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Michael Jackson 2010 Fanvention Announced For Aug. 26-29 In Indiana. 31-03-'10

Family and close friends of Michael Jackson are honoring him with a four-day “Fanvention” planned to coincide with what would have been the King of Pop's 52nd birthday.

The Fanvention will be August 26th through 29th at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville, just south of the singer's hometown of Gary, Indiana. Ticket packages went on sale Monday and include a four-night stay at the Radisson and range from $1,013 for a single person to $2,767 for a group of four. Event organizers expect 15,000 fans from all over the world to attend.

Michael Jackson’s niece, Genevieve Jackson, will perform with "The Triple Dose Band" led by Keith Jackson, a cousin of the singer. Jackson’s family and friends will be available for Q&As, autographs and photos. Events include a gala, dance party, tours of Jackson’s Gary home and loads of vendors selling memorabilia.

Ticket packages include admission to MJFanvention events, including a VIP gala and an exclusive concert "The Jacksons - The Next Generation." Day passes will be sold at a later date.

Source: mjfanvention.com / Billie Jean


MJ Fans Launch Aerial Attack On Doc Murray. 31-03-'10

Michael Jackson's most loyal fans are taking to the skies in order to send a message to Doc Murray -- and the plan is set to take flight the next time Murray is set to appear in court.

A group of fans have raised $1,250 to fly an airplane banner over the L.A. County Superior Courthouse between 1-2pm on April 5 ... when Dr. Murray is next scheduled to show his face.

The sign will read "We demand justice for Michael Jackson" -- and the group is so fired up about it, they've already sent out a press release with a Photoshopped image of what they think the scene will look like (see above).

The same group of fans are also raising money to buy Katherine Jackson a bouquet of 100 roses for additional support ... as well as a locket for Paris Jackson's birthday on April 3. Sorry if that ruined the surprise.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Conrad Murray - Michael Was Alive At UCLA. 30-03-'10

TMZ has learned doctors who worked on Michael Jackson at the UCLA Medical Center ran two EKGs on the singer, and at least one doctor who interpreted the results claims there was heart rhythmic activity both times.

Furthermore, sources tell TMZ Dr. Conrad Murray insists he was able to restart Jackson's heart at the singer's home before paramedics arrived and then maintained heart activity in the ambulance.

Dr. Murray's evaluation contradicts paramedics at the scene who wanted to take Jackson to the morgue, not UCLA, because they believed he was dead.

It also contradicts Joe Jackson's lawyer, Brian Oxman, who tells TMZ he believes Jackson was dead even before paramedics arrived at the house. Oxman says the weak pulse detected at UCLA was in reaction to resuscitation efforts.

We're told the criminal case is shaping up as a legal war between medical experts, who will be interpreting medical tests and charts in various ways -- always confusing for a jury.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Dad Ready For Revenge. 30-03-'10

As he sees it, Joe Jackson is an avenging angel.

"I want justice for Michael," the Jackson family patriarch tells E! News. "They think they can sweep this under the rug, but I want justice."

To that end, Jackson says that his attorney officially put Dr. Conrad Murray on notice.

The elder Jackson warned the doctor that he will be staring at the business end of a civil wrongful death lawsuit within 90 days.

Murray's already facing a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter in Michael's death. The physician has pleaded not guilty to overmedicating the star with the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Attorney Brian Oxman claims that Michael "had a heartbeat with resuscitation" when he arrived at the emergency room on the day of his death and more could have been done to save the pop star's life, which the attorney calls "tragic" and "horrible."

Oxman says that the complaint must be filed by June 25—the first anniversary of Michael's death—which is the reason they are moving forward with the case now.

He also says he will be checking in shortly with Murray's attorneys to follow up on his written notice, which he says they should be receiving today.

A spokeswoman for Murray's legal team declined to comment when reached this morning. "We have not received word yet regarding [Joe] Jackson's lawsuit, so we cannot comment on the details therein," rep Miranda Sevcik said.

Oxman says that ultimate more defendants could be added. "At this time, notice has only been sent to Conrad Murray. If, in the future, documents show that other doctors or entities were involved, that could change."

A rep for Katherine Jackson has not yet returned calls seeking comment.

Source: eonline.com / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Bodyguard Fired. 29-03-'10

TMZ has learned the bodyguard who says Dr. Conrad Murray asked him to help hide Propofol in Michael Jackson's house the day he died was fired from his job Friday by the Jackson family.

Alvarez had been working at the Jackson family compound in Encino since the singer died last June.

Alberto Alvarez is the bodyguard who called 911 from Jackson's house. Last week it was reported that Alvarez told LAPD detectives ... that before paramedics arrived on scene Dr. Murray asked him to put bottles of Propofol in a bag.

Alvarez -- who is sometimes referred to as Jackson's "logistics director" -- did not tell detectives about the alleged cover-up the day Jackson died, but rather two months later. The story about the alleged cover-up broke last Monday.

