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Joe Jackson Gunning To Sue Over MJ's Death. 31-01-'10
Joe Jackson is trying to force UCLA to hand over all of their medical records on Michael Jackson -- because daddy is looking to sue whoever is responsible for killing his son ... according to documents obtained by TMZ.
TMZ has obtained documents that Joe filed Friday in L.A. County Superior Court -- in which he claims, "The UCLA records will permit [Joe] to determine with medical experts and then present to this court, how much support [Joe] needs to pay for the prosecution of his wrongful death action against those responsible for his son's death."
Michael was transported to UCLA on June 25, 2009 -- where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Joe says in the documents that Michael was already dead when he arrived at UCLA so there is no physician-patient privilege for a dead man.
Joe Jackson filed the papers in the Michael Jackson estate case -- responding to the Estate's opposition to Joe's motion for Michael's medical records. Joe claims the estate has refused to file a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf and it is costing him money.
According to his legal docs, Joe thinks the medical records will show what really happened to Michael, and that will help Joe determine how much he'd be able to collect from those responsible for Michael's death.
UPDATE: Howard Weitzman, lawyer for Michael Jackson's estate, tells TMZ, "The estate continues to believe Joe Jackson's claims are not well taken and he should not have access to Michael's medical records."
Source: TMZ / Billie Jean
Attention ALL Michael Jackson Fans. 30-01-'10
We all want to help build the Jackson Family Museum, Michael Jackson Performing Arts Theater and Hotel in the Jackson's hometown of Gary, Indiana, but until now you probably wondered how. Well, you CAN be a part of this historic tribute, and here's how.
By purchasing your copy of the Limited Edition "Las Vegas Hollywood Magazine," you can help build this lasting tribute to the King of Pop and his famous family. The magazine features Joe Jackson, patriarch of music's Royal Family, and encompasses Michael's life, the lives of his brothers and sisters and most recently, the honoring of Joe Jackson and the Jackson Family with a Brenden Celebrity Star.
These LVH Magazines are Limited Edition and the net proceeds of your purchase price goes directly to the Jackson Family Foundation which will allow the memory of Michael to live forever! Each magazine comes wrapped for collectors to keep safely in mint condition and you will also receive a free "This Is It" poster with every purchase!
Source: jacksonfamilyfoundations.org/ / Billie Jean
Children To Appear At Grammy's. 29-01-'10
As reported by CNN earlier this evening, Michael Jackson's two eldest children are scheduled to take the stage this weekend to accept the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for their father. It will be the first public appearance for Prince, 12, and Paris, 11, since their father's memorial service just 12 days after his death.
Two sources close to the family said Jackson's youngest child, Blanket, 7, was not expected to appear, although they did suggest that could change.
Contrary to many published media reports, the sources said there was absolutely no plan for the children to sing or dance at the show.
The Recording Academy, which presents the Grammy Awards, will honor the late King of Pop with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Special Merit Awards ceremony on Saturday evening in Los Angeles. Video of the presentation is likely to be included in Sunday night's tribute to Jackson during the live Grammy telecast.
Source: MJFC / CNN.com / Billie Jean
Hearing Scheduled In Joe Jackson's Bid For Stipend. 29-01-'10
A judge has scheduled a hearing to decide if Michael Jackson's father should receive a monthly allowance of more than $15,000 from the pop star's estate.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said Thursday he would hold an evidentiary hearing on May 26 regarding Joe Jackson's petition.
Michael Jackson had an often-strained relationship with his father. He omitted Joe Jackson from his will and trust, which benefits the singer's mother, three children and various charities.
Joe Jackson sought the stipend in November, saying he had little monthly income. The administrators of the pop star's estate have opposed the motion, and an attorney for Michael Jackson's children says she has concerns as well.
Source: MJFC / AP / Billie Jean
Fan Buys Michael Jackson's Vegas Home. 28-01-'10
Michael Jackson's Las Vegas home is now in good hands -- a fan of MJ's just plunked down $3.1 million to be the new king of the singer's old castle.
Problem is ... selling the house wasn't as easy as you think. One of the real estate agents tells us after Michael's death, tons of fans flooded the mansion pretending to be potential buyers ... but were lying just to get a peek at the King of Pop's old digs.
One deep-pocketed fan ended up being the real deal -- and ended up buying the nearly 16,000 sq ft. palace.
The master bedroom is 2,000 square feet. A fitness room has a dance floor and dry sauna. The property also has basketball and tennis courts.
Source: Billie Jean
Interview With Jasmine "Earth Girl" Algerian. 28-01-'10
Very few people get a chance to meet a legend, but Jasmine Algerian got to work with one of the biggest—Michael Jackson!
