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Jackson Lawyers Will Present Screening Of ‘This Is It’, Following With A Question And Answer Session About AEG Trial. 13-11-'13

Michael KoskoffThe Bridgeport-based legal team who helped the Michael Jackson family in its recent Los Angeles court case will hold a special presentation in the star’s memory, the law firm announced today.

The law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder will celebrate the career of Michael Jackson with a screening of ‘This Is It’ at the Bijou Theatre. Koskoff attorneys who helped represent the Jackson family will hold a question-and-answer session afterwards to give attendees a glimpse into the Jackson family, the life and death of Michael Jackson, and the recent wrongful death suit against the concert promoter that hired the cardiologist who administered a fatal dose of medication to Jackson. Also discussed will be scenes from the movie that were not made public.

“Michael Jackson was a legend who was taken from the world far too soon,” said Michael Koskoff, partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder and trial attorney in the case. “This is an opportunity to share the never-before-known truth about Michael Jackson’s death, and the making of ‘This Is It.’”

Several attorneys at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder joined the legal team representing members of Jackson’s family, including his children Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, and Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, as well as their grandmother and legal guardian, Katherine Jackson (Michael’s mother). Their civil suit was brought against entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group and its concert promotion subsidiary, AEG Live Inc., for the death of the pop icon.

“We were privileged to get to know members of Michael Jackson’s family and, through them, to get a glimpse into his life – the life of a great artist who was widely accepted as the most successful performer the world has ever known,” Koskoff said.

‘This Is It’ is a behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his final worldwide concert tour. Chronicling the months from April through June 2009 – just before he went into cardiac arrest and died on June 25 – this film draws from more than one hundred hours of raw behind-the-scenes footage featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show.

The screening of ‘This Is It’ will take place at The Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport on Sunday, November 24 at 4:00 p.m. Doors open to the public at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at www.thebijoutheatre.com or at the box office throughout the day of the event. All proceeds benefit The Bijou Theatre. For more information, visit www.thebijoutheatre.com or call The Bijou Theatre at 203-332-3228.

For 75 years, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has been nationally known for personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and class actions, concentrating its practice in handling cases for people who suffer serious personal injury or economic harm. Koskoff attorneys have been responsible for important changes in the conduct of corporate and government defendants. The firm has offices in Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven, and Stamford.

Source: Stratford Patch / Billie Jean

‘BAD25’ On iTunes. 12-11-'13

'Bad25' is Spike Lee’s wonderful documentary on the making of the ‘BAD’ album. It shows footage from the ‘BAD’ world tour, and includes recollections from many of Michael’s friends and musical colleagues.

The album launched ‘Bad,’ ‘Smooth Criminal’ and so many more unforgettable songs and grooves. ‘BAD’ was the first album which produced five consecutive #1 singles, a record that was unmatched for more than two decades. You can download the full-length documentary on iTunes from November 19th!

Source: MichaelJackson.com / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Estate’s Valuation ($2,105) Vs. IRS’ MJ Valuation ($434 Million). 12-11-'13

Michael R. Morris is an attorney with Valensi Rose PLC and is based in Los Angeles, California. As a former trial lawyer for the IRS and a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, Michael has the educational background and practical experience that enables him to provide insightful solutions to his clients’ complicated tax, estate and business transaction issues.

With all of the media focus on the recent decision in the Jackson family’s wrongful death suit against AEG, in which a jury found AEG not liable over Michael Jackson’s death, there is another court battle generating less press but which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This case pits the estate of Michael Jackson against the Internal Revenue Service, and centers on the $7 million taxable value of the estate’s assets which were reported to the IRS. There’s little doubt that the valuation of Michael Jackson’s name and likeness rights at a paltry $2,105 raised a few eyebrows at the IRS offices — the IRS’ valuation was greater than $434 million and, in all, valued Michael Jackson’s estate at more than $1.1 billion. The IRS has issued a notice of deficiency — a bill for debts owed — of estate taxes totaling more than $505 million. And because the IRS contends the executors significantly undervalued the estate’s property, it tacked on additions of $196 million for good measure!

In response to the IRS’ notice of deficiency, sent on on July 26, 2013, the Jackson estate filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court, contending the valuations of the assets “were accurate and based upon qualified appraisals by qualified appraisers who had extensive experience valuing entertainment industry assets.” On August 20, 2013, the IRS filed its response to that assertion, which detailed all of the proposed IRS valuations of Michael Jackson’s assets, including his name and likeness. The disagreement has set the stage for a contentious valuation battle.

MJ Company

There’s little doubt that the IRS knows that the exploitation of dead celebrity names and likeness is big business. What makes the estate of Michael Jackson’s battle with the IRS of extreme interest is that, while the valuation of an estate’s assets for federal estate tax purposes is usually made when a person dies (there is an election of value estate assets as of six months after the date of death), any subsequent dispute with the IRS over the worth of celebrity “name and likeness” rights rarely become public.

