John Branca gave a rare interview to WGUF Naples Talk Radio last Thursday (January 12) to talk about his career and of course being the head of the Michael Jackson Estate.
Here below the part of the show where he speaks about Michael Jackson and the Estate:
Branca represented Michael Jackson for many years. The CBS news show “60 Minutes” credited him, as a trustee of Jackson’s estate, with the single greatest turnaround in entertainment history after he helped return more than $600 million to the estate in the first three years after Jackson’s death. The estate was $500 million in debt.
“It was challenging at first,” he conceded.
Here are just a few of the projects Branca helped orchestrate as a co-executor of the estate:
» Michael Jackson ONE, a permanent Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Mandalay Bay show that opened in June 2013 and is breaking attendance records;
» Release of “Xscape” in 2014, an album of previously unreleased Jackson recordings, which reached No. 1 on the charts in 52 countries;
» “Slave To The Rhythm,” a “holographic” Jackson performance at the Billboard Music Awards, netting over 11.5 million “live” views and hundreds of millions of views online.
Branca teased there’s “more to come.” He credits the success of the estate more to Jackson’s talents than to his own, describing Jackson as the “greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
“Michael was always breaking the rules and pushing the boundaries,” he said.
Branca said he has kept relationships with other clients strictly professional, but that Jackson was different. Years ago, Jackson was the best man in Branca’s first wedding and showed up with a well-dressed date (his chimp, Bubbles, in a tuxedo). Branca still laughs when he talks about it today.
Following his interview last November where Branca said probably no more unreleased music will be released from the Estate, Fans are anxious to see what “more to come” means!
We all know that 2017 will see a special 'Thriller' release since John Landis hits the fans with the secret for the last few years! What more can they give us without any new music? It seems we will see more of 'Off The Wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad' in the next few decades then as the Estate seems to concentrate their efforts only on those 3 albums or eras. Is it a “Brand” decision? No projects are in the pipe line for latest albums such as 'Dangerous', 'HIStory', 'Blood On The Dance Floor' and 'Invincible' despite their failed attempt to celebrate 'Dangerous 25' with some online marketing and merchandise.
“more to come”…
Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean
Controversial Michael Jackson TV Episode Canceled. 13-01-'17
European pay-TV company Sky has ditched plans to air the controversial footage from British comedy series “Urban Myths” in which Joseph Fiennes plays the singer Michael Jackson.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said: “We have taken the decision not to broadcast ‘Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon,’ a half-hour episode from the Sky Arts 'Urban Myths' series, in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family. We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
The singer’s daughter, Paris Jackson, has called the portrayal “shameful” after viewing a trailer for the series. She tweeted: “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”
Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson joined the condemnation. “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect,” he tweeted.
In the episode, Michael Jackson is seen making a road-trip across the US with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after 9/11. Stockard Channing plays Taylor and Brian Cox is Brando.
Paris Jackson also objected to the portrayal of Taylor, a close friend of her father’s and her godmother. “It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother Liz as well,” Jackson tweeted.
She added: “Where is the respect? They worked through blood, sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. Shameful portrayal.”
Source: Page Six / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Among The Nominees For 2017 "NME" Awards. 12-01-'17
Michael Jackson are among the many artists who have been nominated for the 2017 "NME" Awards. The late Bowie, aptly, is in the running for the Hero of the Year prize, while Springsteen's memoir Born To Run scored a nod for best book and the reissue of the late King of Pop's 1979 album 'Off The Wall' is vying for the Best Reissue honor.
Also nominated for Best Reissue are updated versions of R.E.M.'s 1991 album 'Out Of Time' and Pink Floyd's 1971 release 'Meddle'.
Meanwhile, the recent concert film The Rolling Stones 'Havana Moon' and the documentary 'The Beatles: Eight Days A Week -- The Touring Years' received nods in the Best Music Film category.
Beyoncé leads all nominees with five nominations. Pop/R&B superstar is up for the Best Album, Best Video, Music Moment of the Year, Hero of the Year and Best International Female trophies.
You can check out the full list of nominees at NME.com. Voting for the NME Awards is open now; the winners will be announced February 15 in London.
Source: ABC News Radio / Billie Jean
Here’s What Michael Jackson's Family Had To Say About That Trailer. 12-01-'17
In case you missed it Joseph Fiennes will play legendary popstar Michael Jackson in a new TV series, 'Urban Myths'.
