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Home / News Archive / News November 2017

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Thriller Album CoverMichael Jackson Released 'Thriller' 35 Years Ago. 30-11-'17

Thirty-five years ago, on 1 December, 1982, Michael Jackson released 'Thriller', his sixth studio album.

The track list delivered hit after hit. Everyone remembers - or knows - 'Thriller' the single. And how about 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', 'The Girl Is Mine' (with Paul McCartney), 'PYT', 'Beat It' and, of course, 'Billie Jean'?

According to fan website All Michael Jackson, the aim was for every song on the Quincy Jones-produced album to be a standout track. As a result, seven of the nine tracks were released as singles. The exceptions were 'The Lady In My Life' and 'Baby Be Mine'.

On its release, the album topped the charts in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and France. In 1984, two years after its release, it was still No 1 in the US.

Jackson was one of the first artists to use music video as a way to boost fans' interest. 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It' and 'Thriller' accompanied videos which were mini-feature films in their own right.

After a little pressure from MJ himself, they were played regularly on MTV, reaching an even wider audience.

The album went on to win a record-breaking eight Grammy's in one night in 1984. The only artist to ever tie that number was Santana with his album 'Supernatural' in 2000.

'Thriller' also earned Jackson eight American Music Awards in 1984.

Sales numbers for 'Thriller' are usually seen as unreliable but at its peak, it was notching up one million copies sold worldwide every week.

In 2016, it became the first album ever to be certified as a 33-times multi-platinum album by the Recording Industry Association of America. That meant that Jackson sold at least 30 million copies in the US's alone, making it the best selling album of all time there

Worldwide estimates vary from 60 to 100 million copies sold with at least 47.3m certified sells. In the UK, it sold 4.2m copies.

It is estimated 'Thriller' still sells about 130,000 copies a year in the US. It's the sixth best selling album in the UK.

Source: IB Times / Billie Jean


Gary Hume Art
Gary Hume's art of Michael Jackson, 2010.

Michael Jackson's Impact On Art Revealed In New Show. 29-11-'17

Michael Jackson's "huge impact" on contemporary art will be explored in a new exhibition in Paris and London next year.

The "groundbreaking" show claims it will tell the "untold story" of how the king of pop became "one of the most influential figures in art of the last half century", inspiring artists from Andy Warhol to David LaChapelle and Grayson Perry.

Works featuring Jackson by some 40 artists including Gary Hume, Maggi Hambling, Catherine Opie and Yan Pei Ming will be brought together for the first time in "Michael Jackson: On the Wall" at the National Portrait Gallery in London in June, before the show travels to the Grand Palais in Paris in November.

Jackson is credited with helping turn the music video into an art form, and of popularising the robot and moonwalk dance moves.

Curator Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who runs the London gallery, said the show takes "an entirely new and quite radical approach by exploring the cultural impact of a unique figure through contemporary art."

Jackson was trying to revive his waning controversy-dogged career when he died aged 50 in 2009 from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol on the eve of a comeback tour.

By then he had sold more than 184 million records and CD's, with his 1982 album 'Thriller' still the biggest seller of all time.

Cullinan said the exhibition "breaks new ground in its subject matter" and in the range and origin of the artists involved, all fascinated by "what Jackson represented and what he invented".

"It is rare that there is something new to say about someone so famous, but here that is the case," Cullinan added

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonVote For Michael Jackson. 28-11-'17

The Pop Icons website proposes to vote for the best male icon of all time. You can then vote for an artist of your choice once per hour until December 3rd. If we talk about it today, it is not only because Michael Jackson is one of the artists for whom we can vote but also because he is currently in the second position of the best votes and we say that a little help could perhaps change the situation.

So you know what you have to do. Vote for Michael Jackson and do not hesitate to vote as many times as you want since you can vote every hour.

The 20 artists with the most votes on December 3rd will be part of a video with the final results that will be posted on the Pop Icons Facebook page.

Source: MJ France / Pop Icon / Billie Jean


Auction Of Objects That Belonged To Michael Jackson. 26-11-'17

The Gotta Have Rock And Roll site is offering until December 1, 2017 an auction called "The Rock and Roll Pop Culture Auction" composed of more than 700 objects that belonged to different artists of the world of music.

Among this auction are 56 objects concerning Michael Jackson and several items for the Jackson family. While many items come from the personal collection of Frank Cascio (which is no longer present), other objects come from people not mentioned but are accompanied by letters of provenance and certificates of authenticity.