As for why Alvarez was fired, the Jackson family isn't talking.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


New Official Michael Jackson Bobblehead. 29-03-'10

Triumph International, Inc. under license from Bravado Merchandising have announced the release of a new Limited Edition and Officially Licensed Michael Jackson Bobblehead.

Each Bobblehead is genuinely handcrafted and painted and measures approximately 7 inches tall. The Bobblehead is part of a collectors series and will come with a certificate of authenticity.

Orders will ship in April 2010.

Source: MJFC / Triumph International, Inc. / Billie Jean


Detectives Found Propofol, Skin-Whitening Creams In MJ's Home. 28-03-'10

Newly unsealed search warrants obtained by ET reveal what detectives found while searching Michael Jackson's home after his June 25th death. The details follow:

Detectives searched the late King of Pop's home on June 29. Among the items they discovered were several vials of the powerful drug propofol (Jackson died of "acute Propofol intoxication," according to the coroner's report), as well as 19 tubes of hydroquinone and 18 tubes of Benoquin, both skin-lightening agents.

Two days earlier, Jackson's former personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray told authorities he'd left "his medical bag, including the medicines given to Jackson," in the late singer's bedroom foyer.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges related to Jackson's death.

Source: ET / Billie Jean


Team Jacko -- There Was NO Secret Wife! 27-03-'10

Bad news for the women claiming to be Michael Jackson's secret wives -- MJ's estate just filed legal papers declaring the King of Pop had no official queen when he kicked the bucket.

In the documents, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Jackson's lawyers state once and for all, "Michael Joseph Jackson did not have a surviving spouse. He was not married at the time of his death."

It's no coincidence the docs were filed now -- next week there are two separate hearings about "spousal property" -- presumably filed by women claiming to be Michael Jackson's widow.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Med Board Investigators -- Conrad Murray Lied. 27-03-'10

According to the complaint, on June 13, 2007 and again on June 19, 2009, Dr. Murray applied for renewal of his medical license. One of the questions: "Are you out of compliance with court ordered child support?" In both cases Dr. Murray "answered in the negative" -- meaning he said he did not owe any child support.

According to the Medical Board investigators, in June, 2007 Dr. Murray owed $7,255.86 and in June, 2009 he owed $10,131.05.

Bottom line -- investigators say Dr. Murray lied.

You'll recall Dr. Murray was in legal hot water over back child support last year, but dodged a bullet when he became current.

The complaint makes no mention of Michael Jackson's death.

Investigators are asking the Medical Board to "determine what sanctions it determines to impose for the violations ... committed by Respondent."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


LAPD: Dr. Conrad Murray's GF Holds Secrets. 27-03-'10

LAPD detectives were on the hunt for Dr. Conrad Murray's communications with his baby mama, Nicole Alvarez -- a woman cops believe knows a lot about Michael Jackson's death.

According to documents just released, detectives obtained a search warrant in November, 2009 -- 5 months after Jackson died. They searched a Gmail account belonging to Nicole Alvarez, the woman who had a child with Murray. She's the same woman Murray was staying with in Santa Monica up to the time Jackson died.

Cops wanted records from May, 2009 through September, 2009. So it's now clear -- detectives wanted to know what Murray had been saying to Alvarez for two months before and two months after the singer's death. Cops say in the warrant, "During the course of the investigation [the lead detective] also learned that Dr. Murray made numerous telephone calls to Nicole Alvarez leading up to and including the day Jackson died."

The affidavit mentions a "shipment" that Murray may have discussed with Alvarez. As TMZ first reported, cops believe Dr. Murray had propofol delivered from a Las Vegas pharmacy to Alvarez's Santa Monica apartment.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Friedman: Fanvention Press Conference Set For Monday. 26-03-'10

Roger Friedman posted the following today in his column, Showbiz 411:

Michael Jackson’s fake kid, Omer Bhatti, a cousin named Genevieve Jackson, and Katherine Jackson–via satellite link–are all going to converge on a press conference this Monday in suburban Chicago.

MJFanvention will be announced for August 29th, which would have been Michael’s 52nd birthday. I told you about this a few weeks ago. The convention is being put together by a company called Fluid Productions LLC, owned by a deejay from St. Croix who lives in Southern California.

The convention takes place in Merrillville, Indiana, which a press rep says isn’t far from Chicago.

Source: MJFC / Showbiz411.com / Billie Jean


California Seeks Tiny Tax Fee From Jackson Estate. 26-03-'10

Add the state of California to the list of those who claim Michael Jackson owes them money, but the debt isn't exactly going to close the state's budget gap.

California's tax board filed a creditor's claim Wednesday against the late King of Pop's estate for $1,647. The state claims the money is due because it had to request that Jackson file a state income tax form for the 2007 tax year.

Jackson's estate has been hit with dozens of creditor's claims ranging from a few thousand dollars to millions in allegedly unpaid debts.

The late singer's estate evaluates each claim before deciding whether to pay it. Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Jackson's estate, says he hasn't seen California's claim but that if the money is owed, it'll get paid.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Michael’s Ambulance Reports. 26-03-'10

The News Of The World (UK Tabloid) has published the written reports of the paramedics who arrived at Michael’s home at 12.22 p.m. on June 25th.