The controversial casting continues to make headlines after the first teaser trailer was released.
Michael Jackson's family members have slammed the show.
His nephew Taj Jackson and daughter, Paris Jackson called the show disrespectful and insulting.
In response to a user Taj said the show is blatant disrespect.
In a series of tweets, Paris went on to say that the trailer makes her want to vomit and tarnishes both MJ's and Elizabeth Taylor's legacies.
Source: Channel24 / Billie Jean
'Urban Myths' Trailer Offers First Look At Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson. 10-01-'17
Sky Arts has debuted the first trailer for Urban Myths, the upcoming comedy starring Joseph Fiennes as the late Michael Jackson.
The British TV film also stars Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando and tells the story of a fabled road trip the three real-life stars took following the 9/11 terror attacks.
Amid backlash last year to news of the casting of a white man to play the King of Pop, Fiennes told The Hollywood Reporter last February (16) that though the film is "not a biopic," he understood why people were "up in arms.
"The decision with the casting and the producers -- I wrangled with it, I was confused and shocked at what might come my way," Fiennes said, "and I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael's fans and to Michael's family. It doesn't negate who he was."
The comedy also stars Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, Ben Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aidan Gillen as Dr. Leary, David Threlfall as Samuel Beckett, Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon as Adolf Hitler and Rupert Grint as Hitler's friend.
'Urban Myths' debuts Jan. 19 on the U.K.'s Sky Arts. Watch the trailer below.
Source: Billboard / Billie Jean
Rewinding The Charts: In 1983, Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson Thrilled With 'The Girl Is Mine'.
Macca & MJ scored the first of two hit duets with the lead single from 'Thriller'.
Lightning struck twice in 1983 for Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The pop icons teamed up to achieve the rare feat of scoring two hit duets in little more than a year — with the first, 'The Girl Is Mine', rocketing to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Jan. 8, 1983.
The collaboration between the former Beatle and the ex-Jackson 5 singer — who each had built enduring solo careers — came about, as the song's producer, Quincy Jones, told Billboard in 2009, simply because "Michael and I just wanted to work with Paul." Jones suggested the song's subject of two men squabbling over a woman, and Jackson, who was 24 at the time, wrote the tune while watching cartoons with McCartney, who was 40.
With its star power-times-two, "Girl" served as the lead single from Jackson's opus 'Thriller'. Second and third singles 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It' followed, both hitting No. 1, for seven and three weeks, respectively, in 1983. The album has been certified 32-times platinum by the RIAA – the best total of all time.
Jackson and McCartney did even better with their next duet, 'Say Say Say', which hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 for six weeks beginning in late 1983. It was released from McCartney's 'Pipes Of Peace' album, which includes a third duet, 'The Man'.
Despite their chemistry in the studio, the pop stars' relationship deteriorated in 1985 after Jackson acquired the ATV Music Publishing catalog, which included rights to The Beatles songs written by McCartney and John Lennon. McCartney, who, ironically, had counseled Jackson on the value of owning publishing rights, also had sought to purchase the catalog.
The two never collaborated again, but McCartney, who still tours and records, had only kind words to say when Jackson died suddenly in 2009 at the age of 50 due to a fatal combination of medications in his system. "He was a massively talented boy-man with a gentle soul," said McCartney. "His music will be remembered forever, and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."
This story first appeared in the Billboard issue dated Jan. 14.
Source: Billboard / Billie Jean
Remo D’Souza is an Indian dancer, choreographer, actor and film director.
Remo D’Souza To Helm Michael Jackson Biopic? 07-01-'17
Choreographer turned filmmaker Remo D’Souza has remained in the news over the last few days due to his forthcoming film with Salman Khan. However, it has come to know that D’Souza has attempted to start a process to make a biopic on the life of pop legend Michael Jackson.
D’Souza confirmed that he’s already taken the first step. He told Asian Age, “MJ is famous all over the world. Everyone everywhere knows about him. I will surely make a biopic on him. The rights are not with me yet, it’s with Sony and with the family. But I have already mailed them about my desire to make the biopic. I am waiting for them to respond. This will be an international project for me”.
He went on to say, “It’s my dream to make this film but many things need to fall into place before that.”
Interestingly, Tiger Shroff starrer ‘Munna Michael’ will have the influence of the pop artise too.
