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Home / News Archive / News December 2018

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Michael JacksonMichael Jackson: The Journey Documentary In Ultra Tainment. 29-12-'18

January is Superstar Month in Ultra Tainment with the launch of riveting documentaries about music’s all-time greats Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Rihanna. Also featuring the inside story of British-Irish boy band One Direction and its rise from obscurity to global prominence under the tutelage of Simon Cowell (nickname Judge Dread). With these launches, the channel sustains its position as the premium HD Spanish network featuring top notch pop culture entertainment from the US and Latin America.

This exciting roster of programming can be viewed every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST and blasts off January 5 with 'Michael Jackson: El Viaje' ('Michael Jackson: The Journey'). This intimate documentary follows The Gloved One’s modest childhood beginnings, his rise to international superstardom and shocking insights and confessions about the late enigmatic performer.

Ultra Tainment is owned and operated by Olympusat Inc., and is available on Claro, Hotwire Communications and VEMOX™. For more information on Ultra Tainment’s programming, including tune in dates and times, please visit ultratainmenttv.com and vemox.com.

Source: Globe Newswire / Billie Jean


Janet Jackson Is Accused Of Removing A Monument To Her Brother Michael. 28-12-'18

Janet JacksonA giant Michael Jackson monument which was mysteriously taken from his childhood home has been replaced with a white board.

Neighbours in Gary, Indiana, accused his sister Janet of removing the impressive plaque, although the family later claimed that it had been taken down temporarily and would be put back soon.

But a year on and there's no sign of the huge plaque but instead a paper message board has appeared in its place, hanging on the railings.

The monument disappeared at the end of October last year and eagle-eyed locals said it was the same time as Janet came into town for her US tour - she was playing in nearby Chicago and visited the home the next day.

Gary Police Lt. Thomas Pawlak said at the time: 'I guess it was taken down to do a video shoot. They are planning to do some landscaping in the spring. Once they are done, they'll bring it back.'

Now tourists are complaining about the missing plaque and accusing the family of theft. Claudia T on TripAdvisor wrote: 'Sad that the plaque was removed from front yard by family. They should put it back!!'

MJ MonumentLocals have accused Janet Jackson of removing the monument to her late brother Michael that stood in front of the family's childhood home in Indiana and replacing it with.

Another, called Dialjo, was furious that the family had taken the most impressive thing about the house, saying: 'There is really nothing to see but a gated house. There are a few plaques and a place to leave a message on a white-board. Bring your own marker - the one their (sic) is dry.'

The stone was a mammoth epitaph to the King of Pop and paid its respects to the singer on one side, engraved with the words 'Never Can Say Good Bye'.

The other side was adorned with pictures of Michael through the ages and a biography.

Now the only sign that the house ever belonged to the Jacksons is a plaque in the pathway which says 'In Loving Memory of Michael J Jackson - You Gave Us A Lifetime of Love' from all the Jackson family.

The nine Jackson brothers and sisters, plus mum Katherine and dad Joe, lived at 2300 Jackson Street, all crammed into the two-bed house. Michael lived there until he was five years old.

One neighbor posted at the time of it going missing: 'Just recently I noticed that the MJ memorial in the front yard has been removed.

'To my knowledge, there has been no mention of where it went. It actually coincided with Janet's time in the area performing in Chicago. I'm sure she might be able to shed some light on this. I'd be more than open to hear from her.'

Source: Daily Mail / Billie Jean


Thriller VillaLiberace Lives On Inside The Thriller Villa In Las Vegas. 20-12-'18

The Thriller Villa in Las Vegas was not only home to Michael Jackson, but now houses the Liberace Museum collection.

Thriller Villa was built in 1992 by Horst Schmidt, and sold to the honorary consulate of El Salvador in 2000, following Schmidt’s passing.

Michael Jackson moved into the house in 2009, before starting his 'This Is It' tour. After Michael’s death, the house reverted back to the original owner.

In 2014, the Liberace Foundation was allowed to move into the house, and has been there since.

Inside, you’ll find countless Liberace pieces, including pianos, costumes, candelabras, and more knowledge of Liberace than you ever knew you wanted to know.

The museum only gives private tours from time to time, so be sure to go to the website to see when you can visit.

Source: Review Journal / Billie Jean


'We Are The World' Revamped For Charity. 19-12-'18

'We Are The World' got a 2018 edition with over 30 artists.

Recorded on November 27th, 2018 in Studio A at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Channel Aid created with over 30 other artists a new version of worlds famous charity song 'We Are The World'. It has now been 33 years since Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie created this Masterpiece.

