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Home / News Archive / News March 2017

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Thriller LiveRecord-Breaking 'Thriller Live' Announces New Booking Period. 15-03-'17

Michael Jackson famously sang 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough'.

The West End spectacular 'Thriller Live' that celebrates his musical legacy and groundbreaking dance moves, and which recently became the 15th Longest Running Musical in West End history, is taking that message to heart!

'Blame It On The Boogie'... the show's producers today announce a new 12- month booking period to April 1, 2018!

'Thriller Live', on 26 March becomes the 9th longest running show - musical or play - in the West End, has now been seen by over 4.2 million people in 33 countries and played over 5,400 performances worldwide, never failing to get a standing ovation!

'Thriller Live' first moonwalked into the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in January 2009 and tonight (Wednesday 14 March) is its 3,403rd West End performance. It holds the record as the longest ever run of a show since the theatre started entertaining the capital in December 1888.

'Thriller Live' first moonwalked into the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in January 2009 and tonight (Wednesday 14 March) is its 3,403rd West End performance. It holds the record as the longest ever run of a show since the theatre started entertaining the capital in December 1888.

'Thriller Live' is also receiving 5 star rave reviews on a major tour, playing theatres across the UK and several countries across Europe. The final UK dates on the current leg of the tour are Waterfront Hall, Belfast (16 - 18 March); Grand Theatre Swansea (20 - 25 March); Grand Theatre Leeds (11 - 15 April).

A new UK tour will set out in autumn, dates to be announced soon.

In April, 'Thriller Live' will return to the People's Republic of China, where in 2016 it was honoured to be chosen as the opening production at a brand new state-of-the-art 1,200-seat theatre at the new Parisian Hotel Macau. It will take up residency there again running to September 2017.

The London production also today announces its Christmas 2017.

Performance schedule:

week commencing 18 December
6 shows, no shows on Sunday 24 December

week commencing 25 December - 9 Shows

Mon 25/12 - No show
Tue 26/12 - No show
Wed 27/12 - Two shows 3.30/7.30
Thur 28/12 - One show 7.30
Fri 29/12 - Two shows 3.30/7.30
Sat 30/12 - Two shows 4/8
Sun 31/12 - Two shows 3.30/7.30

week commencing 1st Jan

Extra Matinee at 3.30pm on Wednesday 3 January.

Source: Broadway World / Billie Jean


Harper's Bazaar Magazine CoverParis Jackson Says She Was Michael Jackson’s Favorite Child. 15-03-'17

It's Paris Jackson like you've never seen her before! The 18-year-old aspiring actress and musician stuns on the April cover of Harper's Bazaar, looking glam in her vintage Parisian photo shoot.

"I've always wanted to kind of break off and do my own thing, just 'cause I feel I enjoy independence very much," Jackson told the magazine. "When I was a kid, I was with my dad and my two brothers. Growing up, I was treated as the favorite because I was the only girl. I was the princess; I was perfect in my dad's eyes."

As the daughter of the late Michael Jackson, growing up without a father has had a real impact on Paris.

"The first 12 years of my life I was homeschooled," she said, adding, "Which means that the only interactions I'd ever had were with family members or other adults."

This familial bond has been a common thread throughout her life. In fact, during the interview, Paris took a call from a Rolling Stone photographer and when asked by the interviewer why she seemed upset afterwards, replied, "All anyone wants to talk about is my father, and it makes me sad."

But Paris is determined to use her newfound spotlight for a good cause.

"Once I got introduced into the real world, I was shocked. It blew me away," she said. "Not just because it was sexist, but misogynist and racist and cruel. It was scary as hell. And it still is really scary." She added, "I know there are a lot of people who would feel very blessed to be in my position, so I want to use it for important things."

One learning curve the formerly homeschooled teen had to face was working on her social skills.

"I had to force myself to learn so fast," she said. "For the past six years, I've been learning how to communicate. And I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


A New Attraction To Come With Some MJ Exhibits. 14-03-'17

One of the Media we love so much (sarcasm), National Enquirer will open a themed attraction in Pigeon Forge in Eastern Tennessee.

Along with visitors creating their own tabloid headlines to share on social media, the attraction will also have celebrities exhibits and of course Michael Jackson is one of them!

