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Home / News Archive / News March 2012

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Pepsi Renewing Relationship With MJ. 31-03-'11

Pepsi is paying tribute to the King of Pop with a commemorative can bearing the icon's likeness.

The Pepsi company is working with the Estate of Michael Jackson to create a limited-edition package featuring Jackson, according to an executive close to the company. The package will coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the 'Bad' album, which was released on Aug. 31, 1987.

The package will consist of a 16 oz. can available in convenience stores and grocery stores around Memorial Day, according to Beverage Digest. The can is expected to cost around 99 cents and will have a blue background with an image of Jackson dancing.

Pepsi sponsored two of Jackson’s concert tours, including his 1988 Bad World Tour, which ended its 16-month run through 15 countries as the largest-grossing tour in history.

Pepsi's relationship with Michael Jackson dates back to 1984 and the birth of the "New Generation" campaign. Jackson's hair famously caught fire during the shooting of a commercial for that campaign. Jackson appeared in a handful of ads for Pepsi over the years, performing special versions of his hits, 'Billie Jean' and 'Bad' among others.

Pepsi ended their nearly 10-year relationship with Jackson abruptly in 1993 after false allegations of child molestation surfaced against the superstar.

Pepsi Campaign

Michael’s iconic image to be featured on one billion 'Pepsi Cans' in more than 20 countries; China is first market to launch.

Source: MJFC / adage.com / tvweek.com / Billie Jean


Lady In My Life Original Master Up For Auction. 28-03-'12

Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ will be holding an auction of Michael Jackson’s belongings, amongst them is this little treasure:

An original master tape recording of an unreleased version of Michael Jackson’s “Lady in My Life” that was recorded in Michael’s personal studio in his Encino home and given to his personal videographer Stephen Howell.

“Lady in My Life” was one of two songs from “Thriller” that was not released as a single. Recorded on standard sized cassette. Comes with a Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ Certificate of Authenticity.

Source: Gotta Have Rock & Roll / Billie Jean


Worldwide Exclusive From MJJMAGAZINE! 28-03-'12

Worldwide Exclusive! MJJMAGAZINE issue #7 will tell you about Michael's initiative 'World Peace Foundation for Children' started in 1998 but never made public. Never-before-seen excerpts of original presentation-kit will also feature.. stay tuned..!

MJJMAGAZINE #7 - Contents:

· THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - Laurent Hopman (BLACK&WHITE EDITOR IN-CHIEF)

· BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR - HISTORY BEHIND THE COVER

· GOIN' PLACES - KING OF POP LANDMARKS

· MJ IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR - SOON TO THE UK & EUROPE

· MJ THE EXPERIENCE - LAUNCH EVENT IN JAPAN

& MUCH MORE..

Special price pre-order continues at http://mjjshop.com

Source: MJFC / MJJMAGAZINE / Billie Jean


IMMORTAL Dancer Talks About MJ And Cirque. 27-03-'12

Mike Cameron is one of the lucky dancers on tour with the Cirque du Soleil in Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL World Tour. He recently sat down to speak with CBS Minnesota during the tour's stop in that city. Below is a short excerpt of that interview.

Q: How are audiences reacting to the show so far?

A: Thus far, traveling on tour, the audiences have been more than generous. True fans that are there just to be in the presence of his music. I have seen Michael fans of all ages, Michael fans dressing like him, screaming his name, just giving love to him. Every time the show ends, I am still overwhelmed every night of how loud the audience is, standing on their feet. All in all, the audience has gave us a lot of love, and that’s probably the closest they can be from Michael.

Q: How long did it take to get some of Michael’s iconic dance moves down to a perfection?

A: One main thing the choreographers instilled in the dancers and the cast was that you can never have his iconic dance moves perfected. This is because as an artist, Michael always believed in growth and learning and creating new. Continually on tour, we are always practicing and working on our craft as artists to be our absolute best. We have not yet perfected his iconic moves since we are always in the act of perfecting the dance.

