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Home / News Archive / News February 2015

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Michael Jackson's Mom Plans To Take Wrongful Death Suit Against AEG Live To California Supreme Court. 27-02-'15

Katherine JacksonMichael Jackson's mom is heading to the California Supreme Court for another shot at her megabucks wrongful death claim against concert promoter AEG Live.

The music matriarch was denied a re-hearing of her appeal by a lower court Friday, so the next step is an even higher authority, her lawyer told the Daily News.

"We are going to the California Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals missed the point," lawyer Kevin Boyle said.

Katherine Jackson — a front-row fixture during the 2013 jury trial of her unsuccessful $1 billion wrongful death claim — remains committed to holding AEG financially liable for her legendary son's June 2009 overdose death, Boyle said.

One of her lawyers argued her appeal before the California Appeals Court on Jan. 22, but the panel of justices affirmed the original jury verdict a week later and awarded AEG and two executives their costs on appeal.

Katherine then filed her request for rehearing on Feb. 17, with the denial posting on the court website Friday.

"We're the underdog and we're not supposed to win. But I think we should win under the facts of the law here," Boyle told The News after the hour-long Appeals Court hearing in Los Angeles last month.

"Katherine very much misses her son, and she very much would like to see justice done and is hoping for a favorable result," he said.

Katherine's initial appeal, filed in November 2013, claims the original lawsuit's trial judge incorrectly dismissed negligence and employment claims, and allowed the jury to receive a faulty jury verdict form.

Lawyers for AEG have argued that concert executives had no reason to suspect Jackson's tour physician was giving the "Thriller" singer dangerous doses of a hospital-grade anesthetic behind closed bedroom doors to help him sleep.

In a separate criminal trial, Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson a lethal dose of propofol without proper monitoring and live-saving equipment.

AEG Live lawyer Marvin Putnam has argued that the concert giant was as shocked as anyone to learn Murray, a cardiologist, was giving Jackson propofol.

"It was a long trial and the record is enormous. When you dig into it, they have no basis of appeal," Putnam told The News last month.

"They were given every opportunity to try their case. No evidence was denied them. They weren't limited by time and they failed to (convince the jury)," he said.

"The jury saw that AEG was in no way negligent in the tragic death of Michael Jackson. And nothing done today or in the papers changes that," he said.

Source: New York Daily News / Billie Jean


Lithographic Prints Of Michael Jackson’s Handwritten 'Billie Jean' Lyrics On Sale. 26-02-'15

Fans of Michael Jackson with a few dollars to spare now have the opportunity to purchase an elaborate lithographic print of the lyrics to 'Billie Jean,' originally handwritten by the King of Pop. The prints were made as part of Jackson’s 'HIStory World Tour' through 30 countries during 1996 and 1997 and have been kept under lock and key since then.

'Billie Jean' was included on the album 'Thriller', released in 1982, and was one of Jackson’s greatest hits.

The lithographs are of the song lyrics, handwritten by Jackson. Only one hundred copies were made for each country visited on the tour and can be purchased online on the 'Billie Jean' Lyrics website.

Billie Jean Lyrics

For those who are interested, each lithograph consists of two pages as well as a numbered certificate of authenticity. All three of these pages have been sealed behind acrylic glass in a wooden frame and stored in a wooden chest. The certificate of authenticity bears the flag for that particular country visited on the 'HIStory World Tour', and the price per item is 1111 euros or $1258.

The sale is being organized by licensed supplier Michael Jackson Tokyo Co. Ltd, which apparently collaborated on many projects while Jackson was still alive.

As reported on the Inquisitr recently, collectors will also be interested in a new book about Michael Jackson, which has previously been blocked by the Jackson family and who, in fact, spent millions of dollars trying to prevent its release.

In that article, it was also mentioned that the original working paper for the song 'Smooth Criminal' by Michael Jackson is currently up for auction at a minimum bid of $3 million. Fans can view photographs of the original document on the 'Smooth Criminal' Lyrics website.

Along with his music, Michael Jackson’s legacy continues in so many ways, as today sees the 32nd anniversary of the 'Thriller' album, which included 'Billie Jean,' hitting the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200.