They found that Michael had no vital life signs at all, and after two rounds of drugs to try to revive him, they declared that he was dead. Conrad Murray did not accept their decision and insisted on a further round of drugs. This attempt also failed and they then took Michael to UCLA Medical Center, leaving his home at 13.07 p.m. arriving at the Center at 13.13 p.m.

The report shows that the paramedics asked Murray about the drugs he had administered to Michael, and he said that he had given Lorazepam and fluids to hydrate him, making no mention of Propofol. Murray later told the police of a list of drugs he had used to try to help Michael overcome his acute insomnia, including 2.5mgs of Propofol, probably administered through an intravenous drip in Michael’s left leg. The paramedics had measured the oxygen in Michael’s blood. Normal readings range from 93% to 100%. Michael’s reading was zero. He had no blood pressure or pulse, was not breathing and his pupils were dilated. The team also tried twice to start his heart with Epinephrine and Atropine through the IV in his leg, but that too failed. They tried to pump air into his lungs to help him breath, to no effect. Their final effort was to pump 50mgs of Sodium Bicarbonate into Michael’s jugular vein to help restart his heart. This too failed.

A medical expert who has studied the reports has indicated that in his opinion, Michael was indeed dead before the paramedics arrived and all their attempts at resuscitation failed.

The coroner’s autopsy report cited the cause of death as “Acute Propofol Intoxication,” with enough of that drug in his body as would be used for major surgery. Various amounts of Propofol were found in Michael’s home, some empty containers and some were unused.

The next Court appearance for Murray will be April 5th.

Source: News Of The World / Billie Jean


Joe Jackson Gets Wrongful Death Ball Rolling. 24-03-'10

TMZ has learned Joe Jackson will send Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyer a notice next week that he will be filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the doc for the death of Michael Jackson.

According to California law, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice, wrongful death suit must give 90 days notice before filing the case in court.

Brian Oxman, Joe Jackson's lawyer, tells TMZ the suit will ask punitive damages, economic support, loss of companionship and loss of consortium (deprivation of family relationship). It will seek an unspecified amount of money damages.

Oxman says the case will be filed in L.A. County Superior Court. So far, only Joe has signed up, but Oxman says he will add any family member who wants in as a plaintiff.

UPDATE: Ed Chernoff, Dr. Murray's lawyer, just reacted to Oxman's move by saying, "That's like throwing a bucket of water on a man drowning in the ocean." Translation -- good luck collecting anything.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Katherine Jackson Demands Upgraded Charge For Murray. 24-03-'10

Michael Jackson's mother Katherine is furious over new allegations that her son's doctor was more worried about hiding the drugs he was giving the King of Pop than saving his life.

Katherine Jackson, 79, is demanding an upgraded charge of second degree murder, her lawyer told the Daily News, after a report claiming Dr. Conrad Murray interrupted CPR to conceal drug evidence from paramedics.

"Mrs. Jackson never doubted that this man murdered her son, and these new revelations, if true, mean we need additional charges to fit the severity of his crimes," attorney Adam Streisand said.

"Second degree murder requires malice aforethought, which can be implied by the conduct of the defendant," he said yesterday. "The actions alleged suggest that Dr. Murray abandoned his duties as a physician or an ordinary human being to save himself rather than his patient."

Murray, 57, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He admits he gave the singer the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid but denies doing anything that killed him. The coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide caused by an overdose of propofol and other sedatives.

The damning claims came in a witness statement by Alberto Alvarez, the Jackson employee who rushed to Murray's aid shortly after 12:17 p.m. on June 25 and seeing the king of pop lying on a bed with his arms outstretched and his eyes and mouth open.

Source: MJFC / NY Daily News / Billie Jean


War Brewing Over MJ's 'Thriller' Musical. 23-03-'10

Michael Jackson is coming to Broadway, whether his estate likes it or not ... at least that's what the most famous Broadway family says.

Nederlander Presentations has filed a creditor's claim, but it's not asking for money. Nederlander wants the probate judge to tell the executors they have no choice but to honor a contract Michael Jackson inked in 2008 for a musical stage play featuring music from "Thriller" and "Off the Wall."

The production hit a major road bump last year, when John Landis sued Michael Jackson, claiming MJ couldn't make a deal for the musical without his sign off. Landis directed "Thriller." That suit is pending.

Howard Weitzman, legal guru for the MJ estate, tells TMZ, "I've seen their creditor's claim. I don't agree with their request."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Eyewitness: Dr. Conrad Murray Hid The Propofol. 23-03-'10

TMZ has learned the man who called 911 at Michael Jackson's house the day he died told police Dr. Conrad Murray hid bottles of Propofol from family members and authorities.

The witness -- bodyguard Alberto Alvarez -- told cops he saw Dr. Murray running around the room hiding Propofol bottles in a closet near the room where the doctor administered the drug to Jackson.