There are hopes of many in Hollywood for such a film to be made about Jackson too since 2009.
More information on Remo: Remo D’Souza is an Indian dancer, choreographer, actor and film director. Although he is mainly involved in choreography, he has also contributed to other Indian film industries, mainly Bengali cinema.
Source: Biz Asia / Billie Jean
Nate Smith Talks About The Song He Wrote For Michael Jackson. 06-01-'17
Drummer Nate Smith, who's played with everyone from Dave Holland and Chris Potterto Regina Carter during his two-decade-plus long career, is preparing to release his debut album KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere (Feb. 3, Ropeadope).
You also have a credit on a Michael Jackson song, right?
I was a grad student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and I was producing -- as I always have -- R&B music. It's a part of my life that jazz fans and listeners don't really know about. I was just making demos in my bedroom, and I met a guy who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew Teddy Riley. One of the tracks that I wrote ended up in Teddy's hands as he was soliciting songs to Michael Jackson for the 'Invincible' album. One of the songs I wrote became made the album -- it's called 'Heaven Can Wait'. It came out in 2001...it was a long and winding road. [Laughs] It remains the biggest and most miraculous accident of my career. It's something I definitely plan to return to.
When the Michael Jackson thing happened, I wasn't prepared for it at all. For the first two weeks after that record came out, every A&R would take my call. I could get any meeting I wanted. But I'd roll up to the meeting, and I didn't have anything to play for them! I didn't have a catalog of 'Heaven Can Wait's. That's the lesson I learned: be ready. When that kind of opportunity comes, you've gotta be ready for it.
Nate Smith performs during Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona at Sala Barts on Nov. 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.
Source: Billboard / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson’s Lawyers Claim Choreographer Is Withholding Evidence In Sex Assault Lawsuit.
Lawyers for Michael Jackson’s companies claim choreographer Wade Robson is dragging his feet and withholding critical evidence in his lawsuit claiming child sex assault.
They've filed new documents asking a Los Angeles judge to order $17,100 in sanctions against Robson for allegedly "failing" to produce materials for a book project and communications with his family members.
In the new paperwork obtained by the Daily News, the lawyers are asking the judge to order a third-party forensic examination of Robson's email accounts, computers and devices to ensure they get all the material they’re entitled to review.
“Robson has redacted more than seventy emails between himself and his family — improperly hiding these communications behind the cloak of the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine,” the filing signed by lawyer Howard Weitzman, a longtime lawyer for Jackson’s estate, claims.
“Robson's family members are not lawyers,” the filing states.
A lawyer for Robson, meanwhile, called the accusations baseless.
"Mr. Robson produced every single bit of discoverable information he possesses respective to this case many months ago,” Vince Finaldi said in a Wednesday statement to The News.
“This latest filing by the Jackson camp is nothing but a transparent attempt to smear and intimidate a sexual abuse victim and his family for having the courage to come forward and expose the evil child sexual abuse machines that Michael Jackson's companies truly were,” he said.
“We look forward to defeating this motion and disclosing to the world the Jackson camp's true motives,” Finaldi said.
Robson, 34, and his lawyers filed an amended complaint in September claiming Jackson and his handlers “operated the most sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation operation the world has known.”
They said Jackson and his inner circle sought out children in systematic fashion through two companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures.
Handlers employed by the companies sought out targets, arranged their transportation and lodging, showered them with gifts and then turned the other cheek, according to the amended complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Robson alleges he was brought into Jackson's orbit when he was only 5 years old and the winner of a dance competition in Australia organized by MJJ Ventures.
Two years later, he was invited to Neverland Ranch and groomed for alleged abuse that continued for eight years, until Robson hit puberty and Jackson lost interest, the new complaint alleges.
During the pop icon's 2005 molestation trial in Santa Barbara County, Robson, who went on to work as a choreographer for the likes of Britney Spears and 'N Sync, denied he had been sexually abused.
But he subsequently recanted, saying that years of therapy helped him fully grasp how Jackson had abused him. In 2013, Robson's claims against Jackson's estate were thrown out after a judge ruled he'd waited too long to sue. He then filed the lawsuit against Jackson's companies.
A source in Jackson's camp called the new complaint "too silly" to warrant a response last September.
The latest battle over discovery and possible sanctions is due for a hearing Feb. 2.