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Home / News Archive / News December 2010

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Universal Message: A Line Has Been Crossed. 31-12-'10

The line of human decency, worth, privacy and respect has just been crossed.

“The Discovery Channel has provided for many years valuable documentary programming focused primarily on popular science, technology and history. With this backdrop in mind, I find it incredulous that Discovery would exploit the recent death of Michael Jackson to increase their viewer ship at the expense of the integrity and positive educational track record of their network. The insensitivity and unprofessional tabloid approach that Discovery has decided to pursue is not only hurtful to the future of the network, but is deeply hurtful to the Jackson family, friends, colleagues and millions of supporters throughout the world… Please re-consider airing this dreadful re-enactment.” ~Statement from Stuart Backerman, Former Press Spokesman for Michael Jackson.
L.A. County Coroner Ed Winter joins the criticism of the Discovery Network’s upcoming special reenacting Michael Jackson’s autopsy. Discovery Producers asked him for an interview earlier this year to describe the autopsy: “I told them no, we had no interest in doing it and it was a pending case… I think it’s unprofessional and I wouldn’t do it out of respect for the family.” ~Assistant Chief Coroner, LA County.
“The Discovery Channel has provided for many years valuable documentary programming focused primarily on popular science, technology and history. With this backdrop in mind, I find it incredulous that Discovery would exploit the recent death of Michael Jackson to increase their viewer ship at the expense of the integrity and positive educational track record of their network. The insensitivity and unprofessional tabloid approach that Discovery has decided to pursue is not only hurtful to the future of the network, but is deeply hurtful to the Jackson family, friends, colleagues and millions of supporters throughout the world… Please re-consider airing this dreadful re-enactment.” ~Statement from Stuart Backerman, Former Press Spokesman for Michael Jackson.

L.A. County Coroner Ed Winter joins the criticism of the Discovery Network’s upcoming special reenacting Michael Jackson’s autopsy. Discovery Producers asked him for an interview earlier this year to describe the autopsy: “I told them no, we had no interest in doing it and it was a pending case… I think it’s unprofessional and I wouldn’t do it out of respect for the family.” ~Assistant Chief Coroner, LA County.

On January 13, 2011, a line of human decency, worth, privacy and respect for life will be crossed. Discovery Channel plans to air a re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s autopsy using a realistic synthetic cadaver that approximates his body. Michael Jackson was a human being. And he was a father, a brother, and a son. He was also loved by millions around the world.

We believe in the worth and dignity of every human being. Nobody deserves to be treated this way — not in life, and certainly not in death.

If you want to know the real Michael Jackson… Go here.

Source: mjjjusticeproject / Billie Jean


L.A. County Coroner To Discovery: Go Pound Sand. 30-12-'10

The L.A. County Coroner has joined the chorus of those who are scoffing at the Discovery Network for an upcoming show reenacting MJ's autopsy.

Sources tell TMZ ... producers from Discovery -- who plan to air the show in Europe -- went to Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter earlier this year, asking if he'd sit for an interview, describing MJ's autopsy and the investigation into his death.

Winter tells TMZ, "I told them no, we had no interest in doing it and it was a pending case."

Winter adds, "I think it's unprofessional and I wouldn't do it out of respect for the family."

We're told producers did get a copy of the Coroner's report, which is public record.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Executors Want TV "Autopsy" Canceled. 30-12-'10

Executors of Michael Jackson's estate on Wednesday asked a TV network to cancel a program reenacting the singer's autopsy, calling it "in shockingly bad taste".

"Your decision to even schedule this program is in shockingly bad taste, insensitive to Michael family and appears to be motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael's death," co-executors John Branca and John McClain wrote in a letter to Discovery Communications.

"On behalf of Michael's family, fans, common sense and decency, we urge you to reconsider and cancel this program," they added.

The show, "Michael Jackson's Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson," is set to air in Europe in January.

A print advertisement for the program shows a body covered by a sheet, with one hand poking out wearing the "Thriller" singer's trademark sequined glove.

"Discovery obviously views this as clever advertising and creative 'branding' for its program. But in fact, the ad is debased, sick and insensitive," Branca and McClain wrote.

A spokesman for Discovery Communications declined to comment on the letter. It follows an online petition organized by Jackson fans around the world.

Jackson died in June 2009 at the age of 50 of an overdose of prescription drugs and the powerful anesthetic propofol. His physician at the time, Dr. Conrad Murray, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter after admitting giving propofol to Jackson as a sleep aid.

A preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a formal trial is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on Jan 4.