Source: Inquisitr / Billie Jean


Marlon JacksonMarlon Jackson Talks About The Jacksons Legacy. 25-02-'15

In the past few months, The Jacksons have performed in Dubai, the Philippines and Jakarta. To kick off their new tour, the brothers will be performing their first show of 2015 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, Feb. 28.

The Jacksons formed in 1964 as The Jackson Brothers and when younger brother Michael joined, they became The Jackson 5. The group had hit after hit with songs such as 'ABC', 'I Want You Back' and 'The Love You Save.' After performing with each other for decades, Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie don’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

As they prepared for the tour and putting together a new album, Marlon Jackson spoke about five fun facts about the brothers’ music and legacy.

1. With so many songs to choose from in the Jacksons’ catalog, the brothers put all of the titles in a hat and start picking.

“We have to watch out for Jermaine,” Marlon said. “He likes to try and slip some of his new material in.”

2. The brothers know how much their music means to people.

“It’s nice knowing the music we created has helped people’s lives,” Marlon said. “It brought joy to people. It has brought people and families together. It makes you feel good.”

3. The reason why the Jackson 5 songs have stuck with people for so long:

“We were young when we recorded them,” he said. “We targeted young kids. A lot of music nowadays, you can’t bring your family to.”

4. Being on-stage when the crowd starts singing along:

“It makes you feel good,” he said. “It energizes you and gets you into the show. I just let it flow and feel it.”

5. Marlon’s favorite songs to perform:

'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)' and 'Show You The Way To Go.'

Source: The Press Enterprise / Billie Jean


MJ Featured In Revolutions 2 Music Art Exhibit At Forest Lawn – Glendale. 24-02-'15

Revolutions 2 Music Art ExhibitSince Alex Steinweiss created the first record cover for Columbia Records in 1938, music and art have had a love affair.

The Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale celebrated this union 10 years ago with the exhibition “Revolutions,” toasting the artists behind seminal work linked to the music of the 1960s-’80s. And now it’s revisiting the concept with a new exhibit.

On Saturday, the venue will unveil “Revolutions 2,” a show commemorating its predecessor with more than 175 artworks, ranging from album covers and posters to paintings, photographs and sculpture by more than 35 artists.

“The art itself is fabulous and beautiful. People are familiar maybe with the album cover or the poster — seeing the art and how it was created is interesting,” said Joan Adan, director of the Forest Lawn Museum and curator of “Revolutions 2.”

Musicians from a range of genres are represented, from Black Sabbath to Tina Turner and Michael Jackson, who was buried in the grounds of the Great Mausoleum in 2009.

Exhibiting Glendale artist Hugh Brown started out photographing bands but now works in a range of media. While in England, he shot musicians like the Talking Heads and Patti Smith before they were famous, and later they asked him to design their album covers. Brown went on to become the creative director of IRS Records and Rhino Records.

“I have tons of records in my collection that I bought; I had no idea who the band was, but thought ‘Wow, what a great cover, this must be good,’ and rarely was I ever disappointed,” Brown said.

Music art is a form of advertising, so it’s fitting that Steinweiss came from an advertising background and told Columbia Records that it should put pictures on its record covers — at the time, covers were plain paperboard and sometimes had only the music genre or artist’s name written on them. Adding images boosted record sales.

“So it’s advertising art, but totally creative, and because it was the music business you could get away with a lot and do crazier stuff,” Brown said. “You wanted to push the edge a lot and it was really fun. It was a way to do something that you’d want to do for yourself but get paid for it.”

Photographer Mike Salisbury of Venice sold greeting cards door to door at age 6 to raise money to buy a camera. He has since worked for major magazines in the United States and Europe and photographed celebrities like Truman Capote, Ricki Lee Jones and George Harrison. Salisbury also has been an art director and designer and is noted for creating Michael Jackson’s black-and-white look and Levi’s 501 brand name.

“The thing about the music business is it always was a cooperative effort with many artists and somebody like me taking the picture and doing the design,” Salisbury said. “I didn’t do anything but present it to them, they didn’t dictate and say it’s got to work like this. It was always very much a partnership with the artist and the producer and myself.”

In many ways, “Revolutions 2” will offer a touch of nostalgia.

Artis Lane — a Los Angeles-based sculptor and painter who has captured the likeness of Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and Miles Davis — said that wandering through “Revolutions 2” provides an opportunity to remember a favorite concert.

