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New Michael Jackson Merchandise Released. 29-06-'18

The Official Michael Jackson Shop online has just released new products! it has been a while since the album 'Scream' but the shop is back after being closed for a few months (since February 2018)!

MJ Merchandise
Signature T-Shirts, Hoodie's, Hat's of Michael Jackson available.

Order here

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

How Paul Anka Brought Michael Jackson To Drake's New Double Album 'Scorpion'. 29-06-'18

Paul Anka and DrakeOne of the surprise collaborators on Drake's new double album 'Scorpion' is none other than veteran singer-songwriter and producer Paul Anka.

Dig into the liner notes for Drake's new album and you'll come across a name familiar to perhaps a different segment of music fans: celebrated Canadian crooner Paul Anka.

On the Toronto rapper and singer's latest album 'Scorpion', released on streaming services Friday, the track 'Don't Matter to Me' features the late Michael Jackson's unmistakable voice. Anka is listed as a co-writer.

Back in 1983, the Ottawa-born Anka teamed up with Jackson for about a month to work on a planned duets album. Later that year, Jackson went on to release his iconic 'Thriller' and much of their shared material from those sessions remained in the vault.

A few months after Jackson's death in 2009, however, Sony unveiled 'This Is It', a reworked version of the tune 'I Never Heard' that he'd co-written with Anka.

That fruitful 1983 session also gave birth to 'Love Never Felt So Good', included on Sony's 2014 album 'Xscape', a posthumous collection of previously unreleased Michael Jackson music.

Jackson's vocals on the new Drake track come from 'It Don't Matter To Me', another product of the Anka-MJ partnership.

Anka teased that he was working with Drake back in February, when he shared a photo of himself alongside the Toronto rapper-singer.

He offered a shout-out of sorts when stopping in Drake's hometown in May, while accepting a lifetime achievement honour during Canadian Music Week.

Anka further elaborated on this latest collaboration, a track he described as "kind of left field, it's so cool," ​in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen published last month.

"There was apprehension when we got together [because] you want to know people and you want to like them. I'm at the stage in my life that I don't want to waste my time [but Drake is] a good human being," Anka said working with the 31-year-old performer.

"It just came together with him creatively and intellectually. We've got a great record."

The 76-year-old Anka also told the Ottawa Citizen that he doesn't believe in retirement, saying that continuing to work has kept him young.

"When you're in our industry and you do what you do on your terms, art has no time."

Source: CBC / Billie Jean

Drake Debuts Unreleased Michael Jackson Track On New Double Album 'Scorpion'. 29-06-'18

Scorpion Album CoverDrake is re-introducing Michael Jackson to a new generation of music lovers by featuring the legend’s standout vocals on his latest double album, 'Scorpion'.

The Canadian rapper unveiled his new project today and surprised fans with an unexpected collaboration with the late 'Thriller' hitmaker titled 'Don’t Matter To Me'.

The song 'Don’t Matter To Me' is a previously unreleased track by Michael Jackson, to which Drake raps along. The news outlet compared the sound of the track to Justin Timberlake’s 2014 tune 'Love Never Felt So Good', in which JT dueted with Michael.

It was a bittersweet addition to the double album as the unveiling came just a day after Joe Jackson, Michael’s father lost his battle with cancer. 25 June also marked the ninth anniversary since Michael passed following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Source: Metro / Billie Jean

Neverland RidesNeverland Rides In County Fair. 29-06-'18

This year, at the Santa Barbara County Fair, there will be thirty-two rides provided by Helm and Sons Amusements, some of which, have a special connection to Santa Barbara County. Included in these special rides are three from Michael’s Neverland Valley Ranch – The Zipper, Lolli Swing and Spyder.

Michael had a long history with Helm and Sons Amusements. The grandfather of the current owner Davy Helm, once owned a ride called Wave Swinger that apparently Michael “fell in love with.” Michael asked him if he could buy the ride, but was offered a lease instead. Later, Helm and Sons had the responsibility for the upkeep of all the rides at Michael’s ranch and the company now owns six rides that were at Neverland.

