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Home / News Archive / News May 2015

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Michael Jackson Nephews Face Eviction God Save Jermajesty! 31-05-'15

Michael Jackson's niece and 4 nephews may be out on the streets, because they're about to be evicted from their home.

You may remember Jaafar ... he's the son of Jermaine and Alejandra Jackson, who got in trouble in 2010 when he bought a stun gun and terrorized Michael's son Blanket. Now Jafaar, along with his brothers Jermajesty, Dante, Randy and sister Genevieve may be without a roof over their heads because their mom's landlord says she's $124,000 behind in rent and has filed legal docs to evict her.

Here's the weird part of the story ... Alejandra was a squatter in the MJ family home on Hayvenhurst in Encino, refusing to leave when Katherine wanted to renovate the estate. Last we heard, Katherine offered to get a modest condo for Alejandra and her kids.

So how, pray tell, did Alejandra and her children end up in a $15,000 a month, 7,000 square foot Mediterranean mansion on 24 acres in Malibu with an 180 degree ocean view? Apparently the landlord has the same question, because he says Alejandra hasn't paid rent for 8 months.

Alejandra Jackson and the Children

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean


Prince JacksonMichael Jackson's Son, Prince, Graduates High School. 30-05-'15

A big congrats goes out to Michael Jackson's son, Prince, who has officially graduated high school!

Prince graduated from Buckley High School in Sherman Oaks, California today. A rep for the family has confirmed the news that was first shared by his proud aunt, LaToya Jackson, on social media.

The son of the late Michael Jackson was joined by his grandmother Katherine Jackson, sister Paris Jackson, and several other relatives.

“When they announced his name, the whole Jackson family stood up and cheered and whistled,” an eyewitness tells Us. “Prince was ecstatic as he crossed the stage and picked up his diploma.”

The onlooker adds that Prince’s family sat in the front row for the ceremony and the graduate posed for photos with his loved ones at the reception. His younger sister Paris, in particular, seemed “very proud” of him.

“She was fixing the collar on Prince’s shirt,” the insider says, “and gave him a big hug and congratulated him.”

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Snippet Of Unreleased Michael Jackson Song 'Seeing Voices' And Never-Seen Footage From 1993’s 'Is This Scary' Leaks Online. 30-05-'15

Michael Jackson fans got a two in one treat today after a one minute snippet of unreleased song 'Seeing Voices' leaked on YouTube set to unreleased footage from Jackson’s 1993 video shoot for 'Is This Scary'.

'Seeing Voices' was conceived by composer, arranger, and orchestrator Sidney Fine with two pianos, one acoustic bass, and a small choir. Fine reached out to the King of Pop to perform vocals on the track, who obliged. Jackson’s longtime engineer Matt Forger, who had known Fine for years thanks to Jackson introducing them, served as recording engineer on the track – and other Fine projects at the time. Once Jackson had recorded his vocal, he told Fine he love the song, but requested that strings be added to the track.

The song was unveiled on May 28, 1999 during a small private event hosted by Fine at the Ventura Club in Sherman Oaks, California. A copy of the invitation details that 'Seeing Voices' is “a song for the deaf” inspired by the title of Dr. Oliver Sacks’ 1989 best selling book of the same name.

The full version of 'Seeing Voices,' which runs 3 minutes and 20 seconds, remains unreleased, as does the complete footage that accompanied the leaked snipped – a one-minute video sample taken from Jackson’s ill-fated (but later resurrected and remade) 1993 film 'Is This Scary'.

According to screenwriter Paul Rudnick, the original concept was for Jackson to record a horror-themed song for Addams Family Values and film a music video to promote it, but when allegations of child molestation were made against Jackson the summer before the film was set to be released, plans changed.

“It was just a little too risky to include [the song] in the final movie at that point,” Rudnick recalls of the situation.

The song – which, contrary to popular belief, was not actually titled 'Is This Scary' according to actress Shana Mangatal (the film was called 'Is This Scary', but not the song) – was set to play during the closing credits of Addams Family Values.

“What is not included in this (leaked) snippet are the scenes with the Addams Family kids,” explains Mangatal. “Christina Ricci and the other two kids were in this too. It included creepy live animals as well. There was an armadillo that the director had crawl right over my feet. We filmed at the CBS/MTM Studios in Studio City, California.”