Thus we can find a piece of paper with the words of 'Billie Jean' written by Michael Jackson himself. This object is proposed with a minimum price of $ 25,000 and is estimated between $ 25,000 and $ 35,000. Naturally, the original does not have the watermarks of the sales site that appear on the image below.

Billie Jean Lyric
Michael Jackson has boldly and beautifully handwritten these 'Billie Jean' lyrics in black sharpie pen on 8.5 x 11 white paper. 'Billie Jean', written and composed by Jackson, was the second single off of his 1982 album 'Thriller'.

Another remarkable item on sale this time is a pair of shoes Michael Jackson would have worn on 'Billie Jean' during the Bad Tour without we can know the place and date of (the) concert (s) ) in question. The price of this pair of shoes is $ 6,000 and its estimate is $ 8,000 to $ 10,000.

You can consult the list of Michael Jackson's objects for sale by clicking on this link.

Note that among the long list of items from Frank Cascio is a CD-R containing a so-called Michael Jackson's personal instrumental recording that he allegedly co-wrote with another person. The duration of this recording would be 4 minutes and 59 seconds. The date of 29/06/2003 appears on the CD-R as well as the mentions "Michael Jackson, Frank Friday Night" and 1) "Frank Friday Night 3.0 Bib Sru". The price of this CD-R is $ 1,000 and its estimate is $ 2,000 to $ 4,000.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Christmas Album (re-issue) Album Cover'Christmas Album' Of The Jackson 5 Back On Vinyl! 22-11-'17

The Jackson 5 'Christmas Album' is back on vinyl! It will be re-released on December 15th by Universal/Motown Records, just for Christmas!

'Christmas Album' is for the first time released by Motown in the USA on October 15th, 1970, the album showcased the brothers' harmonies and vocals. Lead singer Michael Jackson is prominently featured on the album tracks. All songs produced by The Corporation / Hal Davis.

Track list:

A:
1. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas - 5:19
2. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - 2:24
3. The Christmas Song - 5:11
4. Up On The House Top - 3:16
5. Frosty The Snowman - 2:39

B:
1. The Little Drummer Boy - 3:15
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - 2:32
3. Christmas Won't Be The Same This Year - 2:31
4. Give Love On Christmas Day - 2:55
5. Someday At Christmas - 2:44
6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - 3:01

Record label: Universal/Motown
Series number: 3794576
Printed: EU
Guide price: 20 €

Pre-order the vinyl album here at Universal/Motown.

Source: Universal/Motown / Billie Jean


Neverland RanchMichael Jackson's Neverland To Become Museum. 21-11-'17

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch looks set to become a museum dedicated to the King of Pop.

Triumph International, the company in charge of intellectual property for the Jackson estate, has filed documents registering the title 'Neverland Ranch' for multiple entertainment purposes, including "operating museum and providing guided tours of the museum," and "non-downloadable musical performances, musical videos, film clips, photographs and other multimedia materials featuring music and/or visual representations of Michael Jackson".

However, the location of the memorial to Jackson's life and career may not be on the site of the original ranch.

Sources close to the estate told website The Blast that several locations are being considered for the Michael Jackson museum including the ranch in Sycamore Valley, California and the Jackson childhood home in Encino, Los Angeles.

Though the location is yet to be decided, items from the original Neverland could be used, such as the ornate front gates.

The ranch - which features a lavish landscaped garden, Disneyland inspired architecture, a petting zoo and fairground rides - is co-owned by the late singer's estate and a private equity firm and has been on the market since 2015. It was originally listed for sale at $100 million US dollars [£75.5 million], but in March this year [2017] the price was slashed to $67 million [£50.5 million].

Source: Daily Sun / Billie Jean


Review: Postage Stamps Neslon Mandela With Michael Jackson. 18-11-'17

The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe published last September a four postage stamp with the theme Nelson Mandela including Michael Jackson. Sao Tome and Principe is one of the smallest countries in Africa that occupies an archipelago of the South Atlantic located in the Gulf of Guinea.

You can buy these new stamps in the philatelic agency's official store for € 5 (+ € 7.50 shipping cost) in non-perforated version. Two copies are available via Amazon.