The rights of a deceased celebrity’s estate to that celebrity’s name and likeness rights are governed by state, not federal, law. So unless a deceased celebrity died a resident of a state affording posthumous protection for rights of publicity, such rights literally go to the grave along with that celebrity. This happened in the hotly litigated cases involving Marilyn Monroe, where the ultimate determination of her status as a New York and not a California resident meant Monroe’s rights of publicity failed to survive her (since New York has no law protecting posthumous rights of publicity).

Conversely, California has for many years statutorily protected the rights of both living and dead celebrities in their names, voices, signatures, photographs and likenesses. In fact, these rights extend for 70 years after death, and, like most property rights, are licensable, transferable and descendible.

The holder of the deceased celebrity’s right of publicity must, however, register the claim with the California Secretary of State (a simple procedure), and until that is done, damages cannot be recovered for any use prior to such registration.

To come within this statutory protection, California law requires that a decendent’s right of publicity must have had “commercial value at the time of his or her death, or because of his or death.”

Determining the value of intellectual property based on projected future earnings and discounted to a present value is not an exact science. In the case of the King of Pop, his estate has generated hundreds of millions of post-mortem licensing dollars, which the IRS no doubt factored into its valuation. So now the IRS and the estate of Michael Jackson are locked in a hotly contested battle over just how valuable the future earnings power of Michael Jackson’s posthumous celebrity rights could be. While the Jackson case may settle prior to the Tax Court’s adjudicating what these rights are worth, the litigation between the IRS and the Michael Jackson’s estate could signal similar IRS scrutiny of other high-profile celebrities’ name and likeness rights. Accordingly, the administrators of such estates need to be aware of the necessity to engage both qualified appraisers to value such rights and experienced tax professionals to defend against the inevitable IRS audit.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

Quincy On Working With Michael. 12-11-'13

RollingOut.com has put out a collection of videos, some of which refer to Michael, and especially one, which is of Quincy Jones as he remembers working with him. He is being interviewed on the Arsenio Hall Show.


Source: Rolling Out / Billie Jean

Grammy Museum Honors Berry Gordy And Smokey Robinson Today. 11-11-'13

Berry Gordy and Smokey RobinsonMotown founder Berry Gordy and GRAMMY() winner Smokey Robinson will be honored with The GRAMMY Museum’s first-ever Architects of Sound Award today, Nov. 11, 2013, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles — will provide essential support for the Museum, an educational and interactive museum dedicated to engaging both children and adults in the power of music through dynamic exhibits, educational programs, live performances and more. The event will be hosted by music industry veteran and television personality Randy Jackson.

In recognition of their unparalleled contributions to the Motown genre, Gordy will receive the Architect of Sound: Vision Award and Robinson will receive the Architect of Sound: Artist Award. Selected by the Museum and its Board of Directors, the Architect of Sound Awards are dedicated to honoring those who are catalysts in changing the musical legacy of America, and who helped shape the sound of a specific genre.

“We are honored to celebrate both Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson as the first-ever recipients of the Architects of Sound Awards,” said Santelli. “Their contributions to Motown have truly changed the landscape of American music. We are grateful to these extraordinary industry leaders who will be helping us celebrate not only our first gala, but also our upcoming five-year anniversary of The GRAMMY Museum.”

Berry Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise, birthed in Detroit, that nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and many other music greats. Mr. Gordy is also a songwriter, boxer, producer, director, innovative entrepreneur, teacher and visionary. Actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, he also released the recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His films include Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues, which together garnered five Academy Award() nominations. Among the awards recognizing Gordy’s accomplishments are the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, the Gordon Grand Fellow from Yale University, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the Rainbow Coalition’s Man of the Millennium Award, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award, and the GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons() President’s Merit Award. Berry Gordy’s unparalleled contribution to music and popular culture is chronicled in his autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown. It is the basis for his play, Motown the Musical, which had its world premiere on Broadway on April 14, 2013, garnered four Tony nominations, with the New York Times calling it “the biggest box office hit of the year.”

Once pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet,” acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson’s career spans more than four decades of hits. He has received numerous awards including the GRAMMY Legend Award, The Recording Academy() Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and has been honored at The Kennedy Center. Born and raised in Detroit, Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school. They were the first group managed by Berry Gordy. The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early ’70s, and Robinson became Vice President of Motown Records serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter. In addition to writing hits for the Miracles, Robinson wrote and produced hits for other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, Marvin Gaye and others. Following his tenure at Motown, he continued his impressive touring career and released several successful solo albums. Robinson continues to thrill sold-out audiences around the world with his high tenor voice, impeccable timing, and profound sense of lyric. Never resting on his laurels, Robinson remains a beloved icon in our musical heritage. In early 2014, Robinson plans to release a duets collection of his greatest hits and compositions performed with today’s top recording artists.