To read the entire interview, please click here.

Source: MJFC / cbslocal / Billie Jean


Lionel Richie Says He And MJ Agreed Not Going Down The Troubled Road. 25-03-'12

In an interview with Access Hollywood Lionel Richie talked about Michael. Lionel said Whitney’s death brought back memories of another of his friends.

“I watched it happen with my dear friend, Michael, and Michael and I had talked about this forever in our career – ‘This will never that happen to us…’” Lionel told Shaun Robinson. Richie told Shaun that he and Michael actually spoke about not going down the troubled road when they were breaking out as big solo stars in the 1980s.

“We saw so many other artists go through it, and we just made a promise to ourselves back in the early ‘80s, we would never let that happen to us, and then it just takes one little thing — in his case — it was just the burning of the scalp, just a little bit during the Pepsi commercial that changed what we now know was the big slippery slope,” Lionel said.

Source: Access Hollywood / Billie Jean


Neverland ‘Turtle Ride’ For Kids On The Market For $50k. 25-03-'12

A turtle roller coaster from Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch is up for sale for $50,000. Michael had the five carriage ‘Turtle Train’ constructed at his personal amusement park so his children could play on it. He instructed Italian company Zamperla to craft the ride so that it could be used inside his house if needed.

Celebrity auction house, Gotta Have Rock and Roll, are now selling it for $50,000. It has a minimum bid of $30,000, but so far no bids have been placed.
Other items in the Michael Jackson sale include his tour clothing and his sunglasses. Spokeswoman Laura Carlucci said: “The ride was sold under the direction of Michael Jackson himself roughly one year before he passed away. He hired a representative to sell some assets from the Neverland Ranch when he ran into financial difficulties. We usually don’t get items of this type because, as you imagine, such items are rarely up for sale. We are thinking a museum or an amusement park or even a mega Michael Jackson collector. It is valued at $50,000, but we think in the heat of the bidding it could possibly go for a lot more. We are happy to ship it any where in the world, the postage should be pretty pricey.’

For the hefty sum, successful bidders will get the green tortoise shell coloured ride – which measures 160ft long and can hold 10 thrill seekers at a time.
And to make sure they begin using the priceless piece immediately, the lot comes complete with a control panel.

Source: Mail Online / Billie Jean


Beverley Hills HomeThe Beverly Hills Home Has Gone On Sale For £23.9 Million. 22-03-'12

The house where Michael Jackson died has been put up for sale for $23.9 million.

The Beverly Hills home went on the market on Monday and it was reported by TMZ that a “major celebrity” is expected to view the property soon.

Only those able to prove they have the cash to buy the home will be able to view it through real estate company The Agency.

The house, which has 13 bathrooms, a guest house and a swimming pool, has been on the market before, and has been empty for the last few months since the sale that saw most of the contents being sold off at auction.

Source: musicrooms / Billie Jean


Bandier Stays CEO At Sony. 21-03-'12

Sony Corporation of America announced today that Martin Bandier has signed a long-term contract extension to remain as Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a joint venture between Sony Corporation and the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Since arriving at Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2007, Mr. Bandier has expanded the company in impressive ways. Throughout the past five years, Mr. Bandier has re-energised the music publisher by putting an emphasis on attracting the industry’s best emerging talent including signing writer-artists like Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Shakira as well as songwriter-producers like Jeff Bhasker, Boi-1Da, Evan Bogart, JR Rotem and RedOne. As a result of his efforts, Sony/ATV Music Publishing has gone on to win many of the industry’s top honours including the ASCAP Pop Publisher of the Year (for the first time in the company’s history in 2009) and the BMI Pop Publisher of the Year (for the first time in over fifteen years in 2011). Sony/ATV Music Publishing has also been awarded both the BMI Country Publisher of the Year as well as the ASCAP Latin Publisher of the Year every year of Mr Bandier’s tenure at the company. Also, since joining the company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing has twice been awarded the prestigious Sony Corporation Award for Excellence, which recognises an operating company’s stellar performance in a given fiscal year. Prior to Mr Bandier’s arrival, Sony/ATV had never been presented with the award.

