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Home / News Archive / News April 2012

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Sony Sends 15 million Songs To Cloud To Close iTunes Gap, Including Michael’s Songs. 29-04-'12

Sony Corp. will put songs by Michael Jackson and many other artists online in Japan through its streaming music service. Sony said it will introduce Music Unlimited, a cloud-based catalog of 15 million songs, in its home market by the end of December after rolling it out in 16 other countries first. The company hopes flat fees, unlimited listens and accessibility through mobile and gaming devices will help close the gap with iTunes, which started offering downloads in Japan in 2005.

Music Unlimited’s late arrival in the world’s second- biggest music market will serve as a test of new Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai’s ability to bring Sony (6758)’s different units closer together. Hirai, who started in the music division, is trying to turn a profit after four years of losses and has said that integrating the company’s hardware and software offerings as “One Sony” is key to that.

Sony introduced its online music service under the name Qriocity in the U.K. and Ireland in December 2010. Renamed in August 2011, it has boosted its catalog to 15 million songs released by Sony’s own music units — which include Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Bruce Springsteen — and others including Universal Music Group, the world’s largest recorded music company, and Warner Music Group.

Music Unlimited lets users stream songs via Web-connected Bravia televisions, some Walkman models, PlayStation game players, personal computers and Android-based mobile phones. The service was expanded to the PlayStation Vita in March after being enabled on Sony Tablets and other Android-based tablets in October. By contrast, iTunes users can buy music and store it on PCs or portable devices for listening without an Internet connection.

Source: Boomberg Business Week / Billie Jean


GoonRock Wants To Work On Will.I.Am's MJ Tracks. 28-04-'12

Lmfao dj/producer GoonRock says he will be calling on old school friendships if Will.I.Am ever decides to release the tracks he recorded with Michael Jackson in the final years of the superstar's life, because he has always dreamed of working with the King of Pop.

He and the Black Eyed Peas star went to the same Los Angeles junior high school and and he's hoping his old pal calls him if her ever reconsiders releasing the Jackson sessions.

Will.I.Am still insists the songs he recorded with the King of Pop will only be released if Jackson's mother Katherine asks him to put them out - and GoonRock wants to be there when it happens.

He told WENN, "That would be amazing. Michael Jackson had such a big influence on me, and me and RedFoo, all we ever talked about was Michael Jackson growing up. He got to go to all the concerts and he brought me back an autograph when I was in sixth grade. That would be a dream come true."

Source: Contactmusic / Billie Jean


Jacksons To Record New Album. 27-04-'12

As reported earlier, the Jackson brothers are gearing up for a summer tour which they will begin later this year in June. Now comes word of a new album following that.

Michael Jackson's brothers, Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon Jackson will hit the road for the Unity Tour in June, and Jackie Jackson says he and his siblings will head into the studio later this year.

Speaking to Billboard.com, Jackie said, "That's what we gotta do - right after the tour, we're gonna go back into the studio and start recording some new music. I can't wait. [It's gonna be] a little bit of today, and also a return to our sound. We're gonna keep it simple."

Source: MJFC / Contactmusic / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Surgical Mask Being Auctioned. 26-04-'12

A black surgical mask that Michael Jackson is said to have worn the night before he died is now on an auction block with bids already surpassing $220,000.

According to Nate D. Sanders Auctions, which is handling the sale, Jackson wore the mask (pictured above) on June 24, 2009 while rehearsing for his planned “This Is It” tour. It would be his last ever rehearsal.

The auction house claims the mask, made of silk fabric and personally designed by the King of Pop, contains visible traces of MJ’s stage make-up along with a strand of his black hair.

One of MJ’s former bodyguards was in possession of the mask, and swears by its authenticity.
The auction ends April 30th -- and bidding has already reached $21,190. The auction house estimates the mask will sell for $50,000-$150,000.

Source: eurweb / Billie Jean


Liza Minnelli Explains How She Copes With Losing Friends Like Michael And Whitney. 26-04-'12

Liza Minnelli explains how she copes with losing so many longtime friends like Michael Jackson
and Whitney Houston. Plus, she discusses her new album, “Live at the Winter Garden,” which is in stores now,
but was actually recorded in January of 1974.