 

“Michael was very excited to film this,” she adds. “His goal was for it to be ‘scarier than 'Thriller'. We filmed for about 2 weeks. But, after a few days of filming, Michael learned of the allegations, and he was devastated. He stopped showing up to the set. We filmed as much as we could without him, and we did get a lot of footage, but the main piece that we did not get was Michael’s dance sequence.”

Despite not finishing or releasing the song or film in 1993, Jackson wasn’t about to let the project fall by the wayside.

“He was determined to finish 'Is This Scary',” recalls Mangatal, “mainly because of the reason we had to stop. It became his passion project and he really wanted everyone to see it and understand its meaning.”

Jackson would ultimately revisit the project three years later, in 1996, completing and releasing the film under the title Ghosts – a 40-minute re-written version of what he started in 1993 featuring three songs; 'Is It Scary,' '2Bad,' and title track 'Ghosts.'

'Ghosts' is his view of how people perceived him, so it’s very autobiographical,” says Mangatal. “Finishing it was all Michael talked about for three years.”

'Ghosts' is similar to how 'Is This Scary' would have been, but different,” recalls Mangatal. 'Is This Scary' had that same theme, about people being afraid to have Michael around their children, which is ironic being that the allegations hadn’t even hit at the time it was written, cast, and filming had begun.

“For 'Ghosts' he changed directors (to Stan Winston) and re-wrote the script. He also re-cast the entire thing because all of the original kids had grown up,” adds Mangatal, who was the only member of the original 1993 cast that was re-cast for the 1996 version. “There was an actual actor who played ‘The Mayor’ in 'Is This Scary'. Michael only played himself in it.”

The completed 'Ghosts' film, in which Jackson plays a grand total of five characters, stands as one of the most significant artistic feats of his entire career, and is widely considered to be the magnum opus of his unparalleled catalog of short films.

Jackson adored the 'Ghosts' film so much, and was so passionate about having audiences see it, that he was planning on showcasing it in a Halloween TV special on CBS in October 2009 – between the first and second legs of his 'This Is It' residency at London’s O2 Arena.

Source: Damien Shields / Billie Jean


Iconic Magazine 19 CoverIconic Magazine Issue #19 Is Now Available! 30-05-'15

Iconic Magazine Issue #19 is now out! The 'Scream' themed issue has 3 Exclusive interviews including Martin Mervel and Richard Berg, Designers of the ‘Scream’ Short Film Set and Eddie Wolfl will share his memories being the photographer on the set of the most expensive Music Video of all time including images courtesy of Eddie Wolfl!

Celebrating the first single of the HIStory album, Iconic Magazine is going back to 20 years back in the past!

Highlights for Issue 19:

– Exclusive Interview with Eddie Wolfl, Photographer
– Exclusive Interview with Martin Mervel, Architect and Designer of the Scream Set
– Exclusive Interview with Richard Berg, Architect and Designer of the Scream Set

Also Featured:

– World Music Award… What really happened!
– Club Legend
– MJ Starship Voyager Agency
– ‘Scream’ Impact!

Plus the usual News, Collectors Reference, In The Closet Fashion, 2 A3 Posters and much, much more.

To order your copy, click here.

Source: King Of Shop / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch On Market For $100 Million. 29-05-'15

Neverland Ranch, the former home of the late pop star Michael Jackson, is up for sale with an asking price of $US100 million, according to a person with knowledge of the offering.

Thomas Barrack jnr said last July that he was preparing to market the 2680 acre estate in the Santa Ynez Valley, known for its wineries. The property, about 210 kilometres north-west of Los Angeles, was named after the island in J.M. Barrie's story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up.

Prices for coastal California real estate have soared since the housing crash, when Barrack's Colony Capital acquired the property at a time Jackson faced financial troubles. A record number of homes around the world have asking prices at $US100 million or more as a growing number of global billionaires seek trophy property, according to a report last month by Christie's International Real Estate.

"We've really just been custodians of an irreplaceable estate and are proud to say we've restored it to the original elegance Michael first envisioned," he said in an email to Bloomberg News in July 2014. "We are now considering putting it up for sale."

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the marketing plan earlier on Thursday, said the property had been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch. The Journal cited Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby's International Realty, who shares the listing with Harry Kolb of Sotheby's and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland.

Perkins and Kolb referred questions to Caroline Luz, a Barrack spokeswoman, who said Colony declined to comment. Hyland didn't respond to messages seeking comment.

Neverland Ranch

Prices for coastal California real estate have soared since the housing crash, when Barrack's Colony Capital acquired the property at a time Michael Jackson faced financial troubles.