Source: marketwatch / Billie Jean


Fans To Be Chosen To Perform A Tribute To Michael On Siedah’s New Project,
“The Answer’s Always Love”. 20-03-'12

“On June 25, 2012, we will mark three years from the day that our beloved Michael Jackson was taken form us. As you know, he and his music hold a very special place in all of our lives, and, having worked so closely with him, especially in mine. To commemorate his beautiful, giving spirit, and in answer to our duet “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, I’ve written and recorded a tribute song entitled “Keep On Lovin’ You”, which will be included on my upcoming ArtisShare fan-funded cd. Also included on the cd will be a Bonus track version of the tribute song, which will feature spoken word testimonials from 10 lucky fans, chosen at random. As a fan of Michael’s, and of mine, you are invited to register on my ArtistShare site.

10 lucky fans will be chosen at random to perform a spoken word tribute to Michael Jackson on Siedah’s upcoming new recording project, “The Answer’s Always Love” (no purchase necessary).

Click here to redeem the code and enter. One entry per person. Offer valid until April 1, 2012. By redeeming the code, you will receive an exclusive preview of the project, featuring never-before-seen audio and video from the studio, and personal messages from Siedah. You will be able to witness her creative process and gain insight into her songwriting process. 

Source: Siedah / Billie Jean


Lionel Richie Says MJ "Silly". 20-03-'12

Singer Lionel Richie says Michael Jackson was the silliest person he's ever met.

Speaking in a recent interview Richie said of Jackson, "Michael Jackson was the silliest guy I ever met. He liked to trigger attacks of laughter at inappropriate times. I remember watching a dignitary giving a speech, and he [Jackson] looked over and started giggling. That just set me off! That to me was who he really was ... The guy was just funny and silly."

Source: MJFC / winnipegfreepress / Billie Jean


Settlement Reached In Secret Jackson Taping Case. 19-03-'12

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos and his law partner have settled a lawsuit for $2.5 million against the owner of a defunct charter jet company that secretly recorded the men and Michael Jackson as they flew from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara for the pop star to turn himself in on child molestation charges.

The amount awarded to Geragos and partner Pat Harris will be difficult to collect because defendant Jeffrey Borer is insolvent, his attorney Lloyd Hirschbaum said. The agreement was reached Friday, the last court day before a re-trial in the case was scheduled to begin to determine how much Geragos and Harris were owed.

Borer attempted to sell the video, which contains no audio, of the flight to media outlets after Jackson's surrender. Geragos, Harris and their attorney Brian Kabateck have argued that the lawyers had an expectation of privacy on the private jet that flew them and Jackson from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara in November 2003. The video, which has never been released, also violated the attorney-client privilege, the said.

An appeals court in 2010 threw out a judge's $20 million award to the attorneys and instead offered them $750,000.

Geragos' attorney Brian Kabateck said he was pleased with the settlement sum and would work vigorously to collect it. He said the amount will send a strong message.

Borer and an associate pleaded guilty to conspiracy two years ago for videotaping Jackson and his lawyers as they flew to the pop star's surrender on molestation charges. A jury later acquitted Jackson of 14 charges in the case.

Hirschbaum argued Monday that Geragos didn't have any provable damages, but the settlement avoided a three to four day retrial.

Geragos, Harris and Jackson filed the invasion-of-privacy suit against Borer and XtraJet in November 2003. Jackson dropped out as a plaintiff in April 2005.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Liza Minnelli Remembers Michael, Elizabeth And Whitney On Rosie Show. 14-03-'12

There is a notable photograph of four very close Hollywood friends from many years ago. In it and smiling back are Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, all of them at the top of their game and among the most powerful people in the entertainment world. But that was then, and now only Liza Minnelli is the only one of the four who’s still alive.

