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Dr.Murray Sentencing: Jacksons Family Statement. 29-11-'11

The following statement has been released by Michael Jackson’s Family following the sentencing of Dr.Murray:

There is no way to adequately describe the loss of our beloved father, son, brother and friend. We still look at each other in disbelief. Is it really possible that he is gone? As Michael’s parents, we could never have imagined that we would live to witness his passing. It is simply against the natural order of things. As his brothers and sisters, we will never be able to hold, laugh or perform again with our brother Michael. And as his children, we will grow up without a father, our best friend, our playmate and our dad.

“We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do here today to bring Michael back. But we will keep the love in our hearts that Michael embodied throughout his life. His passion was for unifying the world through the gift of his artistry. We respectfully request that you impose a sentence that reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. As we all know from this tragedy, doing so can have devastating results. The Bible reminds us that men cannot do justice, they can only seek justice. That is all that we ask as a family. And that is all that we can ask for here.

Source: Michael Jackson’s Family / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Doctor Dr.Murray Sentenced 4 Years. 29-11-'11

Dr Conrad Murray has been sentenced to a maximum four years in jail and denied probation for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson.

Murray sat stoically with his hands crossed as Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor criticised him for a “horrific violation of trust” in caring for the US pop superstar.

The judge called Murray’s actions “money for medicine madness that is simply not acceptable to me”.

As he was led away from the Los Angeles court, the defendant blew a kiss to supporters.

Source: Sky News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson New “Immortal” Album Sells Around 40,000 Copies. 29-11-'11

After all the hoopla about Michael Jackson’s Cirque du Soleil show, you;d think the CD soundtrack would have sold better in its first week. But “Immortal,” an album of remixes taken from the Cirque show, sold just around 40,000 copies last week according to estimates. It finished at number 18 for the week (final numbers will be in later today), far below the new number 1 album from Nickelback (120,000) and chart stalwart Adele, who has two CDs in the top 50. For Jackson, selling 21,000 copies is a sad echo of his halcyon days in the 80s with “Thriller,” “Bad,” and “Dangerous.” But the botching of last winter’s “Michael” album–which had no marketing and a whisper campaign that killed it–didn’t help. “Immortal” had almost no pre-release publicity. It just sort of appeared. much the way “Michael” did. By contrast, the Beatles’ “LOVE” CD–which came from their Cirque du Soleil show–arrived with a greatly thought out plan and lots of explanation for how it was put together.

Interestingly, what’s happened is that “Immortal” is Jackson music “reimagined” by producer Kevin Antunes. Neither Jackson’s long time engineer, Bruce Swedien, nor his famed producer, Quincy Jones, had anything to do with the recording. In the case of the Beatles, it was all George Martin, their highly respected producer, and his son Giles, who reworked the recordings. The result: a gigantic yawn from Michael Jackson fans, who certainly number more than 40,000.

Source: showbiz411 / Billie Jean


Global Live Events Has Gone Into Administration Owing Thousands Of Pounds. 29-11-'11

The firm that staged last month’s Michael Jackson tribute concert in the Millennium Stadium has gone into administration owing thousands of pounds. Bristol-registered Global Events LLP organised the event, which was boycotted by some members of the Jackson family and which saw a number of announced acts pulling out before the night. A spokesman for London-based insolvency practitioners RSM Tenon confirmed yesterday that Global Events had gone into administration, adding: “We are currently conducting our initial review of the business.”

Global Events was only set up in March by film producers Michael Henry and Chris Hunt. Documents filed at Companies House show that both men left the partnership on October 8th, the day the concert took place. Yesterday Mr Henry, who runs a film financing company called Limelight Film Finance from an office in London, said: “All enquiries about Global Events should be made to the administrators.”

David Donovan, Wales officer of the broadcasting union Bectu, said: “A number of my members are owed money by the company. We can’t do much to help them because the business has gone into administration.” A spokesman for the Millennium Stadium said: “We are not among the creditors. We were paid up-front by the company at the time of booking.”

Source: Wales Online / Billie Jean


Concert Footage Fails To Sell At Auction. 28-11-'11

Previously unseen concert footage of Michael Jackson's 1993 "Dangerous" tour, which had been expected to go for around 6 or 7 million dollars (4-5 million pounds) failed to sell at auction in Britain on Saturday.

"At this stage it has not sold," said a spokesman for The Fame Bureau auctioneers, who specialize in pop memorabilia. "We are still talking to people, but online it did not sell."

The auction house said it was forced to remove a brief clip of the video from its website before the online auction began after Jackson's record label made a "copyright claim."

The fact that a potential buyer may not be able to use the film for commercial purposes could have seriously dampened interest in the tape given the hefty asking price, but the spokesman played down the copyright issue saying, "I don't think that was a problem at all." He added that any serious potential buyer would be fully aware of the issue.