Source: WAtoday / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's 1999 Barnstaple Performance Claimed To Be Lookalike. 28-05-'15

MJ LookalikeIt has finally been confirmed that a 'Michael Jackson' performance in Barnstaple in 1999 was actually just a lookalike.

There was a media frenzy after the star apparently performed at the Queen’s Theatre on October 17th, 1999 – but the Journal was one of the only papers to allege it was not actually the man himself.

And now professional dancer Anthony King has written a blog claiming it was in fact his brother who played Michael Jackson on that day.

He said: “My brother played Michael Jackson, I was involved with the choreography, I danced in the show, I produced and edited the music for the show and I also directing the lighting and pyrotechnics earlier on in the day.

“We, my brother and the team went down to Devon and we performed the show. Now, nobody said that Michael Jackson was performing. What happened was that we turned up to the theatre in a very extravagant way.”

The show itself was billed as a secret charity event organised by Matt Fiddes, who was Michael Jackson’s bodyguard.

Only one photographer ever surfaced of the event, which was incredibly blurry.

Despite a statement from Michael Jackson’s record company at the time confirming he was in fact in Los Angeles, it was still widely reported that the man himself was in Barnstaple.

“The next day the media were crazy, Michael Jackson had performed in Devon,” said Anthony. “This literally went around the whole world. They interview all the staff and all the technicians and it was quite funny actually. The Big breakfast show was a favourite of mine because they were analysing US, what we wore, what we said, it was very very funny. If you just be quiet the impression you can give. Also, they said that we were American, and I don’t think I sound American.”

Anthony said he even managed to convince Michael Jackson’s pyrotechnician that the star himself was in Barnstaple.

“It was really fun that he didn’t even notice after touring with Michael that it wasn’t Michael,” he said. “I just thought that this was crazy…I have to admit. I thought it was fun, I thought my brother looked amazing. The dancers, Frazier, Solomon, Rob and myself.

“I thought that it was okay but I did not think that it would convince people but it obviously did and the word really did get out across the whole world and even when Michael Jackson’s record company put out a statement saying that it wasn’t Michael Jackson, people STILL didn’t believe it.

“It really really was a crazy week and the show was October 17th, 1999 and that week the headlines news were ‘Michael Jackson in Barnstaple’.”

Source: North Devon Journal / Billie Jean


Molestation Claim Against Michael Jackson's Estate Dismissed. 27-05-'15

A choreographer who accused Michael Jackson of years of molestation cannot pursue his allegations against the singer's estate because he waited too long to file the legal action, a judge ruled.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff wrote in his ruling Tuesday that Wade Robson's claim is untimely and should be dismissed.

Robson had previously denied the pop superstar molested him and testified in Jackson's defense at the singer's criminal trial in 2005. Robson also spoke favorably about Jackson after the singer's death in 2009.

However, Robson sued Jackson's estate in May 2013 over the molestation allegations.

Attorneys for Robson said Jackson molested him over a seven-year period. Attorneys for Jackson's estate have denied the allegations.

Robson's attorney Maryann Marzano wrote in a statement that Beckloff's ruling will be appealed, and the molestation claim will be pursued against Jackson's business entities.

Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman praised the ruling and noted Robson's previous testimony about Jackson.

"Mr. Robson testified under oath in a courtroom that Michael never did anything improper with him," Weitzman wrote in an email.

Wade Robson

Wade as a boy posing with his then friend Michael Jackson, who he would alter defend against child molestation charges.

Marzano, however, wrote that her client was incapable of filing his legal action any sooner due to psychological damage he suffered. She also noted that Beckloff's ruling did not make any determination about whether Robson's allegations were factual.

"We are confident that when all the facts are presented in civil court, there will be no doubt left about just what kind of sexual predator Jackson was," Marzano wrote.

Robson was 5 when he met Jackson, and he spent the night at Neverland Ranch more than 20 times, sleeping in the singer's bedroom on most visits, he told jurors during the trial that ended with Jackson's acquittal.

Robson told jurors that Jackson had "absolutely not" molested him during the trial.

Robson, an Australian-born choreographer, has appeared on the Fox series "So You Think You Can Dance" and worked with Britney Spears and other stars.

Marzano argued at an April hearing that the seriousness of the claims being lodged against Jackson's estate warranted a full evidentiary hearing.