Authorities found bottles of the anesthetic in what looks like a secret compartment area of the closet.

A source close to Dr. Murray told TMZ Alvarez made the statement two months after Jackson's death ... in the office of his lawyer, Carl Douglas ... when Alvarez was questioned again by cops. Douglas, by the way, is also a lawyer for the Jackson family.

The source says Alvarez' statement contradicts what he told cops the day of Jackson's death. The source says Alvarez never told cops at the scene about hiding Propofol.

The source notes ... and we have confirmed ... Dr. Murray told cops two days after Jackson's death where the Propofol bottles could be found.

As we first reported, one of the bottles of Propofol in the closet was empty with a large tear in the rubber stopper. Law enforcement sources believe Dr. Murray may have connected the large bottle of Propofol directly into the IV and a massive amount of the drug, they believe entered Jackson's system and killed him.

UPDATE: We're also told Alvarez told cops during the interview in Douglas' office that he saw a milky white substance in an IV bag. As we first reported the IV bag in the room contained no traces of Propofol.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


New ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone. 21-03-'10

New ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone App and Contest With Over $6,000 in Prizes Launched Today on Apple iTunes App Store.

Mobile Music Studio Remixing App Features Five Jackson 5 Favorites:
ABC, Dancing Machine, I Want You Back, Mama's Pearl and The Love You Save.

AUSTIN, Texas, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- SXSW Music Conference -- Easy as 1-2-3 – Starting today, Jackson 5 fans can remix five multi-platinum Jackson 5 songs and win over $6,000 in prizes. Universal Music Enterprises and EMI Publishing teamed up with ZOOZ Mobile, Inc., developers of the first mobile music studio, to launch ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users. ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix – the second in a series of custom branded ZOOZbeat music apps – features five Jackson 5 signature songs that helped sell more than 250 million albums worldwide in 40 years: "Dancing Machine," "ABC," "I Want You Back," "Mama's Pearl" and "The Love You Save." ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix transforms the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch into a mobile music studio, enabling anyone – with or without music training – to remix and re-create their own tracks with beats and samples from pop sensation Jackson 5 featuring Michael Jackson and brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon.

"The Jackson 5 international phenomenon started with their first four major label singles on Motown all reaching #1 on the pop charts and the next three years every single they released made the Billboard Top 20," said ZOOZ Mobile CEO & President Scott Geller. "Now, the Jackson 5 will help change how fans experience the Jackson 5 music; by enabling their fans to actively participate in remixing the Jackson 5 music. The new ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix app gives a whole new generation of fans a way to express themselves musically and connect with the Jackson 5 in a personal, interactive music experience."

"The Jackson 5's phenomenal catalog of songs remains as relevant today as it ever was, and we're delighted that fans will now have this exciting opportunity to enjoy their music and interact with it in a wholly new way," commented Eric Shaw, VP of Music Resources at EMI Music Publishing.

The ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone app works by shaking, tilting or tapping the iPhone screen to create and combine Michael Jackson's amazing isolated vocals with funky rhythmic tracks, and soulful harmonies that can then be uploaded to the web for listening on ZOOZbeat.com and sharing with friends via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix is accessible to the visually impaired using Apple's VoiceOver feature (available on the iPhone 3GS).

"ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix iPhone app is also the next generation of ZOOZbeat," says ZOOZ Mobile Founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Gil Weinberg. "As easy as ZOOZbeat 4.0 already is for anyone to remix music regardless of musical ability, ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix has new ways to make learning how to remix music easier. First, we added a step by step tutorial to show different ways the Jackson 5 beats can be remixed, we also made the music recreation experience more intuitive and richer – including adding more loops and longer samples from the original Jackson 5 songs as well as reverb, filters and other music remixing tools."

The ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix app ($4.99) is available for sale today, March 19th, in the Apple iTunes App Store. Click here to view the video.

Over $6,000 in prizes available to contest winners.

ZOOZbeat Musicians will have until May 1st to submit their contest entries, and voting will be open until June 1st on the ZOOZbeat.com website. Winners will be announced by July 1st, 2010. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a check for $1,500, a Jackson 5 "hoodie" sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag, and a premium 3-CD Michael Jackson Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection, three (3) Second Prize Winners will receive $250 checks and a Jackson 5 "hoodie" sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag; and thirty (30) Honorable Mention Prize Winners will receive a Jackson 5 "hoodie" sweatshirt, t-shirt and tote bag. Cash prizes courtesy of ZOOZ Mobile, apparel prizes courtesy of Swagger Like Us, and Michael Jackson CD collection courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises. Please see www.zoozbeat.com for contest rules and eligibility.