Read more about Grammy Museum Honors Berry Gordy & Smokey Robinson Today


Source: Broadway World / Billie Jean

‘A Truth Untold’ Kickstarter Campaign Launches. 11-11-'13

A new Kickstarter project launched today by an international team of Michael Jackson fans calls into question three songs released by Epic Records 18 months after the pop superstar’s death.

The songs, “Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up,” released in 2010 on the posthumous album titled, “Michael”, sparked worldwide controversy after questions were raised regarding the authenticity of their lead vocals. Some members of Jackson’s family, former collaborators, friends and fans claim that the songs do not feature Michael Jackson’s signature vocals, but those of a soundalike or vocal impersonator they allege was hired to deceptively sound like Jackson.

A team of dedicated Jackson fans are launching their Kickstarter campaign, titled “A Truth Untold”, to raise the funds required to complete their investigation and to publish their findings in a tell-all book to be released late next year.

Sony Music acquired the three songs in question as part of a package deal with nine other tracks from Jackson’s longtime friend Eddie Cascio and his collaborative partner, James Porte. The pair claim that the songs, commonly referred to as the “Cascio tracks”, were recorded by Jackson in Cascio’s basement during a 2007 family visit.

A Truth Untold

A Truth Untold, the world’s first crowd-funded Michael Jackson research project, takes a “legacy-first” approach to the King of Pop’s body of work, with compelling new insight into Michael Jackson’s creative process. “It reads as a fly-on-the-wall account through a series of events, including Michael Jackson’s final years in the recording studio, his tragic death, and the battles within his postmortem empire as these questionable songs came to surface,” says Australian contributor, Damien Shields. “We aim to deliver an objective and fascinating piece of investigative journalism with revealing and exclusive interviews, never-before-told stories, and accounts from people on both sides of the controversy,” he said.

The team behind A Truth Untold say that they’re reaching out to other music lovers through the popular Kickstarter crowd-funding site because the scope of their investigation requires added resources. “Michael Jackson’s contributions to music and culture will be revered and studied for centuries to come. The group’s mission is to make sure that the information surrounding one of music’s biggest controversies is properly documented so that folks can draw their own educated conclusions,” said James Alay, one of the team’s U.S.-based contributors.

Social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, have been instrumental in the success of the pre-launch campaign, allowing the A Truth Untold team to connect with their supporters all over the world, using the now-ubiquitous hashtag, #ATRUTHUNTOLD. “It’s truly a global effort, encompassing supporters from every continent and in every time zone. It really goes to show Michael Jackson’s tremendous global appeal, with fans coming out in droves to support our movement, even before we announced our Kickstarter campaign. We hope that the strong show of support translates to reaching our Kickstarter funding goals,” Alay said.

“It is our hope that people from all walks of life, along with the Jackson family, The Michael Jackson Estate, record label, former collaborators and colleagues, friends and fans from all around the world will stand together and collectively raise their voices with us in our quest for the truth,” said Shields.

Funds from a successfully funded campaign will be allocated towards the completion of research, including additional interviews and the retention of an independent forensic musicologist. “And as with all Kickstarter campaigns, funds will also be used to reward backers with our finished product, including both digital and print copies of the book. We’re also thrilled to unveil our incredible premium reward — a truly spectacular once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to join not one, but two, of Michael Jackson’s producers in a Los Angeles recording studio for unprecedented insight into Michael Jackson’s legendary recording process,” Alay said.

The Kickstarter campaign, A Truth Untold, is now live at http://www.atruthuntold.com

Source: PR Web / Billie Jean

Tanay JacksonMichael Jackson's Kids Will Never Forgive Murray Says Tanay. 11-11-'13

Michael Jackson's niece Tanay Jackson has spoken out about the release of Conrad Murray from prison and says the entire family, and in particular the late singer's children, will never forgive him for the role he played in Michael's death.

Michael Jackson's children will never forgive Conrad Murray over the role he played in their father's death, their cousin has claimed.

The King of Pop's niece Tanay Jackson - the daughter of Michael's brother Tito - insists the family are extremely unhappy the former doctor was released from jail in October after serving less than two years of a four-year sentence for the involuntary manslaughter the King of Pop in June 2009.

Most upset are Michael's kids, Prince, 16, Paris, 15 and 11-year-old Blanket, who think it's a disgrace Murray, 60, is out of prison and is trying to regain his medical license after being found guilty of administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic Propofol that ultimately killed the 'Thriller' singer.