Jackson estate attorney Jonathan Steinsapir argued that the law doesn't allow liability for a person's actions to transfer to their estate in perpetuity, and that Robson missed his opportunity to file a claim.

Jackson died at 50 while preparing for a series of comeback concerts dubbed "This Is It." His estate benefits his mother and three children.

The pop singer died deeply in debt, but a posthumous bounce in the popularity of his music has generated hundreds of millions of dollars.

Robson filed one of the last major claims against Jackson's estate, although disputes with a former business manager, another man alleging underage sexual abuse, and the IRS remain unresolved.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Kai ChaseA Celebration Of Life – A Tribute To Michael Jackson. 26-05-'15

Reva Thomas & Legacy Of Love presents 'A Celebration of Life – a Tribute to Michael Jackson', special guest: Michael Jackson’s Private Chef Kai Chase.

When: Friday August 28th, 2015 from 6 p.m.

Location: New York City

Venue: kitchentablenyc

An exclusive intimate dining event prepared by Kai Chase.

This event will include a five star four course meal prepared by the lovely and talented Ms Kai Chase.

In addition to the dinner, there will be a moderated Q & A session with Ms Chase.

A portion of the event proceeds will be donated to two of Michael’s favorite charities, the Lupus Foundation and the Make A Wish Foundation.

Location: New York City

Venue: kitchentablenyc.

Tickets and seating to this limited and exclusive event are extremely limited and are on a first come first served basis.

For further inquiries regarding tickets and pricing, please contact Ms Reva Thomas at revathomas@gmail.com or call: 917-392-1300 (plus US code if calling from abroad.)

We are looking forward to seeing you at this beautiful once in a lifetime event!

(Please note this event is not an official event but one organised by Reva with love!)

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Estate Sued For Unpaid Neverland Ranch Fees. 26-05-'15

A lending company is suing the estate of Michael Jackson for $4.58 million for services connected with the refinancing of the late singer’s Neverland Ranch.

Genesis Group International Inc. and its president and CEO, Kevin Kinsey, filed the breach-of-contract suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

An attorney for the Jackson estate could not be immediately reached.

The lawsuit states that the King of Pop refinanced Neverland in August 2007 for $45 million. Jackson agreed to pay 10 percent of the loan amount plus fees, totaling $4.58 million.

Genesis paid $46 million into an escrow in January 2008, but the process terminated because the singer did not sign the necessary documents, the suit states.

Jackson did not comply with a demand to pay the fees and escrow costs owed, the suit states. He died in June 2009 at age 50 of acute propofol intoxication.

Genesis filed a creditor’s claim against the estate, but it was rejected this month by John Branca, who along with John McClain is a special administrator of the estate. Both men are also defendants in the lawsuit.

Neverland Ranch

Source: MY News LA / Billie Jean


Healthy Living Magazine CoverPaula Abdul On Working With The Jacksons. 24-05-'15

In the May 2015 issue of Healthy Living Magazine, Paula Abdul has a lifelong protocol for a fit, healthy and active body and passionately shares her expertise in this interview.

Discovered by the Jackson in the early 80’s, Paula soon rose to success by becoming choreographer to Janet Jackson and The Jacksons Victory Tour. From being a star on her own as a vocalist and dancer, to being a judge on top television shows such as American Idol, X Factor and currently So You Think You Can Dance, Paula has become one of the few stars to ever have a triumphant career spanning three decades, making her an inspiration to young talents of several generations.

HL: Is it true that the Jacksons discovered you?

Paula Abdul: Yes, I was a Laker girl and their choreographer. I turned them into a dance dream and the Laker girls were getting a lot of notoriety. The brothers were season ticket holders and they needed a choreographer. They approached the front office and asked, “Who does choreography for the Laker girls?”

HL: Were you close to Michael Jackson?

Paula Abdul: I was fortunate enough to have a working experience with him, and there was none quite like him I’ve ever met. And what’s beautiful about Michael is that he’s influenced every single dancer that comes on the show. I mean, some of their earliest conscious memories, they’ll say “watching Michael Jackson.” So it’s beautiful to see how much he meant to the world of dance.

HL: You must miss him then. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him too, right before he passed and he definitely had an influence on me, even thought I’m not a choreographer or a dancer.