Michael Jackson handpicked Jasmine to play the part of Earth Girl in his 2009 tour—that’s her holding the earth at the end of the movie. The This Is It tour was supposed to hit dozens of major cities, but Michael’s untimely death on June 25th ended the tour before it began. Instead, the behind-the-scenes preparations were turned into the hit movie, This Is It.
“Some people don’t get the opportunity to be with Michael on stage,” says Jasmine. “It was great to meet him—he was very friendly.” Jasmine did’t have a lot of acting experience before she landed the role of Earth Girl, but her enthusiasm and easy-going disposition make it easy to see why Michael would choose her. “I have a very outgoing, friendly personality,” laughs the cheery second-grader. Was she a Michael fan before the show? “Oh yes, I have lots of favourite Michael Jackson songs,” she says. Jasmine names Thriller and Smooth Criminal as some personal faves.
Jasmine has been refining her acting craft since the wrap of This Is It. Her favorite part of acting class is the warm-ups. “You just have to pretend there’s an imaginary ball in your hand—you make a noise when you throw it and when you catch it!”
Jasmine also spends time working on her fancy footwork. “When I first started [with the This Is It tour], I met the dancers and they were very nice,” Jasmine says. She was so inspired by MJ’s dancers that she signed up for hula classes! But as much as she loves shaking her hips, acting is still her first love. “I had lots of fun getting ready for that!” Jasmine says of the This Is It premiere. “I like that part of [the job] a lot!”
Source: MJFC / Kidzworld / Columbia / Billie Jean
Sony Sues Cable Channel Over MJ Programming. 27-01-'10
Michael Jackson tributes that aired on the TV Guide channel following the singer's death last year featured Jackson's works without authorization, Sony Music Entertainment charged in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
The cable entertainment channel did not seek authorization from or compensate Sony, which holds the copyright for some of the content featured in the documentaries. The shows aired repeatedly in the aftermath of Jackson's death, according to the copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
The lawsuit demanded that TV Guide cease its broadcast of the documentaries and pay unspecified damages to Sony Music Entertainment, which is owned by Sony Corp.
"In a crass effort to exploit, and in the immediate aftermath of, Mr Jackson's tragic death, TV Guide produced and repeatedly broadcast on its TV Guide channel a one-hour television show depicting the entirety of nine valuable music videos," the lawsuit said.
TV Guide channel's shows "Michael Jackson: His Musical Legacy" and "Michael Jackson: the Life and Times of the King of Pop" included some of Jackson's most famous music videos, including "Beat It," "Billie Jean," and "Thriller."
Source: MJFC / Reuters / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Dolls To Hit UK Shops. 27-01-'10
Standby for the great new hit toy for Christmas 2010 - Michael Jackson dolls. At least that's what The Character Group, which has previously had hits with Dr Who, Peppa Pig and Go Go Pets, is hoping.
It has won the UK licence to distribute the four Jackson dolls "in some of his most memorable iconic poses" made by Playmates Toys.
The dolls, two of which will launched in August and two more before Christmas, will be primarily aimed at the collectors' market. Each doll will be individually numbered and sold in commemorative packaging.
Richard King, chairman of The Character Group added: “Michael Jackson's persona and performances were legendary and it is fantastic to be involved with an inspirational figure who entertained millions with the great music he created.
“We are confident that the dolls will be highly sought after by fans and collectors alike, and we look forward to launching the full range in time for Christmas sales this year. These sales will be mainly reflected in our 2011 financial year.”
Source: thisislondon.co.uk / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley Marriage Certificate Brings $70,800 At Philip Weiss Sale. 26-01-'10
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley's marriage certificate brought $70,800.
The original marriage certificate issued to pop legend Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley on May 26, 1994 in the Dominican Republic sold for $70,800 at a multi-estate sale held Jan. 22-24 by Philip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside, N.Y.
The original marriage certificate issued to pop legend Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley, on May 26, 1994 in the Dominican Republic, when the couple embarked on their brief but highly publicized life together, sold for $70,800 at a multi-estate sale held Jan. 22-24 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
The weekend extravaganza, at which around 1,300 lots changed hands from a variety of categories in a sale that grossed more than $700,000, was held in Philip Weiss Auctions’ gallery facility, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside. As expected, the Jackson-Presley document was the top lot of the sale (not counting a single-owner lifetime stamp collection that made $77,000).
“This was a great way to start the new year,” Philip Weiss said of the auction, the first of 2010 for the firm. “The story with this one was pretty much the same as last year’s sales. Great merchandise sparked spirited bidding, which resulted in strong prices. It’s all about the items. If you’re fortunate to attract quality, fresh-to-the-market consignments, you’ll do well every time.”