For Channel Aid it was time to show that the online world is working hand by hand when it comes to important things. With this video we are raising donations for children and people with disabilities in this world. The song & video is produced by YouTube Legend Kurt Hugo Schneider and his incredible Team.

Over 30 artists and performers came from all around the world to support this project. All together have more than 50 million subscribers and 8.5 billion views on YouTube. The recording of 'We Are The World' embodied the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and generosity as the original recording 33 years ago.

Every one of the artists who participated, regardless of genre or generation, walked into the room with their hearts and souls completely open to coming together to raise donations for a good cause! On behalf of Channel Aid we would love to thank everyone who joined this incredible production. We want to thank everyone who watched this video, subscribed to the channel or donated for our Go Fund Me campaign. Thank you to YouTube Music Germany for making this possible!

We need your help to show that in 2018 there are no limits as long we all participate as one big family! Donate here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Virgil AblohVirgil Abloh’s Michael Collection. 18-12-'18

American fashion designer and artistic director at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, says he is going to design a collection of fashion items based on Michael Jackson. In a recent interview he stated;

“I can’t work in my studio without music. I don’t like silence. I’m listening to John Coltrane. I’m listening to Miles Davis. But I’m also listening to whatever new rap is coming out that week. I have teams in Milan, Italy, London, and America, so as long as I have a fully charged iPhone, I feel like I can change the world. I’m talking on that phone, but I’m also constantly listening to music. My next Louis Vuitton collection is going to be based on Michael Jackson and when I have Michael singing in the background, it’s a different type of shirt, it’s a different kind of boot, it’s a different fit of pants. Music is key.”

Virgil Abloh entered the world of fashion in 2009 at Fendi, alongside Kanye West.

He is also known for his work as a music producer and DJ.

Source: Esquire / Billie Jean


Spike Lee Thinks Prince And Michael Jackson Biopics Would Be Impossible To Cast. 17-12-'18

Spike LeePrince and Michael Jackson with Bohemian Rhapsody now the highest grossing music biopic ever, it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood starts rolling out more stories from music history. Next year alone will see the release of Rocketman, which will similarly paint a portrait of Sir Elton John. Two artists that may prove difficult to adapt, however, are Prince and Michael Jackson, at least according to Spike Lee.

“Not that I’ve been asked to do it,” he says, “But for me, I just can’t get past who’s gonna play Prince? Michael Jackson? I can’t. All I can do is documentaries. But a film? I just can’t get past who. Not to say, I mean, it could be an unknown…”

Lee has already delivered two documentaries surrounding the King of Pop and he’s open to do more. “One day, you know, maybe, hopefully I’ll get to do a complete trilogy,” he says. “You know, the first one’s 'Bad 25', and then 'Off The Wall', maybe I’ll get to do 'Thriller'.”

As for The Purple One, Lee may need to wait awhile. After all, as we reported back in October, both director Ava DuVernay and Apple are currently at work on two separate documentaries that tell various parts of the late legend’s life.

“I will tell you this, though,” he admits. “I don’t care what the critics say, fuck ’em—I love Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami Malek did his thing. I mean, I like that film a lot.”

Currently, Lee is out promoting this year’s 'Blackkklansman', which recently picked up nominations at both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards with the Academy Awards in its sights. Read our full interview in which he talks extensively about the film.

Source: Consequence Of Sound / Billie Jean


Breaking: Supreme Court Rules To Hear Case Of Fan Versus Sony Music & Michael Jackson Estate In Fake Songs Lawsuit. 13-12-'18

Michael CD Album CoverThe Supreme Court of California has today ruled that it will hear the case of Vera Serova versus Sony Music and The Estate of Michael Jackson regarding the advertisement and commercial distribution of three allegedly-forged songs attributed to the late pop superstar on the 'Michael' album since December 2010.

The ruling is a huge step towards justice for plaintiff Serova as she attempts to hold Sony Music and the Jackson Estate accountable for their decision to falsely advertise and sell a fraudulent product to Michael Jackson fans around the world.

Last month, on November 7, 2018, Serova and her legal team completed the process of petitioning the Supreme Court of California to intervene as a last gasp attempt to force Sony and the Jackson Estate to face the music. The corporations were controversially dismissed from the case in August this year, when the Court of Appeal ruled that they should be able to sell forgeries as the real deal—as long as they didn’t know the songs were fake.

Today, the seven Justices of the Court who reviewed Serova’s petition ruled that the Supreme Court should hear the case. The Justices felt the Court of Appeal’s ruling that corporations should be allowed to advertise and sell fake art as authentic was problematic in the eyes of the law.