Paula Abdul: I got to work with him and experience the intensity of a true professional. He wanted everything to be perfect, and he was a big proponent of practice until it’s perfect. And I grew up that way as well. There’s a certain freedom in performing, and I always tell this to the dancers all the time that yo must know the material inside out perfectly, like that it’s a part of your everyday vocabulary so that you can throw away worrying about steps and just live in the performance. When do the practices and the rehearsing enough that you know what you’re doing inside out, only then do you have the freedom to create greatness, because now it’s so inside of you that you can make every performance different, even though your performance is the same piece of material.

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean


The Trials Of Michael JacksonThe Trials Of Michael Jackson: The Media Exposed. 23-05-'15

The Trials of Michael Jackson is an extraordinary documentary/movie. Dana Gedrick and Barry Shaw, who produced the movie, came like others to film the trial. However, as they began to see the unspeakable reality, they stopped filming the trial. They began to film the media and the fans. “No one could have been prepared for what was to come. They had not anticipated all the compassion that would come from Michael’s fans, more importantly, they had no idea of how vicious the media was. Money grabbing media had already prepared headline reading guilty, and the verdict hadn’t even come in! Journalists, who for money did all they could possibly do remove fans from the trial, even assaulting them. The trial was a money maker for journalists, but this movie was their nightmare!

The Trials of Michael Jackson offers a seldom seen before and fascinating look into the workings of how the media reported on the Michael Jackson trial in 2005. I highly recommend it. It reveals eye-opening insights into how the media operates behind the scenes in order to present their version of the “truth”. From reporters rehearsing a guilty speech before the verdict was even announced, to their reactions when the camera was turned on them for a change, to their attempts at manipulating the fans and how those in support of Michael were viewed.

Broadcast date: Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 1:00 am

Special guests: Dana Gedrick and Gregory Son, go to the website.

Source: Blogtalk Radio / Billie Jean


'HIStory' Event In Brussels (Belgium) October 3, 2015. 22-05-'15

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Michael Jackson's 'HIStory' album, the MJ Backstage team invites you to an extraordinary event in Brussels (Belgium) October 3rd, 2015.

During an unforgettable afternoon and a historic evening, the MJ Backstage team will make you rediscover the most personal album of Michael Jackson and take you on a journey full of surprises in the "making of" of the 'HIStory' album.

8 hours of activities, conferences, shops, meeting fans and many surprises await you during the afternoon. And in the evening, an original show brings together artists from all walks like Mick Dancer, Caro Hakim, Flow Jackson, Phil It, David Jackson and others. Do not miss.

Event reservation only. Set aside your place now to be sure to attend this amazing moment.

All information and reservations are on makinghistory.strikingly.com.

This event will take place at the Theatre Le Fou Rire, rue des Deux Gares 124B 1070 Brussels (Belgium). fourire.be.

Making HIStory

Source: MJ Backstage / Billie Jean


MJ’s Lanterns Of LOVE 2015. 22-05-'15

Who: Michael Jackson Fans of Southern California (MJFSC)
Where: Santa Monica Pier
When: June 26, 2015 - 8 to 10:30pm
Lanterns: $5.00 each

♥ 2015 Second annual MJ's Lanterns of LOVE ♥ will be held in the same place as last year. Lanterns will be placed in the sand on the south side of the pier. Look for the beach restrooms and swings we will be located half way to the water on the beach. Write your message of LOVE on the Lantern for the event and then take it home with the LED lite for a memento ♥ or if you choose to, as many did last year, pay it forward to someone who can not afford a lantern.

Lanterns can not be sold to the fans on the beach so they will need to be purchased ahead of time via Paypal (instructions below).

Luminary lantern's for this Santa Monica event includes the decorative, die cut, flame retardant, luminary lantern and an LED light. The price of each Lantern is $5.00. This covers the cost of each lantern + the led light, the shipping charged at the time I purchase them, taxes, Paypal fees, and Paypal's conversion fees.

There are 100 lanterns left from last year. These will be used and any other purchased this year will be added to this number.

More info here.

MJ's Lanterns Of LOVE 2015

Source: Michael's Heart Blog / Billie Jean


Louis Johnson, Legendary Bassist, Dead At 60. 21-05-'15

Louis Johnson, one of the greatest bass players of all time has died at the age of 60 years. Known as one of the main bassites Jackson, Louis Johnson admitted readily that the bass line of which he was most proud of was that of 'Get On The Floor' on the 'Off The Wall' album. Nicknamed "Thunder Thumbs", Louis Johnson had become master of the art of slap which he loved to use and abuse throughout his career.