Source: yahoo / Billie Jean


D.A. Acknowledges Murray Defense: MJ Killed Himself. 30-12-'10

The prosecutor in the Conrad Murray manslaughter case just said in court what TMZ told you back in April -- that Dr. Murray's lawyers will argue ... Michael Jackson killed himself with a fatal dose of Propofol.

L.A. County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the judge today, "I do think it's clear the defense is operating under the theory that the victim, Michael Jackson, killed himself."

We broke the story ... Murray's theory is that when he left Michael's bedroom the day he died to go to the bathroom, Jackson awakened and in a moment of frustration infused himself with a massive dose of Propofol.

Walgren said in court, "They don't want to say it but that's the direction in which they are going."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Conrad Murray To Prosecutor: So Whatcha Got? 29-12-'10

Dr. Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case ... set for next Tuesday ... will be a one-sided affair, because TMZ has learned Murray's side won't utter a peep.

Sources connected with Murray's defense tell TMZ Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, will be there to listen -- not to ask questions. Specifically, when the prosecution lays out its case, Chernoff will be looking for holes and inconsistencies.

As TMZ first reported, the prosecution will call approximately 30 witnesses, including experts and LAPD detectives, to establish Murray acted recklessly in fuelling MJ with Propofol the day he died.

It's a very good bet the judge will order Murray to stand trial ... judges rarely dismiss charges after a preliminary hearing. So there's no point in Murray's lawyer playing his hand.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Manslaughter Prelim - 30 Witnesses. 28-12-'10

TMZ has learned more than 2 dozen witnesses will testify at Dr. Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case.

Sources say the prelim will last roughly 2 weeks and approximately 30 witnesses will be called.

We're told there won't be a "Perry Mason" moment -- instead, prosecutors will lay out their case, piece by piece, to show Dr. Murray acted recklessly by medicating Michael with Propofol and other drugs at his home the day he died.

Sources say the witnesses include various medical experts, as well as 3 LAPD detectives who investigated the case.

And, we're told, prosecutors will present more evidence than in a typical manslaughter case, because the legal theory here is novel -- that a doctor committed a homicide in the treatment of a patient.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Murray’s Lawyers Have Won An Extra Court Hearing On December 29th. 28-12-'10

Lawyers representing Conrad Murray have won an extra court hearing to ask for medical items found in Michael’s bedroom to undergo vigorous testing as they battle to clear Murray’s name.

A coroner ruled Michael died of cardiac arrest brought on by an overdose of anaesthetic Propofol, and Murray’s lawyers want two syringes and an IV bag, found at Michael’s Californian home, to be tested to determine the amount of drugs they contained.

Defence attorney J. Michael Flanagan argued in legal papers filed in a California court last Friday, “An essential fact in this case is not only how much Propofol was in Michael Jackson’s body but how it was put into his body.” A judge has now granted the request for an extra hearing to decide whether the items should be sent back to the laboratory.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will hear the arguments on December 29th, just days before Murray is due in court for a preliminary hearing on January 4th to determine whether he will stand trial.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Producer Teddy Riley Opens Up About Working With MJ. 27-12-'10

Producer Teddy Riley recently gave a phone interview to TODAYonline during which he spoke about the new album "Michael" but, he also talked candidly about some of the lessons he learned from the King of Pop. Riley said that for him, the album is a true representation of Jackson himself and that Jackson will forever be the man who taught him to "be strong" and stay the course.

"My biggest lesson, as far as learning from working with Michael, and knowing him and being a friend of his, is stay strong on what you feel is right, and stay hungry and stay humble," he said over the phone from London. "It will bring you a long way."

As for the criticisms that have been leveled at the album, Riley seems unfazed saying, "No, it doesn't bug me. I'm here for one purpose and one purpose only - to protect Michael and protect his legacy," he said. "And by any means necessary, I will go up against anyone. I will go up against the people who feel like they know him when they weren't there. It could be family, it doesn't matter who it is. I feel like [the album] is not for them. It's for him. And that's the bottom line.

"It's terrible having to deal with the hating and things that people say about you that you can't control," he continued. "But sometimes, it's good for you. Because you are nobody if no one is talking about you... then you're finished. I kind of like it, though. Bad, good, ugly - it doesn't matter. I am living under the wings of the great Michael Jackson. He lives for controversy. And I'm learning to."

Riley, who first worked with Jackson on his "Dangerous" album, had already made a name for himself both as a producer and as a member of the R&B group Guy. But even so, he says he was still intimidated when he first began working with the legend.

"I was very intimidated at first, but I got through it," Riley said about working with Jackson for the first time. "It became smooth sailing after a while. And I rolled with the punches. He taught me how to be strong and hold my own. He taught me how to work with him."