Featuring Five Jackson 5 Favorites:

"I Want You Back" – sold 6+ million copies worldwide; the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It was number one on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 single chart for the week ending January 31, 1970. Motown Records historian Don Waller called the song, "probably the best pop record every made."
"ABC" – knocked The Beatles song, "Let It Be," out of the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. It was on the Billboard Magazine Soul chart for four weeks. "ABC" and "I Want You Back" are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
"Dancing Machine" – sold 3+ million records and received a Grammy nomination in 1975 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The song popularized the physically complicated robot dance technique (devised by Charles Washington) and immortalized by Michael Jackson.
"Mama's Pearl" – it was one of six consecutive top 5 singles for the Jackson 5; reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
"The Love You Save" – held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 single chart for two weeks in 1970; replacing "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles.
Additional Jackson 5 Songs – Later in 2010, Universal Music Enterprises and ZOOZ Mobile will offer additional Jackson 5 songs within the ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix in-App Store and at ZOOZbeat.com.

ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix is the second strategic alliance between ZOOZ Mobile and a major entertainment brand since it launched the new ZOOZbeat app in October 2009. ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 follows the December release of ZOOZbeat Sprite®: the first iPhone app to be offered through Sprite's ongoing 'Under the Cap' promotion where people enter Sprite cap codes via text message to unlock Artist beats from Dallas Austin, Khayree, Alex Christie, Sy Scott, Novel, Sheed, Laron Brant and Spree Wilson.

ZOOZbeat 4.0 features Artist beats from: Too $hort, Easy Star All-Stars, Kutiman, Richard Devine, Street Lotto, and Cato. ZOOZ Mobile is in negotiations with major and indie labels to provide beats from more artists as well as exploring other potential ZOOZbeat custom branded apps.

Various versions of ZOOZbeat have been downloaded more than 1.4 million times since its initial launch on the Apple iTunes App Store. For more information about ZOOZbeat Jackson 5 Remix, visit www.ZOOZbeat.com.

Source: PR Newswire / Billie Jean


Dr. Conrad Murray Withheld Info About Propofol. 21-03-'10

A paramedic report in the Michael Jackson case reportedly says Dr. Conrad Murray withheld a key fact from the EMTs -- that he had administered Propofol to the singer.

The report, published by News of the World, states what TMZ has previously reported -- that paramedics felt Jackson was dead when they got to the singer's home but Dr. Murray, as the senior medical professional present, demanded that Jackson be taken to the hospital.

According to the report, Jackson had flatlined by the time paramedics arrived at the house, and he had no blood pressure, pulse or breath, and his pupils were dilated.

According to the report, Dr. Murray told paramedics Jackson was exhausted because he couldn't fall asleep and he had given Jackson Lorazepam -- a sedative. Omitting the fact that Dr. Murray gave Jackson Propofol is no doubt something the paramedics should have known about and will almost certainly be used by prosecutors in the trial.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Janet: Michael's Death Affected My Acting. 20-03-'10

Janet Jackson filmed a new movie right after the passing of her brother Michael Jackson -- and you can see real emotion on screen.

During an interview with Jay Leno last night (March 18), Janet said she had no problem dredging up the strong emotions for a breakdown scene in "Why Did I Get Married Too" -- because her brother had just passed.

You have to dig deep, but there was some stuff that was right there for me. Stuff that had just happened with my brother passing and also relationships. Experiencing exactly that."

The movie will be released in the US on April 2.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Debbie Rowe/Michael Jackson Estate Legal Fight. 19-03-'10

The stage is set for a dogfight between Debbie Rowe and the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Rowe's lawyer, Eric George, filed legal papers asking the judge in the estate case to order the estate to pay Debbie Rowe's lawyer more than $175,000 for legal services in connection with the appointment of a guardian for Michael Jackson's three kids.

In the end, Katherine Jackson became guardian. But in his legal docs, George claims estate lawyer Howard Weitzman promised to "reimburse [George's firm] on Ms. Rowe's behalf." George says in his documents that MJ's kids benefited when she reached an agreement with Katherine on guardianship and visitation, and that's why he asked Weitzman to have the estate foot his legal bill.

But Howard Weitzman begs to differ, telling TMZ, "I had discussions with Mr. George about his request that the estate pay his fees on behalf of Debbie Rowe, but no agreement was ever reached."

George is asking for a total of $177,975. If the estate isn't ordered to pay ... George's only recourse is Debbie.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Landis Says Thriller-3D Coming Soon. 18-03-'10

Director John Landis‘ was asked during his appearance at the BFI in London if the one-hour documentary “The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller” would ever be released on DVD or Blu-ray. CHUD reports that the director confirmed that the doc, along with the remastered longform video, would be coming soon. Apparently the lawsuits and royalty issues that had been holding up such a release have been resolved following the death of the pop star.

Landis also dropped the new that the owners of Jackson’s estate want to convert the music video into 3D. Landis is apparently fine with the idea even though he might not be a fan of the technology.

No word on if the video would be somehow released theatrically or made available for the upcoming surge of 3D televisions.

Source: slashfilm.com / Billie Jean


Sony Bets MJ Fans Won't Stop 'Til They Get Enough. 18-03-'10

The man who spearheaded the record-breaking deal in which Michael Jackson's estate will get up to $250 million in the next seven years said Tuesday that Sony Music Entertainment bought a treasure trove of new Jackson music, some of it recorded "quite recently," some in collaboration with other artists.