This is Quincy Jones who met the Johnson brothers, Louis and George from The Brothers Johnson in the mid-70s and therefore proposed as bassist Louis Johnson from the album 'Off The Wall' on tracks like 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', 'Working Day And Night', the famous 'Get On The Floor' but also 'Off The Wall','Girlfriend', 'She's Out Of My Life', 'I Can't Help It', 'It's The Falling In Love' and' 'Burn This Disco Out'.

If Michael Jackson also appears on the album 'Light Up The Night' of the Brothers Johnson in 1980 is on the title 'This Had To Be' on which he made the choirs and he co-wrote with George and Louis. Both artists are also found on the album 'The Dude' Quincy Jones in 1981 or that of Donna Summer and the title 'State Of Independence' in 1982. Louis Johnson will also present on the 'Thriller' album with the title 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', 'The Girl Is Mine', 'Billie Jean', 'PYT' and 'The Lady In My Life'.

Also present on the worldwide hit 'We Are The World', Louis Johnson will continue to collaborate with Michael Jackson on 'Who Is It' the album 'Dangerous'. Incredibly fame, Louis Johnson also worked with artists like George Benson, James Ingram, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, and many others ...

R.I.P. Mr Louis Johnson. And thank you for these bass lines that marked forever the history of music.

Louis Johnson

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


New Book 'The Genius Of Michael Jackson' Available October 2015. 21-05-'15

The Genius Of Michael Jackson Book CoverA brand new biography on the King of Pop, 'The Genius Of Michael Jackson' is set for release on October 20th, 2015.

Written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Steve Knopper, the book is being billed by its publisher as “the ultimate critical biography of the King of Pop: a panoramic, vivid, and incisive portrait of Michael Jackson that explores and celebrates his influence in music, dance, and popular culture.”

“From the moment in 1965 when he first stepped on stage with his brothers at a local talent show in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was destined to become the undisputed King of Pop,” reads the book’s blurb in its online listings. “In a career spanning four decades, Jackson became a global icon, selling over 400 million albums, earning thirteen Grammy awards, and spinning dance moves that captivated the world.

Songs like 'Billie Jean' and 'Black Or White' altered our national discussion of race and equality, and Jackson’s signature aesthetic, from the single white glove to the moonwalk, defined a generation. Despite years of scandal and controversy, Jackson’s ultimate legacy will always be his music.

Knopper delves deeply into Michael Jackson’s music and talent. From the artist’s early days with the Jackson 5, to his stratospheric success as a solo artist, to 'Beat It' and 'Thriller,' 'Bad' and 'The Man In The Mirror,' to his volatile final years, his attempted comeback, and untimely death, Knopper explores the beguiling and often contradictory forces that fueled Michael Jackson’s genius.

Drawing on an amazing 400 interviews—ranging from Jackson’s relatives, friends, and key record executives to celebrities like will.i.am and Weird Al Yankovic—this critical biography puts all the elements of his career into perspective, and celebrates his triumph in art and music. This is a rare and panoramic view into the genius and influence of an incomparable talent.”

The book 'The Genius Of Michael Jackson' is available for pre-order now via Amazon.

Publisher: Scribner
Author: Steve Knopper
ISBN: 978-1476730370
Pages: 432
Guide price: 24 €

Source: Amazon / Damien Shields / Billie Jean


ThrillerThe 2015 Phoenix Comicon Convention Will Feature MJ’s Thriller! 21-05-'15

A retrospective look at the making of Michael Jackson’s ground breaking music video and album 'Thriller'. Get a behind the scenes tour of the film makers, make up effects, dancers, musicians and artists responsible for creating some of the most influential music and images of all time. Stick around, immediately following will be the “Dance The Thriller Panel” to teach you all the dance moves.

Date: Friday, May 22 10:30am – 11:30am

Where: Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ

Location: West 213B

Who Will Be There: Jason Alofs

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


A Night At The ApolloThe Best Of The Apollo’s Last 30 Years. 20-05-'15

New York City is full of famous music venues but few if any can live up to the flory of The Apollo Theater in Harlem, which has hosted the legendary Amateur Night for more than 50 years, as well as playing host to James Brown‘s Live at the Apollo, which many consider to be among the greatest live albums of all time.

Few realize the dark period the venue went through during the ’70s and ’80s however, totaling nearly ten years where the famous stage was closed. It would be bought and given a shot in the arm however, reopening during May 1985, ready again to host the rowdiest of concerts. Music Times has dug through the last 30 years to find some of the most momentous events and great concerts held at The Apollo since it reopened.