“If they went to that performance, this is a way to hold on to it. The painting is the artist’s thought objectified,” said Lane. “It comes alive again for you.”

When: Opens Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday through Aug. 2.

Where: Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn-Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd.

Admission: Free.

Information: 800-204-3131, www.forestlawn.com.

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Contract To Be Auctioned. 24-02-'15

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' contract will be auctioned off.

The official agreement between Michael Jackson's Optimum Productions and the Screen Actors Guild for the single's 13-minute video was signed by the late icon in Los Angeles on October 10th, 1983 and will be auctioned online on February 26.

The document is being sold by Nate D. Sanders Auctions based in Los Angeles, and comes with a document from the US Copyright Office from December 1983 to certify its authenticity.

Bidding for the contract, which covers payment and SAG requirements for 24 actors will begin at $25,000 (£16,183), with other items in the auction including a Christmas card signed by Sir Mick Jagger, and various items of clothing from Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Cher and Fergie.

The ground-breaking video for 'Thriller' was filmed in Los Angeles in October 1983 and directed by John Landis and featured model Ola Ray.

The promo cost $500,000 to make, and won the Best Video Album Grammy Award in 1984 and the Best Long Form Music Video accolade at the following year's ceremony.

In 2009, the singer - who passed away from cardiac arrest in the same year - became the first musician to be celebrated by the Library of Congress when they inducted the 'Thriller' clip into the National Film Registry.

Those with a cool $25,000 (£16,000) or so lying around can place a bid at the auctioneers website.

Thriller Contract

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


'Motown 25' Special, Expansive Box Set Planned For Release! 23-02-'15

144 track CD is set to feature 25 new stereo mixes of classics from the artists from the Motown 25 Special!

The special will be accompanied by Motown: Big Hits & More, a new seven-CD box set of classic Motown hits, album tracks and rarities. The massive, 144-track release will feature “25 new stereo mixes of classic songs,” including the Temptations’ 'Get Ready,' Stevie Wonder’s 'Uptight (Everything’s Alright),' Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ 'I Second That Emotion' and Martha and the Vandellas’ 'Heatwave. The new versions were assembled by TJ Lubinsky, an executive producer for several of PBS’ pledge-driven programs. Working with the “original stages and pre-mixed stages” of recordings made at the famed Hitsville USA studio, his team uncovered a number of revelatory surprises.

“Most often the songs went much longer than the fades we are used to hearing,” Lubinsky says in a statement. “And sometimes even extra verses were uncovered, like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ad-libbing the line, ‘the tracks of my tears, I’ve been crying for years,’ which has never been heard before because it was on the original session tapes past the fade-out on the 45.”

The release will be available to members who pledge to public television stations during the February 28th broadcast of Motown 25 and at www.treasurycollection.com.

Source: Rollingstone / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Music To Be Celebrated At Detroit Mosaic Youth Theatre Concerts. 23-02-'15

Horizontal Mosaic ConcertThe Mosaic Youth Theatre's first-ever tribute to Michael Jackson will take next month at The Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

The spring concert series called "Make that Change: The Music of Michael Jackson" will have shows on the following dates: 10 a.m. March 6, 8 p.m. March 7 and 4 p.m. March 8.

Mosaic Youth Theatre founder and artistic director Rick Sperling said in a press release the concert is "an amazing opportunity to see the range of talents Mosaic's young artists possess."

"Our young artists master challenging traditional choral selections and immediately transition to iconic Michael Jackson songs with full choreography," Sperling said. "It's a true showcase of their immense talent, and we are thrilled to present this to the region."

"Make that Change" will open with a choral rendition of Jackson's hit song "Human Nature", and will fuse classical choral selections.

The second act, according to the press release, will be "full-out, Jackson-themed performances" with singing and choreography to hits like "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Beat It." Each show is expected to have performances of 27 songs.

Tickets for the performances are $24 for general admission and $16 for students and seniors with valid ID. Priority reserved seating is available for $32 per ticket. Children under five are not admitted.

The Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts is located at 350 Madison St. in Detroit. For more information visit musichall.org or mosaicdetroit.org.

Source: M Live / Billie Jean


Michael’s Dream Foundation Is Proud To Present A New Global Project. 22-02-'15

Michael's Dream FlowersBrought to you by Michael’s Dream Foundation; we are very proud to present a new global project; Michael’s Dream Flowers!