The Santa Barbara County Fair will run from July 11th – 15th.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

'The Ultimate Collector Book Volume III: Bad'. 28-06-'18

In The Ultimate Collector Book Series, Sixteen11 Media Group is pleased to unveil the cover of Volume III: Bad: From 1987 to 1990.

After the volumes dedicated to the 'Dangerous', 'HIStory' and 'Invincible' periods that you could have heard here, this new collector's reference book about Michael Jackson will be devoted to the 'Bad' period.

The Ultimate Collector Book Volume III: Bad Cover
The book 'The Ultimate Collector Book Volume III: Bad' will be released by publisher Sixteen 11 Media.

For more information on Hector Barjot, YouTube Channel.

More information in the future.

Source: Sixteen11 / Billie Jean

The Estate Of Michael Jackson
The Estate Of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson Estate Comments On Death Of Joseph Jackson. 27-06-'18

The Michael Jackson Estate has responded to the death of the late pop icon's father, Joe Jackson.

The Jackson family patriarch died on Wednesday, a family source confirmed to ET. He was 89.

“We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family," John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement to ET. "Joseph was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to worldwide pop superstardom."

Branca and McClain also said they "developed a warm" relationship with Joseph in recent years.

"Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous," the statement continues. They were acknowledged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 in a proclamation naming him as Best Entertainment Manager of All Time; he was inducted into Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2014 and his son Michael acknowledged him with a Joe Jackson Day at Neverland. We had developed a warm relationship with Joseph in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”

The King of Pop had a famously complicated relationship with his father. In a 2013 interview with Piers Morgan, Joseph talked about physically disciplining his children.

"I had to be like that way because during those times, it was hard, and you have a lot of gangs there, you know, in the area where we were living," he said. "This was Gary, Indiana, and I had to make sure that they didn't get in any type of trouble, and things of that sort."

"I'm glad I was tough, because look what I came out with," he added. "I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right."

As for Michael, Joe described his son as a "nice guy."

"You know, Michael, he was a nice guy. ... The world (doesn't) know anything too much about Michael as far as how he was brought up," he said. "But he was brought up. I made sure that he respected the older people."

"Michael was the type of kid, you know, he was a good kid... and by him being that way, he was able to be Michael Jackson," he also recalled. "He looked good onstage and when he performed, everybody loved the way he did it, because he was that good."

ET confirmed last week that Jackson's health had taken a turn for the worse and his family was gathering to say their goodbyes.

A Jackson family source told ET that he was in a Las Vegas hospital with terminal cancer. According to the source, Jackson has been battling the illness for a while now and doctors told members of the family that he has limited time to live because the cancer cannot be treated.

Source: Entertainment Tonight / Billie Jean

Joseph JacksonJoseph Jackson Dies At 89. 27-06-'18

Joseph Jackson has sadly died after a hard-fought battle with cancer. It was confirmed on June 21 that the father of Michael had been hospitalized with terminal cancer, and he succumbed to the illness on June 27 at 3:30 AM in LA, according to TMZ. Joe’s famous family has been by his side in the days leading up to his sad death.

Sadly, Joseph has been suffering from medical issues for quite some time. He was rushed to the hospital on May 13, 2016 after growing weak from a high fever while having tests run by his personal doctor. He was also hospitalized in Brazil on July 26, 2015 (his 87th birthday) after suffering a stroke. Joseph as admitted to the Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo after he was found to have an irregular heartbreak, combined with light-headedness and no vision. This stroke wasn’t his first — in fact, he suffered his third mild stroke in Nov. 2012. He was hospitalized in Las Vegas and sent home afterward.

Joseph Walter Jackson’s parents were Samuel Jackson, who was a school teacher and Crystal Lee King. He was born in Arkansas in July 1928. He was the eldest of five children. His father’s father, Israel Nero Jackson, was born into slavery in Amite, Mississippi. Israel’s father was a Choctaw Indian named July Gale. He was also given the nickname Jack. Whilst Israel was growing up he became known as Nero, son of Jack and then later, Nero Jack – son. He was later sold to a plantation in Louisiana.