 

Source: Access Hollywood / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Estate On Dick Clark. 22-04-'12

Dick Clark was one of the world’s greatest showman and one of pop music’s most influential ambassadors. He made music history many times over. Bandstand brought black entertainers and their music into living rooms across America for the first time, and in Atlanta in 1958, he put on one of the first racially integrated pop music concerts, while the National Guard looked on. Michael and Dick had a very special relationship, and we think of him fondly and with gratitude.

Source: John Branca, John McClain, Co-Executors, The Estate of Michael Jackson / Billie Jean


'America's Oldest Teen' Dick Clark Dies. 19-04-'12

Broadcast icon Dick Clark, the creator and longtime host of "American Bandstand," has died, publicist Paul Shefrin said. He was 82.

Clark suffered a heart attack while at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica for an outpatient procedure, his publicist said. "Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful."

His "American Bandstand" work, which he began as a local TV show in Philadelphia in 1956, earned him the nickname "America's oldest living teenager." The show was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally a year later.

When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, Clark recalled working with him since he was a child, adding, "of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched."

Dick Clark rest in peace and thank you for contributing to Michael’s legacy.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


PRESS RELEASE: Ola “Thriller” Ray Takes On The Estate. 19-04-'12

After nearly 30 years of royalty struggles, Ola Ray, the woman who famously appeared alongside Michael Jackson in the immensely popular “Thriller” music video, finally heads to a jury trial with the Jackson estate on April 30, 2012 alleging breach of contract (Case No. SC102953). Since co-starring alongside Michael Jackson in “Thriller,” which many would call the most revered music video of all time, the former Playboy Playmate has fought an uphill battle to collect royalties that she claims have not been paid over the past decades. After finally going the distance with her entertainment lawyer, Ray’s long ordeal is coming to a close.

According to court documents, Ray’s original employment contract for “Thriller” allegedly entitles her to a specified percentage of the revenue derived from the video and related merchandise; however, even though the short film has reportedly made millions, Ray asserts the Jackson estate has not paid her regular royalties since the 1980s.
Despite her ongoing litigation battles with the Jackson estate, Ray claims she has never held any ill feelings towards the late pop star personally.
After decades of legal struggles with Jackson and his estate, Ray seems optimistic that the ordeal is nearing an end.

“I am very thankful that Michael cast me as his girlfriend in ‘Thriller’ and I cherish the memories. I just want what’s owed to me,” insists Ray. “I am looking forward to having my day in court and putting this matter behind me very soon.”

Source: prweb / Billie Jean


Jackie Talks About Possible MJ Hologram. 19-04-'12

As reported yesterday, the Internet is abuzz with rumors that a Michael Jackson hologram - much like the jaw-droppingly amazing one of rapper Tupac Shakur that performed at Coachella on Sunday night - could be in the works. Possibly for the permanent IIMMORTAL show that will open in Las Vegas next year. Now the King of Pop's brother, Jackie, is hinting that such a hologram could join the Jackson brothers this summer for their Unity Tour.

Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon Jackson announced a couple of weeks ago that they are joining together for Unity Tour 2012, a 27-city jaunt that will kick off June 18 in Louisville. It marks the first time they've toured together since 1984's Victory Tour.

"I just wish Michael was here with us, but I'm sure his spirit will be in the house," Jackie said. Speaking to E! Online's Mark Malkin, he continued, "It could have Michael ... absolutely. Wouldn't that be wonderful? As a matter of fact, we had that idea two years ago for Michael's Cirque du Soleil show."

Jackie said a Michael hologram could also be part of a bigger tour they're planning for next year after they release a new album with their recently reunited record label, Motown.

Of the Unity Tour, Jackie said he and his brothers are still hammering out the set list. "There are so many songs," Jackie said. "That's the hardest part because we want to include all the favorites and not leave anything out. We're going to sing some of Michael's stuff, too. We're going to honor him on the stage. He'd want us to do our thing to the best of our ability."

Source: MJFC / eonline / Billie Jean


US Government To Return MJ’s Bad Glove. 18-04-'12

Barack Obama is on the verge of losing possession of a white crystal-covered glove worn by Michael Jackson on the Bad tour.

In October, the Obama administration took hold of some $71 million in seized assets from the son of an African dictator. Among the yachts, cars, jets and a $30 million mansion in Malibu, the items included $1.8 million worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia, attained when Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, went on a celebrity memorabilia splurge inside the U.S.