This project is designed to unite children, supporters and fans around the world in our love for dear Michael, as well as helping us to build Michael’s Ultimate Dream; the dream of helping children from all walks
of life to heal from their illnesses!

Schools and families will be asked to participate by making sunflowers to be sent to the USA and placed on our website for everyone to see. The sunflowers will then make their final journey to Forest Lawn, California in June.

We will then be asking YOU, our beautiful supporters to “purchase” these flowers by sending in a donation. By doing so, you will not only be helping to send the sunflowers to their final destination but you will also be helping us towards building Michael’s Dream and helping sick children around the world, to heal. Each sunflower will cost just $5 to purchase. For every $5 you donate, a sunflower will be delivered to Forest Law in your name or a friend or loved one’s name – please do tell us if you want somebody else’s name written on the flowers.

But the good work doesn’t stop there! With this project, we will be teaching the younger generations about Michael’s humanitarian work and contributing towards their future by learning about saving this planet and loving each other. After all, isn’t that what Michael stood for – making a change through loving ourselves, each other and our beautiful world? So to enable this; all the children who take part in this project will be rewarded with educational books as a “thank you” for all their
beautiful hard work.

As you can see; this lovely project is very much with the children in mind – which in itself is a beautiful tribute to Michael – following in his footsteps in loving, teaching and healing the children he loved so much.
We can think of no better way to share our love for both Michael and the children, than this beautiful new project, and we would love for you to be part of it!

Want to know more? Then please visit the link for further details!

Source: MJ Upbeat / Billie Jean


Brand New Michael Jackson Podcast Launches Online! 22-02-'15

Exciting news for Michael Jackson fans and podcast lovers around the globe! A brand new Michael Jackson themed podcast, The MJCast, officially launched its first episode online today.

Founded and co-hosted by Australian Michael Jackson fans Jamon Bull and Q, The MJCast takes centre stage as the only active Michael Jackson podcast in the world.

The MJCast, which is created “by fans, for the fans,” will cover relevant news items from recent weeks, as well as in-depth retrospective discussion on the King of Pop’s artistry and legacy.

The first episode of The MJCast (embedded below) features Bull and Q discussing a variety of current affairs items in the Michael Jackson fan community – including two new books released by veteran Jackson fans; The First Book Of Michael by writer and Jackson blogger Syl Mortilla, and Michael Jackson 'The Maestro Volume 2' by Jackson historian Chris Cadman; forthcoming books by Jackson’s former manger Frank Dileo, and another by former business advisor Dieter Wiesner; and an upcoming documentary by legendary film director Spike Lee on the making of Michael Jackson’s 'Off The Wall' album – while seamlessly diving in and out of fascinating discussion and light-hearted, easy-listening banter about Jackson’s life and times.

The MJ Cast

“It’s about honouring Michael Jackson in a medium in which he isn’t currently represented,” says Bull, a major podcast enthusiast himself, of The MJCast. “Other artists, like The Beatles, have a number of active podcasts dedicated to them. Yet Michael Jackson, perhaps the most significant artist in modern history, hasn’t currently got one actively discussing his work and historical impact on an intellectual level.”

Podcasts are an ever-growing trend around the world, showing no signs of declining in popularity. On iTunes alone there are currently more than 1 billion podcast subscribers.

“Our aim is to interview a diverse selection of significant people from MJ’s world,” says co-host Q, “from his former musical collaborators to security personnel, associates, friends, family, and even some of our fellow fans. We’ll start small, and grow it and nurture it.”

“The reason we’re doing it in the form of a podcast is to document these conversations, and present them in an easily accessible audio medium,” explains Bull.

“It’s also a great excuse for us as friends, who regularly talk about this stuff among ourselves privately, to come together in a public forum and positively focus attention on the news around Michael, while enlightening the public to all of the rarely-spoken-about wonders of Michael’s legacy.”

“We hope that the podcast will become regular background entertainment in people’s day to day lives.”

Check out and subscribe to The MJCast by visiting themjcast.com, liking their Facebook page, and following them on Twitter.