“Motown Salutes The Apollo” (1985)

It’s only fitting that one of the biggest night’s in the venue’s history was the night the concert hall reopened. Motown hails from Detroit, of course, but no one at Berry Gordy‘s label would deny the role that the Apollo had in popularizing its biggest acts thanks to its touring Motown Revue. After all, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 had played Amateur Night before becoming one of the biggest acts out of Motown. It was a concert experience that goes beyond the imagination of those who could only watch on TV: Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Wilson Pickett were among the former members of the Motown label in attendance.

On top of that, other stars affiliated with other labels—such as Rod Stewart, George Michael and Al Green stopped by as well. The night was emceed by Bill Cosby (who cut his teeth as a comedian upon the same stage), but of course the highlight of the night was the appearance by James Brown, the performer who above all made the venue legendary. The event also saluted the 50th anniversary of the theater’s founding, not just its renovation.

“Michael Jackson"

The de facto star of the Jackson 5 was unable to attend the Motown Salutes show as a result of being the biggest performer in the universe at that moment. He did, however, come into town for a Democratic National Convention fundraiser that was held at the theatre during 2002. Jackson, then 43, played hits such as 'Dangerous', 'Black Or White' (with guitarist Dave Navaro) and 'Heal The World' (joined by Diana Ross).

Although other performers, such as the aforementioned Diana Ross and Tony Bennett, as well as k.d. lang were on hand, most of the attention was on Jackson, who performed less and less during those years. Tickets pushed $5,000 for the gig, resulting in nearly $3 million raised for the “Every Vote Counts” campaign. The show would be notable for a far more unfortunate reason however: It was the last time that Jackson ever performed publicly.

Source: Music Times / Billie Jean


The Mission Clothing Red Lion Shirt, As Seen On Michael Jackson In 'This Is It', Has Been Re-issued And Is Available Exclusively At TattooApparel. 18-05-'15

In 2009 Michael Jackson was last seen on stage rehearsing for his upcoming This Is It shows. With the King of Pop’s untimely passing, a movie, entitled 'This Is It', was released to pay homage to MJ’s vision for this show. Footage of the last rehearsal were a large part of the movie and photographs from that day were used as the artwork for the 'This Is It' Music CD. Michael Jackson spent much of that rehearsal wearing a red button front shirt with a Lion design, large letter M and rhinestone accents on it.

The shirt Michael was wearing that day was the Red Lion shirt by Los Angeles based Mission Clothing. It is easy to guess what attracted him to the shirt. Mr. Jackson was known to be fond of the color red, the Lion is seen as “the King” and the shirt had a large M on it. The M actually stood for the brand Mission Clothing but all these things factored into making it a shirt that was perfect for the King of Pop.

After Michael Jackson passed away retailers including, Perpetual Vogue – Tattoo Apparel who carried the Mission Clothing brand fielded requests from MJ fans worldwide who wanted to purchase the shirt. Retailers saw their existing stock sell out quickly. At the same time some unscrupulous clothing manufacturers in China started making low quality fake versions of the shirt, essentially stealing the design and making counterfeit versions of the shirt. To maintain the integrity of their brand and their design Mission chose to retire the design at that time so as to not be affiliated in any way with the fake shirts being made.

Much time has passed yet Michael Jackson fans continue to request access to the real version of this shirt. They want the real deal, the hand embellished shirt that is made in Los Angeles by Mission Clothing, just like what Michael wore. Mission Clothing has now re-released the shirt so it is available again to Michael Jackson fans to purchase. In order to control the authenticity of the shirt so that fans will know that they are receiving the real shirt, Mission has decided to only offer the shirt for sale through the Perpetual Vogue Store and the Perpetual Vogue online sales venues. The shirt may, in the future, be available at tribute shows but as of now the only place to purchase the authentic Mission Lion Shirt in store is at the Perpetual Vogue Shop in La Habra California and online at web sites and online venues that are part of Perpetual Vogue such as http://www.TattooApparel.com.

Red Lion Shirt

The Mission Lion shirt is a trademarked design by Mission Clothing Los Angeles. It is red cotton button front shirt with a touch of spandex for stretch. Each shirt has been individually printed and hand detailed. The shirt is a very slim fitting men’s shirt. Most gentlemen go up a size for the best fit. Since it is slim fitting it was also very popular with ladies who like to wear it over leggings. The shirt care label recommends dry cleaning.