Nearly two hours long, the footage was shot by Jackson's own production crew and meant to be an intimate portrait of Jackson on tour. However he was not happy with the finished product and gave the only copy to his driver, who is now trying to sell it.

The video was made during Jackson's "Dangerous" tour in 1993 at a stop in Argentina.

Source: MJFC / abs-cbnnews / Billie Jean


Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of Dangerous. 26-11-'11

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s eighth studio album Dangerous, released November 26, 1991 on Epic Records. It became his second to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, where it spent the next four consecutive weeks. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide. Dangerous won one Grammy for Best Engineered Album – Non Classical by Bruce Swedien and Teddy Riley, and is the most successful new jack swing album of all time.

It was Michael’s fastest-selling album ever in the United States with seven million shipped in under two months. This broke the sales record for Bad, which had also shipped seven million copies in 1987, but in four months. Dangerous debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with 326,500 copies sold in its first week. It held the position for four weeks. Michael promoted the album with a high-profile performance at the Super Bowl and an interview with Oprah Winfrey, but it did not return to the number 1 slot. However, it returned to the Top Ten after Michael received the Grammy Legend Award at the 1993 ceremony. Dangerous spent 117 weeks in the Billboard 200, thirty more than Bad. The RIAA certified Dangerous seven times platinum (seven million copies).

Source: Billie Jean


Conrad Murray Case D.A. Wants Doc To Pay More Than $100 MILLION!!! 24-11-'11

Prosecutors in the Conrad Murray manslaughter case are asking Judge Michael Pastor to order the doc to pay Michael Jackson's children more than $100 million for their loss.

According to new court docs filed by the D.A., Michael Jackson's kids are "entitled to wages or profits lost due to injury incurred by the victim."

Prosecutors say MJ's 3 kids are victims under the law, and are entitled to restitution from Dr. Murray ... which include wages, lost profits and funeral expenses. The D.A. cites a letter from the MJ Estate, estimating Michael would have made $100 million in revenue from the "This Is It" tour.

As we first reported, the D.A. is also seeking the maximum punishment -- 4 years in State Prison. The D.A. says they are seeking the max because Murray was "risking Mr. Jackson's life every night" by administering Propofol. And the D.A. says, MJ was a "particularly vulnerable victim." And the D.A. says, Murray lied and covered-up his crime.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Prosecutors Seek Maximum Sentence For Murray. 24-11-'11

Prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to sentence Conrad Murray to the maximum four years in prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction in Michael Jackson's 2009 death while his defense attorneys sought to convince the judge to sentence their client to probation.

The opposing sentencing memos were filed in advance of Murray's upcoming sentencing hearing on Tuesday. He has been in jail since he was convicted Nov. 7 of causing Jackson's death.

Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil wrote that Murray has shown no remorse for Jackson's death and has continued to place the blame on others, including Jackson himself. They cited a series of media interviews with Murray that they submitted to Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor on a DVD.

In one excerpt, Murray can be seen stating, "I don't feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong."

"Finally, the defendant consistently blames the victim for his own death," the prosecution brief reads, "even going so far as to characterize himself as being 'entrapped' by the victim and as someone who suffered a 'betrayal' at the hands of the victim."

In their memo, prosecutors wrote, "Instead of utilizing his medical knowledge and training to provide Mr. Jackson with proper medical care, the defendant acted as an employee and as a drug dealer and completely corrupted the trust necessary in a proper doctor-patient relationship."

Defense attorney Nareg Gourjian, who cited letters of praise from Murray's former patients, described Murray as grief-stricken and said he would never stop punishing himself over Jackson's loss.

"In effect, he will be serving a form of life sentence. However, the offense was not willful nor intended," Gourjian wrote.

The defense said Murray is in a prison of self-punishment and should receive probation.

Legal experts have said that because of overcrowding in California prisons, Murray could spend as little as a few months behind bars, regardless of what sentence he receives later this month.

California adopted a new law in October that sends low-risk prison inmates to county jails, and in turn officials who run Los Angeles county jails have been releasing inmates early because of a lack of space.

"It will be very difficult to achieve an appropriate sentence of incarceration for Dr. Conrad Murray," Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, whose office prosecuted the case, told reporters earlier this month.

In addition to asking for the maximum 4-year sentance, prosecutors attached to their motion a statement of monetary losses because of Jackson's death exceeding $100 million suggesting that Murray should be ordered to make "appropriate restitution" to Jackson's children.