Tanay told the New York Daily News newspaper's Confidenti@al column: ''I think a murderer should get a longer sentence than that, I don't think it's fair. We really feel like there were more people involved in my uncle's death. But Conrad Murray is the physical culprit because he physically injected him.

''No, we haven't forgiven him. We can't forgive him at all. I categorised that person as a murderer. I categorise him as somebody who got away with murder. People in those categories I just can't forgive. He should not be able to practice medicine. He was a physical culprit for the death of Michael. That's a big joke to us that he wants to re-apply for his medical license.''

Tanay, 29, thinks the 'Thriller' singer's daughter Paris has taken Murray's release the worst as she is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her father four years ago.

Aspiring singer Tanay says Paris - who was hospitalised after alleged attempted suicide bid in June - is a teenager trying to cope with adult problems and has resorted to self-harming on occasions as a coping method.

Tanay said: ''Paris is going through a lot of emotional torment. She is under a tremendous amount of pressure and is suffering severe depression. She is trying to find a way to escape and it doesn't seem like anyone knows what to do. This is a 15-year-old going through a 40-year-old's problems. There are a host of problems that Paris can't handle alone. It's driven her to the point where she wants to escape the emotional pain and the only way she can do that is by cutting herself. It's become addictive and I understand this isn't the first time she's done it.''

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Maker Of Dreams: The Creation Of Michael Jackson’s “Neverland Valley Park”. 10-11-'13

In June of 1990 Rob Swinson received a call from Norma E. Staikos, Executive Administrator for MJJ Productions, and Michael Joseph Jackson, himself, requesting Swinson's assistance in helping Michael create and build his lifelong dream: an amusement park for the “children of the world” at the 2,700 acre Neverland Valley Ranch.

While working on the project, Jackson anointed Swinson as the “Maker of Dreams.” This book shares with the world the story and photos about Jackson's happiest years and the creating of “Neverland.”

Michael and Rob Swinson at Neverland (1992)

Order here the book.

More info about the book here.

Source: Maker Of Dreams - Robert E. “Rob” Swinson / Billie Jean

Lawyers Discuss The Michael Jackson/Sony Cyber Crime Case And The Growing Threat Online. 09-11-'13

A crack team of Birmingham-based lawyers are hot on the trail of cyber criminals. Jeanette Oldham reports.

They are the shadowy figures using the ‘dark web’ to steal identities, defraud banks and companies – and sell drugs and guns.

Cyber criminals making millions from behind their computer screens, using technology to try to stay one step ahead of the law.

But a crack team of Birmingham-based lawyers are on their trail, and bringing them to trial.

John Davies heads the Crown Prosecution Service’s Organised Crime Division (OCD) in Birmingham, which works with the National Crime Agency to bring major criminals to justice.

In an exclusive interview with the Mail, he said cyber crime was one of the ‘biggest threats’ to face the UK today.

“Cyber crime is a big priority for the UK law enforcement,’’ said Mr Davies, who leads a team of 15 staff.

“There can be threats to state systems such as defence systems and that type of attack, etc.

“Then there can be the ‘conventional’ types of crime committed using cyber. There are very big sums to be had for example by breaking into people’s bank accounts, over the internet, or doing similar from which criminals could actually steal vast sums of money out of a victim’s bank account.”

Mr Davies added: “Cyber crime is a new experience for all us all. We are dealing with about half a dozen cyber cases at the moment, but all the indications are is that the threat is going to get bigger.”

A recent cyber crime case involved the unlikeliest of targets - the late Michael Jackson and his record company Sony.

Leicester Crown Court heard fans James Marks, 27, and James McCormick, 26, hacked into Sony’s computers and stole unreleased recordings.

Cyber Criminals

Marks, of Daventry, Northants, and McCormick, of Blackpool, downloaded 7,000 music files, including by other artists like Beyonce and Bruce Springsteen.

After pleading guilty to computer misuse offences, they were each given a six-month sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 100 hours’ community service.

Robert Davies, the Birmingham unit’s principal crown advocate, was counsel on the case and said the pair were obsessed with the late Thriller star.

“All their benefits and wages went on Michael Jackson material,’’ he said.

“They were obsessed with the mistaken idea that a posthumous album that Sony had released was in fact full of bogus Michael Jackson material; in other words, other people were singing on it, and it had been put out as his own.

“They were both very good on computers and found a way to get into the main Sony music servers which are in New York and are massive.

“They were big players in a Michael Jackson chatroom forum. One of them was the moderator on the site. I don’t think the two of them had even met. They were just internet friends.

“They downloaded lots of material and they got to the stage where one of them put out a different version of one of the Michael Jackson tracks on the album by combining the various stems and they just started to boast about what they had.