Serova contends that the three songs at the centre of her lawsuit ('Breaking News', 'Keep Your Head Up' and 'Monster') were released by Sony and the Jackson Estate with fake vocals—sung not by the King of Pop, but by a soundalike.

The three allegedly-fake songs were sold to Sony and the Jackson Estate in mid-2010 by music producers and longtime Jackson friends Eddie Cascio and James Porte as part of a collection of twelve songs they claim Jackson recorded in their basement in 2007. Serova’s lawsuit contends Jackson did no such thing, instead claiming that Porte and Cascio masterminded the most high-profile art forgery in the history of the music business.

Additional litigation remains pending against Cascio and Porte, who have been sued by Serova for fraud. The case against Cascio and Porte has been on hold for almost two years now. The delay comes as a result of Sony and the Jackson Estate’s continued appeals. But the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case could result in new activity in the fraud component of the case, including the possibility of new defendants being added.

The obvious candidate for inclusion in the fraud component of the lawsuit would be the alleged singer of the songs, Jason Malachi. The Jackson family alerted Sony and the Estate to the fact that they believed Malachi was the singer of the songs in question way back in October 2010—two months before the 'Michael' album was released. Upon the album’s release, Malachi’s longtime producer and vocal coach, Tony Kurtis, went public with his insistence that Malachi was the singer of the songs. At that time, countless Jackson fans around the world also identified Malachi as the singer, recognising his voice—not Jackson’s—on the songs in question.

Participating in the recording of vocals that Michael Jackson did not record and passing them off as work by Jackson constitutes art forgery, which is a felony in the Unites States. If pursued by the authorities, such a crime carries the potential penalty of prison time. At this point, however, Serova’s civil litigation is the only course of action being taken.

UPDATE: Following the publication of this article, plaintiff Vera Serova made a blockbuster revelation via Twitter. Serova was asked by a fellow Twitter user whether she had seen Malachi’s response to the above-mentioned YouTube comment.

Serova, using the Twitter handle @MorinenMJ, responded by not only confirming she had seen it, but by revealing that she and her legal team have ‘direct evidence of his involvement’ based on correspondence with Malachi’s lawyer!

What this means for the case remains to be seen, but the fact that Serova’s lawyer and Malachi’s lawyer have been in contact, and that such contact resulted in ‘direct evidence of his involvement’ with the songs, is a major development.

Stay tuned for further updates on the Serova vs Sony Music, Jackson Estate, Cascio, Porte et al case. I will provide more information as the case progresses. You can also subscribe to my upcoming podcast series about these songs and this case, called FAKING MICHAEL, and listen to the trailer by clicking here.

Source: Damien Shields / Billie Jean


MJ HologramMichael Jackson “Come Back To The X” Holographic Concert. 13-12-'18

You heard right! A Michael Jackson Holographic Concert will take place in Shanghai on December 21.

Thanks to some pretty impressive technology, you can watch as the MJ digital apparition moonwalks his way across the stage and performs some of his greatest hits. Think ‘Thriller,’ ‘Beat It’ and ‘Man in the Mirror,’ to name a few.

The Michael Jackson Come Back to the X Holographic Concert will take place on December 21 at the Mixing Room at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, No. 1200, EXPO Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai.

Not sure the Estate has approved this as we all know that China has a different point of view on Copy rights, Trademarks and licencing.

This concert happened last August but we couldn’t find any reviews or pictures from the show so we do not know the quality of the hologram or if it is a real Michael Jackson footage or again an impersonator. As soon as we can find more information, photos or reviews, we will keep you updated.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Brazilian Singer Pays Tribute To The King Of Pop In New Video. 12-12-'18

Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte is currently recording her new video paying tribute to the King of Pop Michael Jackson.

She recreated the “Brazilian” version of Spike Lee’s video for 'They Don’t Care About Us'.

The song called 'Saudade' can be heard playing in the background. The video is a full copy cat of the original 1996 video directed by Spike Lee.

Saudade VideoClaudia Leitte will bring references to Michael Jackson in 'They Don't Care About Us', to the Bahian music icons Luis Caldas, Sarajane, Babado Novo and Olodum.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


More Personal Michael Jackson Items On Auction. 07-12-'18

More personal items from Michael Jackson will be auctioned on December 8 in Los Angeles.

The items are from the Ira & Larry Goldberg Collection and includes:

Michael Jackson Completed and Signed Application For Lost Passport With Photos. Sometime between 1993 and 1994, Michael Jackson lost his passport and had to fill out an application for replacement. Offered is a near completed original form with the four image Polaroid photograph one submits to have included in the passport. The information has been filled out including place and date of birth, occupation (Entertainer), mother and father’s name, height and the like. Jackson has signed the form in black fine point pen but is undated. The second document is the Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport with none of the information completed. Photo and documents and signature are in excellent condition. Estimated Value $750-UP.