On “The Rosie Show” (Weeknights, 7 p.m. ET on OWN), Liza described what it’s like to be the last surviving member of that close group of friends. Certainly, she couldn’t have imagined outliving all of them, and certainly not seeing them all gone so soon.

“It’s weird, it’s really weird,” she said. She then went on to talk about how she felt she was different from the other three, never really getting into what she called “the pomp and the circumstance” of the lavish lifestyle their wealth and fame made possible. “I’d seen all that when I was little,” she said, referring of course to growing up the daughter of Judy Garland. “What impressed me was people who were funny and talented and adored life … And that’s what I wanted to be like.”
Liza Minnelli’s appearance on “The Rosie Show” coincided with her 66th birthday celebration on March 12. She is currently touring support her album Confessions.

Source: The Rosie Show / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Jacket Sells For $9,000 At Milford Auction. 14-03-'12

An auction held this weekend at Premiere Props in Milford succeeded in selling two items once owned by Michael Jackson, but a gown created for the evil queen character "Mirror Mirror" failed to meet its reserve price, the auction's organizers report.

Jackson's military jacket, signed by the pop star, sold for $9,000, plus a 23 percent buyer's premium.

Jackson's white fedora with a black band, embossed with Jackson's name, sold for $2,300 plus the buyer's premium.

The sale will be spread over two days at Costume Bazaar, 1565 Boston Post Road. Tens of thousands of other theatrical costumes will be sold over the period of the sale. A preview party will be held Friday, March 9, from 5.00 to 8.00 p.m. at Costume Bazaar. Admission is free.

About two hundred people will fit in the store, but in addition to in-person bidding, interested parties can place their bids online.

Source: courant / Billie Jean


Michael’s Personal Chef Kai Chase Talks About Upcoming Book ‘Fit For A King’. 11-03-'12

A new version of Michael’s last days will be coming to light by year’s end, with the release of Fit for a King, the first cookbook from celebrity chef Kai Chase.

In an interview with Chase about the March 18 Drawing Hope International Gala Masquerade event in Beverly Hills, for which she is providing some of her trademark cultural fusion cuisine. Kai Chase, who has cooked for luminaries including Mary J. Blige and President Obama, was also Michael’s personal chef, and as soon as his name comes up, the conversation shifted. Chase makes it clear his impact on her life was profound.

She tells us, “When you read the book, you’ll see how things were different” as far as the portrayal of Michael’s world. “I was feeding him and his children. He was going to rehearsals and the recording studio. He was energized, looking good, feeling good. I want to talk about the fun times — the practical jokes played on me in the house, me and the kids planting gardens. I was seeing him every day and working with him every day. He talked to me about a lot of things, as a boss and as a friend — how to move on with your career, write books, this and that.” However, “I was let go at a certain point,” recalls Chase. She was back at the mansion the day Michael died.

Since then, her list of celebrity clients has grown, and “a lot of things are really coming to the forefront right now,” notes the chef, who listens to Michael’s “Keep the Faith” song because “it keeps me inspired and motivated for greatness. The blessings keep pouring down. Sometimes I think he has something to do with that, and imagine him and God high-fiving.”

Chase is also offering an at-home cooking lesson to be auctioned off at the fund-raiser for Drawing Hope, which helps survivors of rape and sexual abuse in some 150 countries. Celebs expected to be on hand for the event range from Garrett Morris to Kyle Massey to honoree Anna Lynne McCord of “90210.”

Source: Beck/Smith Hollywood / Billie Jean


Cirque President Talks Immortal Updates. 09-03-'12

Cirque du Soleil President and CEO, Daniel Lamarre recently spoke to Las Vegas Weekly's Robin Leach and gave him an update on various Cirque shows. Below are his comments about Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL World Tour.