“They put some of the Michael Jackson material out there on the system and clearly Sony were very worried about what might happen to the rest of it.

“It was pursued because it was a massive copyright theft. It’s like a burglary, in truth. The fact that you haven’t done anything with the stuff you’ve stolen before you get caught is perhaps not the point.

“I don’t think they really knew what to do with it. There was some chat between them about how they could sell this material on but it was all a bit lame quite frankly.”

Cyber crime is only part of the team’s portfolio. Drug trafficking and organised crime still make up the largest proportion of their caseload.

Last month the Organised Crime Division enjoyed a major success when it was revealed 19 people had been jailed for more than 200 years after SOCA smashed Birmingham and Leicester-based drugs gangs.

Heroin with a street value of £300 million was seized in the international operation, which led to awards for the OCD team involved.

John Davies was keen to impress that his unit’s usual 90 per cent successful conviction rate was derived in the main from not only the hard work and dedication of his own staff, but the early investigative engagement and close working relationship they shared with investigators from the NCA (formerly SOCA).

“There is very much a ‘can do’ ethos in the joint prosecution teams and the quality of the work, commitment and dedication from the staff in both organisations is excellent, of which all should be very proud,” he said.

But their work is far from done.

Mr Davies added: “There is a backbone of organised crime throughout the country.

“It comes from London in the south up through the Midlands to the north up to the north-west. We have our three offices, one in London, one here in Birmingham and one in the north.

“The majority (of cases) is drugs. With drugs you get money laundering. We get people trafficking cases and we get the odd case of gun-running.

“The organised crime gangs are very sophisticated, there’s large amounts of money to be made and most of the big criminals don’t even get anywhere near the actual physical scene of the crime.

‘‘A large part of our work literally is to try to go back up the chain to those who seek to mastermind the criminal activity.

“I don’t think you can categorise the average Mr Big. I can think of someone who lives in a particular area and who has lived near some very notorious criminals and he says they are some of the nicest, most polite people you could ever meet.

“I suspect they look and behave in many ways rather like your average person which makes detecting and successfully prosecuting them just a little more harder.”

John Davies is a determined figure, which is probably linked to his down to earth background.

He began his working life in the motor trade but when that career ended he went into law, putting himself through university in doing so.

It is this determination that has helped him work his way up through the ranks of the Crown Prosecution Service, to become one of the key figures in the West Midlands today.

Source: Birmingham Mail / Billie Jean

Thriller VideoBillboard: Life After Death (Magazine). 09-11-'13

Billboard Back Issue Volume 125, Issue 44: The inside story of why MJ’s touring business is now bigger than ever.

In the fall of 1987, not long after the release of his blockbuster album Bad, Michael Jackson and his longtime lawyer/adviser John Branca piled into a van to see the Los Angeles debut of Cirque du Soleil at the Santa Monica Pier.

They took a van, with Branca driving, despite the fact that Jackson had gifted Branca with a Rolls-Royce, and their journey was briefly stalled after Branca headed in the wrong direction on the congested Interstate 405. But the pair eventually made it to the show. Cirque du Soleil was 3 years old at the time, and true to its inspiration in the circus, was housed in a tent on this visit to Los Angeles. Jackson could hardly contain his excitement to watch the Quebec troupe perform, Branca recalls.

"After the show, Michael said to me, 'Branca, we have to go backstage and meet the cast,'" he says. "I couldn't tell who was more excited, the cast to meet Michael or Michael to meet the cast. That's how enthusiastic he was."

Read here the whole story.

This is an excerpt. For the complete story, buy this week’s issue of Billboard.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

The Immortal World Tour” Adds More Dates And Returns To North America 2014. 09-11-'13

The Immortal World Tour“Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” which recently became the ninth-top-grossing tour in history, will return to North American arenas in 2014, Billboard can exclusively reveal.

“We’re in the process of fiercely booking it,” Cirque du Soleil senior VP of touring shows Finn Taylor says. “We’re mostly trying to do new markets so we can bring the show to new audiences, but there are some repeats of our more successful markets from the first tour.”

Created in a partnership between the Michael Jackson estate and Cirque, “Immortal” will visit small to full-size arenas in the United States, Canada, Mexico and perhaps South America, beginning in March. The Cirque-promoted North American tour will perform in about 40 cities, but specific routing details weren’t available at press time.

John Branca, who serves as co-executor of the Jackson estate with John McClain, says the upcoming “Immortal” performances could be slightly different from what audiences have already seen.

“I could see retooling the show in some ways and switching up some elements, but overall the format would stay very similar,” Branca says. “There are certain numbers we might redo, but I don’t think we would change the entire format.”

In August, “Immortal” will once again visit Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes, where it experienced some of its most lucrative business after grossing $13.2 million from 14 performances in 2012, according to Billboard Boxscore.