The U.S. government had alleged that the Michael Jackson glove and Nguema’s other property was used to mask the source of his criminal activity, but a judge says the complaint failed to allege sufficient particularity.

Source: Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Bodyguard Claims Blanket Is His Son. 18-04-'12

Michael Jackson 's former bodyguard is said to be flying to Los Angeles in a bid to prove that he is the biological father of one of Jackson's children, the Sun reports today. Matt Fiddes, a British martial arts expert, claims that Michael wanted a 'sporty' child. In 2002, Fiddes gave Michael a sperm donation, to enable that. He also claims that he refused an offer of over 300,000 pound in exchange for the sperm donation.

The child in question is 10 year-old Prince Michael II, also known as Blanket. Previously, Fiddes has said, in interview, that he was unaware that Blanket was his child, until Jackson's friend Mark Lester told him. In a 2009 interview, Fiddes allegedly said "Michael never told me himself that Blanket is my son but he took my sperm and the child is the spitting image of me." However, he now claims that Michael did in fact tell him that he was Blanket's biological dad, saying "I sat there and asked the question: 'Is Blanket my child?' He said: 'He's my child, Matt, but I used your sperm to produce him."

Source: Contactmusic / Billie Jean


Holographic MJ At Cirque Show In Vegas? 18-04-'12

News of the Tupac Shakur hologram that performed at Coachella on Sunday night has the Internet buzzing about the amazing technology and the possibility of taking the hologram on tour. Now there is speculation that the Cirque du Soliel's Michael Jackson show in Las Vegas may utilize the technology when the permanent show opens at the Mandalay Bay next year.

Speaking of the technology, veteran manager Danny Goldberg, who was on hand at Coachella and witnessed it in person, told MTV News he believes the technology should be used sparingly.

"I thought it was great in that particular moment," Goldberg said. "They were evoking a certain nostalgia for [the era of] gangsta rap and I thought it worked in that context and was exciting and special. I think it's not something that would be particularly easy for another artist to emulate."

Goldberg said certain things work best the first time around and if someone else was to try a holo-show they might have to find a way to make it new again; otherwise it could come off as cheesy and derivative. Part of that potential pitfall is the legacy of the artist. For example, if Paul McCartney announced a tour with a virtual John Lennon, Beatles fans would likely see it as being in poor taste and would not attend. "It's another tool in the toolbox of technology, but some tools should only be used sparingly," he said, adding that he thought the execution at Coachella was stellar.

Making the trick work on a larger scale, or even for a full concert tour is unlikely given the unique aspects of the Coachella gig.

"Part of what made that effective was that it was a surprise, coupled with authentic living, breathing superstars in Dre and Snoop and not over-relying on it," Goldberg said.

The possibilities of the technology do seem endless. While a spokesperson for the Estate of Michael Jackson would not confirm that the MJ show would use similar technology, when MTV News spoke to Cirque President and CEO Daniel Lamarre in 2010, he said, "The new technology that we want to bring to [the permanent] Vegas [show] will be more theatrical." He went on to say that fans "will see Vegas become the home of Michael Jackson and people will come from all over the world to experience the uniqueness of the technology that we want to bring there."

At the time, Lamarre hinted at the use of "3-D technologies and hologram technologies to allow people to see Michael Jackson onstage."

Source: MJFC / MTV.com / nj.com / Billie Jean


5th London Immortal World Tour Performance Added Due To Unprecedented Demand. 17-04-'12

Due to unprecedented demand and three tour dates already sold out, an additional performance has been added to the London leg of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. This takes the amount of London performances up to five.

The additional tour date is Wednesday 17th October at 8.00pm at the O2 Arena London. This new date is in addition to the already announced performances which have all sold out on 12th, 13th 14th October 2012. The performance on 16th October still has some limited availability.

A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.

THE IMMORTAL World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspirational Giving Tree – the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked – his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.

The underpinnings of THE IMMORTAL World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics – the driving force behind the show—brought to life with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity.

Source: Cirque du Soleil, WC / Billie Jean


Akon Accidentally Hung Up On Jackson Out Of Shock. 13-04-'12

Hip-hop star Akon hung up on Michael Jackson when the King of Pop first phoned him about recording a duet - because he refused to believe his childhood idol was a fan.