Of the MJ Cirque show set to open May 13, 2013, at Mandalay Bay, Lamarre said it is "on schedule and on target." He confirmed that construction on the newly redesigned theater there is underway, and the reconfiguration will give them 200 additional seats for each performance. "The Lion King," which used to be in this theater, seated 1,600 people, so the new design will seat 1,800 for the IMMORTAL show.

"It will definitely be far more of a theatrical experience than our Michael Jackson touring rock concert show, which has become the No. 1 box office show in the world every week of this New Year," Lamarre stated.

"We are in full construction mode now," he said. "The theater is being renovated, and the equipment is being redesigned. It is all set for Mandalay Bay - there’s no chance of the show going anywhere else in Vegas. We are on target and on schedule for the May 13 opening next year. The big difference between the touring show and the new permanent show is that this one will be much more theatrical. The month residency of the touring show in Mandalay Bay helped us tweak it. It’s even better now than when you saw it here. It has been No. 1 on the Pollstar box office rankings since the New Year began. It will remain in North America until the fall."

Lamarre continued, "We then go to Europe for six months. We’d marked London for six dates, but they sold out immediately just to Cirque club members. We’re looking to add at least three more shows there. It’s a stampede in Asia with the promoters there, so we’re now putting that part of the plan into place. A show of this kind would normally run two years, and now we’re looking at 3, maybe 4 years. Many cities here in North America were sold out, so we would like the show to come back for repeat dates - but not on this side of the country because we don’t want to cannibalize the new Mandalay show."

Source: MJFC / lasvegasweekly / Billie Jean


LaToya Shares Her Thoughts On Paris Jackson. 08-03-'12

Michael Jackson’s sister La Toya has thrown her weight behind allegations an impostor was hired to record tracks for the King of Pop’s posthumous album, insisting some of the vocals featured are “definitely not” those of her late brother.

During a co-hosting stint on US daytime show The Talk on Monday, La Toya Jackson recalled: “I haven’t heard the complete album but I do know some of the songs that I’ve heard, it is definitely not his voice.”

Recalling the phone conversation with Paris, she explained: “During that time I was doing (reality show) The Apprentice and Paris called me and said, ‘Aunt La Toya, I want you to listen to something… You gotta listen to this, this is not daddy’s voice.’

“She played it for me and I go, ‘Paris, you’re right, it’s not.’ And I kept listening, and kept listening and it was not his voice and she was so concerned about it and she said, ‘We gotta put a stop to this. We must to put a stop to this. And I’m not gonna let them (record executives) get by (get away) with this.’

Source: Huffington Post / Billie Jean


Norway Jackson Fan Sells His Whole Collection. 07-03-'12

Richard Fossaas (29) has traveled around the world to gather over 3000 Michael Jackson items. Now he wants to sell the whole collection.

If you are eager to purchase the collection you must be prepared to take a deep dig into your pockets. Fossaas will only sell the collection as a package for $ 2 million, and it will include music, stage outfits and other sorts of memorabilia.

- I want to sell all or nothing. If I only sell parts of the collection I will regret it. I´m very much attached to the collection, so if I am going to sell it everything has to go. The collection has become some kind of a lifestyle, says Fossaas to VG Net.

The collection includes the King of Pop´s iconic silver glow covered with Swarovski crystals, which was used by Jackson in a famous Pepsi commercial in 1984. Fossaas has also collected a complete Billie Jean outfit. The 29-year-old has decided to sell his collection because he feels he doesn´t do the collection justice in his ownership.

- Most of the things are just locked in safety deposit boxes because I don´t have room for it in my apartment. Therefore, I hope a potential buyer would put it somewhere visible so that it can be fully enjoyed, says Fossaas.

Fossaas has been collecting Michael Jackson memorabilia since 1989 and combined many vacations with new Jackson purchases. In 2009 he went to Los Angeles to buy the 'Billie Jean' glow from an auction, but the auction was later cancelled.

The Jackson fan has bought most of the items from private collectors. He put the collection out for sale in January but has yet to receive any bids on the entire collection. He has, however, received several bids on single items.