Dangerous was a huge success with hits like 'Remember The Time,' 'Jam' and 'In The Closet.' "Anything that Michael touched turned to platinum, not gold," Riley said of Jackson's work. Interestingly, echoes of Michael's work from the '80s and '90s can be heard in the Riley-produced track, 'Hollywood Tonight' from the new album.

"That was intentional. I thought it was a great idea to get that feel, you know, and make the song feel like it was the next level of Billie Jean. It's a different climate, different story, but you still have the taste and the touch of Michael. That being said, it just takes his story further."

Riley said the good thing about working with Jackson is that he always knew exactly what he wanted. "When it came to working. I just kind of went into 'Michael mode', in terms of putting the songs and putting everything on it. 'Michael mode' is very intense. It's no holds barred; you just reach for the sky. You do not accept nothing less than great. And you have to be strong."

Source: todayonline.com / Billie Jean


'Michael' Indicates Long-Term Earning Potential. 27-12-'10

Despite lagging behind Susan Boyle's 'The Gift' and Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now,' Michael Jackson's 'Michael' has done well even though it trails short of last year's soundtrack of 'This Is It,' which sold 373,000 on its first week. And over the past year Michael's legacy has earned some $275 million, more than any other entertainer, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna and Jay-Z combined. And although 'Michael' comes in behind both Swift and Boyle on the charts, many feel that the new album is performing much better than many industry insiders had expected.

This bodes very well for the long-term earnings prospects as 'Michael' was the first of many planned albums scheduled to be released over the next seven years as part of the Jackson estate's deal with Sony Music. This should result in between $200 million to $250 million over the course of the contract.

The estate also received an additional $60 million advance for the film 'This Is It,' sales of the MJ video game 'Experience,' memorabilia and a re-released autobiography. The estate owns the rights to Michael's music, which took in almost another $50 million with heavy radio play and album sales over the past year and should continue to produce income.

Then add in Jackson estate's 50% interest in the Sony/ATV catalog, which contains half a million songs including titles from Elvis, Eminem, Bob Dylon, Beyonce and not to forget The Beatles. Insiders estimate that the catalog generates yet another $50 million to $100 million per year, producing a total in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. This brings in an annual $25 million to $50 million for the estate on top of the large sums coming from Michael's own music and merchandise.

Even after coming in third place last week in album sales, Michael still rules!

Source: MJFC / Forbes / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Bro, Mom Score On New Year's Eve. 26-12-'10

Katherine Jackson has figured out a way to make some cash and not piss off the Michael Jackson Estate -- hitch a ride with another brother.

Katherine will join Michael's Bro, Tito Jackson, in Atlanta for New Year's Eve ... appearing at the 22nd Annual Peach Drop New Year's Eve Celebration.

Tito will perform some Jackson 5 songs, along with a couple of songs from his upcoming album, "So Far, So Good."

According to the Peach Drop website, Katherine and Tito will do the New Year's Eve countdown.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Latest Issue Of MJJMAGAZINE Coming Soon. 24-12-'10

The newest issue of MJJMagazine is coming soon and they want your participation:

LET'S SHOW YOURSELF WITH YOUR “MICHAEL” CD!

'MJJMAGAZINE - The Michael Jackson Magazine' issue #3 is coming and, as usual, it dedicates to you 'THE FANS', a section for your art, photos and letters. You can submit tribute drafts, paintings, poems, photos of your MJ rooms, MJ tattoos and collections (including your “MICHAEL” CD, MJ’s “Vision” DVDs Box Set, “Hold My Hand” CDS and/or “MJ The Experience” Video Game) by e-mailing fans@mjjmagazine.com

If you met the King of Pop, e-mail us your stories and photos with Michael. All submitted material must be in English language. The best photos and reports will be published in the next issues of MJJMAGAZINE! To make valid your submission please include your name and country along with a photo of yourself. To protect your privacy we will not publish full names if not authorized. Thank You!

Issue #3 will soon be available for pre-order at www.mjjshop.com

Source: MJJMAGAZINE.com / Billie Jean


2010 Billboard Year-End Album Rankings. 24-12-'10

Each week in the USA the Billboard Charts are published, tracking album sales and song play from the previous week. Rankings are calculated using custom formulas collecting sales, streaming and radio play. Below are the 2010 year end Billboard Album rankings for Michael Jackson.

This Is It
#22 Top 200
#8 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
#1 Top Soundtrack Albums
#19 Top Canadian Albums

Number Ones
#39 Top 200
#48 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
#1 Pop Catalog Albums

The Essential Michael Jackson
#112 Top 200
#6 Pop Catalog Albums

Thriller
#137 Top 200
#7 Pop Catalog Albums

BAD
#44 Pop Catalog Albums

Additionally, Michael Jackson was also ranked the #28 Top Artist and the #1 Pop Catalog Artist!