“We’re positive we can sell another maybe 120,000-140,000 tickets in a second run,” says Renato Herrera, executive VP at concert promoter OCESA, which operates the venue.

Herrera says there are also talks about taking “Immortal” to smaller arenas in such South American markets as Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Additionally, Cirque is in discussions with international promoters about bringing “Immortal” back to various parts of the world. With 407 shows under its belt, the trek has visited 25 countries on four continents. International dates haven’t been confirmed beyond a lengthy run in Dubai, which goes through mid-January 2014.

“It’s very tough to do one-offs with this show, because we have to bring all of the equipment with us,” Taylor says. “We have to work on establishing some kind of regional leg or regional tour before we can get anywhere. There might be one or two Asian cities that want us, but we need six or seven to make it worthwhile.”

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Re-Enters Billboard Hot 100 Following Halloween. 08-11-'13

Thriller VideoThe Billboard Hot 100 got a retro shake up this week. Likely due to the absolute spookiest day of the year that is Halloween, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which is now heavily tied in with the holiday, reentered into the charts at No. 42 this week.

To put the new heightening of “Thriller” into perspective, the track was nuzzled in between Justin Bieber’s latest Music Mondays single “Recovery” at No. 41 and Katy Perry’s Prism promotional track “Dark Horse” (feat. Juicy J) at No. 43.

The classic track, which is now popularly played at Halloween parties, features door creeks, howling wind, screeching synthesizer chords and a Vincent Price monologue, all which add to the scary feel of the track.
The reentering of “Thriller” was not only aided by the Halloween holiday but also from streaming services. Now that aspects such as YouTube views and Spotify streams are taken into account in the Hot 100 formula, novelty and throwback hits are far more likely to appear at the top of the charts.

Jackson’s legendary music video has nearly 155 million views on YouTube. Though it’s been up on the site since 2009, according to the page, it had only one million views as of Oct. 29, 2010.

Though Jackson’s return to the charts is tied in with Halloween, this isn’t the first time an old track reentered the Billboard Hot 100 due to a viral video or special occasion. In October “Gone,” an album track from Kanye West’s 2010 album Late Registration, debuted at No. 18 on the charts after a video of Marina Shifrin quitting her job while doing an “interpretive dance” to the song went viral.

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” first appeared on the Hot 100 upon its release in January 1984. The song peaked at No. 4.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

Moonwalker Video CoverMichael Jackson's Moonwalker At 25. 07-11-'13

Twenty-five years ago, Michael Jackson’s feature film Moonwalker, released in October 1988, furthered his life-long dream of becoming a movie star.

Jackson’s fantasy was one he shared with thousands of others in Hollywood. It was his aspiration, and one that remained unachieved until the day he died: June 25th, 2009. Self-penned notes, found after his death, reveal he felt that by becoming a film star and director, he’d secure immortalisation. Climbing to the pinnacle of the music industry in the 1980s, as well as redefining – and revolutionising – the music video as an art form hadn’t fulfilled his appetite. He was desperate to innovate in his favourite medium: film.

Not surprisingly, being in the music industry since the 1960s meant Jackson had an unquenchable thirst for new challenges. Prior to 1988, though, film success had eluded the then-30-year-old star – his only real experience at that time was his dexterous performance as Scarecrow in The Wiz, Motown’s commercially unsuccessful 1978 remake of The Wizard Of Oz. (Unless you’re to count Captain EO, made for Disney’s theme parks in 1986. Maybe it’s best we don’t.)

Jackson’s star power was so colossal in the 1980s that showbiz compatriots clamoured to collaborate with him. He had already ‘gone to school’ for his directorial education, working alongside two of the most successful directors of the 1980s: John Landis on ‘Thriller’ and Martin Scorsese on ‘Bad’. According to accounts of the directors and producers who’d worked with him, Jackson had shown great promise as an actor and director.

Read the whole article here.

Source: Clash Music / Billie Jean

Debbie Rowe Breaks Down During Interview. 07-11-'13

Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe broke down in tears during a taped interview for a U.S. TV news show recently as she lashed out at those who let the King of Pop die.

The former nurse, who now helps to run a horse ranch in California, agreed to sit down and talk to Entertainment Tonight and she struggled to contain her emotions when she was asked for her thoughts about her former husband’s 2009 drug-related death.

Rowe, who is the mother of Jackson’s eldest kids Prince Michael and Paris, believes too many people turned their backs on Jackson when he needed their help as his drug dependency spiralled out of control.

Fighting back angry tears, she says, “All the people that claim to be so close to him, not one person tried to stop it… If I know something’s wrong, I’m gonna try to stop it.”