Michael Jackson: Outstanding Handwritten and Supremely Heartfelt Letter To Bill Bray For His Love and “Being a Father”. (1958-2009) “The King of Pop”. Exceptional and rare handwritten letter to Bill Bray on a simple, ruled sheet of yellow 12 x 8″ note pad paper, expressing his heartfelt appreciation for his love and friendship. Bill Bray officially held the position of Executive Director, Office of Special Services with MJJ Productions. But Mr. Bray proved personally much more to Jackson and very much a mentor, a friend and father figure as clearly evident in this beautiful letter of love and thanks. “Bill, It’s been a long long road, we have traveled throughout the years, concert tours, meeting dignitaries, kings and queens of countries, touring around the world twice, making people happy through the gift and love of Music. I’m coming of age now and really [sic] realize the importance of true love. Joseph never ever had time for me, he only saw me as a way for him to make money. And as you know Mother was a perfect mother. But I never was with her, my childhood was on stage away from Mother. What I’m Simply Trying To Say Is Thank you For Being a FATHER. I don’t know what would have happened to me if you were not around. I love you, M.J.”Letter was twice folded and addressed on verso “Bill The Joker”. Letter is undated and in excellent condition. Estimated Value $7,500-UP.

MJ ItemsPersonal Michael Jackson items on auction at Invaluable.

Michael Jackson: Handwritten and Sincere Note To Bill Bray For Being a Father Figure For Him. (1958-2009) “The King of Pop”. Rare handwritten letter to Bill Bray on a simple, ruled sheet of notepad paper, 8 x 4″ expressing his heartfelt appreciation for his love and friendship. Bill Bray officially held the position of Executive Director, Office of Special Services with MJJ Productions. But Mr. Bray proved personally much more to Jackson and very much a mentor, a friend and father figure. “Bill thank you so much for all the years of love and compassion. You have become more Father like than Joseph. Thank you for being there at the right time and sharing your love. M.J.” This wonderful note has been beautifully kept for 25 years. Executed by Jackson in blue ball point pen. Estimated Value $2,500-UP.

Auction details and information here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Invaluable / Billie Jean


Mijac Counter-Attacks On Copyrights. 05-12-'18

The Estate of Michael Jackson disputes the announcement made by Primary Wave concerning Sly Stone copyrights. The company has issued a statement that reads: “The Sly & The Family Stone’s classic song copyrights are owned by Mijac Music, which is part of the Estate of Michael Jackson, and is administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which handles all licensing requests.”

Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired an interest in the Sly & the Family Stone music catalog, the company announced today. The deal includes all music assets of Even St. Productions, which covers music publishing and master royalty streams of all songs written by Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone) including the hits 'Everyday People', 'Thank You', 'Dance To The Music', and 'Family Affair'.

The influential R&B group first broke out in 1968 with the release of 'Dance To The Music'. Helping introduce funk to the masses, Sly and the Family Stone also released No. 1 songs 'Everyday People', 'Family Affair', 'Stand!' and 'Hot Fun In The Summertime', among others. Often sampled, Sly’s songs defined the sound of an era and informed future music by Prince, Public Enemy, The Roots and OutKast.”

In 2015, a Los Angeles jury awarded $5 million to Stone in a breach-of-contract suit against his business partners. Jurors found that Stone’s ex-manager Gerald Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone and the company Even Street Productions owed him royalties.

Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired an interest in the Sly & the Family Stone music catalog, the company announced today. The deal includes all music assets of Even St. Productions, which covers music publishing and master royalty streams of all songs written by Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone) including the hits 'Everyday People', 'Thank You', 'Dance To The Music', and 'Family Affair'.

Source: Variety / Billie Jean


'The Ultimate Collection' & 'The Very Best Of Michael Jackson With The Jackson Five' Are Re-Released.
05-12-'18

The Jackson 5’s 'The Ultimate Collection' & 'The Very Best Of Michael Jackson with The Jackson Five' are re-issued in Japan in Limited Low-priced Edition. Both editions will be around 7euro each.

The years 1969-75 belonged to the Jackson 5, and 'The Ultimate Collection' and 'The Very Best Of Michael Jackson with The Jackson Five' duly concentrates on this period. The one exception is the group’s remixed version of 'It’s Your Thing' from 1995. Originally written and waxed by the Isley Brothers, the Jackson 5 recorded the song in 1969, but never received a proper release until appearing on 'Soulstation'! 'The 25th Anniversary Collection' in 1995. The Jackson 5’s initial take of 'It’s Your Thing' is included on 'The Ultimate Collection' as well.