It is said that the actual hyperbaric chamber used by Michael Jackson will be on display.

The rumor of Michael Sleeping in a chamber started in 1986 when the National Enquirer (AKA the Least Reliable News Source Ever) published a photograph of Jackson laying inside an actual hyperbaric chamber. While the photo IS real, this was a piece of medical equipment inside the Brotman Medical Center’s Michael Jackson Burn Unit, where he was treated for severe scalp burns in 1984. Jackson donated vast sums of money to the Burn Center, making the purchase of this piece of equipment possible. The photo was taken when he crawled inside, being a perpetual joker, and pretended to be asleep.

Michael inside a oxygen chamber (09-1986)
Michael Jackson is pictured inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at Brotman Memorial Hospital.

Also other exhibits on Michael Jackson will be present but it is unclear yet of which ones.

No dates have been announced for the opening yet.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


New Trial Date Set For alleged Michael Jackson Sex Syndicate Proceedings. 14-03-'17

Wade RobsonChoreographer Wade Robson is heading to court again in a new trial linked to his molestation allegations against the late Michael Jackson.

The professional dancer, who has worked with Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and N'SYNC, launched a negligence lawsuit against executives at Jackson's companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures in September (16), claiming the businesses were illegitimate and set up as a ruse to covertly "operate as a child sexual abuse operation".

And now he has been given a chance to prove his accusations next year (18).

According to the New York Daily News, a Los Angeles judge has ruled the case will officially go to trial on 5 March, 2018.

Wade's attorneys now plan to spend the next 12 months "gaining access to the materials needed for a much-anticipated trial".

"We look forward to completing that discovery and disclosing to the public, through trial, the full extent of Michael Jackson’s serial sexual abuse of children, which was facilitated through his companies MJJ Productions and (MJJ) Ventures,” his lawyer Vince Finaldi said in a statement.

However, attorneys representing the companies have little faith the case will make it to trial in 2018, with lawyer Howard Weitzman telling the Daily News, "My opinion is that summary judgment will be granted in this case and there won’t be any trial, but the court did set a trial date for a year away just in case."

Robson, 34, initially launched a claim against Jackson's estate in 2013, but his legal bid was rejected by the courts with magistrates contending he filed papers too late after the singer's 2009 death. The choreographer, who testified in the pop star's defence during his criminal sex abuse trial in 2005, attests Jackson performed sexual acts on him from the ages of seven to 14.

Wade didn't come forward with his assault claims until after Michael's death, because he did not believe he was molested until he entered psychotherapy following a nervous breakdown in 2012.

Source: MSN / Billie Jean


Weird Fashion T-Shirt featuring MJ. 12-03-'17

Rock band T-shirts have been a polarizing topic in fashion for the past year or so. Hardcore rock fans understandably feel that only those who appreciate the music of rock legends have the right to wear them.

Japanese brand Needles decided to create their own take on the rock band T-shirt with these rebuilt styles. Featuring the likes of Led Zeppelin, Journey, The Police and Michael Jackson, the T-shirts adopt classic rock band aesthetics, each of them reconstructed from seven vintage tees.

MJ T-Shirt
But for £135 a T-shirt, I would have preferred to keep the original to be honest with you!

The Needles Rebuild 7 T-shirts are available now here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Good Hood Store / Billie Jean


John SingletonJohn Singleton Remembers Working With Michael Jackson. 07-03-'17

On “The Real” show, director John Singleton talks about his new BET show, “Rebel,” his 1991 directorial debut “Boyz In the Hood,” and how a friend’s prank resulted in him directing Michael Jackson’s 'Remember The Time' video.

Loni Love: You directed Michael Jackson’s music video 'Remember The Time'. Did he personally call you about that?

John Singleton: No, no, it started as a prank. It was a friend of mine, he’s no longer with us. His name is Lloyd Avery II. He’s the guy who shoots Ricky in Boyz n the Hood. He’s from my neighborhood and he called me up late at night. He did a high voice like Michael Jackson… I was like half asleep. I was like, “Fine, whatever. I’ll call you tomorrow. Is this really Michael?” “Yes!” He said, “Call me tomorrow, right.” So I call my agent and said, “Michael Jackson called me out of the blue saying you know, “”He wanted to meet with me. Can you go see what he wants?” They called Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson called me for a meeting and said, “Hey, I wanted to talk to you about doing a video.” I said, “You called me right?” He says, “No, I didn’t call you.” He said he thought his manager Sandy Gallin called me. But Michael said, “No, I didn’t call you.” And then we found out it was my friend Lloyd.