Nelson Mandela 4 Stamps
Postage stamps Neslon Mandela with Michael Jackson.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Manhattan MansionMichael's Former Manhattan Mansion Hits The Market For $39M. 16-11-'17

The former Upper East Side home of the late pop star Michael Jackson has been listed for $39 million. Built in 1898, the home is “optimally located on one of the world’s most prestigious Central Park residential blocks” between Fifth and Madison avenues, according to the listing by Modlin Group. American architect Alexander Welch, who was behind Alexander Hamilton’s well-known residence in Harlem, designed the six-story house in the Beaux-Arts tradition. Jackson rented the mansion in the 1990's.

Before that, it was the home of modern artist Marc Chagall. It was also in the series "Gossip Girl," where it was used as a stand-in for character Nate Archibald’s home, according to Curbed. Most recently, it was owned by billionaire and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, who recently put it on the market with a $39 million price tag, Curbed reported.

It comes with a long list of amenities, including a garden-level terrace, a rooftop deck, and 10 fireplaces.

The 119-year-old home at 4 E. 74th St. is less than a block away from Central Park.

Source: NBC New York / Billie Jean


First Look At The New Cast Of 'Thriller Live'. 15-11-'17

New production photos have been released of the new West End cast of 'Thriller Live', which recently announced a new booking period to 30 September, 2018.

On 15 February, 2018, 'Thriller Live' - a spectacular concert-style show that celebrates Michael Jackson's enduring musical legacy and groundbreaking dance moves - will overtake Jersey Boys to become the 14th longest running musical in West End history. On 19 August, 2018 the show will celebrate its 4000th West End performance.

The new cast features Charlotte Berry, Vivviene Ekwulugo and young MJs Giles Corden and Christian Posso, David Jordan, Stefan Sinclair, John Moabi, Haydon Eshun, Alex Ko, Cordell Mosteller, Reece Bahia, Shakara Brown, Ella Coghill, Aisling Duffy, Ella Redhead, Sophie Usher, E.M. Smith, Jorgia Vaughan, Brett Baxter, Peter Cleverley, Jamal Crawford, Joel Ekperigin, Jamie Mason, Florivaldo Mossi, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Aled Arhyel Charles,Marcellus Virgo Smith, AndreFaulds, Iasiah Mason.

'Thriller Live', a spectacular, high-octane concert specially created to celebrate the career of the world's greatest entertainer and undisputed King of?Pop, has now played in more than 23 different countries and been watched by more than 2 million people.

Thriller Live
'Thriller Live' celebrating the music of The Jackson 5 and the solo work of Michael Jackson. It had already been performed in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and Scandinavia before opening at the Lyric Theatre, London on 2 January 2009. The show was conceived by Jackson family friend and author, Adrian Grant.

'Thriller Live' creator AdrIan Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of 'Michael Jackson - The Visual Documentary', said: "Eight years ago the world lost one of it's greatest ever entertainers. He was an inspiration to millions, through his music, videos and humanitarian acts of goodwill. Michael was unique - an amazing vocalist, sensational dancer and great songwriter, he created work that opened the doors for many generations to follow. On stage he was pure magic - and this is where he said he felt most comfortable, in a life where off it he was often persecuted for being different. There will never be another Michael Jackson, he was as an innovator and creator who dared to live his dreams and give art a whole new expression.

"Thriller Live pays tribute to Michael Jackson not just today, but every day with a show that is full of love and respect for his work. Whilst we cannot replicate the King of Pop on stage, we can certainly honour his memory - and our cast, band and crew all work tirelessly to recreate just a taste of Michael's persona and talent on stage. We thank you Michael for everything, you may be gone but you are certainly not and never will be forgotten. Love Always."

Look here to the pictures of 'Thriller Live'.

Source: Broadway World / Billie Jean


48 Years Ago Today, 'I Want You Back' Kicked It All Off For The Jackson 5. 15-11-'17

I Want You Back Single CoverThe single that launched one of music’s most famous dynasties debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly 48 years ago today. 'I Want You Back', the first Motown single by the Jackson 5, began its journey up the chart dated Nov. 15, 1969.

It wasn’t the first single by the group of five brothers from Gary, Indiana. Their father, Joe, approached a local label, Steeltown, about signing his five sons. The Jacksons spent several consecutive Saturdays at Steeltown, recording a number of tracks, and on Jan. 31, 1968, the small independent firm released 'Big Boy'.