As part of a Behind the Music special on Akon, which aired in America on Wednesday (11Apr12), the singer recalled meeting the Thriller star when he was just five years old: "I met Michael for the first time, not realising how big he was - just an amazing person. It made a huge impression on me, because as I got older I would always remember that moment. I used to always say to myself, 'If I ever did anything on the music level, I would meet back (up) with Michael and maybe do something with him.'"

Akon later rose to fame on his own, with hits such as Locked Up, Lonely and Belly Dancer and exactly three decades after their initial introduction in 1978, the star's life came full circle when he received a phone call from Jackson in late 2008.

Akon said, "He calls me, you know (in) his little voice, 'Hey Akon how are you?' I was like, 'I don't believe you,' and I hung up the phone. And he calls back, and he says, 'Akon, it's really me, it's Michael, it's really me.' And at that moment my hands started shaking."

The pair later teamed up in the studio, with the hope of working together on a joint album, but Jackson tragically passed away before the record could be made - and Akon was devastated.

He continued, "Dealing with Michael's passing was really hard. Everything that we discussed, everything that we had ambitions to do, we will never get a chance to do."

Eventually Akon completed work on his Jackson collaboration, Hold My Hand, and he released the track in 2010.

He added, "To be in the position where I'm the last person he actually makes a record with, and that's the last song that the world will remember of him, it was just the craziest thing."

Jackson also worked with will.i.am on a series of final songs, but the Black Eyed Peas leader has pledged never to release the music they made together unless Michael's mother Katherine asks him to.

Source: Contactmusic / Billie Jean


Austrian Michael Jackson Memorial Gets Green Light. 10-04-'12

A statue to Michael Jackson is being put up in the middle of a tiny Austrian town by fans that live there as a tribute to their hero.

Councillors in Mistelbach in a wine growing region north of the Austrian capital Vienna have officially approved the request for the statue which will go in the town centre.

Fan Martina Kainz, 39, who put forward the idea and raised the money from other fans living locally in the town of 11,000 said: “He was a hero who inspired many people’s lives. We want the legend to live on with our own monument here.” She has a web page for the project and said that the statue will cost € 10,000 and € 5,000 has already been raised for the work that will by made by Czech sculptor Daniel Kartakova. Visit Martina’s website here.

Source: Austrian Times / Billie Jean


Travis Payne Talks About MJ's Future Plans. 07-04-'12

This Is It choreographer Travis Payne, talked about Michael Jackson's plans after the This Is It Tour, in an interview with the Daily News Columnist, Jonathan Takiff, published by philly.com.

"Kuala Lumpur was to be the next stop. Michael wanted to revolutionize the way tours were being done. He was always thinking like a great producer, too. He was telling us we needed to design a way to maximize the audience that could see him with less travel time for him and the company. So he proposed setting up the show for two or three months in a single location, make that a portal, as opposed to being on a plane, jumping from city to city, twice a week.

Just as he did on the HIStory tour, when we went to Northern Africa, the idea was to set up in a region that was struggling and could really benefit economically from having us there. Everything Michael did came from a place of love and the commitment to do good. That's the way he was with us working on the show - you felt like you were being nurtured, constantly stimulated and encouraged to come up with the best ideas in a collective situation. And that's where his art was coming from. His concept was not just to make a great song you could dance to. His way was to reel you in and get your attention, so then you'd get the deep message. That was the science to it. That's why his music transcended generations, appealed to little children, older people, everyone. And hopefully, people who see the Cirque show are now feeling all that, too. That was our intent."

Source: philly.com / Billie Jean


Richie Freaked Out By Jacksons Missing Python. 06-04-'12

Writing the charity anthem 'We Are The World' with Michael Jackson was a terrifying experience for Lionel Richie - because he didn't realise the King of Pop's pet python had escaped in the room where they were creating music magic.
The soul man recalls he and his odd pal were close to completing the USA For Africa song when he saw something slithering out the corner of his eye.

He says, "As I glance over my shoulder I'm looking into the face of a yellowish python. I am screaming like the last horror movie... and he (Jackson) goes, 'Oh my God, there he is. Y'know Lionel, he was lost in the room. I knew he was here somewhere.'

"I said to him, 'Michael, are you telling me you had a python in your room...?' He said, 'He's been lost for a week.'"