Murray will be sentenced on Nov. 29

Source: MJFC / AP / reuters / Billie Jean


Jackson's Furniture Features Secret. 23-11-'11

Several items from the upcoming Michael Jackson death house auction -- including a mirror from MJ's inner sanctum -- contain messages the public was never meant to see ... and now, TMZ has obtained pictures of the secret inscriptions.

The mirror reads "Train, perfection March April Full Out" ... and according to a rep for Julien's Auctions -- the company behind the sale -- Jackson wrote the motivational message to himself in the months leading up to his "This Is It" tour.

The chalkboard on the right contains a heartbreaking message from one of Michael's children -- "I love Daddy. Smile, it's for free!" Both the mirror and the chalkboard have remained undisturbed since the singer's death.

Clearly, neither message was intended for public viewing -- but we're told the items are hitting the auction block on December 17 ... as is.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


No Thrills Yet At Michael Jackson Museum Site. 23-11-'11

Questions swirl about the future of the multi-million dollar plan to honor Michael Jackson with a museum in the city where he grew up.

In the two years since his death, plans have been in the works for a museum complex to honor Michael Jackson in Gary, Indiana.

Amid missed deadlines and more promises, the site that has been set aside is still an empty field.

"I think that it can happen... I just want to see it happen for the people of Gary," said Gary Mayor Rudy Clay.

It has been Clay's big push: to bring fans from all over the world to the hometown of the Jackson family. In the summer of 2010, it seemed like everything was off to a good start.

"We are coming back, and we're bringing something back," said Joe Jackson.

Since then, the Jackson family created both a foundation and a company - dedicated to bringing the Michael Jackson Museum to Gary.

"They have assured us that they definitely want the City of Gary to be their final destination point," said Gary Economic Development Director Joel Rodriguez. "It could be Gary's Navy Pier."

Today, the proposed site is empty. Instead of the Michael Jackson Museum, there's an abandoned stadium, empty fields, and a city golf course.

For this 186-acre site, project organizers still have big dreams.

"This is a destination, worldwide destination that people will come [to] from all over the world," said Simon Sahouri of the Jackson Development and Marketing Corporation.

Sahouri works for the Jackson family, leading the effort to create the Michael Jackson Museum complex.

Now, in addition to the museum, he is planning for a performing arts center, a light rail station, and an amusement park.

Sahouri also wants to create student dorms for the nearby branch of Indiana University and carve out a piece of the land for a potential land-based casino.

"The first phase, most probably [is] going to cost about $300 million," said Sahouri.

So far, no donations to the project have been reported on the foundation's federal tax forms.

Sahouri says he has interested investors, but would not disclose any names, saying that despite not actually raising any money, he has promises.

While he expects a new "preliminary master plan" in four to six months, he's still unclear as to how long it will actually take to build the site.

"I don't think it's going to be ten years or fifteen years, and I would like to see it while Mr. and Mrs. Jackson are still alive," said Sahouri.

Gary mayor-elect Karen Freeman-Wilson ran on a specific plan to revitalize Gary that she called "The Blueprint." It did not include the Michael Jackson site.

She says that while she is open to a way to honor the "King of Pop," she would need to see a feasible financial proposal to move forward with the project.

"To expend resources that are already limited, I would have to have a compelling reason, and as we sit here now, I don't have that reason," said Freeman-Wilson. "Quite frankly, in order for the city to continue to hold land, they have to really, really deliver on what they are promising."

The Jackson family missed deadlines to set up a not-for-profit corporation that city officials originally wanted to donate the land to, so the development is now being managed by the family's for-profit corporation.

Freeman-Wilson says if the project falls through, her administration will find other uses for the land.

Source: abclocal.go / Billie Jean


Moscow To Host Michael Jackson Photo Exhibit From Henry Leutwyler. 23-11-'11

An exhibition featuring pictures of Michael’s personal items from his Neverland ranch will open on Wednesday at an art gallery in Moscow. The organizers of the show at the Pobeda (Victory) art gallery said on Monday that the series of photographs, created by New York-based photographer Henry Leutwyler, document the inner turmoil of a person, who has reached the musical Olympus, but lost his family and friends on the way.

“For the first time the Russian viewers will have the opportunity to see the other side of the glamorous shows and videos that cost millions of dollars to produce,” the gallery said in a press release.

“Breaking the media myth, Leutwyler creates a portrait of a human being,” the document said.

Leutwyler, an internationally acclaimed and award winning photographer, took pictures of artifacts removed from the Neverland ranch in California for his Neverland Lost series prior to Michael’s untimely death more than two years ago. “Michael Jackson sacrificed his childhood to the calling of his musical gift. Neverland was the pyramid he constructed to a lost childhood,” Leutwyler wrote after his work on the series had been completed.