- I have been offered many hundred thousand NOK for the 'Billie Jean' outfit but I´m not interested in selling parts of the collection, says Fossaas, who has only had bids from the US.

As a part of the collection are a lot of CD's and LP's that he does not listen to. He has been a Jackson fan for as long as he can remember.

- My father adviced me not to sell the music, but I do not listen to it anymore. These days I have stored all the music on my computer, says Fossaas.

Since the King of Pop passed away several of his belongings have been sold all over the world. Amongst the items is Jackson´s red 'Thriller' jacket, which was sold for $ 10 million. The late popstar´s death bed is also supposed to be sold at an auction alongside hundreds of other items from the house in which he stayed in June 2009.

Source: VG / Billie Jean


MJ TIWT: #1 Tour In America!! 06-03-'12

Great News! Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is the #1 tour in America and has been since the show’s U.S. premiere in Las Vegas last December, according to Pollstar magazine, the concert tour industry’s leading trade publication.

The show continues to break box office records. Over the weekend in Miami, IMMORTAL was sold out three nights in a row and set a new record as the top grossing 3-day run in the history of the American Airlines Arena. Fans around the country have been tremendously supportive, and what’s more, the show’s incredible musical performances, choreography and visuals have drawn new fans to Michael’s music and his legacy. It is the biggest, most successful tour in the country! Exactly what Michael would have wanted and what he deserves.

Michael has always been and will always be the Biggest Star in the World thanks to his fans!

Source: MJFC / MJOnline, The Official Online Team of the Michael Jackson Estate® / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Back Catalog Stolen In Sony Hack. 05-03-'12

Sony's sad security song isn't finished yet.

Hackers have reportedly broken into the music label's servers and downloaded Michael Jackson's entire 50,000-track catalog, including many songs that have never been released, according to a report in Britain's Sunday Times (behind paywall). Sony purchased the catalog in 2010 from Jackson's estate for $250 million--billed as the biggest recording deal in history.

"Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised," a source told the newspaper. "It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap."

Two men in the U.K. have been arrested and charged in the crime, according to The Guardian. They have reportedly been released on bail and are scheduled to stand trial in January 2012.

Source: news.cnet / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson 'Was Interested In Cheryl Duet'. 04-03-'12

Michael Jackson was interested in recording a duet with Cheryl Cole, Will.I.Am has claimed.

And the Black Eyed Peas star, who also manages Chezza, says that he was going to write a track for the unlikely pair to lay down prior to the pop legend's death in 2009.

He told The People newspaper: "I told Michael Cheryl was the hottest thing in the UK and he was keen to meet her. I was gonna write them a song."

Will.I.Am was speaking in advance of the release of Chezza's third solo album - which he reckons is going to make her a household name in the US.

He said: "The thing is with Cheryl, she makes the best of every situation and always comes out fighting. Nothing will ever keep that girl down for long, and I do mean nothing. She is an inspirational person."

Source: MTV / Billie Jean


Paris Jackson Denies Saying Michael Jackson's Posthumous Album Is Fake. 01-03-'12

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson set the record straight on reports suggesting she told a friend of hers that the person singing in MJ's posthumous album is not her dad. The teen took to Twitter to debunk the rumor first reported by TMZ.

"People should know by now not to believe the media when it comes down to TMZ talking about my family. #HoldMyHad IS my dad actually singing," she wrote before re-tweeting a Tweep's message which read, "TMZ is the biggest joke in the world, they just make up drama!"

The publication claimed Paris made the confession on a video chat with some friends in 2010. She reportedly played "Hold My hands" from MJ's CD "Michael", and told them it's not her father who's in the song when one of them questioned her why it didn't sound like him.

"It's NOT him ... the whole album isn't even him!!" she allegedly claimed before telling them who the impostor was, "Go online ... go on YouTube and look up Jason Malachi. That's him!!" She continued, "I should know if it's him or not because he would sing to me all the time."

Source: AceShowbiz / Billie Jean

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