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson - Scribbled Jackson Note Sells At Auction. 24-12-'10

A note purportedly handwritten by the late Michael Jackson has sold at auction for more than $3,000 (£2,000).

The memo, scrawled down on his dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein's personal stationary, was allegedly found by staff at Jackson's Holmby Hills, California mansion days after the singer's June 2009 passing.

The scribbled message references the King of Pop's doomed This Is It concert extravaganza in London and states, "One year in London 3? International # 1 2 3 4 5 albums and single."

It goes on to detail a list of things to do: "Talk to digital people, Universal, Warner... make huge $."

The piece of paper was sold on eBay.com and bidding closed at $3,075 (£2,050) on Thursday morning (23Dec10).
The red stains on the note are from a drink.

Source: contactmusic / Billie Jean


‘MICHAEL’ On iTunes Top 10 Pop Albums Chart. 24-12-'10

Michael’s album, ‘MICHAEL,’ is currently at Number One in various countries around the world, on the iTunes store’s ‘Top Ten Pop Albums’ chart.

iTunes Top 10 Pop Albums:

‘MICHAEL’ is:

Number One in: France, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

Number Two in: Germany and New Zealand.

Number Three in: United Kingdom, Sweden

Number Four in: Finland, Italy, Netherlands

Number Six in: Ireland and Greece

Source: Apple.com / Billie Jean


James Brown's Widow Talks MJ And Dr. Murray. 24-12-'10

Michael Jackson was always very vocal about his love for James Brown, often calling the Godfather of Soul his biggest musical influence. Now, James Brown's widow, Tomi Rae Brown, is setting the record straight about rumors that her husband recommended Dr. Conrad Murray to Jackson before he died.

Speaking to Charles Thomson for Sawfnews.com, Ms. Brown dismissed tabloid speculation that her husband had used Murray as a 'Dr. Feelgood' and suggested him to Michael Jackson before he passed away.

"Not true. Not true at all. That was not my husband's doctor and it had never been his doctor. James had his own set of doctors that were based in Atlanta, Georgia. This gentleman lived in Las Vegas. So no, that was never his doctor."

Ms. Brown described the relationship between Jackson and her husband, saying, "Michael Jackson was a close friend of the family. We would talk to him two or three times, maybe four times a year. Michael was such a good person. James had great respect for him. He loved Michael and Michael loved him. Michael talked to him like a father and he talked to Michael like a son."

She went on to say, "I was supposed to go to Michael's funeral but once I saw the gold casket and Reverend Sharpton it just brought back so many memories of my husband's funeral that I couldn't take it. It was too much, too many similarities. I decided not to go to the funeral and to remember Michael in my own way."

Source: MJFC / sawfnews.com / Billie Jean


MJ's First Ever Recording Discovered. 23-12-'10

Just days after the official release of an album mired in controversy over the authenticity of the vocals, it seems the King of Pop's very first studio recording appears to have been unearthed.

A version of Big Boy - a regional hit by The Jackson 5 recorded for Steeltown Records in 1967 - had been recorded two months earlier at One-derful Records in Chicago.

Larry Blasingaine, was a 15-year-old studio musician who played bass on that studio recording instead of a young Jermaine Jackson. He recently heard the track earlier this month and insists it is the original version. He also says the original is better than the version that the world has come to know.

"Michael is clearer; it jells. It's what made them the Jackson Five. People were amazed by hearing them so young and being able to do that," Blasingaine told the Chicago Reader.

Source: MJFC / nbcchicago.com / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s New Album Finishes At Number 3. 22-12-'10

Michael Jackson‘s “Michael” album enters the charts at number 3 this week, right behind Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle.

“Michael” sold 224,000 copies, about 25,000 less than the two women.

On the other hand, “Michael” was the highest debut album of the week according to hitsdailydouble.com. It outsold new CDs by R. Kelly and P Diddy by more than 100,000 copies.

However, Jackson’s last album, “Invincible,” sold 363,000 copies in its first week, back on October 30, 2001.

Given the modest amount of money that went into marketing “Michael” and the huge sums wasted on P Diddy, you could say “Michael” is even a bigger hit.

What it lacks, though, is a break out hit. And the album still has not overcome the stigma of Jackson’s vocals possibly not being his–and they are.

Sony sort of screwed this up from the beginning. The version of “Breaking News” that was put on the website for streaming in November didn’t sound like Michael Jackson. It was in fact the wrong mix. This led the rabid Jackson fans to scream that they were being fooled.