Source: Rianovosti / Billie Jean


Jackson Brothers Settle Suit Over MJ Jackets. 22-11-'11

Three of Michael Jackson’s brothers settled a lawsuit Monday that they filed last week against a company they alleged “duped” them in a deal to sell replicas of jackets worn by the pop icon.

The endorsement of the “Thriller” and “Beat It” jackets was the first involving Michael Jackson’s oldest son, Prince, who posed for pictures with his uncles as they autographed the limited-edition jackets last month.

“Marlon, Tito and I created this project as a tribute to our brother Michael and his fans worldwide, and we are very happy that there has been a resolution,” Jackie Jackson said Monday. The brothers’ announcement didn’t specify the terms of the settlement.

The brothers filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging the jacket’s marketer bounced a check to them for travel expenses and had failed to pay each of the three brothers the $100,000 each for signing the 1,000 leather jackets.

“We spent the last week making sure that everyone is in agreement with this settlement,” Eric Farber, the attorney for the Jackson brothers, said in announcing the settlement. The Jacksons are looking forward to “a successful partnership” in the future with the company, he said.

Steeve Bohbot, owner of Connected Internationals Sales, said he was “relieved to clear up this misunderstanding.” “We have such an immense respect for the Jackson brothers and Michael’s legacy and are pleased to have resolved this situation,” he said.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Fan Fest Showcases Never-Before-Seen Memorabilia. 22-11-'11

Exhibit Open December 3-14 Alongside December Las Vegas Debut of “THE IMMORTAL World Tour”

LAS VEGAS – Walk through the storied gates of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, then view his personal book collection in a study filled with his actual furniture.

Peek inside the interior of the 1999 Rolls-Royce Seraph limousine Michael designed himself with 24-karat gold embellishments, then check out the 10-foot-tall statue created for the HIStory tour. Get the feel of Michael's music videos by wandering through the spaceship set used in "Scream," sit in the actual throne from the Egyptian-themed set of “Remember the Time,” then stand before the hostile tank from the live concert performance of "Earth Song."

Never has there been an artist like Michael Jackson and never has there been a more intimate and personal glimpse into the career and life of the King of Pop than what will be assembled during the first-ever Estate-authorized Michael Jackson Fan Fest™. Scheduled for December 3-14 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, the event coincides with the kick off of the extended Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour™ stop in Las Vegas during December. The Michael Jackson Fan Fest will only be in Las Vegas and will not travel to any other tour stop.

"We are thrilled to offer Michael’s fans an opportunity to experience his life and career up close through the Fan Fest while they also enjoy Cirque du Soleil's spectacular tribute to his creativity as an artist in Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour,” said the Executors of the Michael Jackson Estate, John Branca and John McClain.

"Michael Jackson Fan Fest will add an unparalleled addition to Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour's extended three-week run at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino," says Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil. "Fan Fest gives fans the opportunity to experience Michael Jackson as a man, iconic performer and immortalized legend."

Michael Jackson Fan Fest is designed to transport guests on a journey through Michael Jackson's life, beginning with his rise to stardom through his pop super stardom and beyond as he is immortalized through fan art, photos and Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. Throughout the experience, fans will have access to rare memorabilia and have the opportunity to take their own photos in recreated sets of the historic music videos and to play the Michael Jackson The Experience video game with other fans.

A wide variety of other personal items will be on display from both his career and Neverland Ranch. Featured career memorabilia will include costumes, the Fantasy glove collection from the 1980s, award statues, tickets, the famed rocket plane from the “Leave Me Alone” video, a castle displayed in the living room of Neverland and others.
Each session of Michael Jackson Fan Fest will last for four hours and will allow visitors time enjoy without overlapping each performance of THE IMMORTAL World Tour shows December 3-14 in Mandalay Bay's Bayside Exhibit Halls. Fan Fest will be open from 12-4pm and 5-9pm on December 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and from 2-6pm on December 6, 7, 13, and 14. Fan Fest ticket prices start at $35 plus applicable fees for general admission; $75 for VIP tickets. VIP tickets include priority entrance into the event and all activities within the event, a commemorative lanyard and access to the VIP-only lounge.
You can choose below from packages that bundle Fan Fest with tickets to see The IMMORTAL or purchase Fan Fest tickets only. The prices below include all handling fees.

PLEASE NOTE - ALL TICKETS PURCHASED AFTER NOVEMBER 9, 2011 ARE WILL-CALL ONLY. Reserved seats for The IMMORTAL are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. However, please click on the "view seats" link to see where the seats for that package are located.