Adrienne Houghton: So it was all from a prank?

John: It was all from a prank that I ended up doing it.

Source: Eurweb / Billie Jean


When Michael Jackson Needed A Guitar Solo, He Called The First Lady Of Shred. 07-03-'17

Jennifer Batten
Jennifer Batten

She is the hellraiser whirling around the King of Pop in the climax of Moonwalker — the cat-suited punk sporting a pointy guitar and an explosion of peroxide blonde. She prowls the stage with Michael Jackson in concert footage from 1987, wearing a three-foot mohawk and a light-up fiber-optic suit, topped only by the guitar solo she unfurls in 'Beat It'. She is Jennifer Batten, a guitarist who spent a decade touring the planet with Jackson in support of albums like 'Bad' and 'Dangerous'. Twenty years after their last concert, Batten is still in awe of the energy he brought to the stage. “Every drum hit, Michael did something with his body,” she says. “Most people, if they did that for one song, they would have to take a nap.”

Batten’s affiliation with Jackson, and subsequent work with Jeff Beck, have made her into something like the first lady of shred guitar, an iconic female virtuoso in a world with surprisingly few of them. Despite a younger generation of formidable players like Carrie Brownstein, St. Vincent, Marnie Stern, Mary Halvorson, and Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster, the culture around electric guitars still bulges with an unbecoming bro-y-ness — a boys’ club attitude that Batten says is finally starting to change.

In 1978, she entered the Guitar Institute of Technology — now Musicians Institute — in Los Angeles. She had never performed live and never jammed much with other musicians. (“My mother,” she says, “didn’t want me to go play with strangers at night.”) Shortly Batten discovered something for which her limited experience had not prepared her. Of the entire student body, about 70 players, she was the lone female. “That’s when it really hit me that, ‘Hmm, maybe this isn’t such a normal choice,’” she says, chuckling. “It was a real shock. I don’t know that it even crossed my mind that it would be off-balance at all.”

In 1989, a guitar magazine that interviewed Batten revealed its subscribership as 98 percent male — a higher percentage than that of Playboy or Penthouse. The link between masculinity and electric guitar culture can seem, from one angle, obvious: An academic study by Steve Waksman called Instruments of Desire defines the instrument as a kind of gadget-dick hybrid: a “technophallus.” But anatomy, of course, is not destiny. Batten believes the divide around her instrument instead reflects the persistence of oppressive ideas about gender. “Even now, it’s not okay for women to be aggressive,” she says. “For many generations, if not thousands of years, women were [told to] make the babies and make the food and stay out of the limelight. In a lot of cultures, whether it’s recognized or subtle, women picked that up. And a lot of rock ’n’ roll is really aggressive.”

Batten was playing in five different bands when she got the call, in 1987, to audition for Jackson. She showed up to find no band, just a video camera. She played funky rhythms, followed by her solo arrangement of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” a product of her years of jazz training. Then she tapped out the monstrous solo for 'Beat It', originally recorded by Eddie Van Halen.

A few days went by. Batten was asked to rehearse again, this time with a band. It seemed to go well, but still she heard no final verdict. After even more rehearsals, she was given a passport, a plane ticket to Tokyo, and a makeover that traded her brown hair and glasses for an electric mohawk and heavy makeup. After her arrival, as a gesture of goodwill, Jackson closed Tokyo Disneyland to the public and let his 100-person entourage enjoy themselves without crowds or nagging fans.

Batten was frolicking in the Disneyland gift shop with Sheryl Crow, then a background singer on the tour, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around to find the King of Pop standing there. “He said, ‘I like how you’re playing the 'Beat It' solo,’” she remembers. “And I thought, ‘Wow, what a great surprise and a validation.’ That was when I knew I had the gig.”

Jennifer Batten performs Wednesday and Thursday, March 8 and 9, at Iridium as part of Her Story, Her Voice, a month-long series of concerts celebrating female musicians.