Joseph was the father of 10 children in total: Maureen Jackson,, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Joh’Vonnie Jackson. Of course, there was a still-born in 1957. Joseph has been married to Katherine Jackson since 1949, despite having an affair with Cheryl Terrell (the mother of Joh’Vonnie).

Joseph started his career in music when he played guitar in the blues band, The Falcons. The band didn’t find success, leading Joe to focus on the careers of his children. Joe began working with Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, eventually adding Michael and Marlon to create The Jackson 5. After a successful performance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Joe led his boys to Motown. Their first release, 'Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5', came out in 1969. Joe managed his sons until the early 1990's. Michael decided to split from his father, though he would financially support Joe down the road.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with Joe’s family and friends during this time of loss.

Rest in Peace Joseph Jackson.

Source: Hollywood Life / Billie Jean

Two Michael Jackson Official 2019 Calendars. 27-06-'18

Two official Michael Jackson 2019 calendars has just been revealed to Danilo, they will be released in September.

The first one is A3 size with a beautiful smiling Michael Jackson as a cover featuring a mix amazing images, the second one is a collector issue vinyl size with the 'Bad' album cover featuring a mix amazing images.

Calendars 2019
The first calendar has the cover of Michael on the set of the video clip 'Black Or White' and the second calendar is like the 'Bad' album cover.

Specifications first calendar
Publisher: Danilo
Height: 420 mm
Width: 297 mm
Product code: 125
Guide price: 10,9 €

Specifications second calendar
Publisher: Danilo
Height: 312 mm
Width: 312 mm
Product code: 183
Guide price: 10,9 €

Order the first calendar here and the second one here.

Source: Danilo / Billie Jean

8047 Roses Delivered From Around The World For Michael. 25-06-'17

Final rose count... 8047 roses are delivered at Forest Lawn.

One Rose for Michael Jackson raised 8047 roses this year. Seeing all the roses donated from fans around the world moves me to tears as I am enveloped in the sea of love of thousands of roses. Every year, all the roses are donated to various charities after June 25.

This is the 9th year MJ fans from around the world keep the red rose LOVE alive. Every year around June 25th, cards, letters, roses, flowers, gifts, balloons and sunflowers begin arriving at Forest Lawn Glendale and Neverland.

Once more thanks to the commitment of loving, caring MJ fans who have worked diligently to make this a reality for Michael Jackson and Michael's loving fans around the world, we will again be honored to blanket Michael with LOVE in the form of a sea of red Freedom Roses.

Thank you so much to Robyn Starkand who leads this beautiful tribute to Michael Jackson every June. Thank you for all your incredible, hard work in making it possible for MJ fans around the globe to continue to show our LOVE to Michael in this most spectacular way on the June 25th anniversary each year since his passing.

Forest Lawn
Forest Lawn: 1712 S. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA.

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Remembered On Ninth Anniversary Of Death. 25-06-'18

The singer died following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol in 2009.

The King Of Pop died on June 25 2009, at the age of 50.

LaToya shared a picture of the pair on Twitter, and said: “We will always miss you!

“We will always love you!

Jackson was also remembered by his friend Brooke Shields.

The actress shared a black and white picture of herself and Jackson holding hands, saying: “Remembering my dear friend #MichaelJackson.”

Shields, who has previously said the pair shared a bond because they were both child stars, added a single heart emoji.

MJ Pictures
Michael Jackson remembered by his sister LaToya and girlfriend Brooke Shields.

Source: Belfast Telegraph / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson's 9th AnniversaryMichael Jackson's 9th Anniversary. 25-06-'18

Hi Michael Jackson fans,

Today, June 25th 2019, marks the ninth year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. When the shocking news of Jackson’s death was announced ninth years ago, the world seemingly came to a halt. As millions of fans mourned Jackson’s death, news coverage around the globe exposed lurid details that Jackson died of long-term use of prescription drugs.