Source: femalefirst.co / Billie Jean


Jackson Brothers Announce Summer Tour. 05-04-'12

Jackson siblings - Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, and Marlon - have announced plans for a summer tour. It will be their first tour since 1984's Victory Tour with brother Michael.

Being dubbed The Unity Tour, the tour will kick off June 18 in Louisville, KY and will continue through July.

"This is a dream coming true," Jackie Jackson said in a statement about the tour. "I can't believe this is finally happening. There's nothing like having all the brothers on stage at the same time. This will be exciting for our fans around the world, and I know at each concert, [Michael's] spirit will be in the house with us."

Tickets will go on sale beginning Friday, April 6, with additional dates to be announced. The set list is expected to include all the J5 and Jackson hits like "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I’ll Be There," though it’s unclear who will take over Michael’s vocal duties.

"I am so happy and excited to perform again onstage with my brothers," Jermaine Jackson said in a statement. "I can’t wait to sing all the songs that were so much a part of all of our lives. We are ready and committed to keep the family’s legacy alive and perform once again with the highest level of excellence, creativity, and most of all, integrity."

Here are current dates, with more to come later:

June 18: Louisville, KY (Palace Theatre)
June 19: Cincinnati, OH (PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center)
June 20: Rama, ON (Casino Rama)
June 22: Merrillville, IN (Star Plaza Theatre)
June 23: Detroit, MI (Fox Theatre)
June 24: Kettering, OH (Fraze Pavilion)
June 26: Cleveland, OH (Jacob's Pavilion)
June 28: New York, NY (Apollo)
June 29: Atlantic City, NJ (Borgata)
June 30: Englewood, NJ (Bergen PAC)
July 1: Baltimore, MD (Lyric Opera House)
July 3: Washington, DC (DAR Constitution Hall)
July 6: Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Amphitheatre)
July 7: Charlotte, NC (Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre)
July 8: Atlanta, GA (Chastain Park)
July 10: Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
July 11: St. Louis, MO (Fox Theatre)
July 13: Dallas, TX (Verizon Theatre)
July 14: Houston, TX (Bayou Music Theatre (Verizon Theatre))
July 17: Albuquerque, NM (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
July 18: Phoenix, AZ (Dodge (Comerica Theater))
July 20: Las Vegas, NV (The Cannery)
July 21: San Diego, CA (Harrah's Rincon)
July 22: Los Angeles, CA (The Greek)
July 27: Saratoga, CA (The Mountain Winery)
July 28: Lincoln City, OR (Chinook Winds Casino)
July 29: Snoqualmie, WA (Snoqualmie Casino)

Tickets for The Jacksons Unity Tour have gone on sale and are available to buy through Ticket Master. So far, only tickets for the US have been announced.

Source: MJFC / upi.com / somethingelsereviews.com / 411mania.com / Billie Jean


Time Magazine: MJ Fashion Icon. 03-04-'12

Time Magazine has just released its list of the 100 All-TIME Fashion Icons. The list is comprised of names from all walks of fashion - models, muses, designers and photographers - the 100 most influential icons of fashion since TIME Magazine began in 1923.

Michael Jackson was, of course, on that list and here's what TIME had to say about him:

The glittering glove. The Thriller-era leather jacket. Those spit-shined penny loafers that gave him the otherworldly ability to glide across the stage.

Yes, it's no coincidence that we associate the different chapters of the King of Pop's career with the clothes he wore. But what's perhaps most impressive of all when it comes to Jackson's aesthetic is that it never once felt contrived. His wardrobe — though flamboyant — was never some grandiose political statement or performance-art afterthought. Like his music, his style reflected the inverse of an introverted artist wrought with complexity: flashy, singularly talented and larger than life.

It was a wardrobe, for lack of better words, fit for a king.

To see the full list, please click here.

Source: MJFC / time.com / Billie Jean


Happy Birthday, Paris!!! 02-04-'12

Happy Birthday" to Paris, the daughter of Michael Jackson is celebrate her birthday and may blow out 14 candles.

Michael's" daughter Paris is born on April 3rd 1998 in Los Angeles, California, USA , it's "Michael's" 2nd child.

You are becoming such a beautiful and couragous young woman and we know that your Dad would be so very proud of you. We hope your special day brings all the laughter and magic you desire. You are in our hearts today and always. We love you!

Happy Birthday!

With Love,
Michael Jackson Fan Site Billie Jean

Source: Billie Jean

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