Source: Village Voice / Billie Jean


A Diamond HIStory In Auction. 06-03-'17

On March 25 at Drouot Auction in Paris, a very rare collector will be on sale: A Diamond History CD. The item was made in limited edition by Epic Records in 1996 to celebrate the 1,000,000 sold copies! This item comes in a purple case and was made for the French Market.

An estimate of this collector is announced between 2000 and 3000 €.

The auctioneer of this auction is Olivier Couteau-Bégarie and it will take place in room 14, 9 rue Drouot in Paris 09ème. The public exhibitions will be held on Friday, March 24 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday, March 25 from 11:00 am to noon or other collection items about Michael Jackson will also be on sale.

You can consult the catalog of sale on the site coutaubegarie.com.

Diamond History CD
This item is said to get to €2,000 at €3,000 at Drouot auctions in Paris on Friday 25 March from 11am!

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Radio FM. 06-03-'17

Michael Jackson Radio FM broadcast each Friday and Saturday night MJ Megamixes programs only all weekends. And they broadcast some of my DJ MJMR3 In The Mixen.

Welcome MJJ fans! 24/7 all around the world - special programs broadcasting dedicated to the King Of Pop. Live webradio.

Listen to the Michael Jackson radio station here.

Source: MJJRadio FM / Billie Jean


‘I’m The Son Of The King’: Prince Jackson Says He Knew Dad Michael Was Famous When Grown Men Fainted At His Shows. 06-03-'17

Prince JacksonMichael Jackson‘s eldest son Prince is recalling the moments he learned that his father was the King of Pop.

During a Monday appearance on Good Morning America, the 19-year-old remembered his late father – Jackson died in 2009 – noting that he learned just how famous his music legend dad was when he and his siblings watched footage of Jackson performances.

“We were watching some videos of his performances and I’ve been used to seeing most females pass out when they see their artists. They get, you know, very emotional,” Prince began. “But what blew my mind was when I saw these big, muscle-bound dudes fainting and having to be dragged out.”

He added: “So, I was like, ‘Okay, there’s something else going on here."

Michael died of cardiac arrest in June 2009 at his Los Angeles home. He was 50.

Prince said that it took a while for him and his siblings to fully realize their father’s fame.

“Even to this day, I don’t think it holds the same weight to us that it does to other people, because he was our father, our dad,” he told GMA‘s Robin Roberts.

Instead of following in his father’s footsteps, Prince is developing his talents behind the scenes, founding his own company called King’s Son Productions – a name referencing his father’s King of Pop moniker.

“King’s Son Productions has this mantra where ‘a title is earned, but a name is given.’ So, I was born as Prince and that was the name my dad had given to me,” Prince said. “But my dad had earned the epithet King of Pop and that’s through hard work and years of training and everything he worked so hard to get.”

He added: “So, it’s a form of motivation because my name is Prince, but for all intents and purposes I am the king’s son and working to get my own epithet.”

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


Pre-Order 'Michael Jackson: The Short Films - A Tribute To The Filmmaker' Book Vol.1 And Vol.2.
04-03-'17

On April 29 and September 29 there will released two new books on Michael Jackson's career.

Michael Jackson: The Short Films - A tribute to the Filmmaker, Volume 1 (1979/1989).

Michael Jackson: The Short Films - A tribute to the Filmmaker, Volume 2 (1990/2001).

Offered by Picadilly and the magazine 'Invincible', they retrace the entire video of Michael Jackson with more than 200 rare and unpublished photos. (100 photos per book).

The works are offered in the form of a luxurious 68-page photobook, large format 24 x 34 cm with a cardboard cover, glued square backs, matt lamination and metallic printing!

Limited edition and numbered for the first 500 copies.

Michael Jackson: The Short Films Books Covers
Price: 24 euros. 10% reduction for ordering both numbers. (43,20 euros) + shipping costs.

Publisher: ?
Author: Jed Pitman
ISBN: ?
Pages: 68 per book
Printed: France
Guide price: 43,20 €

Pre-order the books here at Piccadilly Store.

Source: Piccadilly Store / Billie Jean


Professor XMichael Jackson Wanted To Play X-Men's Professor X. 03-03-'17

Obviously it’s now hard to imagine anyone other than Sir Patrick Stewart playing Professor Charles Francis Xavier.