Source: michaeljacksonfanfest.com / Billie Jean


Kevin Antunes Talks About The Release Of The ‘Immortal’ Album. 22-11-'11

Epic Records, which is selling a “Deluxe” two-disc, 100-minute version and a less-expensive 78-minute, single-disc album, says fans will “experience his music in an entirely new way.” The “Deluxe” version is the soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, which began a North American tour last month. The 22 tracks include parts of 42 of Michael’s greatest hits, but “with a little extra or a little less than the songs you grew up with,” said Kevin Antunes, who has the title of “music designer” for the Cirque project.

Antunes worked for a year with Cirque show writer/director Jamie King to choose from among 40 years of Michael Jackson master recordings to design the “soundscape” for the live action acrobatics. The challenge was shortening the songs to fit the show, he said. It’s “a reimagining of Jackson’s music” put together for the Cirque du Soleil show, but Epic Records executives realized that the soundtrack would be a “powerhouse of a CD,” Antunes said.

The Cirque du Soleil performance demanded “a lot more energy, more of a dance groove,” than the previously-released Michael Jackson songs, said Antunes, who has also worked with Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Madonna. Michael’s vocals were rebalanced to make him more dominant in the mix, compared to the original tracks where Michael often blended his voice with the instruments. “Sometimes his hits were so big you forget about his vocal range, diction, his breathing,” Antunes said.

Source: Kevin Antunes / Billie Jean


The Making Of The Michael Jackson ‘Immortal’ Album. 22-11-'11

Music video by Michael Jackson performing Immortal EPK. (C) 2011 MJJ Productions

 

Source: MJJ Productions / Billie Jean


Immortal Excusive: Immortal In Its Entirety. 21-11-'11

NPR have a world exclusive with a first play of the entire new album of Michael Jackson’s Immortal.

Michael Jackson: Immortal adds another dimension to the Jackson omnibus. He’s the third pop star to earn his own Cirque du Soleil production — after The Beatles and Elvis Presley — but he probably should have been the first. No contemporary pop star identified more with the flash and magic of old-time entertainment, which Cirque has so artfully brought into the age of new technologies.

The final product forms a brightly colored backdrop specifically designed to suit Cirque’s candy-coated acid-trip style.

Click here

Source: Billie Jean


My Friend Michael: A Review. 21-11-'11

Michael Jackson was a human being, just like the rest of us. An amazing man who lead a remarkable life to be sure – but a man, just the same. That is the prevailing notion one walks away with after reading Frank Cascio's My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship With an Extraordinary Man. Cascio attempts to introduce us to the Michael Jackson that he knew and loved for over twenty years, the man that was to him a friend, a brother, a parent, a teacher, a mentor and ultimately a boss. Simply put, to Frank Cascio, Michael Jackson was family and this book chronicles the building of that family and how their experiences together both shaped and stressed that family dynamic over the years. Reading this book is a sort of mixed bag of blessings and curses: there were times that brought genuine smiles of delight as well as out right laughter at Cascio's descriptions of their antics over the years. But there were also moments of utter disappointment at Cascio's decision to include stories that were perhaps better left untold to the world.

The best thing about My Friend Michael is Cascio's openness, his ability to pour out his heart in describing the Jackson that he knew. Cascio manages to paint the most charming picture of Jackson as this amazing father figure who was like a third parent to him growing up and all the many life lessons he taught him and continued to teach him even into adulthood. He makes Jackson sound like the perfect parent, born to be a natural father. He defends his friend fiercely against rumors of inappropriate behavior and sets the record straight on other issues that dogged Michael Jackson in the press for years. One can easily feel the love, respect, admiration and loyalty that Cascio felt, and still feels, for this incredible man.

But the book's greatest strength is perhaps also its greatest weakness. Cascio is, at times too open and one can't help wondering why he would be so candid now, after literally a lifetime of protecting Jackson's privacy. Just as there are moments of real joy to be found in reading My Friend Michael, there are also the occasional moments of disappointment as Cascio appears to fall into an all-too-familiar trap that so many authors do when writing about Michael Jackson. However, even though there are momentary lapses into the realm of sensationalism, they are tempered with the obvious respect and loyalty of someone who loved Jackson deeply. One doesn't get the feeling that this is just another 'cash in,' but rather an honest attempt to show the real Michael Jackson as the wonderful, talented, intelligent, flawed human being that he was.

There are a few surprises here, stories and anecdotes about Jackson that the public has never heard before. Many that are sure to delight Jackson fans. There are also new spins on familiar stories as Cascio offers his take, giving us the details from his point of view.

Oftentimes, family is not the group of people you were born into but the group of people you surround yourself with, and what My Friend Michael really offers is a view of Jackson that we've never really had before. A more complete picture of Michael the man, Michael the human being. What it was like to live in his world and be part of his family. Despite its character flaws, Cascio's book is an enjoyable read, a wonderful book that introduces the world to the Michael Jackson that fans knew well – the kind-hearted, fun-loving, prankster that loved children and the purity and innocence of Neverland. A man, like any other, who had his hopes and dreams, his doubts and frustrations.