About 200 people packed the showroom over the course of the three days. In addition, there were over 1,000 registered Internet bidders, who participated online via Proxibid.com and the Philip Weiss Auctions website (www.prwauctions.com). The marriage certificate, in fact, sold to a bidder on Proxibid.com. Phone and absentee bidding was also very active all three days.
The Jackson-Presley certificate is one of the most important celebrity documents of the 20th century, right up there with Charles and Diana’s and Monroe and DiMaggio’s wedding certificates. The 8 ½ inch by 10 ¾ inch sheet was signed by both stars and was also signed by State Official Hugo F. Perez. It had been laminated to protect it from the Dominican humidity.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.
Philatelists (stamp collectors) were serious and came armed with cash, making the Sunday session (the last day of the sale) a memorable one. In addition to the single-owner collection that brought $77,000, a full, post office-fresh sheet of 80 stamps from the People’s Republic of China (Scott #1586), sailed past its high estimate of $55,000 to gavel for $67,250.
Source: PR Log / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson’s This Is It’ Released On DVD. 26-01-'10
Three months after it was released in movie theaters, Michael Jackson’s final project 'This Is It' is now available in stores on DVD and Blue Ray.
To celebrate the occasion, director Kenny Ortega and choreographer Travis Payne attended a Midnight Madness DVD release celebration at a local Best Buy store in NYC, NY last night. A few super fans came out for the occasion, each doing their best Michael Jackson impersonation.
The Blu-ray release also includes an exclusive 24 page photo booklet which is a unique archive of photographs taken during the final rehearsals.
Source: Billie Jean
Thriller Live Gets Remixed For 1st Birthday. 26-01-'10
Thriller Live will add six new songs to celebrate its first birthday in London's West End theater district.
The revamped version of the concert show, which features music by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, will play the West End’s Lyric Theatre from February 11.
As well as the new songs, the updated show will have a new opening and extra choreography.
Further productions of Thriller Live are planned for 2010 in Australia, Asia, North and South America and Canada.
The show was conceived and created by Adrian Grant and is directed by Gary Lloyd.
For further information about the shows please visit the Thriller Live web site at http://www.thrillerlive.com.
For dates and ticket information you can also visit www.nimaxtheatres.com/thriller.
Source: MJFC / thestage.co.uk / Billie Jean
Gardener To Jackson: I Did Bring You Flowers. 26-01-'10
Michael Jackson's landscaper has a tulip or two to pick with the estate -- to the tune of $4,722.01.
Jose T. Mareque has filed a creditor's claim against Michael Jackson's estate, claiming he filled Michael's home with trees, orchids, roses, poinsettias, tulips and other plants -- only to be stiffed. It's the same home where Michael died.
According to the invoices, Mareque did the work in December, 2008. He says the bill came to $14,722.01, and Michael's people sent a check for $10,000 and that's it.
Slight problem -- the final invoice notes that the services were performed in December, 2009 -- Michael had been dead for 6 months.
We called Mareque who said he didn't know he had put the wrong year. But as we know, ignorance of the lawn is no excuse.
Mareque says he'll file an amended creditor's claim to correct the problem.
Source: TMZ / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson’s Thriller Inmates, The Sequel: This Is It. 26-01-'10
A new video of hundreds of prison inmates performing a dance routine inspired by the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It” is something of a sequel to one of the most popular viral videos of all time.
Two years ago, a video of 1,500 inmates in the Philippines’ Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center dancing a routine set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was uploaded to YouTube. Since then, it’s reached more than 37 million views.
Prison Chief Byron F. Garcia has actually released several videos since “Thriller.” The prison has even become a tourist spot, putting on a monthly performance, selling souvenir shirts and offering visitors chances to have their pictures taken with the dancing inmates.
None of the previous videos have come close to the viral success of “Thriller,” though. But now that MJ has sadly passed on, we thought it appropriate to share this performance. It was actually made possible by MJ’s choreographer, Travis Payne. He and two dancers (Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid) taught the inmates all the steps. Go ahead and watch both the dance routine based on “This Is It” (set to “They Don’t Care About Us”) and the classic “Thriller” video below if you like dancing. Hey, we all do — that’s why videos like these are so insanely popular.
Source: Billie Jean
Men’s Wallets – King of Pop.
A limited edition series of hand painted wallets featuring the greatest entertainer in the world, the king of pop, Michael Jackson. This stunning hand painted wallet features Michael in his thriller avatar – which till date remains the best-selling album of all time. The back of the wallet features Michael’s signature and unforgettable toe-stand dance move as seen in his Billie Jean music video and live performances.
This wallet series commemorates Michael and is a special dedication from Indian film poster artists to the most influential entertainer of all time.