Debbie Rowe

Rowe admits she would have liked someone to use the media to shine a light on Jackson’s problems, adding, “There were more people involved that saw him falling apart. God forbid one of them take out a camera (sic)… and give it (footage) to someone like Entertainment Tonight and stop it. I think they were too selfish.”

The former nurse admits she’ll always have fond memories of her time with the King of Pop, adding, “He told me my life was gonna change and it did and he’s taken such good care of me.”

During the candid interview with the reclusive former Mrs. Jackson, which aired on TV in America on Wednesday (06Nov13), Rowe also opened up about her relationship with her children’s guardians, T.J. and family matriarch Katherine, insisting stories about them all not getting along are completely untrue.

She explains, “T.J. is an amazing man. He has an amazing family… I love Mrs. Jackson… We all may not care for her family… but she is my children’s grandmother.”

Source: Express / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Poster 2009Dancing The Dream Exhibit, DC. 07-11-'13

In 1992, Michael Jackson published a collection of poetry called Dancing the Dream. Now, the National Portrait Gallery has given the same name to its new exhibit of dance-related art, which, of course, includes images of the King of Pop—and Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, George Balanchine, Savion Glover, and even Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. The exhibition aims to explore the relationship between dance and American identity, be it through film, music, or stage performances. The exhibition is on view 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to July 13, 2014, at the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-8300. npg.si.edu.

Born Gary, Indiana

Unidentified artist
Lenticular poster, 2009

Fueled by a series of hit records and head-spinning short films, Michael Jackson was an entertainment phenomenon. His scintillating dance style helped catapult him to fame: the release of his 1983 short film Thriller coincided with the rise of MTV as an important medium—much as the Ed Sullivan Show had been a generation earlier. Thriller’s mass-market popularity not only made Jackson a galactic star but had a resounding cultural impact by breaking down color barriers in both video and radio formats. MTV was the perfect medium to showcase Jackson’s staccato bursts of movement. Leading dance critic Anna Kisselgoff wrote, “The moonwalk . . . is an apt metaphor for his dance style. . . . He is a great illusionist.” Thriller set a record for Grammy nominations and awards (twelve). One critic wrote that Jackson showed “if you have the energy, you can do anything. It’s the American Dream.”

Go to the site of washington city paper.

Source: Washingtion City Paper / Billie Jean

The JacksonsThe Jacksons On OMG! Insider With Kevin Frazier. 06-11-'13

The Jackson brothers are not happy about the verdict following the five-month trial,where the estate of their late brother Michael went up against concert promoter AEG Live in court — and they're not holding back their opinions any longer. "Omg! Insider" host Kevin Frazier sat down exclusively with the Jacksons before their performance Monday at the Ebony Power 100 Gala, where they spoke about the trial, Paris Jackson's health, their sister Janet's new marriage, their legacy, and more.

When asked by Frazier to explain their disappointment in the verdict, which ruled that AEG Live was not responsible for Michael Jackson's death, Jermaine said, "I felt that we were robbed because the whole thing was set up from the very beginning … This trial [is] not about money, it's not about any of that. We were looking for answers from this second trial … We're still mourning — that's why we're playing the music — but at the same time, I think the organization that Michael worked for … should be ashamed of themselves. How they treated my brother. How they treated him and his last moments. They should be ashamed."

Frazier also asked the brothers about their famous sister Janet's recent marriage to wealthy Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana. "By the way, every time I sit down with Janet, I tease her about this. I always ask her, 'Why do you have to have secret weddings? Why can't you just have a wedding?'" Kevin noted. "She talked to me. She didn't want you there," Marlon joked. "I'm probably the only one that knew," Jermaine said, adding in jokingly himself, "I had a gut feeling. And I didn't tell you. Sorry."

As for Michael's daughter, Paris Jackson, who attempted suicide back in June, Marlon reported that "everyone's fine."

The brothers also opened up about the topic of preserving their family's musical legacy. "Music is in our blood," Jermaine said. "It's important we keep the family's legacy alive … that's very important, because we've built this legacy and now we have to keep it out there. To make sure people know why we're doing this, because we're meant to do this. With the message we've carried through our music, we're going to continue to keep the legacy up there."

"So, will everybody get together then?" Kevin asked.

"Yes," Tito said.

"Will there be that concert?"

"Yes," Marlon said.

"You're hearing it from us. Yes," added Jermaine.

Watch video 1 and video 2 of The Jacksons on OMG! Insider. 

Source: Yahoo OMG / Billie Jean

Berry Gordy Laughs And Reminisces With The Jacksons At Ebony Gala Tribute. 06-11-'13

Berry GordyMotown founder Berry Gordy recalls that when he first signed The Jackson 5, he sent them to live in a house in California — and the rowdy kids ended up getting kicked out and had to move in with him.

Joked Gordy: “Be careful what you wish for.”