Michael Jackson can be seen wearing the shirt in the This Is It movie trailer and other videos from the This Is It rehearsal. There are also photos in the CD case and many photos online and on fan web sites.

This is the ultimate Michael Jackson fan collectible. It can be worn, saved as part of a collection or framed. The actual shirt design, just like what Michael himself wore is the perfect MJ fan collectible. Fans of the King of Pop can own the same shirt design that Michael himself owned and wore. Available again now for a limited time at TattooApparel.com.

The Perpetual Vogue Store and TattooApparel.com have been in business for over ten years. They have carried the Mission Clothing line for many years. Perpetual Vogue – Tattoo Apparel carries clothing and accessories that appeal to musicians and rock stars. They have many musicians among their customers and occasionally style bands for music video shoots. The Perpetual Vogue store is located in Southern California. The store is normally open to the public Tuesday – Saturday. Customers can also shop online 24/7 at TattooApparel.com. They ship worldwide.

Order here the Red Lion Shirt.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


In The Studio With MJ-  The Lab"In The Studio With MJ – The Lab" Hits Toronto May 23! 15-05-'15

“In The Studio With MJ – The Lab” is a first-person seminar offering an in-depth perspective on working with Michael Jackson in the recording studio and at his amazing residence, Neverland Valley Ranch. This is a very rare chance to hear from Brad Sundberg (Michael’s Technical Director) in an interactive, music and memory filled day.

“The Lab concept will give Toronto guests a chance to hear some new ideas I have been working on for the seminar. It needs to stay fresh for both new and retuning guests, and Toronto is always a great place to try new ideas,” says Sundberg.

Sundberg will offer humorous and informative insights about more than 17 years working with Michael. The event is packed with music, videos, personal behind-the-scenes stories and photos. It is a very unique opportunity for people interested in the music industry, and in Michael Jackson in particular, to see, hear and learn what it was like to work side-by-side with a true music legend. Sundberg worked on the 'Bad', 'Dangerous' and 'HIStory' albums, plus many remixes, video mixes and special projects including designing countless music and electronic systems at Neverland Valley Ranch.

“The seminars were born out a desire from Michael Jackson’s fans to know more about how these incredible projects came to life,” says Brad Sundberg, seminar host/producer. “People want to go back to the music, to where it all began – in the studio. His creative process was unlike anything I have ever been a part of, and if I can give people just a glimpse of what it was like, that’s very rewarding.”

From studio production to tour prep to Neverland Valley Ranch, Sundberg was there and he generously shares not just technical info, but also personal memories and stories.

Over the past three years Sundberg has presented his seminar to guests from all over the globe, in cities across the U.S., Europe and Russia, and beyond his “In The Studio With MJ – The Lab” seminar in Toronto on May 23 he will continue to travel the U.S., and the world, including the following dates:

June 25, 26, 27, 28 – Cologne, Germany
July 4, 5 – Madrid, Spain
August 29 – Chicago, IL
September 5 – Orlando, Florida
October 10 – Las Vegas, NV
November 7, 8 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

For more information on In The Studio With MJ, or to buy tickets to any of the above-listed seminar dates, visit www.inthestudiowithmj.com

Source: Damien Shields / Billie Jean


Motown: The Musical To Premiere At The Shaftesbury Theatre In February 2016. 15-05-'15

Tickets for the West End production of Motown the Musical, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre in February 2016, are released for sale later today (15 May 2015).

With music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. London previews will begin on 11 February 2016 with press night on 8 March 2016 with the show booking to 22 October 2016. Casting and further information about Motown the Musical will be released shortly.

Featuring an eighteen piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough', 'All Night Long', 'I’ll Be There', 'Dancing In The Street', 'Stop! In The Name Of Love', 'My Girl', 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' and 'For Once In My Life', Charles Randolph-Wright’s production tells the story behind the classic hits.

Motown The Musical

Tony nominated Motown the Musical received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and recouped its $18 million investment by the end of 2014. The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim last spring in Chicago, grossing $20 million dollars during its standing room only sixteen-week run, and continues to play to packed house across America.

Motown the Musical has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Joseph Joubert. Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by Esosa, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Peter Hylenski and projections by Daniel Brodie.

Motown the Musical will be produced in the West End by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel.

Motown The Muiscal Tickets on sale very soon.

Source: PR Web / Billie Jean

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