John Branca, who negotiated the deal along with co-executor John McClain and team of attorneys, was clearly elated about the deal. He said in an interview with The Associated Press that this is only the first of more deals that will bring Jackson's music to his fans and introduce it to a world of potential new fans.

The remarkable thing is to make the biggest deal in history in a market with declining record sales. It's a pretty big thing," Branca said. "It's a testament to Michael's incredible talent and his music. It's really an honor to be part of this."

He added that "there's more to come" but declined to elaborate. He also would not discuss the finances or specific details of the deal.

Branca is the lawyer who met the superstar singer when both were young men and is seen as the architect of Jackson's financial empire. They worked together for 30 years.

He and John McClain, a lifelong Jackson friend and music producer, are co-administrators of the Jackson estate. The estate has benefited from their deal to release the movie, "This is It," compiled from footage of rehearsals for a series of concerts that was in preparation when Jackson died last June at age 50.

Branca said he is convinced that Jackson would be delighted with the results of their negotiations.

"John McClain said it best," Branca said. "He said that Michael probably wouldn't have wanted 'This is It' released because he was such a perfectionist and it was rehearsal footage. But if he had seen that we could get $60 million for his mother and children and it became the biggest concert movie of all time, he would have said, 'Thank you very much.'"

He said he has not heard all of the 60 plus songs discovered by McClain but he said what he has heard is "classic Michael Jackson." Among the songs are two recordings that were never released that he made for charity with other stars. There are also songs he recorded for his famous albums that were never included in the final product.

"Michael had a tendency to over-record," Branca said. "He would record 20, 30, 40 songs for one album. These are the vintage songs."

The recent material was recorded within the last three years. The old and the new are likely to be combined on some of the albums to come, he said.

Among the songs in Jackson's vault is a collaboration with Paul Anka on a song called, "Love Never Felt So Good," which Branca described as "quite good."

Beyond the recorded material, he said Jackson left more songs that he composed but that don't have his voice on them. They would not have the same value, he said.

When he died, Jackson left recorded music including studio sessions from some of his most-popular albums and recently recorded songs made with the likes of Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am.

Branca noted that Jackson did not release a huge number of albums in his lifetime and his last one was nine years ago. He said the legacy of unreleased material is far more than what was left by Elvis Presley. He said Jackson's fan base is also larger, stretching around the globe.

"He is one of the most recognized figures in the world, along with Muhammad Ali," said Branca. He noted that two-thirds of record and movie ticket sales for "This is It" were outside the United States.

Under the deal officially announced Tuesday, Sony has guaranteed Jackson's estate $200 million for 10 projects over the next seven years. If certain conditions are met, the payment could rise to $250 million.

Since Jackson's death, McClain has combed through boxes of tapes and recordings Jackson left behind. McClain and Branca each stand to make 5 cents on every new dollar of revenue brought into the estate.

Even if only half of the 60 songs discovered by McClain are commercially viable, that would be enough for two or three albums. And some songs could also be packaged with already-heard material. That likely wouldn't detract from a new album's value. It might even add to it, because fans have been flocking to known commodities in music.

For example, 14 remastered albums from The Beatles catalog sold 13 million copies worldwide in the four months after they were released last September. Bob Seger's "Greatest Hits," an album that came out in 1994, was the best-selling catalog album of the last decade, with 9 million albums sold to date.

Jackson's own two-disc set that accompanied the concert rehearsal footage in "This Is It" has sold 5 million copies, and it had only one new song. That was the title song, which Jackson wrote with Anka around the time the "Thriller" album was becoming a smash hit.

With the album selling for $10 to $14, the revenue generated from sales is already well beyond the tens of millions of dollars needed to cover the per-project guarantees Sony is promising.

"He always said his children would never have anything to worry about because he had volumes of songs to release," said Raymone Bain, who began representing Jackson during his child molestation trial in 2005, in an interview Tuesday.

Bain, who is also suing the estate for fees, said Jackson told her he had "thousands of recordings" that he wanted to aim at a youthful audience, and spent nights during the trial writing new tunes as therapy.

"He wanted to prove to a new demographic group that he was still a major player in the industry," she said. "That's why he added Akon and Fergie and will.i.am to the 25th anniversary recording of `Thriller.'"

Releases from well-established artists have other advantages. An older fan base is more accustomed to buying whole albums than are younger fans familiar with free song-swapping online. A long sales history also makes it easier to evaluate what catalogs are worth.

"It's unusual for a deal like that not to make money for a distributor," said Lawrence Kenswil, an entertainment attorney at Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles and former executive with Universal Music Group. "It's a safer bet than betting on the future of unknown artists."

Speculation on exactly what unreleased songs exist (and how good they are) has been rampant since the King of Pop's death. Many who collaborated with Jackson in his later years have discussed their work with him, including will.i.am and Akon, who is a Senegalese R&B singer.