Source: Damien Shields / Billie Jean


Illusionist Franz Harary Talks About Magic And Working With Michael. 21-02-'15

Franz HararyIllusionist Franz Harary will headline Magic and Music Day at the Miami casino, where Sheena Easton, the Romantics and Jefferson Starship will attempt to make the past disappear.

Magic’s next frontier is predicated on technology’s next frontier, Franz Harary says.

Harary, who created magic for the Jacksons’ Victory tour in 1984, says, “Magic, by very definition, is anything outside the abilities of technology at the time.”

Electricity, he says, was once considered magic.

“They’d push it into cadavers and ‘bring back the dead,'” says Harary, who will perform Saturday, Feb. 21, as part of the Magic and Music Day street festival at Magic City Casino in Miami.

“As technology moves forward,” he continues, “we have to move forward. Now, levitation is magic, but in France, they’ve already figured out how to levitate animals. So making a girl float in the air isn’t going to mean too much anymore.”

Harary says he has been a magician-illusionist since high school, when for a marching band’s halftime show in Ann Arbor, Mich., he made the trumpet section disappear. By age 19, he had sent a tape to Michael Jackson’s people.

They called back very quickly, he says, and Harary helped plan the Jacksons’ 1984 show, which included an illusion in which Michael Jackson disappeared.

Harary says he and Jackson were friends for 26 years, and he remains upset by the way the pop star’s life ended.

Victory Tour - Backstage

“I saw his whole life take this arc, and I saw everyone around him,” he says. “I remember one time, I said, ‘You might have a problem here.’ But people close to him protected him too much.”

As a tribute, Harary’s current act includes a bit that Jackson made famous when he appeared to be penetrated by 50 spikes. Harary is now the object of the trick.

Harary, 52, has also created special effects for Cher, Usher, NSYNC and Madonna. He is popular in Asia, where a $42 million theater-and-shopping complex called Franz’s House of Magic will open in Macau in September.

He says he’ll spend about a third of this year in Macau, but he’s training six illusionists to continue his shows when he’s back home in Los Angeles.

“They’re younger, skinnier versions of me,” he says.

The schedule for Magic and Music Day also includes:

A free concert at 1 p.m. by Jefferson Starship (“Jane,” “White Rabbit” and “Count On Me”) at Sky 7-37, a small outdoor venue.

A free 5:30 p.m. concert by glam-rockers Sweet and new wavers the Romantics and Naked Eyes at the Magic City Amphitheater.

An 8 p.m. dinner show featuring Harary and 1980s pop star Sheena Easton ('Morning Train [Nine To Five],' 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'We’ve Got Tonight') at Stage 305. Tickets cost $125 per person, and include a formal dinner, unlimited wine and beer, and table seating for eight. Call 305-460-6579 or go to MagicCityCasino.com.

A street food festival, with about 25 food trucks, will be outside the casino, 450 NW 37th Ave. in Miami. from noon until 10 p.m.

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean


Blanket JacksonHappy Birthday, Blanket! 21-02-'13

Blanket, today it's Michael Jackson's youngest son his Birthday and he may blow out 13 candles.

Prince Michael Jackson II, also known as "Blanket", is the third child of famous pop-singer Michael Jackson. Born February 21, 2002, his mother is unknown to the public.

Stepping into his teenage years, wishing for you a future full of love, happiness and success and may the love and memories of your father light your way".

With Love,
Michael Jackson Fan Site Billie Jean

Source: Billie Jean


Tito JacksonTito Jackson Going To Be Blanket's Music Mentor. 20-02-'15

Tito Jackson has revealed his nephew Blanket Jackson wants to be a pop star and he is going to mentor the aspiring singer – the youngest child of Tito’s late brother Michael Jackson.

Tito Jackson is going to mentor his nephew Blanket Jackson to pop stardom.

The 61-year-old musician has been playing an active role in the life of his brother Michael Jackson‘s kids, Prince, 17, Paris, 15, and Blanket, 12, since the King of Pop’s death in June 2009.

Of the three children Tito says it is Blanket – real name Prince Michael Jackson II – who is showing signs of wanting to follow in his famous father’s musical footsteps and he wants to help him become a singer.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz at the NME Awards in London on Wednesday (18.02.15), he said: ”Blanket loves music so we’ll see, Prince is more in to movies and directing.”

When asked if he planned on working with Blanket, Tito added: ”Yes, I would love to help him. We’ve got a big family to mentor. Blanket’s doing very well.”