Michael died in Los Angeles after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center, Michael Jackson died at age 50. Initial reports were that Jackson suffered from cardiac arrest.

There are events and tribute's of the late Michael Jackson on the 9th Anniversary of his passing.

With the ninth anniversary of Michael’s untimely passing closing in on us, I can’t help but wonder how quickly the years have passed. It seems like only yesterday and yet, when I allow my mind to drift back to June 25th 2009 and then look ahead from there, I realize that five years are by no means “yesterday.”
So much has happened.

The world is a different place today than it was nine years ago. I am a different person and so are you. Life is a constant evolution – for better or for worse.

We miss you Michael.

Love you forever "Gone Too Soon".

Webmaster Dirk.

Source: Billie Jean

Jackson 5: A Royal Occasion - Black And White A3 Photo Print. 22-06-'18

The Motown shop had just released a black and white A3 photo print with 1 inch white border of The Jackson 5.

The Jackson 5 strolling in London on October 29th, 1972. The group is visiting the U.K. for a series of concert dates, including the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium, attended by the Queen Mother. The photo was taken in London during the Jackson 5’s free time (although not free of photographers, as is clear), on the capital’s trendy King’s Road. Jackie Jackson is out of shot, although he is present in other published photos, including one of the group’s visit to Buckingham Palace. Randy Jackson also accompanied his brothers on that trip, “to give him the experience and allow him to see what was going on,” remembered Michael. “The farther we traveled, the more exotic the world looked.”

The Jackson 5 in London (29-10-1972)
The Jackson 5 in London during the free time on the capital’s trendy King’s Road.

Order the print here and read more about the story behind the image here.

Source: Motown / Billie Jean

'Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault' Book Is Released. 22-06-'18

 Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault Book CoverPreviously released as 'Xscape Origins', this newly revised and expanded edition details the anatomy of Michael Jackson’s craftsmanship as told by those who were there, with Jackson, creating the music he left behind.

Now available as 'Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault', and featuring dozens of exclusive interviews with the King of Pop’s closest collaborators, this book takes you inside the studio, showcasing the creative process of the most successful recording artist in the history of popular music.

Author Damien Shields delivers captivating fly-on-the-wall accounts of how Jackson and his collaborators crafted the eight songs that would ultimately be resurrected several years after his death on the 'Xscape' album. “Breaks down the studio door and places you right there behind the mixing deck for a front row view of the star’s process.”

Charles Thomson, Huffington Post “Damien Shields delves deep to deliver a collection of untold stories detailing the origins and development of Jackson’s unreleased work.” - Michael Prince, Recording Engineer for Michael Jackson “Just as Michael said, ‘Study the greats,’ this book allows us to study how his creative genius made him the most popular entertainer on the planet.” - Matt Forger, Recording Engineer for Michael Jackson.

Publisher: Modegy LLC
ISBN: 978-0986199172
Pages: 172
Printed: USA
Guide price: 21,30 €

Order the magazine here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson's Closest Personal Staff Remember The Day Hel Died. 22-06-'18

Michael Jackson's personal chef, Kai Chase; personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams; and bodyguard, Faheem Muhammed; remember the day the King of Pop died. Their memories of the terrible day at the Jackson house are interspersed with tape of the 911 call telling the dispatcher Jackson was unresponsive.

The clip is part of the premiere episode of 'Cultureshock', the new limited original documentary series from A&E Networks, which dives into the untold behind-the-scenes stories of watershed moments in pop culture. Produced by Meredith Corporation’s Four M Studios in association with Entertainment Weekly, each of 'Cultureshock’s five episodes will examine the most impactful entertainment stories with full participation from the key players in each one.

Michael's Personal Staff
Michael's personal chef, Kai Chase (L); personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams (C); and bodyguard, Faheem Muhammed (R).

'Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call' marks the first episode, airing Monday, June 25, at 9 p.m. ET on A&E. Airing on the ninth anniversary of the pop star’s tragic death, the documentary takes an in-depth look at Jackson’s final days. Examining the “immense pressure” Jackson was under preparing for his final tour, the documentary features interviews with newscasters, reporters, family, and friends as they trace the day the news broke and how it consumed the world. Travis Payne, Kenny Ortega, Harvey Levin, Warren Zanes, and more will weigh in, and the episode will also feature audio recordings of Jackson from his last rehearsals.

Source: People / Billie Jean

On The Wall ExhibitionOn The Wall Exhibition. 22-06-'18

As we first reported back on September 20th, 2017, London’s National Portrait Gallery is opening its Michael Jackson exhibition next Thursday, June 28th, called ‘Michael Jackson: On The Wall,’ which is produced with the co-operation of the Michael Jackson Estate.

This landmark exhibition explores the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media, all curated by the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan. The timing of the exhibition is to coincide with what would have been Michael’s 60th birthday in August.

Though Michael is known for his music, short films and dancing; his considerable influence on contemporary art is an untold story. Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Michael has become the most depicted cultural figure in visual art by an extraordinary array of leading contemporary artists. For the first time, ‘Michael Jackson: On The Wall’ will bring together the works of over 40 of these artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new Michael Jackson: A Celebration Book Coverworks made especially for the exhibition.

Along with the exhibition they are releasing two exclusive books. The first is called 'Michael Jackson: A Celebration', which has a remarkable collection of images, drawn from a wide variety of sources that charts Michael’s life. From his emerging fame as a child prodigy singing alongside his brothers in the late sixties and seventies, to his status as an international superstar, it’s all there to see. Pages recalling his early years with the Jackson 5 are followed by a section of photographs of Michael alongside famous friends, collaborators and admirers. There are dynamic shots of the King of Pop at the height of his powers as a solo artist and poignant images from his final months, publicising and rehearsing for the ultimately unrealised ‘This Is It’ concert series.

The photographs are complemented by a selection of quotations by Michael himself, and by many of the friends and associates who knew him well. The book also includes a select discography and a chronology that highlights key moments in Michael’s career.

You can purchase ‘Michael Jackson: A Celebration’ here for £12.50.

Michael Jackson: On The Wall Book CoverThe second book is 'Michael Jackson: On The Wall' Hardcover Catalogue’ which has an array of artist impressions from the likes of Andy Warhol and Isa Genzken to David Hammons and Glenn Ligon. This book, which accompanies the main exhibition, examines their artistic responses to an enduring international icon.

You can purchase ‘Michael Jackson: On The Wall' Hardcover Catalogue’ here for £35.00.

Book tickets here.

Opening Thursday 28 June 2018
Open daily 10:00-18:00. Open late Thursday and Friday until 21:00.

Wolfson and Learner Galleries Wolfson and Lerner Galleries
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Source: National Portrait Gallery / MJWN / Billie Jean

PEPSI: Czech Republic Is Getting Them! 21-06-'18

Michael Jackson 2018 Pepsi cans have now arrived in Czech Republic (and Slovakia and Poland and most of the Eastern European Countries)! The first country in Europe to get the cans. So far, only the US and Chine got them!

It seems that the Czech fans will be the first lucky ones in Europe!

Hopefully we will get more wildly available MJ cans soon and especially Europe as fans here are hungry for them!

Pepsi Can Czech Republic
Pepsi cans have now arrived in Czech Republic (and Slovakia and Poland and most of the Eastern European Countries).

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

#MoonwalkWalks. A Michael Jackson 60th Birthday Fan Tribute. 21-06-'18

#MoonwalkWalks. A Michael Jackson 60th Birthday Fan Tribute. Fans behind the MJ inspired charity MJFFC.org.uk is planning a 60th Birthday tribute to Michael which consists of them sending Michael’s book, 'Moonwalk', to all 7 continents to spread the words of Michael and to spread awareness of other charities and MJ groups.