On the 'The Very Best Of Michael Jackson with The Jackson Five' cd album are 21 tracks spanning Jackson 5 and early Michael's solo recordings on Motown. The cd album features 'I Want You Back', 'ABC', 'Rockin' Robin', 'I'll Be There', 'Farewell My Summer Love' and remixes of 'I Want You Back' and 'It's Your Thing'.

Track lists:

The Ultimate Collection CD Album CoverThe Ultimate Collection

1. I Want You Back - Jackson 5 - 2:58
2. ABC - Jackson 5 - 2:38
3. The Love You Save - Jackson 5 - 3:04
4. I'll Be There - Jackson 5 - 3:57
5. It's Your Thing - Jackson 5 - 3:41
6. Who's Lovin' You - Jackson 5 - 4:01
7. Mama's Pearl 3:12
8. Never Can Say Goodbye - Jackson 5 - 3:00
9. Maybe Tomorrow - Jackson 5 - 4:46
10. Got To Be There - Michael Jackson - 3:23
11. Sugar Daddy - Jackson 5 - 2:32
12. Rockin' Robin - Michael Jackson - 2:32
13. Daddy's Home - Jermaine Jackson - 3:03
14. Lookin' Through The Windows - Jackson 5 - 3:38
15. I Wanna Be Where You Are - Michael Jackson - 2:57
16. Get It Together - Jackson 5 - 2:48
17. Dancing Machine - Jackson 5 - 2:36
18. The Life Of The Party - Jackson 5 - 2:34
19. I Am Love - Pts. I & II - Jackson 5 - 7:28
20. Just A Little Bit Of You - Michael Jackson - 3:12
21. It's Your Thing (The J5 In '95 Extended Remix) - Jackson 5 - 5:57

Record label: Motown/Universal
Series number: UICY-76227
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 7 €

The Very Best Of Michael Jackson With The Jackson Five CD Album CoverThe Very Best Of Michael Jackson With The Jackson Five

1. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5 - 3:01
2. ABC (with Jackson 5) - 3:00
3. The Love You Save - The Jackson 5 - 3:06
4. Ill Be There - The Jackson 5 - 4:00
5. Mamas Pearl - The Jackson 5 - 3:13
6. Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5 - 3:02
7. Got To Be There - 3:25
8. Rockin Robin - 2:35
9. Ain't No Sunshine - 4:13
10. Lookin Through The Windows - The Jackson 5 - 3:40
11. Ben - 2:47
12. Doctor My Eyes - The Jackson 5 - 3:14
13. Hallelujah Day - The Jackson 5 - 2:49
14. Skywriter - The Jackson 5 - 3:11
15. Happy (Love Theme From Lady Sing The Blues) - 3:25
16. Were Almost There - 3:45
17. One Day In Your Life - 4:17
18. Girl You're So Together - 3:13
19. Farewell My Summer Love - 4:27
20. I Want You Back (PWL Remix 88) - The Jackson 5 - 4:07
21. It's Your Thing (The J5 In '95 House Remix) - The Jackson 5 - 4:48

Record label: Motown/Universal
Series number: UICY-76230
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 7 €

Order 'The Ultimate Collection' here at CD Japan.

Order 'The Very Best Of Michael Jackson With The Jackson Five' here at CD Japan.

Source: CD Japan / Billie Jean


Jackson's 'Thriller' At 35: A Look Back At The Iconic Music Video By Those Who Made It. 03-12-'18

To Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' album, Sony and the Estate have launch a digital celebration of the biggest selling album of all time with an instagram’s link to the 'Thriller' video on YouTube.

Last Sunday (Dec. 2) marks 35 years since the debut of Michael Jackson’s ground-breaking 'Thriller' music video, which premiered on MTV and launched a dance craze, a red-jacket fashion favorite, and more pricey and ambitious videos by other top-tier artists.

The 14-minute “short film,” as the late singer preferred to call it, was shot on 35mm in downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the night. It was directed John Landis (National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London), and written by Landis and Jackson.

Thriller Video ClipMichael Jackson on the set of the video clip 'Thriller' directed by John Landis.

The title-track from Jackson’s 1982 album was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, and became the seventh single after such hits as 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It'. The landmark film went on to win three MTV Awards, two American Music Awards and a Grammy, and is the first and only music video to be inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

The 3D version of the music video and restored documentary 'Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller', directed by Jerry Kramer, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2017. This September, it became the first music video released in IMAX 3D. The song re-entered the Hot 100 on Nov. 10, 2018 at No. 31, the highest it has been since April 7, 1984.

Read here the full article.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

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