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Home / News Archive / News March 2018

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The Jacksons To Celebrate Career, Michael Jackson At Detroit Music Weekend. 31-03-'18

The JacksonsA year after Aretha Franklin packed the streets in the theater district to inaugurate a new hometown festival, Detroit Music Weekend has another celebrated name on the way.

The Jacksons will headline the event with a free outdoor performance June 16, returning to the city where Berry Gordy and Motown launched their career five decades ago.

The group — Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon Jackson — will stage a 75-minute production in front of a video wall featuring performance footage of their late younger brother, Michael Jackson, as they celebrate a career stacked with 70's hits such as 'I Want You Back', 'ABC', 'I'll Be There' and 'Dancing Machine'.

Their main-stage set will be part of a multi-day Jackson 5 celebration at Detroit Music Weekend, including a June 15 gala that will feature a fashion show and Jacksons tribute concert led by veteran Detroit musician Kern Brantley, bandleader for Lady Gaga.

There's no official word yet on a potential street renaming or other civic honors like the ones bestowed last summer on a tearful Queen of Soul ahead of her Detroit Music Weekend performance, including the ceremonial renaming of Madison Street to Aretha Franklin Way.

"That model should continue," said Music Hall president Vince Paul, who spearheads the festival with a committee of downtown entertainment and business figures. "We have a lot of streets and a lot of legacy artists. It adds a pizzazz to our city core."

The Jacksons and their team have enthusiastically embraced the weekend of Detroit tribute activities, said Paul, and there have been early discussions about guest appearances by two of Michael Jackson's children: 21-year-old Prince Jackson and 19-year-old Paris Jackson.

Here's some of what we know so far about the 2018 edition of Detroit Music Weekend:

•The June 15 gala — dubbed Chords & Couture — will be held inside the festival's 10,000-square-foot tent and will include dinner and a fashion show presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. The night's tribute concert will showcase material from across the Jackson family's group and solo repertoires. Performers will include teen singer Jibreel Mawry, who played a young Michael Jackson in Broadway's 'Motown: The Musical'.

•An expanded MotorCity Artisan Market will showcase 100-plus vendors, many specializing in Detroit-themed merchandise.

•The event, running 2-11 p.m., will start and end later than last year, in part to accommodate the Jacksons' video production, which requires nightfall for full effect.

Source: Free Press / Billie Jean


Terry Fator Added Michael Jackson To His Set… 30-03-'18

For those who don’t know Terry Fator, Terry is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Dallas, Texas. Terry does ventriloquial impersonations, and uses 15 different puppets in his act. He was the winner of season two of America’s Got Talent, and received the million dollar prize. The following year, he was signed on as the headliner at The Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada with a five-year, $100 million contract.

So yeah Pretty big in Las Vegas! And Terry just added 2 new characters to his show! And one of them is Michael Jackson!

One of the reasons Fator’s show is so beloved: He’s always making changes, adding new elements and keeping it fresh. He’ll typically incorporate a new character into his act every year, but last month he unveiled two new puppets that actually perform together— Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The King of Pop appears first to sing a medley of his biggest hits before the legendary Beatle joins him onstage for a duet of 'The Girl Is Mine' from Michael’s classic 1982 album 'Thriller'. Terry’s ability to bounce between voices during this ambidextrous puppeteering performance is impressive to say the least.

Terry Fator
Terry Fator is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Dallas, Texas.

“I’ve been wanting to add more real-life celebrities to the show as my audiences are coming from all over the world,” Fator said after a special anniversary show that attracted loads of his fellow Vegas entertainers to The Mirage. “Music truly is that universal language.”