•Art and function combined
•100% genuine leather with super soft suede lining
•Painstakingly hand painted to perfection by award winning poster artists
•Multiple slots to hold several credit cards
•Display flap for easy storage of ID cards
•Buttoned pocket for holding coins/change
•No exact replica of its kind anywhere in the world!
(INR 2300 appx.)
Source: hippy.in / Billie Jean
Lawyers Request Percentage Of Profit. 24-01-'10
Attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain have filed a motion requesting the court approve a compensation of 10 percent of the profits that they will generate from Michael Jackson's work. The two, who are responsible for administrating Michael's estate are requesting payment for a variety of services that they will be providing. The filing excludes profifits from "This Is It" and Michael's interest in the Sony/ATV music catalog as well as Michael's own songs.
It is not exactly clear how much Branca and McClain would be making as an accounting of the estate has not yet been filed. They are seeking to become co-executives and creative directors of a company that would be overseeing a business based on Michael's work.
Michael's estate has been estimated to be around $500 million, but Michael had significant debts and the estate is facing a number of creditor's claims and lawsuits. The business interests that would be excluded under the plan are actually some of Michael's most significant money-makers, like the Sony-ATV catalog that holds the rights to music of The Beatles, Elvis, Bob Dylan and others. They are also not including the interest in Michael's music that has seen brisk business since his passing.
John Branca was Michael's longtime entertainment attorney and would continue on in that capacity under the arrangement that was laid out in Friday's filing. John McClain, childhood friend and music executive, would agree to create new albums based on Michael's vast collection of unreleased music at a studio that he co-founded with the late Marvin Gaye.
The two men were hand-picked by Michael to control his estate in a will dated 2002 and have controlled its interest since early in July. The court filing states other high-profile musician's estates have employed advisers who have received as much as 15 to 25 percent of profits following the death of the musician.
Branca and McClain are also opposing a bid by Michael's father, Joseph, to receive more than $15,000 a month from Michael's estate. In a motion that was filed in court on Thursday, Branca and McClain state that Mr. Jackson has failed to prove that he is due the money from the estate. The filings also note that Michael omitted his father as a beneficiary and that any money paid out to Mr. Jackson would reduce the estate's assets that are available for Katherine Jackson and Michael's three children.
Michael's mother, Katherine, his children and various unnamed charities are the only beneficiaries of Michael's estate. Michael's mother and his children receive more than $86,000 per month and the administrators recently moved to increase the monthly stipends. The exact amount has not been released.
Brian Oxman, attorney for Joe Jackson, said that the opposition filing means that now the issue will need to go through lengthy proceedings. "It's a pretty difficult thing to go through," Oxman said. "Michael took care of [Joe] most of his life."
Oxman said that he will need to prove to the judge that Michael supported his father. "I was present when Michael would take care of his father," Oxman said. "I saw it happen. Lots of people saw it happen."
Mr. Jackson filed for the monthly allowance back in November, saying that he had little income and had relied on Michael's assistance to survive. The court will decide whether he will receive any money from the estate. The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 29.
Source: AP / Billie Jean
Jackson -- Creditor's Claim For Film Venture. 24-01-'10
An entertainment company wants a piece of Michael Jackson's estate -- $285,000.
The Machine Management claims Jackson hired the company to develop commercial relationships in the animation world. And MJ wanted help in creating a Michael Jackson film label that would package original film projects.
The claim also says Jackson wanted help in creating a "Michael Jackson Global Warning Awareness Initiative" and to create a Michael Jackson film festival located in the Sultanate of Oman.
Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the estate, tells TMZ he's aware of the claim and mulling it over.
Source: TMZ / Billie Jean
King of Pop Was About To Convert To Islam, Michael Jackson's Brother Says. 23-01-'10
Michael's Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson reached out to the Muslim world in a long, controversial interview with the Dubai-based pan-Arab news channel Al-Arabiya aired Thursday night.
During his nearly hour long talk, he spoke out about his brother's death, the conspiracies he believed were behind the singer's downfall -- and how he believes the King of Pop was on the verge of converting to Islam.
After spending time in the Gulf (Michael Jackson lived in Bahrain for a while in 2005), "Michael hired a team that was all Muslim,” Jackson told Al- Arabiya, dressed in a red Arab Keffeyeh scarf. “His behavior at the time also showed that he was very close to converting.”
Jackson went on to recount to Arab households how the King of Pop was drawn by Islam, saying his brother loved hearing the Muslim call to prayer and eagerly read books on Islam. Jackson said Islam would have protected his brother from harm.
"I felt that Michael was looking for that divine feeling .... I brought him books from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, from a lot of mosques. He read all of them. He was studying ... he was ready to make that journey. His protection would have been Islam ... he had a very tough life," he said.