Tito has also revealed there is much more unheard material recorded by Michael that could be the basis for album releases for decades.

Discussing the possibility of more new music from Michael, Tito said: ”There are just stacks of material that my brother has recorded that he hasn’t been released. Solo stuff, even stuff with the Jackson 5 way back from the Motown days. They could release records for the next 20 or 30 years.”

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Dieter Wiesner Launches A Video With The Letter Which Was Sent To MJ France & MJ Backstage By Michael Jackson. 20-02-'15

Memories memories ...

October 18th, 2003, MJ France MJ Backstage organized the 'Vizion Jackson Experience,' a Jackson event in Paris where fans of the King of Pop met for more than 10 hours to share their passion and their love for the King of Pop.

October 6th, 2003, Michael Jackson was sending a fax in which he thanked his fans for their love and unconditional devotion hoping they would appreciate the 'Vizion Jackson Experience'.

During the evening 'Vizion Jackson Experience', this fax was presented to fans as a surprise that they did not expect.

Dieter Wiesner, his manager at the time was posted two days ago a video on YouTube in which he has some memories related to Michael Jackson. More than 10 years after the original letter which was used to send the document we received resurfaces.

It is with great excitement that we could watch this video that we share with you today. We know that all the fans present at this unforgettable evening kept a very good memory.

 

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Manager Kept Make-Up Handy – In His Sock. 20-02-'15

Dieter Wiesner walked around for 10 years with Michael Jackson's compact in his sock in case of make-up emergencies.

The late king of pop's manager shows us the very item, still bearing fingerprints, in a series of YouTube videos he began to post last week to sprout his coming book.

He also talks us through the Neverland menu (burgers, ice-cream, you name it) and the British royal crest Jackson was given by the Queen, which he had modified in his own image. Wiesner claims Jackson's estate has spent a million dollars in failed legal attempts to stop his book being published since 2012.

He's also flogging the singer's handwritten working lyrics to Smooth Criminal through a Swiss art dealer. Bids open at US$3 million.

 

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald / Billie Jean


Eddie Murphy: 'Not A Lot Of People Have Footage Of Themselves Dancing With Michael Jackson In Clouds'. 19-02-'15

Whatzupwitu Video Clip - On the set (03-1993)You recently told Rolling Stone: “I can’t make a wack track because I know what wack is.” But most people panned your 1993 single with Michael Jackson, 'Whatzupwitu'.

You know, I was dancing around in the clouds with Michael Jackson. However wack anyone thought 'Whatzupwitu' was, there’s not a lot of people that have footage of themselves dancing around in the clouds with Michael Jackson. I do have that for ever.

And obviously you’d known Michael, and imitated him in your standup about a decade before collaborating.

Yeah, I knew Michael for years and years before that track came out. What’s interesting, when you watch that routine from Delirious when I’m doing Michael Jackson jokes, that was actually the first time anybody even did a joke about him. It’s not mean-spirited at all, it’s just all about how he was so sensitive. And then I sang. Michael loved Delirious, it was playful and fun.

How’d that compare to Saturday Night Live, where you imitated Stevie Wonder while stood right beside him?

Michael and Stevie were people that I knew, and they were part of my social circle. I was able to play around and poke fun – they would never get mad. If you look at it, and compare it to the stuff that people are doing now, it’s totally not mean-spirited. And going back to what I was saying, people are allowed to not like something. And maybe a lot of people did think 'Whatzupwitu' was wack, and that’s what’s cool about music: you have a visceral response to it, and you either like it or you don’t, as soon as you hear it. The good thing about that is that if you come with a hot track, they’re gonna like it. So just because somebody didn’t like a track I put out, that never stopped me. I’ve always written, recorded and produced – I never stopped doing it. I stopped putting music out, but I didn’t stop making it. Then it got to now where if you listen to 'Whatzupwitu' and then you listen to Oh Jah Jah, you can tell that I’ve been in the studio working at this.

Who was more fun to collaborate with: Rick James or MJ?

Well, Michael was really private and he didn’t party like Rick. When you’re around Rick, you’re having a party, so I’d have to say him based on that [laughs]. But Michael was the most talented musician and artist that ever lived. So if you go to collaborate and have fun: Rick. If you want to do something really special: Michael [laughs].