It’s too bad: “Breaking News” is a great single. On the album, it’s clearly Michael Jackson singing all the way through the lead. Jackson fans are denying themselves a real treat if they think otherwise.

The real first single, “Hold My Hand,” with Akon, has not been a crowd pleaser.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I do think Sony rushed the release. They had no marketing campaign, no focus, and a lot of negativity to overcome. If they’d waited til spring, some more thought could have gone into how to launch this CD.

“Michael” has plenty of potential singles. “Monster,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Another Day” are all great. But Sony’s going to have to implement some out of the box thinking to make them happen.

Around the world, “Michael” is a different story. Here’s a press release from Sony:

# MICHAEL shipped Platinum in 14 territories including the United States, UK, Germany, France (2x), Italy (3x), Spain, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Czech Republic (4x), Canada, Korea and the Middle East.
# The album debuted at #1 in Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden.
# And on top of the # 1 album chart entry in Germany, sales of MICHAEL broke the country’s 2010’s first-week record with over 85,000 units sold.
# Opening week sales of more than 113,000 in the U.K. scored the biggest opening week for a new Michael Jackson studio album since ‘Dangerous’ nearly 20 years ago.
# In Japan, the album is the fourth Michael Jackson album to ever debut in the top 3, joining Bad, Thriller and last year’s “This Is It” companion album.
# The album is in the top five in Belgium (#2), US (#3), Japan (#3), the UK (#4), France (#4), Denmark (#4). In the US, the album shipped platinum and debuted at #3 of the Billboard Album chart with just under 230,000 copies sold.
# The album went Gold in 17 territories on arrival in Japan, China, Australia, Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, India, Philippines and Taiwan.

Source: showbiz411 / Billie Jean


Judge Will Decide Syringe Testing Issues. 22-12-'10

A judge overseeing the criminal case of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death has scheduled a hearing to determine whether syringes and an IV bag found in the superstar's bedroom should undergo more testing that the doctor's defense attorneys insist is crucial to their case.

Attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray have been asking for months that fluids in two syringes and an IV bag found in Jackson's rented mansion be tested in order to determine how much of the anesthetic propofol and painkiller lidocaine they contained.

Coroner's officials ruled Michael Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication and ruled the death a homicide. Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Murray's attorneys have urgently insisted on the need to test the medical items, saying the evidence is deteriorating. They have described the fluids in one of the syringes as having "turned to salt" and contended the testing should have been done immediately following Jackson's death in June 2009.

J. Michael Flanagan, attorney for Dr. Murray, argued in a court filing the delay in testing the syringes could hurt the doctor's defense.

"An essential fact in this case is not only how much propofol was in Michael Jackson's body but how it was put into his body," Flanagan wrote. "Since further degradation and deterioration of the evidence makes it increasingly more difficult to test, the prejudice to the defendant is increasing."

Coroner's officials said in court filings the testing was not necessary to determine Jackson's cause of death and prosecutors have downplayed the significance, refusing to enter into an agreement with Murray's attorneys about testing the items.

The tests will most likely destroy the samples.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


George Wendt Talks About Making BOW Video With MJ. 21-12-'10

Actor George Wendt, who was featured in the 'Black or White' video playing Macaulay Culkin's dad, recently gave an interview to Broadway.com where he talked a little about his memories of working with Michael Jackson.

"It was fun. It was like any other movie shoot, in a way, with beastly hours. Michael Jackson was onboard and he was a very energetic and fun guy. He was totally cool and surprisingly very approachable and seemed like a regular guy. Have you ever seen Fred Armisen’s parody of Prince on Saturday Night Live where he always whispers to Beyonce? I kind of thought he’d be like that, but he would say 'Hey, how are you,' [he would] give big hugs and stand with his arm around with you, shooting the shit."

Source: MJFC / broadway.com / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Estate Executors Challenge His Mother. 20-12-'10

Late Michael Jackson's estate executors have launched a legal battle against one of his mother's closest friends and business partners.

They have sent a "cease and desist" letter to Canadian entrepreneur Howard Mann, demanding that he stops exploiting King of Pop's image for profit.

"His day is coming. We will be taking the appropriate legal action against him," the Daily Express quoted estate attorney Howard Weitzman as saying.

The move to ban Mann, 38, from peddling Jackson memorabilia through his Vintage Pop company has enraged the singer's mother Katherine, who formed a partnership with him earlier this year.

He is helping to promote her lavish coffee table book 'Never Can Say Goodbye', which features previously unseen family photos, as well as a pop star's calendar.