On Monday, Marlon Jackson thanked Gordy for “letting us come to your house and tear it up,” as well as for putting them on the path to a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career in a tribute to Gordy at the Ebony Power 100 gala.

“Michael and his brothers were just incredible to be around,” he said of the group, fronted by the late Michael Jackson. “I’m happy they’re here.”

Gordy danced along with the rest of the crowd as the Jacksons — Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito — performed hits such as “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground” and “I Want You Back.”

Gordy received a lifetime achievement award at the event, which honored blacks who are wielding considerable power, such as President Barack Obama, Forest Whitaker, commentator Van Jones, educator Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Serena Williams.

Among those in attendance were Magic Johnson, Victor Cruz, Lala Vasquez and Condola Rashad. Nick Cannon was the host of the ceremony, which also featured a performance from the actors from “Motown: The Musical.”

Gordy, whose Motown Records not only changed music history but also America’s culture with its sound and image, recalled that the first major cover the label got for its artists was Ebony magazine.

“It was the Supremes. They had no idea how much it meant to us,” said Gordy, who took a copy of the cover out of his pocket to show the audience.

Gordy said Ebony magazine, which has chronicled black culture for decades, was integral to his success.

“I feel like I’ve come full circle because I’m back here at Ebony again,” Gordy said. “I really feel like I should be giving them an award because they were so important to giving us the confidence.”

Besides the musical tribute, the Jacksons gave Gordy a plaque of platinum records marking the millions of records they sold as part of Motown Records.

Source: Washington Post / Billie Jean

Valerie WassMichael Jackson Fans Threaten Conrad Murray's Lawyer. 05-11-'13

Michael Jackson fans are sending death threats to Conrad Murray's lawyer.

And in more startling news, the sun came up in the east this morning.

The FBI is investigating threats sent to Valerie Wass, who jawed with fans outside the jail on Oct. 28 -- the night Murray was released, after serving two years of his original four-year sentence for manslaughter.

Law enforcement sources reportedly told TMZ that Wass has been receiving various threats from Jackson fans, including:

"One blow to the head is all you need."

"If you think MJ fans are insignificant ... you are dead wrong, DEAD wrong".

"Better get that hair brushed and be ready because MJ fans will be everywhere setting yours and Murray's lies straight."

Michael Jackson lovers: Putting the "fan" in "fanatic" since 1969.

TMZ points out why Wass in being targeted. First off, they don't know where to find Murray. Second, they are reacting to video of a screaming nut job yelling that Murray was a murderer and Wass firing back, "If you were not so ignorant, you would know he was not convicted of murder."

Source: Contra Costa News / Billie Jean

The Jacksons To Collaborate With David Guetta? 05-11-'13

The Jacksons are keen to team up with DJ-and-music producer David Guetta in the near future to make some new music. The Jacksons want to collaborate with David Guetta. The pop group are keen to team up with the DJ-and-music producer in the near future to work on some new songs after meeting him in June.

Speaking to the New York Post newspaper, Jackie said: ''We hope we can do something in the future [with Guetta].'' Meanwhile, the four brothers are heading to the studio to work on a comeback album next year, and have a number of big name producers lined up to work with them. Jackie said previously: ''We're gonnna do what people want to hear - The Jacksons, but we're also going to add the new elements of today's generation with that music as well, from the heart and soul.''

Tito said last year that here were many groups from the continent who influenced The Jackson 5's early soul-funk sound. He said: ''There was a great influence, The [Rolling] Stones, the Bee Gees and some of the work of The Beatles when Billy Preston was working with them. There's a lot of European influence on our sound. And I think they were getting influenced by American acts, music is a universal language and there are only eight notes.''

The Jacksons

Soure: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Debbie RoweDebbie Rowe Blames Many For MJ’s Death. 05-11-'13

Michael Jackson‘s ex Debbie Rowe is opening up about who she believes should be blamed for the King of Pop’s death, saying many of the people who worked closely with him over the years never attempted to intervene to help him.

In an exclusive interview, Rowe tells ET’s Rob Marciano, “There were more people involved, every dancer, every musician, every camera man, every sound man that was on that stage that saw him falling apart. God forbid one of them take out a camera and give it to someone like Entertainment Tonight and stop it.”

She goes on to explain that in her opinion, people who worked with and around Michael Jackson were too selfish to reach out to the troubled pop star. “They wanted to work with Michael Jackson. They wanted to go on tour with Michael Jackson…All the people that claim to be so close to him who’ve always been there for him, who’ve always done everything for him, not one person tried to stop it…[It] is more important to people to say they worked on something. A man died. A father died. A son died.”

Tune in to Entertainment Tonight for more of Rowe’s interview.

Source: Yahoo / ET / Billie Jean

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