'I Want You Back' entered the Hot 100 at No. 90. Eleven weeks later, the single began a four-week reign at No. 1.
“When I heard ‘I Want You Back’ on the radio for the first time, I was driving in my car by myself on Fairfax in L.A. and I pulled over to the side of the road,” Jackie remembers. “Hearing your song for the first time on the radio is unbelievable. You hear it in the studio all the time, but when you hear it on the radio, it sounds 10 times better.”

Motown’s Suzanne de Passe called the family at home to let them know 'I Want You Back' was No. 1. “I didn’t wait for them to send us a copy of Billboard,” says Jackie, who went right to a newsstand and bought five copies. “There we were, on top of the pop and R&B charts, in front of all the other acts. There’s nothing more exciting than to be No. 1 with your very first record. We worked so hard in the recording studio and it paid off.”

'I Want You Back', one of the most iconic songs of the rock era, was just the beginning for the Jackson 5. Their next three Motown singles — 'ABC', 'The Love You Save' and 'I’ll Be There' — all topped the Hot 100.

“For me, the musical highlight of our entire career is 'I Want You Back',” says Jackie. “Because that’s the one that put the flag in the ground. When people hear it, they go crazy. That’s the one that got us known around the world and it will be with us for life.”

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


'Behind The Gates Of Neverland: Conversations With Michael Jackson' E-Book Is Released. 14-11-'17

Behind The Gates Of Neverland Book CoverThe e-book 'Behind The Gates Of Neverland - Conversations With Michael Jackson' is released by publisher Lori Armstrong.

The authors are also planning to release a physical book by the beginning of next year.'

The book is a sweet and simple memoir detailing the human side of Michael Jackson....a hidden side which many of his devoted fans were not able to see. Included with the book is a long list of Michael’s charitable donations and humanitarian efforts. This in itself makes the book different and well worth a read.

The conversations with Michael took place during the era of 1988 - 1996 and are told through the kind eyes, open ears and straightforward hand-written notes of Michael's friend and Neverland Amusement Park Manager, Ray Robledo.

This memoir touches on the wedding of Elizabeth Taylor, which was held at Neverland, visits from the Jackson family and the ghost, "George", who roamed behind the gates of Neverland, becoming known to those who worked at Michael's magical palace.

If you are a true Michael Jackson fan who enjoys reading light-hearted memoirs without the rumor-provoking gossip - this book belongs in your library.

Sweet. Simple. Michael.

Publisher: Lori Armstrong
Author: Lori Armstrong, Ray Robledo
Pages: 154
ISBN: ?
Printed: ?
Guide price: 3,36 €

Order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Joseph Jackson Shares Rare Photo Of Grandson Blanket. 14-11-'17

The former talent manager also shared a rare photo of himself with Bigi on Twitter, with both of them smiling at the camera.

Since his late father’s funeral in 2009, Bigi has been seen in public or in photographs just a handful of times.

While Joseph obviously wanted to share a heartfelt message with the world and the youngest of his late son’s children, the grandfather seems to have gotten a little confused.

Joseph Jackson had a strange but heartfelt message to give to his grandson, Blanket, who now goes by B.G. or Bigi, on Monday (November 13). He wrote on his website:

“Hello, Blanket! This is Joe Jackson,” the 89-year-old said. “Your health is… I don’t know what. You’re like your father. Now I understand why your father had you wear masks all the time ’cause news people was bothering him so much and he tried to disguise you as much as possible. But I want you to stay healthy and stay off those bikes!”

“Don’t ride, now,” Jackson continued. “But anyway, tell your brothers I said hello and stay clean and healthy. And see a lot of movies if you can, good movies of course. And be like me, be tough, be tough in a good way. You’ll live a long time. Above all, I love you all.

Bigi Jackson

Joseph Jackson compares grandson Blanket (Bigi) to Michael Jackson.

Source: People / Billie Jean


Teddy LakisTeddy Lakis Died At 70. 10-11-'17

All the fans will know the moustache figure next to Michael Jackson during the History Tour. Teddy Lakis was the assistant of Marcel Avram,whose Mama Concerts Agency managed Michael’s appearances for some years.

Teddy was a German figure that Michael got closed to during the Dangerous Tour (Teddy was a translator and help Michael during down time in Germany while on Tour). He was also part of the concerts 'Michael Jackson & Friends' in Munich.