Mann even managed to get the book mentioned on Oprah Winfrey's chatshow and Katherine, 80, who has sole custody of Michael's three children, insists she needs extra income to bolster her personal monthly cash allowance of 5,120 pounds from the estate.

The estate pays almost GBP 50,000 a month to cover all expenses at Katherine and husband Joe's family home in the Los Angeles suburb of Encino. This covers a housekeeper, two nannies and private tuition fees for Prince Michael, 13, Paris, 12, and Prince Michael II, known as Blanket, eight.

But Katherine told the Los Angeles Times in an interview: "I think I should be getting more. I'm not greedy like people say. It's need, not greed. I wish they would leave Howard alone and I wish they would leave me alone for working with him."

The Jackson family matriarch said she believed executors John Branca and John McClain are doing "a very good job" managing her son's multi-million dollar estate.
But her decision to support Mann, whom she describes as a "very good and honourable friend", is already causing a rift between her and the estate.

A source close to Katherine said: "With Howard, she is promoting a book and calendar that contain photos she owns. She is furious that the estate is trying to thwart her efforts to earn money by targeting Howard.

"She has been told independently that no one can legally stop her selling material that belongs to her," the source added.

Source: ANI / Billie Jean


‘Michael’ Debuts At The Top In The Dutch Album Top 100! 18-12-'10

The new Michael album has debuted the official Dutch Album Top 100 charts on the first position. On the day of the release (December 10th) it turned gold immediately. With Michael being number one the biggest Dutch singer, Marco Borsato, has lost his first position to Michael Jackson.

Source: Novum / Billie Jean


‘Step Up 3D’ Director Jon Chu Recalls Cast’s Tribute To Michael Jackson. 18-12-'10

Jon Chu has become the go-to man for all things dance. And with the DVD for “Step Up 3D” hitting the streets on Tuesday, Chu is opening up about what it was like to direct the flick. He reveals that when Michael Jackson, who had such a major influence on modern dance, died during the making of the film, Chu and the cast and crew felt they had to pay homage to the King of Pop.

“I remember particularly the House of Red Hook [scene] just because [we shot it] the day after Michael Jackson passed away and Michael had a huge impact on every single dancer,” he told MTV News. “I would say literally 99.9 percent of our dancers would say Michael is the #1 influence in their life and he passed [while] we were shooting and everyone was so upset.

“Literally it shook us all, and the next day we were gonna go shoot the Battle at Red Hook. And so we got there and it was like there was an energy that was very stale and weird and nobody knew how to act,” he continued. “And so we just started playing Michael, first thing in the morning for like 15 minutes. We all danced to Michael on the dance floor. It was one of those beautiful moments.”

While fans relive all the fun of the film in the comfort of their living rooms, Chu reminds them to check out the extras on the DVD. “The stuff that we really shot behind-the-scenes, in a way it’s a real documentary about the dancers in our movie,” he said. “We tried to squeeze as much as we could in the movie, but of course there’s only so much you can get in, so for the DVD, you get to see it all and you get to really know the dancers.”

Source: Digitalcheeseburger / Billie Jean


Neverland Ranch -- A Teen Haven For Music. 18-12-'10

The owners of the Neverland Ranch -- the former home of Michael Jackson -- want to turn the property into a teenage music haven.

TMZ has learned Colony Capital wants to develop a business plan to turn Neverland into a music institute -- similar to The Juilliard School in NYC. The plan is to teach teens all aspects of music, including writing and performing.

Colony wants to turn the property into a campus, in which scores of teenagers -- rich and poor -- can learn the trade that made Michael Jackson a legend.

There are two big stumbling blocks. The first is making sure Santa Barbara County will sign off on such a project.

The second -- and bigger issue -- is whether Colony Capital can use Michael Jackson's name to promote such an institute. TMZ has good news for Colony .... sources directly connected with the Michael Jackson Estate tell us, "It's an interesting idea and we'd be open to it."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Meaning Behind Album Cover Art. 17-12-'10

Now that "MICHAEL" is in stores and available for digital download, fans have been pouring over the image, trying to decipher all of it's hiden clues and meanings. Michael Jackson's brother Jackie and the artist, Kadir Nelson, shared the story behind the CD cover in an exclusive interview with USA Today.

In 2003, while recording the song 'One More Chance,' the King of Pop spotted a tribute painting of Marvin Gaye's life in Gaye's studio. After learning the artists name, Jackson immediately dialed Nelson. "He said, 'I want one about me, but I want it to be bigger,' " Nelson recalled.

"He was always like that," Jackie chimed in with a grin. "He wanted things big."

But with Jackson's legal troubles mounting at the time, the painting "fell through the cracks," Nelson says.