That said... be aware that there are parts that are a bit uncomfortable at times. But it is this reviewer's opinion that the good outweighs the bad with this one.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Pharrell Says Michael Jackson Wanted A “Superthug” Record. 20-11-'11

During Steve Stoute’s Tanning of America interview with Pharrell, the producer spoke in detail about the Neptunes’ origins and influence, working with Justin Timberlake, and losing out on working with Michael Jackson.

Apparently, he was contacted by MJ’s manager to produce some songs for the star…but when he didn’t hear back, he gave the tracks to Justin Timberlake!:

And I’ll never forget Michael’s manager saying, ‘Yo, Michael wants some “Superthug!’ And I was like, ‘What?’ I remember being so baffled and so crushed, ’cause he still is my idol…and I just had those records sitting around…as soon as I played [Justin] those records we just immediately started recording.

Next thing he knows, MJ is on the phone singing those very songs to him:

Funny story is, when we were working on it, Michael called … he just called me and he was eating popcorn in my ear over the phone and he was like, ‘Oh, so you’re working with Justin, how’s it going?’ And you know, it was Michael’s voice…it wasn’t the high pitched voice that everyone else knew. And he’s just eating the popcorn or whatever. And I remember just thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish Michael could hear these songs’…I’ll never forget the day that me and Michael met up. And he sang me those songs, sounding like Justin. And he said, ‘You should’ve gave those songs to me.’

Source: missinfo.tv / Billie Jean


Katherine Jackson LIVID Over Unpaid Workers At MJ Tribute Concert. 17-11-'11

Katherine Jackson is upset she had anything to do with the recent Michael Jackson Tribute concert -- telling TMZ, Global Live better take care of the workers they allegedly failed to pay.

Scores of crew members recently went on Twitter to slam Global Live -- the concert producers -- and insist the company stiffed them after they busted their asses for the event.

Katherine's lawyer tells us, "After Mrs. Jackson did all she could to help promote and make this a great event for all of Michael's fans, she is extremely displeased to hear that concert promoters have allegedly failed to pay their bills."

The lawyer adds, "Katherine is hoping that they step up and take care of their obligations." So far no word back from Global Live.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Frank Cascio: My Friend Michael – New Book Out Now. 16-11-'11

Today Frank Cascio publishes his extraordinary book, “My Friend Michael,” about his life with Michael Jackson, from Harper Collins. The publisher has shared with this site exclusively Cascio reading the prologue of the book. (Official publication date is today.)

Michael Jackson fans have almost as much trouble with the Cascio family as the Jacksons and co-executor John McClain. Dominic Cascio, his wife Connie, and their kids became Jackson’s second family some twenty years ago. Michael loved the Cascios.
As far as I can tell, the family never took advantage of him. They housed him when he was homeless. They accepted him. When Jackson needed people around him who didn’t want anything, he went to the Cascios. Jackson fans are making a mistake, I think, when they don’t appreciate that the Cascios are Michael’s true heirs. He spent vastly more time than with anyone else starting in the early 90s.

Go to Amazon

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Life May Be Turned Into A Movie. 16-11-'11

The later singer's estate executor John Branca has had discussions with 'Ghostbusters' director Ivan Reitman and 'Up in the Air' producer Tom Pollock regarding the possibility of making a film about his life, now the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray - who was found guilty of his involuntary manslaughter earlier this month - is over.

Pollock confirmed the talks about the picture, which are in the early stages, Variety reports.

It is believed the film would not cover all of Michael's life - which came to an abrupt end in June 2009 as a result of an overdose of Propofol - but instead focus on certain aspects and times, meaning some more controversial periods may be left out.

Michael himself was not afraid to try out acting during his career.

He took a starring role as the Scarecrow alongside Diana Ross in 'Wizard of Oz' reimagining 'The Wiz' - which was nominated for four Oscars - and appeared as a guest in 'Men in Black 2' and 'The Simpsons'.

Source: bigpondnews / Billie Jean


Listen To IMMORTAL Preview! 16-11-'11

The new album, IMMORTAL, which will be released on November 21st, listen to an exclusive preview of the song "Dancing Machine/Blame it on the Boggie" on Billboard.com

The album, which serves as a sort of sound track to the Cirque du Soleil show, will be released as both a deluxe double disc and single disc and features newly discovered outtakes, remixes and mash-ups of some of Michael's greatest hits.

"I want to make sure that the fans, his family and everyone that was close to him know this is a Michael Jackson record," Kevin Antunes told Billboard last month. Antunes, the show's musical engineer, intricately "re-imagined" Jackson's recordings for Cirque du Soleil.