Teddy often informed fans about Michael’s plans; when Michael was due to leave a hotel, or drive to a stadium, or when and where he went shopping. Michael was reserved and shy. Presents and letters from fans made him happy. He read almost all letters from fans.

Unfortunately Teddy Lakis passed away following a heart attack in his home town Munich and his smile will be missed!

Source: Billie Jean


Scream CD Album CoverRanking Of The Best Albums Sales In France. 08-11-'17

After making the 14th place in the best-selling physical album in France four weeks ago, the 'Scream' compilation wins this week 4 places and is in 28th position.

This compilation that was out of the ranking of best-selling downloaded albums has just resurfaced and in 179th position. It finally ranks 48th place merged albums (physical and downloads) is an increase of 28 places.

The progressions of this week are certainly due to the release of the vinyl version of the compilation which has a little boosted sales.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Best American Music Awards Performances No. 14: Michael Jackson Leads 'We Are The World' Reunion At 1986 AMA's. 01-11-'17

American Music Awards 1986In honor of the 2017 American Music Awards, Billboard is counting down the best performances from the awards show’s history. Here's number 14.

In 1985, Harry Belafonte succeeded in doing what he'd been trying to do for years: record a charity song with a supergroup of the most successful artists in the music industry. 'We Are The World', written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, was this unifying anthem of love and aid for our fellow man. Proceeds of the song's sales -- which exceeded 20 million copies -- went towards the eradication of hunger in Africa, specifically Ethiopia, where over 1 million people had died from a recent two-year famine. The 1986 AMA's dedicated a segment to highlighting the making of the song, and to honor Belafonte, Jackson, Richie, and all the artists behind the song and movement it entailed.

After Belafonte received a special appreciation award for his work in organizing the effort, presenter Diana Ross invited Jackson and Richie onstage, before finally extending the invitation to all the artists in attendance who were a part of the song. Jackson's sister LaToya joined him on stage, as well as some who weren't a part of the song's recording but were welcomed on stage -- including Jackson's other sister Janet, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and a budding young artist by the name of Whitney Houston.

You can vote for the AMA's on Billboard.com.

The 2017 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Laser Michael Jackson Returns To The Edelman Planetarium. 01-11-'17

During the month of November, the Edelman Planetarium is showing people the king of pop in laser form after a more than three-year hiatus.

“Laser Michael Jackson,” a laser light show that combines the music of Michael Jackson with visual design had stopped playing at rowan due to a technical malfunction with a projector in the planetarium. The projector has recently been replaced and the show is now screening along side a similar Pink Floyd Laser Show.

The most recent screening of “Laser Michael Jackson,” was on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. A group of 21 people filled the planetarium to relax and enjoy a time machine that cultivates Jackson’s biggest hits from the 60's, 80's and 90's, a touch of present day laser design.

A variety of colored lasers form diverse shapes that twist and turn on screen that creates a sense of motion, along with hits like 'Beat It', 'Thriller', 'Human Nature', 'ABC' by the Jackson 5, and others.

Betty Bates and Eileen Monahan, two sisters both from Williamstown NJ decided to see the show with a group of children to enjoy their chilly Saturday night.

Both sisters enjoyed the show and mostly enjoyed how the children found it amusing as well. For both sisters, it was their first time experiencing a laser show at the Edelman Planetarium.

Laser Show

“Laser Michael Jackson” will continue its run with three more showings Nov. 4, 11, and 18. All shows start at 7 p.m.

The Edelman Planetarium airs Laser Michael Jackson and other laser shows through “Laser Fantasy,” the company which produces them. The planetarium gets the rights to air the show, and then Planetarium Director Amy Barraclough maps out when each will be shown.

This is the first semester during Barraclough’s tenure as director that laser shows have returned to the planetarium. Nearly five years ago, the system in the planetarium used to ventilate the room broke and was not replaced. Barraclough replaced the broken projector with a new one that is brighter and more energy efficient, so laser shows could return to Rowan University this fall.

One of the shows Barraclough has been frequently asked to show was Laser Michael Jackson. After being absent since the laser system broke, Barraclough decided to fill the request from people and brought the show back to Rowan.

“Laser Michael Jackson was one [show] where faculty and students were coming by my office going, ‘when are you going to bring this back? We used to play it all the time. It was great, and we’d love to see it again.'” Barraclough said. “People are really excited that the shows are back.”

Source: The Whit Online / Billie Jean

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