Whatever the unreleased material comprises, the Sony deal suggested that repurposing Jackson material across several formats — from DVDs to video games — will be of particular importance.

Source: MJFC / AP / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Film Gone Too Soon Coming To The Bigscreen. 18-03-'10

Michael Jackson Author-filmmaker Ian Halperin ("Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson") is bringing his 88-minute documentary
Gone Too Soon to the bigscreen, which is culled from 300 hours of footage shot inside Michael Jackson's camp.

According to Variety, the film is set for a theatrical run in Canada and France, via Transit Medias, on June 25 -- the first anniversary of Jackson's death.

Footage in Gone Too Soon includes video and audio of Jackson shot before his death. It also includes interviews with Jackson's personal manager, chef, spiritual adviser, hairstylist, trainer, protective agent and attorney.

According to the filmmakers, Jackson family members were not involved but are aware of the film. Family attorney Brian Oxman is among the interviewees.

Despite its depiction of the more scandalous aspects of Jackson's life, Halperin called the movie "a balanced tribute to the King of Pop."

"This is the film Michael and his fans deserve," Halperin said.

Source: movieweb / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Sister: We Miss Him So Much. 18-03-'10

From her seat in the Beverly Hilton International ballroom, Rebbie Jackson watched a big screen quietly with her brother Randy as the Oscars paid tribute to members of the Hollywood community who passed away in 2009. Then the image of her brother Michael appeared.

"When I saw his picture – that was hard, it brought tears," she told PEOPLE earlier this month at the Children Uniting Nations fundraiser where Rebbie, 59, made a rare public appearance with her brother Randy, 48, to accept the 2010 Angel Award honoring her late brother’s support of children’s causes. "We miss him so much," she told the crowd, "and we know you do too."

Backstage after receiving the award, Rebbie said she took a moment to compose herself. "I got very emotional afterward," she says. "But I was very pleased and happy to be a part of this – Michael was very passionate about children and supporting their causes. Boy he would have loved this," she says, smiling. "I'm grateful and thankful to all these people."

It's been nine months since Jackson's death. Asked how else they planned on preserving her brother’s legacy, Rebbie says that's not the focus.

"We're just trying to be a family and get ourselves through all of it – it has been so much,” says Rebbie. "I'm just trying to stay positive. But other than that, Michael's kids are fine."

Source: people.com / Billie Jean


Jaafar Jackson -- Gunnin' For His Lil Bro. 17-03-'10

Katherine Jackson and her people insist the incident involving Jermaine Jackson's son Jaafar and the stun gun was an isolated event -- but TMZ has obtained a home movie that shows Jaafar is no stranger to guns.

The scene -- which appears to have been shot several months ago -- begins with Jaafar (left) barging into Jermajesty's room, gun drawn, and then ordering his little brother to get on the ground. Jaafar pushes Jermajesty to the ground, pretends to pistol-whip him, handcuffs him and then gives the youngster an incomplete version of his Miranda rights.

Jaafar then tells his brother, "Don't move or I'll bust your head open."

Jaafar then cocks the gun, points it to Jermajesty's head, pulls the trigger and you hear the click. Jermajesty plays dead and Jaafar drags him by the leg out of the room.

TMZ decided not to post the video.

As for the stun gun incident, sources tell TMZ Jaafar pointed the weapon at two of Michael Jackson's kids -- Blanket and Prince -- but the family insists the two kids weren't even in the same room.

Our sources say the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services are still reviewing the stun gun incident.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Estate Inks Record, Record Deal. 16-03-'10

TMZ has confirmed the Michael Jackson estate has signed the biggest deal ever in music -- worth up to $250 million with a guarantee of $200 million.

The estate made the deal with Sony Music Entertainment. According to the Associated Press, the contract is for 10 projects over seven years.

One album will debut in November, which contains never-before released recordings. We're told Jackson left enough material for at least three albums of fresh material.

A source tells TMZ the royalty rate on foreign sales is the key to the deal -- and 2/3 of the sales of MJ records traditionally have been outside the U.S.

And we're told Sony gets a two-year extension for the right to distribute the Michael Jackson catalog -- to 2017.

The deal was brokered by John Branca and John McClain, executors of the MJ estate.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Murray Repremanded By California Medical Board. 15-03-'11

The California medical board has repremanded Dr. Conrad Murray for failing to notify Nevada medical board officials that he had fallen behind in his child support payments, echoing a previous reprimand issued against the doctor by the Nevada board last year.

Murray failed to notify the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners that his child support payments were not up to date as required when he renewed his medical license in 2007 and 2009, according to the California board’s public letter of reprimand.

That letter, which was filed Friday and made public on Monday, noted that Murray’s actions constituted a violation of California law concerning “unprofessional conduct,” - grounds for a reprimand. A public reprimand is a lesser form of discipline that doctors can negotiate for minor violations in an attempt to avoid formal charges.

Murray’s Houston-based attorney, Charles Peckham, said Murray agreed to the letter of reprimand after having negotiations with attorneys representing the medical board.