The idea is that these 7 books will get picked up by passers by and read. When they have finished with the book, they will leave it for someone else to pick up and so on. The activity and locations will all be logged offline and online by participants and MJ fans will be able to follow all 7 books around the world, maybe even coming across one themselves! They are looking for the initial “sponsor” for each book.

This wonderful book, written in an upbeat tone, has 6 chapters and includes beautiful color and black and white photos.

Each book sponsor is sent a copy, needs to leave it at an interesting location on or before the 29th August 2018 and then send in or upload some photos on the 29th. The Australia and Europe books have already been officially sponsored and there are various ideas for the others, but they are looking for assistance with the other books, in particular Africa, Asia and Antarctica!

You can find out more information about the tribute and how you can become a sponsor at www.mjffc.org.uk/moonwalkwalks.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson’s Dad Joseph On His Deathbed And 'Has Banned Family From Seeing Him'. 20-06-'18

Joseph JacksonThe 88-year-old patriarch is suffering from an undisclosed terminal illness and his heath has taken a turn for the worse in the last week, according to his son Jermaine.

He has been ill for a number of months and has banned the family from seeing him, he added.

It is understood that the music manager's wife Katherine and daughters Rebbie and Joh'Vonnie along with granddaughter Yashi Brown visited Joe in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday (June 19).

Speaking to the Mail, Joe's son Jermaine said: “No one knew what was going on – we shouldn't have to beg, plead, and argue to see our own father, especially at a time like this.

“We have been hurting.

“We were not being told where he was and couldn’t get the full picture. Even from the doctor. My mother was worried sick.”

Jermaine, 63, added: “He’s very very frail, he doesn't have long. The family needs to be by his bedside – that’s our only intention in his final days.

“It’s what any family would want, but some people around him think they know better...and they don’t.”

It is believed Joe himself gave verbal instructions – which has been recorded on a phone – making clear he didn't want visitors or anyone from the family to see him or his medical records.

A source close to the camp said the people around Joe are those who have been there for him in his everyday life.

They said: "They are acting in his interests and no one else's.

"The Jackson family doesn't have the capacity to deal with this on its own, so certain people are taking charge of the situation.

"It's delicate... and not as black and white as people are making out."

It was Joe who guided his children to unprecedented showbiz success as The Jackson 5.

Source: Daily Star / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson's Personal Photographer: 'He Didn't Identify As One Gender'. 20-06-'18

Harrison FunkHarrison Funk spent three rollercoaster decades capturing the pop legend’s extraordinary life. He reveals the stories behind his favourites shots, from hugs with Mandela to wielding a powder puff backstage.

Me and Michael had our own language,” says Harrison Funk. “The buzzword was always the same. He would ask, ‘Harrison, can you make magic?’ Anything less wasn’t acceptable.” Funk was the photographer who got closer to Michael Jackson than any other, working with the singer from the late 1970's right up until his death in June 2009, witnessing and capturing his many changes, as the star rose to be the most famous person on the planet.

Impressed by his versatility, Jackson employed Funk as the official photographer for the Jacksons Triumph tour in 1981. Funk says he quickly sensed the media circus that was starting to form around the singer: “Rupert Murdoch’s people called and practically begged me to sneak out a photo of Michael from rehearsals. I told Michael and we laughed about it – but the fact I told him built up a trust.”

In one of Funk’s favourite shots from this period, Jackson can be seen holding his arms out in an almost biblical pose. “People say Michael had a Jesus complex,” he says, “but that pisses me off, as it just wasn’t true. There was a practical reason for me taking that photo. Michael had huge hands and I wanted to make the most of them as they were expressive – and a good way for him to embrace the world. At that stage, his whole existence was geared towards healing the world, so having big, expressive hands was a very important way to speak to the people.” The way he communicated with his hands, adds the photographer, “you’d have thought he was Italian!”

Read the whole article here.