Read the whole article here.

Source: The Guardian / Billie Jean


Robson and SafechuckMichael Jackson Pedophile Lawsuits Not Likely To Go To Trial. 19-02-'15

The lawsuits brought by two young men against Michael Jackson’s estate– alleging the late pop star molested them when they were underage– are still progressing through Los Angeles family court. The suits were brought by Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, each of whom was part of Jackson’s coterie of young boys who lived and played at Neverland, and went on trips with Jackson.

Over time, Safechuck dropped out of the picture and there was speculation that his family received financial assistance in exchange for their silence back in the day. Robson, however, went on to work for Jackson and his company, became a choreographer, and testified for Jackson in his 2005 at his child molestation trial.

Of the two cases, I’m told, Robson is in the best position because he worked for Jackson’s company. Both Safechuck and Robson have sued Jackson’s company and his estate. But rulings are still pending about statute of limitations on suing an estate five years after the probate has settled. Jackson died in June 2009.

If the cases were allowed to go forward against the estate, it’s more than likely that Jackson’s executors would settle. The reasoning is they don’t want to tarnish the brand in public with a lot of sordid details. The executors would also want to avoid embarrassing Jackson’s three children with a circus like televised and much publicized trial. A settlement would gag all parties and seal the deals.

More to come…

Source: Showbiz 411 / Billie Jean


Invincible: A Glorious Tribute To Michael JacksonPeople Of Note: VIP ‘Invincible’ MJ Tickets At NJPAC. 19-02-'15

*Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, sent shock waves throughout the world. 'The Man In The Mirror' was 'Gone Too Soon.' We were grieved and “Sad” and knew there would be no other like Michael Jackson. Unusual, eccentric, exquisite and unbelievably talented, Jackson was an original and shining star. He was the '2000 Watts' that lit up the stage every time he performed. Some claimed he was '2 Bad,' but all agreed he was very, very good. In fact, Michael Jackson was amazing. Any others attempting to step into Mr. Jackson’s footsteps have to prove their worth by making their presentation nothing less than spectacular.

Now, I don’t 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', or maybe I do! But I must say the closest I have seen to a duplication of Michael’s onstage performance are the performers in creator, producer, director, and Bessie Award winner, Darrin Ross’s tribute to Michael Jackson, entitled Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson. If you have never “Ben” to the show, you better “Ease on Down the Road”, and “Beat It” to the box office at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, located at 1 Center Street, in Newark, NJ, where tickets for Invincible: A Glorious Tribute To Michael Jackson go on sale, Thursday, February 19th and then are open to public sale on Friday, February 20th.

Each year something new is added, with performances getting better and better. This year promises to be a musical, dance and light-work spectacular. The actual show is to be held at Prudential Hall on June 13, 2015. However, VIP tickets go on pre-sale Thursday, February 19th and on public sale Friday, February 20th due to the enormous popularity of the show. Fans can obtain tickets by calling the NJPAC box office at 888-GO NJPAC (466-5722) or can go on line at www.njpac.org.

Purchasers who call the box office for show tickets and VIP tickets should mention the code MJLOVE since only 200 VIP tickets are available. The price for a VIP ticket is $100 and gets you the best seats, as well as an after show meet and greet reception, a personal photo with the artists and an exclusive sixth anniversary INVINCIBLE show poster.

I have witnessed fans getting so wrapped up in the dynamics of the show, they go crazy and Shout “We Love You, Michael!!!,” indicating there is no Xscape from the excitement of the show which is a real Thriller. The multi-media live performance of this sixth anniversary exclusive is a moving extravaganza…so I suggest you get your tickets soon before they are all gone! In fact, if you enjoyed Michael Jackson’s Immortal World Tour, you will love the Invincible Tribute to Michael Jackson and know you simply 'Got To Be There'.

Read more here.

Source: Eurweb / Billie Jean


I Can't Go For That / Billie JeanThe Song Michael Jackson 'Stole' From Hall & Oates. 19-02-'15

During an interview with huffingtonpost.com Daryl Hall said he had a conversation with Michael Jackson in 1985 about the song 'I 'Can Not Go For That (No Can Do)' ranked number 1 in the month of January 1982.