Click here to listen!

Source: MJFC / Billboard / Billie Jean


Prince Promoting The J5 Collection. 15-11-'11

Michael’s oldest son, Prince, takes another step into the public eye this week with his first commercial endorsement. Prince Jackson, 14, revealed in an interview that while he can’t sing or dance like his father, he wants to be a television and movie actor. He has previously said he wanted to be a director.

Katherine Jackson’s lawyer said steps are being taken to “make sure that going forward everything with the children is done by the book.” Prince isn’t doing it for the money, but as a favor for his uncles, the four surviving original members of the Jackson 5 group that featured his father. None of the marketing materials for the jackets includes Prince’s name or image, but he did join Jackie, Marlon and Tito Jackson recently when they autographed 1,000 replicas of Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Thriller leather jackets. Jermaine Jackson also signed the jackets, which go on sale Thursday through Amazon.com.

The J5 Collection, which is based on the styles of the Jackson 5, will introduce Michael Jackson’s style “to a new generation,” Prince Jackson told CNN. He might wear them to “dress up parties,” he said. “It’s not casual, but it’s nice to wear to events.”

Prince said he’s hoping to travel with Jackie, Tito and Marlon Jackson when they perform shows in Japan next month. The plan is to have Prince introduce his uncles on stage, Marlon Jackson said. Perry Sanders, the lawyer for Katherine Jackson, said Prince has indicated he is determined to make his own money, even though he will inherit many millions from his father’s Estate. Taking care to make the right decisions about what deals to accept and what to reject is crucial to protecting his brand as the eldest son of the King of Pop, he said.

His uncles asked Prince to support the Thriller and Beat It jacket sales, a line that is authorized by the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate. ”These limited quantity collector’s items are exact replicas of the iconic originals and were created by the original designer of the jackets,” according to a news release. Michael Jackson debuted the red Beat It and red and black Thriller jackets, designed by Marc Laurent, in 1983. The Jackson brothers signed 500 of each jacket, which will sell for $2,350.

Policy statement : Michael Jackson always tried to give his children a private life. Since his death this has changed under the supervision of his family. Because we want to respect Michael’s wishes also after him passing away we will only publish pictures of his children when they go public voluntary. We will never publish pictures of them made in secret and/or by paparazzi.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Sony-EMI Deal Brings J5 Songs Back To MJ. 15-11-'11

Back in the late 1990s, Michael Jackson had dreams of buying the publishing rights to the songs he recorded as a child back when he and his brothers sang as the Jackson 5.

The songs are all part of Motown’s Jobete catalog, which was then owned by the legendary Berry Gordy and his sister. But despite serious interest from Jackson, who had always been "like a son" to Gordy, the music mogul sold a 50% stake of the catalog to EMI for $132 million in 1997.

Well now it seems the King of Pop has achieved this dream posthumously when on Friday, a Sony-led team of investors purchased EMI’s entire publishing catalog for $2.2 billion.

The group includes billionaire David Geffen, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners LP, and the
Estate of Michael Jackson. The Estate's stake is nested within Sony’s 38% share of EMI, according to sources close to the negotiations.

The move was not just sentimental, but also good business. Michael Jackson’s estate still co-owns the separate Sony/ATV publishing catalog in a joint venture with Sony. Sony/ATV, which is headed by former EMI chief Martin Bandier, will administer the newly-acquired EMI assets on behalf of the investors. And since Sony/ATV will soon begin receiving administrative fees from the EMI catalog’s new owners, its own value will likely venture north of $2 billion as well.

Source: MJFC / forbes / Billie Jean


Unseen Concert Footage To Be Auctioned Off. 14-11-'11

A previously unseen concert film made at the height of Michael Jackson's career is going to be auctioned off in London later this month. The footage, which was recorded during a Dangerous concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1993, is expected to fetch upwards of 4 million pounds.

The footage was produced using state-of-the-art equipment but, after it was completed, the project was scrapped when Jackson decided he wasn't happy with the results.

The sole copy of the footage was reportedly then given by Jackson to his driver as a gift. The Brazilian chauffeur, who wishes to remain anonymous, has driven many famous names including Margaret Thatcher, Axl Rose, Madonna and George Bush Sr. But he was working for Jackson in 1993 when the film was made. He says Jackson gave him the VHS tape as "a reward or a bonus" for his transportation services.

Since then, he has kept his ownership of the recording secret until after Jackson passed away in 2009. Then he posted a small clip of the recording on YouTube but was immediately stopped by Sony and Jackson's Estate lawyers, both of whom claimed exclusive rights to the footage.