When asked by his interviewer whether Michael Jackson ever suggested that he would convert, Jackson implied his brother may have been a Muslim in his heart.
"I wished he would have made that announcement. Maybe he made it in his soul ... but at the same time we want to hear it," he said.
He added that the amount of time Michael spent in the Middle East and the number of friends he had there also indicated he had embraced Islam.
Jermaine Jackson, a composer and former member of the Jackson 5, himself developed an interest in Islam during a trip to the Persian Gulf in the late 1980s and later became a Muslim. When asked to share his travels with the viewers, he said he "never felt a connection" until he became a Muslim and how he believes his ancestors were Muslims and that Christianity was imposed on them through slavery.
At one point, he explains his emotional and spiritual journey in his pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
"We drove from Bahrain to Riyadh (the capital of Saudi Arabia) and then took a flight to Mecca. It was the most wonderful feeling. It felt so pure, so special. I knew that was the connection," said Jackson.
He only wishes his brother had followed his example and become a Muslim too. Islam, says Jackson, would have saved the King of Pop from many hardships.
"I believe that Islam would have helped him a lot. Had he converted, he would have been spared all the problems he had been subjected to throughout his life," he said.
Source: latimesblogs / Billie Jean
New Security At 2300 Jackson Street. 23-01-'10
The small frame house on 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, IN that was the childhood home of Michael Jackson has taken on a different look within the last month. The home, which was once accessible to the public, has now been fenced and the windows shuddered.
The home was getting so many visitors, the caretakers have decided to limit walk-up traffic to preserve the integrity of the structure.
Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean
3D Eye Solutions Technology Featured At Grammy's. 23-01-'10
3D Eye Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Company's 3-D conversion for Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" will be featured at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards show. The show will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS Sunday January 31, from 8-11:30 pm. The GRAMMY Awards are telecast annually to an international audience of over 2 billion in 180 countries. This special segment represents a GRAMMY technical breakthrough in that it will be the first time a major awards show broadcasts in 3-D.
The GRAMMY Awards are staging an unprecedented tribute in honor of Michael Jackson. The Jan. 31 broadcast will feature a never-before-seen 3-D clip created for "Earth Song," an original composition and a No.1 hit for Jackson. In order for viewers to enjoy this unique 3-D TV experience at home, CBS and Target have collaborated to provide millions of free 3-D GRAMMY Glasses. From Sunday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 31, Target stores nationwide will exclusively offer these 3-D GRAMMY Glasses so that fans have the opportunity to see the film.
The "Earth Song" short film, produced by Stimulated, Inc., was originally planned for use in conjunction with the live performances in Jackson's "This Is It" concert tour. Upon Jackson's untimely death, the video, along with hours of rehearsal footage, were edited and presented in the Sony film, "Michael Jackson's This Is It." 3D Eye Solutions was hired by Stimulated, Inc. to convert stock footage from 2-D to 3-D for the "Earth Song" short film.
"We are honored to be part of such a momentous occasion that will celebrate the life of an icon. We are thrilled that our technology helped to bring Michael Jackson's 'Earth Song' to life," stated Mike Gibilisco, CEO of 3D Eye Solutions, Inc.
Source: MJFC / PR Newswire / Billie Jean
Zaldy Goco Talks About Designing For Michael Jackson. 22-01-'10
When Zaldy Goco answered the phone last April and learned that Michael Jackson’s creative team wanted him to develop some costume ideas for the King of Pop’s long-awaited comeback concert series in London, he could scarcely believe his luck. A long time fan of the sometimes-maligned, but always-loved music legend, Zaldy set about developing an approach for creating costumes that at once hearkened back to iconic images from Jackson’s past, while also making him relevant for contemporary fashion of the day.
The results were amazing and once the decision was made to make Zaldy the chief costume designer for the upcoming concerts, the process to get there involved five up close-and-personal fittings between Zaldy and Michael Jackson over a period of a several weeks, including the last fitting, just days before the singer’s sudden death.
Zaldy kindly spoke to BoF about the experience of designing for Michael Jackson and shared some photos of Jackson from the fittings, published here for the very first time.
The hole interview, click here.
Source: BOF / Billie Jean
Producer RedOne Eyes Michael Jackson Release. 22-01-'10
Grammy-nominated producer RedOne, who helped Lady Gaga top charts around the world, believes that music he worked on with Michael Jackson before the singer's death could yet be released.
The 37-year-old producer, born in Morocco and steeped in European pop and rock after spending several years in Sweden, recorded with the King of Pop in Las Vegas in 2008 and 2009 and in Los Angeles in 2009, before Jackson's death aged 50.
While the results are far from the finished product, RedOne, whose real name is Nadir Khayat, believes he has enough material to work on for a record, although any release would have to involve agreement with Jackson's record label and estate.
