over the next 3 days, Sony Music will be revealing unreleased demos of some of Michael Jackson's greatest hits on MichaelJackson.com.

Today fans can preview 'She's Out of My Life' (Demo) from Michael Jackson's upcoming release 'This Is It' on October 27, 2009.

 

Source: michaeljackson.com / Billie Jean


Judith Hill Reveals Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' Secrets. 24-10-'09

Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' concert film opens worldwide in IMAX and conventional theaters in just five days, and one woman who was there for every moment of the movie is revealing new secrets to our own Kevin Frazier.

Watch the video as singer/musician Judith Hill deconstructs certain moments from the movie and what was happening behind the scenes with Michael.

"All of us were just focused on him, we're just ready because at any time he could cue us to do something that he wants us to do," explains Judith. "Constantly he was creating and constantly he was giving us direction." 

As a backup singer on Michael's ill fated This Is It tour, Judith shared the stage with the late King of Pop during his last months alive -- actually living the moments the rest of us can only watch on the big screen. She shares a duet with him in the film.

At his public memorial in Los Angeles, Judith stunned the world with her rendition of "Heal the World," and days later sang on the ET stage. Now, she's written a song about her time with Michael, "I Will Always Be Missing You," available soon on www.JudithHillMusic.com.

'This Is It' opens worldwide in IMAX - with Michael's amazing music pulsing through the powerful 14,000-watt digital surround sound IMAX system -- and conventional theaters Wednesday, October 28.

Source: ET / Billie Jean


La Toya - Mom & I Won't Watch MJ Movie. 24-10'-09

Tickets are going fast for the limited engagement of the MJ concert doc "This Is It" -- but there are two people who aren't scrambling to get seats: Michael's own mother and sister.

We got La Toya Jackson outside of Katsuya last night where she told us, "We're not seeing it, my mother, we're not seeing it."

As TMZ previously reported, 60 tickets were offered to the family, but Katherine insists no one ever called her about getting seats. We're also told Michael's three kids really want to see the flick.

No word on why it took so long for the Jackson's to get the tickets, because Sony had been saying for more than a week they had already been delivered.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

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