The clip was removed from YouTube as a result but, U.S. law dictates the right of possession of a gift, giving the owner the right to sell or transfer to third parties, but not to distribute copies.

The two-hour film contains not just concert footage but also behind-the-scenes images as well.

The film is expected to sell for far more than its £4m reserve when it goes under the hammer on November 26. Ted Owen, CEO of Fame Bureau auctioneers, where the tape will be sold, said, "I'm very excited that this tape is finally going to be seen because of its quality, the amount of cameras used and the sheer closeness you are to the performance when watching it."

Source: MJFC / independent.co.uk / Billie Jean


Quincy Jones Shares His Thoughts On Murray Verdict. 14-11-'11

Two days after Dr Conrad Murray, the personal physician of Michael Jackson, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the star’s record producer and mentor has spoken out against the result.

“It’s a joke, people of Michael’s stature get whatever they want, it just goes with the territory, there were 40 other doctors lined up to do the same thing, whatever it is. I don’t know why a guy would kill someone who’s giving him US$150,000 a month.”

Source: The National / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Experience At Vegas. 13-11-'11

The Michael Jackson Experience, a limited-engagement attraction featuring three Michael Jackson wax figures, opened today at Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas inside the Venetian. This display is up now through Dec. 27, 2011.

The Michael Jackson Experience highlights various stages of Jackson’s career, including the “Jackson 5″ years, “Invincible” era and “This Is It.” The three figures collectively represent more than $1 million in wax sculpting.

Source: vegas / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Former Manager Says Propofol Use Began In 1999. 13-11-'11

Michael Jackson took Propofol as early as 1999, a former manager claims in a new book -- and says Jackson was late to his 30th anniversary concerts because he was drugged up.

Frank Cascio, a former personal assistant to Jackson who eventually became his close friend and manager, writes that he first noticed Jackson taking Demerol in 1993 during his "Dangerous" tour. He says Jackson was first introduced to the drug in 1984, after Jackson burned his head during a Pepsi commercial shoot.

In the book, an advanced copy of which was obtained by the AP, Cascio claims Jackson took Propofol in 1999 after a stage accident in Munich.

Cascio says he spoke to Jackson's siblings about his drug use in 2001 and they tried to approach Jackson about it -- but MJ "simply pushed them away."

Writing about Jackson's death, Cascio says Michael "died in his endless quest to attain some inner peace."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Conrad Murray Tries To Kill Michael Jackson Again In “Documentary”. 12-11-'11

So MSNBC on Friday night broadcast a really pathetic, sort of disgracefully one sided documentary about Michael Jackson’s murderer, Dr. Conrad Murray. Obviously “Michael Jackson and the Doctor” was filmed with the hope that Murray would be acquitted. They were wrong. Creepy “journalist” Gerald Posner, who was bounced from Tina Brown’s Daily Beast after it was discovered he was guilty of plagiarism, seems to be behind the whole thing. He not only has a credit but appears on camera with Murray riding home from court. That should tell you everything: stay away from this one hour.

What did we learn? That Murray found god about three weeks after Michael died. That his lawyers fought among themselves. Lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff, who came with Murray from Houston, actually got kicked out of the house where he was staying–with Beverly Hills co counsel Michael Flanagan–after the two of them fell out over a witness’s examination. Their on camera blow out reminded me of something from “The Real World.” The lawyers for Murray are also seen eating a lot.

Murray himself blames Michael for this whole situation, accusing him of “betrayal.” The one hour report backfires. Murray simply appears self-serving as he tries to lay the blame for Jackson’s death on concert promoter AEG Live, his lawyers are incompetent, and MSNBC should be ashamed of itself. Good thing the jury was smart. The judge should sentence Murray, his lawyers, and MSNBC to a long term.

Source: showbiz411 / Billie Jean


Queen & Michael Jackson Songs To Be Released 2012. 12-11-'11

Queen are set to release a series of duets that their former frontman Freddie Mercury recorded with Michael Jackson next year.

Guitarist Brian May has revealed that Michael Jackson’s estate have given the band permission to release a series of duets which they recorded with the late singer during the 1980s.

He told the Evening Standard: “Michael used to come and see us when we were on tour in the States. He and Freddie became close friends, close enough to record a couple of tracks together at Michael’s house, tracks which have never seen the light of day.”

Asked when they will come out, May replied: “(They’ll be ready) in the next year. We’ve been talking to Jackson’s estate and they’re happy.”

Queen have previously announced plans to release a new album of old demos featuring Mercury, with May revealing that he had been going through the band’s old material with drummer Roger Taylor to compile a selection of unreleased tracks for a forthcoming LP. It is unknown whether the Jackson duets will be released as part of this or not.

Source: NME / Billie Jean

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