"I have big plans," he told Reuters at a recording studio in London, where he has been working with other artists.
"There is material that could come out (from the Jackson sessions)," he added.
"In case I'm going to release something, I would do it for charity, for something that he would have been proud of, because you always felt like everybody wanted to take advantage of him though his life," said RedOne, considered one of the world's top producers after his partnership with Lady Gaga.
Recalling his collaboration with Jackson, he said: "The music we were doing was good, really good ... very energetic, uplifting. It's sad that we never finished the material.
"Michael always has been focused on having hits, not having songs, so he always records a lot of songs and takes the best of them and that's his formula which I love. We were doing good quality music and it's never been finished."
RedOne has been nominated for four Grammy's -- the music industry's top honors -- ahead of the January 31 ceremony, where stars will perform a tribute to Jackson.
Source: MJFC / Reuters / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson's Brother Wants Estate To Pay. 22-01-'10
Michael Jackson's brother, Randy Jackson, is in the middle of a creditor's claim filed against the estate and according to legal docs ... Randy is on the side of the creditor.
Stabler & Associates, a company that claims it was hired to handle Michael Jackson's business matters -- in particular, a humongous Bank of America loan and the funding of his 2004 child molestation trial -- claims the estate owes the company $275,446.08.
Here's the problem. The statute of limitations has run on the debt. But Perry Wander, lawyer for Stabler & Associates, tells TMZ the company relied on Michael and Randy's repeated promises that the debt would be paid, so the estate should not be able to raise the technical, statute of limitations defence.
Howard Weitzman, lawyer for Michael Jackson's estate, is unmoved, telling TMZ, "The claim needs to be investigated and it appears to be barred by the statute of limitations."
And this is interesting ... included in the $275,446.08 -- a late penalty of $81,946.08.
And you thought credit card interest was high.
Source: TMZ / Billie Jean
‘We Are The World’ Sequel Set To Aid Haiti. 21-01-'10
EXCLUSIVE: This column has learned that Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie are planning a massive 25th anniversary re-recording of “We Are the World.”
The timing couldn’t be better, sadly enough.
The duo is summoning lots and lots of talent from Grammy weekend to stay an extra night — Monday Feb. 1 — and come to the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. There, they will celebrate a quarter century since Ken Kragen, Richie and Michael Jackson organized the original “We Are the World” with Quincy.
This time the artists invited include Usher, Natalie Cole, and John Legend. But you can bet that more names will be added shortly and that all the Grammy nominees and participants will be asked to come as well. Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich will produce the event, which will then be turned into a video and single just like it was in 1985. Don’t be surprised if Wyclef Jean joins in, along with Sting, Fergie, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and other distinctive voices.
It’s hoped that as in 1985, everyone will “leave their egos at the door.”
Originally, this anniversary celebration was to be held on Jan. 28. But when the Haiti earthquake happened, sources tell me, the whole deal changed. Now proceeds will go to Haiti relief. In 1985, “We Are the World,” which begat Live Aid, raised money for Africa relief.
Plans are still sketchy, but one thing’s for sure: In some way, the song’s co-author Michael Jackson will be invoked. AEG is co-producing this event. They’re also putting together a 3D tribute to Michael for the Grammy show from elements Jackson was going to use for his tour. Jackson recorded “We Are the World” for what became “This Is It.” Surely he’ll be included here as well, which will make the whole project even more poignant.
Stay tuned. PS: Quincy Jones is about to release what has been described to me as a landmark new album that he’s made with contemporary R&B and hip hop artists. He was responsible for the original “We Are the World” and will guide the new one. He is not a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in case you were wondering.
Source: Showbiz411.com / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Showstopper In 'This Is It'. 21-01-'10
Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' concert was designed to thrill in every sense imaginable, from the costumes and set design to the lighting, special effects and, of course, the Grammy-winning music. Coming to DVD and Blu-ray January 26, ET has a look behind the scenes of 'This Is It' with the late King of Pop -- and the 3D "Thriller" spectacular planned for the London concerts!
"Michael was a big fan of 3D and of classic horror films, and in appreciation of that, he thought it would be fun to do a 3D 'Thriller,'" says director Kenny Ortega. "18,000 people a night were going to put on their 3D glasses and have a three-dimensional 'Thriller' experience.
"He was in charge, like an old-fashioned entertainer," continues Ortega. "Technology didn't run the show, Michael ran the show, and when he stopped, you watched and you held your breath, and that's what made Michael Jackson Michael Jackson on stage, and why he was different than anyone else that you went to see in concert."