Peckham said that at the time Murray submitted his Nevada license renewals, he “was in the middle of negotiating a child support settlement” and “didn’t realize he was out of compliance with child support.”

Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with Michael Jackson’s death, is still licensed in California, Nevada and Texas, although he faces discipline and restrictions. Murray’s California medical license, issued in 1991, was suspended by a Los Angeles County judge in January until the end of his criminal case. Texas officials restricted his medical license in April, Nevada officials in June, to bar him from administering propofol and other heavy sedatives.

Murray’s trial is scheduled to begin March 24 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Source: latimes / Billie Jean


The Story Behind 'Hollywood Tonight'. 14-03-'11

"Hollywood Tonight" is the second single to be released from Jackson's posthumous album, MICHAEL ("Behind the Mask" is the alternate single for several countries, including the United States).

The song has a long and winding history. Jackson first put down a sketch of the lyrics in 1999 while staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Soon after, he began working out the music with longtime friend and collaborator, Brad Buxer (who co-wrote the song). The song traveled with them from Los Angeles to New York, Miami to Neverland, during the early Invincible sessions. Jackson and Buxer were pumping out some outstanding material around this time, including songs like "Beautiful Girl," "The Way You Love Me," "Speechless," "The Lost Children," "Shut Up and Dance" (a great dance track Jackson and Buxer worked on with Michael Prince and Eric Kirkland with echoes of Stevie Wonder and MJ circa Bad which, unfortunately, doesn't have complete vocals) and "I Was the Loser" (a nice, melodic mid-tempo tune about lost love that is mostly finished), among others. A couple of years earlier Jackson and Buxer had also worked on artistic standouts like "Morphine" and "In the Back."

Jackson loved parts of "Hollywood" -- the opening Gregorian chant (his idea), the "westbound, greyhound" harmonies, the whistling in the outro -- but stopped working on it once producer Rodney Jerkins came on board for Invincible.

Over the next ten years, however, he returned to the track numerous times. For the bass line, he was searching for something similar to "Billie Jean," but distinct. "Do smooth muted bass on 'Hollywood,'" he indicated in one note. His early demos feature two layered bass lines (Michael Prince added the "Billie Jean"-esque kick and snare in the last mix MJ requested). Jackson and Brad Buxer continued tinkering with it in Las Vegas in 2007. For a while, he liked the idea of ending with the sound of a bus leaving or arriving. Yet he ultimately decided to conclude with the whistling, since the juxtaposition was a bit awkward.

In October 2008, Jackson, now living in Los Angeles, asked recording engineer Michael Prince to put the latest mix of "Hollywood" on CD so he could listen to it and see what might be improved. Sadly, he never got around to working on it again.

The new single of "Hollywood" is truer to this last version than the album cut. Of course, Jackson had intended to keep working on it, which is why his estate and Sony originally brought in two of Jackson's close collaborators, Theron Feemster (aka Neff-U) and Teddy Riley, to try to finish it. Feemster had the first crack and came up with some solid mixes; yet Sony didn't feel it was quite right and subsequently gave Teddy Riley a shot. Riley's production, which retained much of Michael and Brad's demo (including the intro and outro), elements of Feemster's mix (including the fantastically funky guitar riff and horns), and added a bit more punch, became the album version.

"Hollywood Tonight," then, has gone through many incarnations: the several different demos Jackson recorded with Brad Buxer and Michael Prince, from 1999 to 2008; the two versions Theron Feemster worked on following Jackson's death (one of which is reportedly quite impressive); the polished album version completed by Teddy Riley; and, of course, the new single. All are necessarily approximations to what Jackson would have ultimately put out in finished form. That's the nature of posthumous releases. They will always be imperfect and they will always generate fierce debate.

But for most music lovers, we will take whatever new Michael Jackson we can get, whether demos, new mixes or remixes. "Hollywood Tonight" could be gathering dust in a vault; instead, it has people dancing in the streets.

Source: huffingtonpost / Billie Jean


Neverland Lost. A Portrait Of Michael Jackson. 10-05-'10

Prior to Michael Jackson’s death, Henry Leutwyler photographed crates of artifacts removed from Jackson’s Neverland ranch in California. The resulting series of photographs document the inner turmoil of the public person who chose to model his private life on Peter Pan and the Lost Boys – children who never wanted to grow up. Leutwyler’s unemotional portraits are almost too intimate to behold, but when one digs beneath the surface, what emerges is the profound truth of a star’s sequestered reality. Leutwyler’s photographs unearth the “Lost Boy” forced to leave Neverland, and now these still life's are as close as anyone will ever get to what Jackson once had, and ultimately left behind.

“I have an urge to investigate people I have never met” says Swiss-born Henry Leutwyler. With twenty-five years experience creating portraits that document the famous and powerful, he has turned his gaze on the belongings that surround the individual. A self-taught youth who began his career by photographing “cheese and chocolates”, Leutwyler is a visual archaeologist. His work drills deep, allowing the objects to reveal more than the subjects themselves.

Click here to pre order.

Source: steidlville / Billie Jean

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