Daryl Hall and John Oates are hitting the big screen on Feb. 19 with their concert film "Hall & Oates: Live In Dublin," and the legendary duo stopped by HuffPost Live on Wednesday to share stories from their 45-year career -- including the time Michael Jackson admitted to borrowing from them.

Hall had a conversation with the King of Pop in 1985 about the Hall & Oates song 'I Can't Go For That (No Can Do),' which he shared with host Marc Lamont Hill:

We were doing the "We Are The World" session ... and Michael came up to me in conversation and he goes, "Hey man, I hope you don't mind if I stole 'No Can Do.'" And I went, "What do you mean you stole 'No Can Do'?" He said, "Nah, man, I used it for 'Bille Jean.'" I said, "It doesn't sound like 'No Can Do' to me!"

Even though it was "pretty cool" to hear that from Jackson, Hall said he sees no similarity between the two songs, and the encounter was a great example of the mysterious ways inspiration works for every individual musician.

"That just goes to show you, though, an artist can take something that even they may think is, you know, a rip-off -- or whatever you want to call it -- but it's not at all," Hall said.

Source: Huffington Post / Billie Jean


Paris Jackson Visits Neverland, Builds Zen Garden As Grief Therapy. 18-02-'15

Paris JacksonMichael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson continues to bounce back from her 2013 suicide attempt. And as part of her ongoing therapy, the teen has been visiting Neverland.

The exotic animals and carnival rides are long gone from the estate where Paris Jackson once lived with her pop icon father, but she returned recently to help plant a Zen garden on the spot where the Ferris wheel once stood, the report claims. Paris had Michael’s favorite image — a Peter Pan–like boy sitting on a quarter moon — carved into the ground in the middle of the garden, according to the insider, and now uses the spot for peaceful reflection.

“She reflects on how Michael would talk to her about not losing her innocence as a child, to not let people – even family – take advantage of her, and to always look after her brothers,” another insider said.

Meanwhile, Colony Capitol, the investment group that Jackson gave control of the estate to before his 2009 death, is trying to sell the property for $75 million. While Paris had hoped the executors of her father’s wealthy estate would re-purchase the Los Olivos, California, ranch, it appears unlikely.

Source: Radar Online / Billie Jean


Update On The 'Off The Wall' Documentary By Spike Lee. 18-02-'15

As announced in November 2014, Spike Lee is still filming for the 'Off The Wall' Documentary and has now been posted a picture of himself with… Stevie Wonder! Pictures with Berry Gordy & Thomas Lee Bähle ('She’s Out Of My Life').

After the success of ‘BAD25 – the Documentary’, Spike will go back in time and interview all the people involved in the first Michael Jackson Album!

There’s no word yet if a 'Thriller' documentary is a go yet, but we’ll assume it’s only a matter of time and Sony is working on one documentary per album at a time. Asked if he has any scripts in the drawer that he’d like to revive or revisit, Lee said mums the word, not wanting to “jinx” anything.

But during a recent Meet The Filmmaker Apple Store chat for "Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus," when asked if he would return to "The Republic Of Brooklyn" for more narrative features set within the borough, Lee reminded the audience that one is already written. “Definitely,” he said, “I have a script that's a mutherf*cker. I just gotta get the money for it. It's called "Brooklyn Loves MJ." So if we get the money for that, you'll like that too.”

"Brooklyn Loves MJ," which we've written about previously, is a Cain and Abel-esque story set against a backdrop of gentrification in Lee’s Fort Greene neighborhood during the summer of '09, when fans were mourning Jackson's death. Given that the singer's death and music is written into the script, including his likeness, image and myriad references beyond just an inclusion in the title, we’d assumed the stoppage on the project —it was all ready to go with a cast in 2009— was due to music rights. But since Lee, the MJ estate and Sony are on board for further Jackson documentaries, it sounds like funding is the main obstacle. Calling Megan Ellison, the current patron saint of American auteurs: do the right thing.

On top of his "Off The Wall" project, Lee also has a documentary on Brazil in the works called "Go Brazil, Go," which coincidentally is the country in which he shot his first Michael Jackson music video, 'They Don't Care About Us.'

Spike Lee

Spike Lee is still filming for the 'Off The Wall' Documentary and has now been posted a picture of himself with… Stevie Wonder!

Source: The Playlist / Billie Jean

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