Least of all Michael Jackson.

But the King of Pop did indeed get a meeting about the role back before it had become the billion dollar cinematic franchise it is now.

Writer David Hayter – who penned the first ‘X-Men’ movie in 2000, then ‘X2’ and later Zack Snyder’s adaptation of ‘Watchmen’ – has spilled the beans on those who came close, but failed to snatch Logan’s cigar.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “I was writing it [X-Men] for the comic book characters. I was brought on as they were casting, so I was lucky enough to be there for some of the people who came in like Terence Stamp for Xavier and Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey for Storm.

“Michael Jackson came in because he wanted to play Professor X. It was amazing.

“Shaq came in [for Bishop]. Viggo Mortensen came in. I really liked Viggo for Wolverine, but it didn’t come together for whatever reason.

“Angela Bassett was our first choice for Storm, but her agents wanted more money than we had at the time. Same with Rachael Leigh Cook for Rogue.”

We can perhaps see Mortensen as Wolverine. Jackson as Prof X? Not quite so much.

He also let slip about how Dougray Scott lost out on Wolverine to Hugh Jackman, and some of the cloak and dagger tactics that went into it.

“[Then-Fox executive] Tom Rothman really wanted Dougray Scott to play Wolverine and he was shooting Mission: Impossible 2 and Tom Cruise kept calling Bryan and saying ‘we just need him a little while longer, a little while longer,’” he said.

“We were starting to shoot and Wolverine was the lead and we didn’t have him. Bryan suspected something was hinky, and so he sent the costume designer down to Australia, ostensibly to get wardrobe shots, but really it was to find out what was going on.

“What we found out was Dougray had been in a motorcycle accident filming the climax of MI2. He was pretty messed up. It was a real shame he couldn’t do it. And Hugh had been somebody who had been in the mix earlier and it was [executive producer] Lauren Shuler Donner who said ‘why don’t we bring him?’”

And the rest is history…

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


Pre-Order 'The Invisible Man: The Story Of Rod Temperton, The 'Thriller' Songwriter Book. 01-03-'17

The Invisible Man: The Story Of Rod Temperton, The 'Thriller' Songwriter Book CoverA new book on Rod Temperton will be released on June 1st and includes his work with Michael Jackson.

'The Invisible Man' tells the remarkable story of how Rod Temperton worked his way up from a Grimsby fish factory to become one of the most successful songwriters of all time.

Born in Cleethorpes in 1949, Temperton embarked on a career in music with the funk bank Heatwave, for whom he wrote the international hits ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Always And Forever’, before his songwriting talent caught the attention of Michael Jackson’s legendary producer, Quincy Jones.

For Jackson’s 'Off The Wall' album, Temperton penned both the hit ‘Rock With You’ and the album’s title track. Three years later, continuing his relationship with the pair, Temperton started work on what would become the bestselling album of all time – Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' – writing three songs, including the now legendary title track.

And yet despite collaborating with some of music’s biggest stars, including Donna Summer and Michael McDonald, Temperton was famously reclusive and seldom gave interviews, one of the exceptions being with author Jed Pitman, whose Sony Award-winning radio documentary on Temperton allowed him unprecedented access to the great man.

Publisher: The History Press
Author: Jed Pitman
ISBN: 978-0750982566
Pages: 224
Printed: UK
Guide price: 23 €

Pre-order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Onetime ‘Neverland’ Ranch Gets $33 Million Price Cut. 01-03-'17

Nearly two years after it first went up for sale, the California ranch that served as the late pop star Michael Jackson’s “Neverland” retreat is returning to market for $67 million—$33 million off its original asking price..

It was originally listed in 2015 for $100 million but the property is now available for the bargain basement price of $67 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The seller is a joint venture between Jackson’s estate and a fund managed by real-estate investment trust Colony Northstar.

The $100 million asking price “was a difficult number to achieve,” said Suzanne Perkins, who worked as the property’s 2015 listing agent.

Jackson lived there for more than 15 years after purchasing the property in 1987. Some of his most famous additions to the ranch include a train station and a flowery clock reading “Neverland.”

The revamped property is known today as “Sycamore Valley Ranch” and stretches to around 2,700 acres.

Neverland Ranch
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch – 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California.

Source: Eurweb / Billie Jean

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