Source: ET / Billie Jean
Grammy's Will Stage 3-D Tribute To Michael Jackson. 20-01-'10
Last year, as the Grammy's were approaching, the show's executive producer was in frequent talks with Michael Jackson to appear on the telecast to celebrate the 25th anniversary of "Thriller."
Ken Ehrlich, the Grammy telecast's co-executive producer, had presented several ideas for performers, including Justin Timberlake and Usher, all of which excited Jackson. But in the end, he declined the show's invitation.
"He just wasn't ready for it," Ehrlich said.
This year, Jackson will be a focal point of the show, with an unprecedented posthumous tribute. The Grammy's will broadcast a 3-D clip the singer made for his hit "Earth Song," a video that was to be integral to his comeback concerts in London in July 2009 — shows that never happened because of his June 25 death in Los Angeles.
Usher, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson will perform alongside the clip, which Ehrlich says will be the first time an awards show will feature 3-D.
"Whenever we would do a show with (Jackson), the first thing he would say to me was, 'How can we do something that we (have) never done before?' And now we're doing something that hasn't been done before," said Ehrlich, who worked with Jackson for almost 30 years, in an interview Tuesday.
Ehrlich produced the televised memorial to Jackson last year. He was with the singer the night before he died — and that's when he first saw the 3-D clip of "Earth Song," a call to action about the destruction of nature and animals by man.
"There are these incredible images of the beauties of nature, and then they are seen through the eyes of a little girl, and that girl falls asleep and when she wakes up, she is witness to the destruction of nature," said Ehrlich. "It's all about questioning what our values are."
While a part of the clip was shown in the recent movie documentary "This Is It," Ehrlich says the Grammy's will show the full piece in 3-D. When he saw it with Jackson that night, Ehrlich said the singer was moved to tears.
"It was pretty emotional for him," Ehrlich said. "Afterward he said to me that that song and that piece and that portion of the concert was as important to him than anything else in the show."
Ehrlich decided to use the five-minute 3-D clip at the Grammy's to produce a show-stopper worthy of Jackson, who provided the awards show with some of its most memorable moments, including his then-historic eight Grammy wins in 1984.
"The promise is this is going to be pretty spectacular," he said.
Viewers can get free 3-D "Grammy" glasses from Target stores nationwide from Jan. 26 through Jan. 31, when the 52nd annual Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS (8 p.m. EST). Ehrlich says TV viewers can see the clip without the glasses, but won't see the 3-D effect.
Jackson will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy during the show.
"This is the one award from us that Michael never received," said Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow.
Portnow said he expected Jackson's family to be in the audience but their attendance hasn't been confirmed.
Source: freep.com / Billie Jean
Emotional Editing Experience On 'This Is It'. 19-01-'10
The Michael Jackson docu "This Is It" is a prime example of a film created mainly in the editing suite -- a fact validated by the nod two of its cutters received last week from the Motion Picture Editors Guild for best edited feature documentary.
Helmer Kenny Ortega and his team not only overcame major technical obstacles to put together a cohesive film; they also had to fight grief and fatigue.
When Jackson died on June 25, less than three weeks before the first of his 50 scheduled "This Is It" comeback concerts, Ortega knew he was in for "a rough emotional journey." As director of the concerts, he had spent weeks in rehearsals with Jackson. After the performer's death, promoter AEG Live sold the footage from those sessions to Sony for $60 million, and Sony hired Ortega to transform it into a feature film.
The challenges were daunting. The footage had been shot only as reference for shaping the concerts, not for public exhibition. "We really didn't have a lot of film of Michael," Ortega says. "We had footage from cellphones, the Red camera, 35mm… we weren't lighting. In audio, sometimes the sound in the camera was all we had."
Nevertheless, Ortega and his team of editors put together a film that won praise from critics and grossed $256 million worldwide.
The editorial process was crucial," says Ortega. Working at AEG, editors Don Brochu, Brandon Key and Tim Patterson took only a week to produce five hours of rough cuts that Ortega was happy with. The three cutters then took their work to the Sony lot, where they were joined by a fourth, Kevin Stitt.
We had a little factory going," says Ortega. "I could jog from one building to the next, visit with each editor. I'd send in (choreographer) Travis Payne and (composer) Michael Bearden when there were questions about the dancing or music." The team worked at four Avid edit bays seven days a week from the end of July until three weeks before the film's October 28 release.
It wasn't easy. "People would sometimes hit a wall and needed a break from the emotion of it all," says Ortega, "but knowing we had a limited amount of time for post, we really focused on the end result: telling the story of what might have been."
Source: Variety / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson's Music Featured At MLK Celebration. 18-01-'10
The music of the King of Pop will open the program of the 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration to be held in Buffalo, New York.