Two weeks after Jackson's sudden and tragic death in June 2009, the 9-by-41/2-foot painting was recommissioned by his estate. In the painting, a portion of which is reproduced on the CD jacket and will appear in promotional posters, fans will no doubt spend a great deal of time attempting to locate all of the hidden clues of Jackson's life and career. The trivia-savvy will spot a spaceship harking back to Jackson's 1982 E.T. collaboration, and a floating golden gavel - a nod to his courtroom drama.

Jackson's three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, appear in the painting multiple times. In one scene, they sit alongside their dad while his hand grips a supersized water gun. Jackie says water guns were — and still are — a family favorite for them. "They've [Michael's children] always got water guns down at Hayvenhurst, [the Jackson family home in Encino]," Jackie says, chuckling. "You have to be careful; they don't care what you're wearing!"

Nelson also painted a host of people who were important in Michael's life into the piece, but unfortunately, audiences will never see Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey or Debbie Rowe in reproductions. Nelson and Jackie say those particular people withheld copyright permission and will be left out of released artwork. The most surprising refusal, Jackie says, was Ms. Taylor's. "All the things he's done for Liz Taylor," he murmurs, shaking his head. So who will you see in the posters? Friends such as Naomi Campbell, Quincy Jones, James Brown and ex-wife Lisa-Marie Presley.

All together, there are 50 representations of the King of Pop in the supersized painting, one to commemorate each year lived. "I had to count every day to make sure I was right on," says Nelson, who included a crowned goldfish trapped inside a bubble in his final tally. "Michael was so popular, he lived [like a fish] in a bubble."

For the dominant image of Jackson in the painting, Nelson focused on the idea of royalty, putting Michael in a suit of armor with his hand placed over his heart, "because Michael put his heart into everything that he did," Nelson explained.

Jackie points to a tiny Volkswagen in the painting that reminds him of the early years. "The bus," he says, remembering how they were back then, "freezing, going to Chicago in the cold and the snow taking instruments out of that bus and slipping on the ice!"

Today, Jackie says, the family is still grieving Michael's death: "It's something you never get over."

Source: MJFC / usatoday.com / Billie Jean


Katherine Jackson -- Hangin' in Britney's Hood. 16-12-'10

Ordinary people usually hit up a Motel 6 while their home is being renovated -- but Katherine Jackson is no ordinary person.

Here's where Katherine will be living -- along with Michael Jackson's three kids -- for the next few months. It's a 12,670 square-foot mansion in Calabasas, CA -- just a block from Britney Spears!

Katherine is plunking down $26,000 a month -- the exact amount of her monthly allowance from the Michael Jackson estate -- while her Encino home is being extensively remodeled.

The 7 bedroom rental features a game room, movie theater, guest house, Jesus juice wine cellar, and much more.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


DJ Cassidy Talks About Listening Party. 16-12-'10

DJ Cassidy was on hand Monday night at the "MICHAEL" listening party in New York City. He was the master of ceremonies for the evening, spinning the sounds that kept the parry rocking' all night long. Speaking to MTV about the night he said,

"I think that's why Michael essentially made the music. He wanted to make people dance. He wanted to make people feel the emotion he felt."

Dressed for the event in a leather suit with a pink shirt and socks, a red bow tie and shell-top Adidas, Cassidy said that he'd been a fan of Jackson's for as long as he could remember and that the singer was his inspiration in anything artistic in his life, from music to fashion.

So much of my fashion comes from Michael," Cassidy explained. "So much of how I play music comes from how he formed his songs, how he created his sound that really inspired the way that I DJ. And really, it inspired me to want to be a DJ, to want to make people dance.

"So, when I became a DJ at the age of 10, it was always my dream to DJ for Michael Jackson," he added. "Tonight's just a small way for me to really celebrate his music."

The party's guests also included producers Teddy Riley, Eddie Casino and Ne ff U, all of whom had a hand in producing "MICHAEL's" tracks. But before he began to spin for the night, Cassidy was thinking back to the classics, particularly his favorite party song, 1979's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

"You can be anywhere in the world, any city, any small town, any type of crowd, black, white, old, young, poor, rich, at any type of venue," he said. "They could be wanting to hear house music, hip-hop music, anything in between, but 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' will turn that party out."

Source: MJFC / MTV.com / Billie Jean


Evidence Of Other Doctors In Michael Jackson's Death. 15-12-'10

Certain items found in the room where Michael Jackson died could help shape Dr. Conrad Murray's defence -- namely, that other docs were medicating Michael.

Sources connected with the case tell TMZ ... evidence in the room suggests certain potent drugs were "prescribed and prepared" for MJ to self-medicate.