Source: The Guardian / Billie Jean

Get A Glimpse Of Michael Jackson In The 90's From Irving Native Bart Stevens. 20-06-'18

Bart Stevens, born and raised in Irving, has worked with the Old Red Museum in downtown Dallas since last fall. After 30 years in the music industry, he wanted to get into museum administration, but his time in his former industry has come back into frame.

Six weeks after graduating college, Stevens moved to Los Angeles. Three months later, he found a job at a recording studio as a staff assistant. He worked at a few studios on soundtracks and jazz and pop records. He wound up at Ocean Way Recording, one of the top studios in Los Angeles.

In 1990, Stevens got the opportunity to work as an assistant engineer with Michael Jackson, who was planning to release a greatest-hits compilation with a few new songs. Those few new songs morphed into his 'Dangerous' album.

While songwriting, Jackson would often vocalize not just words, but specific drumbeats and melodies for guitars and/or keyboards. Stevens got to see that to an extent, but he usually worked with multi-instrumentalist Bryan Loren and writer, producer and instrumentalist Bill Bottrell on material Jackson later wrote lyrics for. Jackson was a perfectionist, and Stevens recalls working on about 20 songs that were never finished for 'Dangerous'.

Stevens also recalls the creation of the song 'Will You Be There' in the studio. He calls it “one of the most magical moments I was ever involved with.” Jackson mouthed different melodies for the instruments and wrote the lyrics.

“To see that one originate from nothing to a very popular song was amazing,” Stevens says. “The flip side of that is, a few years later, someone in Italy said, ‘I wrote that song for Michael.’ So it went to trial, I surrendered all my notebooks [and] they used those in pretrial. They ended up settling out of court, and Michael won.”

Stevens also discusses the time when recording sessions for 'Dangerous' stopped so the pop culture zeitgeist single 'Do The Bartman' could be cut. It was tied with 'The Simpsons Sing The Blues' album, and voice actors Nancy Cartwright and Harry Shearer went in to record their voices. Stevens got credit for singing backing vocals on the song.

Stevens worked with Jackson for five years, and he didn’t share these stories in the public — until now.

Michael and Bart Stevens in the studio
Michael and Bart Stevens in the studio.

“I’ve become fascinated with oral history and the telling the stories that don’t necessarily get written down,” he says.

After writing down what he wanted to say, Stevens realized he had many hours of content. Since he only worked with Jackson from 1990-95, that’s all he can comment on or tell personal recollections about. He likes to characterize how down-to-earth Jackson was despite how he was portrayed by the media throughout the 1990's.

“I have too many stories to tell,” Stevens deadpans with a laugh.

Bart Stevens shares his stories at 10 a.m. Saturday at Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, 100 South Houston St.

Join Old Red Museum Speaker Series as we hear the amazing tales of Dallas County resident Bart Stevens as he shares his very personal stories about his friendship and his experiences of working with Michael Jackson.

For the very first time the public is invited to hear anecdotes about his friendship and share just how two guys who grew up, in two very different worlds during the 1960's, came together.

You will see candid photos, hear music and experience what is was like working on the 'Dangerous' album and at Neverland Valley Ranch for five years, a place that is hard to put into words.

There will be recounted stories about Michael in the studio, Michael at the Ranch, the making of his music, water balloon fights, and the list of never ending visits by other celebrities. Please join us!

Tickets are available at Old Red Museum Guest Services or OldRed.org.

Schedule for the day:
10:00 am Recording Studio presentation – Followed by Q&A

12:00 pm Lunch Break

VIP ticket includes lunch & special session

12:00 pm Special Session Slam Dunk Lunch

VIP ticket includes lunch & special session

1:15 pm Neverland Valley Ranch presentation – Followed by Q&A

3:00 pm Conclusion

Proceeds from the event will support Old Red Museum education programs.

Presented by Old Red Museum, a 501(c)(3) company dedicated to inspire and educate visitors about the rich and varied cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County Area.

*No phones, cameras or recording devices will be allowed in presentation. A secure complimentary “phone check” will be available at the door.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

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