The Western New York Gospel Music Workshop, the University at Buffalo American Sign Language Club, the Muhammad School of Music and Miss Barbara's School of Dance will take part in the musical, dance and vocal presentation titled "Tribute to the Kings."
Source: MJFC / buffalonews.com / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson's Kids Need More Money? 17-01-'10
Michael Jackson's children have had their monthly allowance increased. In a hearing on Monday (11.01.10), lawyers for the late singer's estate appealed to raise the sum paid to the late 'Thriller' star's mother Katherine - who was awarded guardianship of his children in July last year, a month after the King of Pop's death from acute Propofol intoxication - because the $60,000 she was getting to take care of Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II, who is known as Blanket, isn't enough.
According to RadarOnline.com, Judge Mitchell Beckloff was asked to increase "the family allowance to the children", with attorneys submitting a figure for the judge to consider. It has not yet been disclosed in court what the additional money would be used for and their attorneys have refused to reveal why the money was needed. Meanwhile, It has also been claimed that the children didn't spend Christmas with their grandmother, because Katherine is a Jehovah's Witness and doesn't celebrate the holiday.
Instead, the youngsters spent time with family friends arranged by their nanny Grace Rwaramba and were said to be "well adjusted". A source said: "They were extremely happy and they had a great time. It wasn't a big deal Christmas with elaborate gifts. It was very humble. "They seemed fine, well adjusted; they're doing their school work. They don't talk about Michael's death but they do mention him."
Source: sassyqarla / Billie Jean
Watch The Making Of 'This Is It' On VH1. 16-01-'10
VH1 and VH1.com will air the exclusive world premiere of Michael Jackson's "They Don't Really Care About Us" music video on Tuesday, January 19th at 10pm.* On Saturday, January 23rd at 10pm,* VH1 will also exclusively premiere a new 30-minute original special, "All Access: Making 'Michael Jackson's This Is It,'" including never-before-seen footage from the concert rehearsal.
The 30-minute special will take viewers behind the scenes of the making of "Michael Jackson's This Is It" tour prior to his untimely passing. The special, taken from footage from the critically acclaimed film "Michael Jackson's This Is It," will also include additional new content not previously seen in the blockbuster film. The special and music video premieres mark the first time that significant footage from the film will be broadcast on television. Both premieres will be simulcast on VH1, VH1 Classic, and Palladia.
"'Michael Jackson's This Is It' captured the imagination of a huge worldwide audience and reminded us all of his musical genius," said Ben Zurier, Executive Vice President, Program Strategy, VH1, VH1 Classic & Palladia. "Viewers come to VH1 for their favorite music, and we are proud to present this inside look at the amazing 'This Is It' stage show that was being planned, as well as a brand new video that will be eagerly received by fans of the 'King of Pop.'"
MTV Networks (a division of Viacom ( VIA, VIA.B), acquired the exclusive United States television rights to air "Michael Jackson's This Is It" beginning in 2011. In raw and candid detail, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" is the last documentation of Michael Jackson at work, capturing the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work. One of the best reviewed films of the year, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" has reached over $250 million in box office receipts worldwide. Randy Phillips, Kenny Ortega and Paul Gongaware are producers. Executive producers are John Branca and John McClain.
The film is being distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing. "Michael Jackson's This Is It" will be released by Sony Pictures Entertainment on DVD on Tuesday, January 26, 2010.
Source: MJFC / PR Newswire / Billie Jean
Luxury Furniture Pieces Ordered By Michael Jackson Will Go Under The Hammer. 15-01-'10
The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson was known for his queer sense of style and art. Apparently the star had commissioned Italian furniture maker Colombostile to deliver unique items for a London Mansion he was supposed to live in during the run of his "This Is It" tour. But the star unfortunately died before the furniture maker could deliver the goods. Now banking on the stars popularity after his death, Colombostile have returned the $700,000 back to Katherine Jackson and plan to auction the items off in the near future. Among the items commissioned was a $120,000 sofa (apparently Michael’s favorite) that measures 15 feet long and is inlaid with onyx stones. Michael had even planned to use this grand sofa as a prop on stage during the tour.
For his bedroom Michael had ordered a red velvet sofa whose pillows made out of the same fabric as Michael's costumes. There is also an $110,000 handmade desk that has been modeled after a desk given to King Louis XIV. The desk even features a secret compartment. Among the many chairs that the star had ordered is a unique chair that is covered in shells for his “Little Mermaid” themed room. Michael also bought one chair specifically for his friend Elizabeth Taylor, for whom he was designing a room in his London home. Other chair contains hand embroidered 24k gold and was modeled after furniture from Tsar Nicholas II's collection. All these unique luxurious furniture pieces depict the King of pops unique taste and are sure to fetch millions in auction.
Source: Billie Jean
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