As we first reported, Dr. Murray's team will not challenge the L.A. County Coroner's finding that Jackson died of a massive Propofol overdose. But as we told you, Murray's team will present evidence in the doc's manslaughter case that Michael awakened, then gave himself the fatal dose of Propofol when Murray left the room.

We're told Murray's team hasn't decided if it will use the evidence found in the room to implicate other doctors in Jackson's death. But we do know Murray's legal team will present evidence during the trial that the fruits of Jackson's notorious doctor shopping over two decades wore his body down.

The rep for Dr. Murray's lawyer refused comment.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s New Album Zooms To Number… Five? 15-12-'10

Michael Jackson’s new “Michael” album was officially released today. It immediately zoomed up the charts to number…five.

Wow: checking out the amazon and ITunes charts this morning, “Michael” is in the fifth place on both lists. On amazon he’s being held back by Taylor Swift, Glee, Susan Boyle, and today’s low priced Mariah Carey special.

Over on ITunes, Jackson is stymied also by Glee, as well as by R. Kelly, Mumford and Sons, and the “Tron” soundtrack.

What gives? Last night at Roseland, Jackson fans turned out in droves for an album launch party, Entry was free. Upstairs in a private section, Jackson executor John Branca, manager Frank DiLeo, execs from Sony, writer-producer Eddie Cascio, brother Frank and their dad, plus Akon all partied–glad that “Michael” is finally out.

But now the trick is to overcome the weird, incorrect impression that vocals on the album aren’t Michael’s. They are. And to get a hit single going. After the Akon track, “Hold My Hand,” expect to hear “Monster” with 50 Cent hit the airwaves.

Source: showbiz411 / Billie Jean


See The Full Mural Featuring Lisa Marie Presley, Brooke Shields, Tatum O’Neal, Diana Ross.
15-12-'10

Brooke Shields, Lisa Marie Presley, Tatum O’Neal, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5 are among the many celebrities featured in a mural included with the new Michael Jackson album, “Michael.”

I told you months ago that Jackson co-executor John McClain had commissioned the mural from artist Kadir Nelson. Originally it had included drawings of Jackson’s legal team and other miscellaneous participants in the Jackson saga. But now it’s just celebrities. Here’s the full mural for the first time, with Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, animals from Neverland, and even a little ad for Cirque du Soleil. There are also pictures of Berry Gordy, the Temptations, James Brown, Bubbles the Chimp, Liza Minnelli, and some Motown artists.

There are no portraits, however, of some key Jackson players: Debbie Rowe and Macaulay Culkin. Too bad. In 2005, their testimony helped save Michael from going to to jail. Also, no Liz Taylor or Marlon Brando.

Source: showbiz411 / Billie Jean


Arno Bani Photoshoot
Michael Jackson picture were taken in Paris in July 1999 by French photographer Arno Bani.
Jackson is wearing a golden cape, the Egyptian pharaoh.

Michael Jackson Photo Sells For Just Under $35,000. 15-12-'10

A photograph of Michael Jackson posing as an Egyptian pharaoh sold for 26,000 euros ($34,880) Monday at an auction featuring four never-before-seen portraits of the "King of Pop."

The portrait of the late 'Thriller' singer as a pharaoh, dressed in a gold cape and with dark shaded eyes, was bought at the Paris auction by Ora-Ito designer Ito Morabito. With the added commission, the final price ran at 32,240 euros.

"I have been a fan since I was born," Morabito said. "It is unique and really represents who he was. 50 percent man, 50 percent god."

Since his sudden death in June 2009 due to an overdose of drugs, Jackson photos and memorabilia have sold for record prices. The 'Billie Jean' singer's trademark white glove sold at an auction of Jackson memorabilia for $350,000 last year in November, a few months after his death.

A posthumous album with new material and entitled "Michael," hits the stores this week.

A second portrait showing Jackson with sparkling blue glitter around his left eye soared to 25,000 euros in less than a minute. A third picture showed the singer in a black shirt pulled up to below the eyes standing against a screen of multicolored beads. It sold for 22,000 euros.

The fourth portrait, featuring Jackson standing in front of a red curtain, fetched 9,000 euros. Most of the other lots sold for around 1,500 euros.

The pictures were taken in 1999 by French photographer Arno Bani, then just 23. Jackson had reportedly wanted him to take the pictures for his 10th album 'Invincible', released in 2001, the singer's last studio album.

The photographer signed over the rights to Sony for 10 years but the pictures were never used by the record label.

About 200 fans and dealers turned out at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, a private mansion in Paris. The sale was run by the house Pierre Berge & associes.

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean

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