Of course, other recent additions to the show—dubbed Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment presents Terry Fator Tonight because it’s built on Fator’s childhood habit of staging his own talk show with stuffed animals as guests—are still among the musical and comedy highlights. Sir Elton John performs a joyful assortment of classic tunes, while President Donald Trump, out from under a flailing mess of shocking blonde hair, inserts himself into some well-known songs, naturally.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ Photographer Interviewed For Just Released Video Detailing King Of Pop’s ‘Thriller’ Album Cover Photo Session. 27-03-'18

Fan Club Art GalleryFan Club Art Gallery, an art gallery specializing in paintings and limited edition prints for fans of entertainment celebrities, is pleased to announce the launch of a new DVD commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Michael Jackson 'Thriller' album. The new DVD, called 'Thriller’ – The Interview: My Memories of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson,” is a retrospective look at the creation of the 'Thriller' album cover by photographer and painter, Dick Zimmerman. The DVD interview, which includes an art booklet containing Dick’s paintings of Michael, can be purchased at Fan Club Art Gallery and a free preview of the video can be seen at a Fan Club Art Gallery offer page.

The project began as a way of recognizing the anniversary of the 35 year release of 'Thriller' in late 1982 and it’s massive impact through 1983 until this day. “The commemorative nature of this interview, as a celebration of Michael’s 35 year anniversary achievements with 'Thriller', was a special delight to me,” said Mr Zimmerman. ‘I was honored to photograph Michael for Thriller and to participate in the creation of the album cover. Likewise, I appreciated the chance to share my memories of those times.”

The DVD interview with Dick Zimmerman provides an honest and revealing look into the artistic process that went into the creation of the iconic photo of Michael Jackson in the white suit for the album cover. It details how Dick and Michael came together for the Thriller photo session and ended up creating an image of the young star for the album cover that has transcended time. The famous white suit actually belonged to the photographer himself – who swapped clothing with Michael, that day, to create a photograph that has been circulated more than any other image, of any human being in history.

The DVD interview also describes 2 other photo sessions with Michael including his wedding photo session with Lisa Marie Presley. Dick recounts his memories of Michael from the star’s playfulness to his more somber moments. It is a retrospective look at a performer whose life and achievements continue to fascinate.

Mr Zimmerman’s work as a highly sought after portrait painter, has continued to provide avenues to expand upon some of his earlier photographic work. He has painted a number of portraits of Michael Jackson and other celebrities with whom he has worked, which have been released as limited edition prints through Fan Club Art Gallery. Mr Zimmerman can also be commissioned to paint fine portrait art for individuals, families, business people, and celebrities alike through referring links on the Fan Club Art Gallery site.

For more information on these limited edition fine art prints, as well as the DVD of his memories of Michael Jackson, please go to the Fan Club Art Gallery website. And the free preview of Dick Zimmerman’s memories of the King of Pop DVD interview can be seen at http://www.FanClubArtGallery.com/thrill

Source: PR Web / Billie Jean


Japan Re-Released 10 Albums (10 Blu-Spec CD2) Of Michael Jackson. 21-03-'18

Today Sony Music Japan re-released 10 albums of Michael Jackson (Blu-Spec CD2) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his birth. This reissue concerns the albums of his career but also posthumous albums as well as the Japanese King Of Pop compilation released for the 50 years of Michael Jackson.

• Off The Wall (remastered version of 2015)
• Thriller (remastered version of 2015)
• Bad (remastered version of 2015)
• Dangerous (remastered version of 2015)
• HIStory (remastered version of 2009)
• Invincible (original version)
• This Is It (original version)
• Michael (original version)
• Xscape (original version)
• King Of Pop (original version)

MJ Reissue 10 Albums Covers
Japan reissues 10 albums in Blu-Spec CD 2 for the 60th anniversary of the birth of Michael Jackson.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Will.I.AmWill.I.Am Won't Release Michael Jackson Tracks. 18-03-'18

Will.I.Am insists he would never release the songs he recorded with the late Michael Jackson because he has too much ''integrity''.

Will.I.Am has too much ''integrity'' to release the songs he recorded with the late Michael Jackson.

The Black Eyed Peas star was the last person to work with the King of Pop before he died from acute propofol intoxication in 2009, and though he would make millions from bringing out the tracks they worked on together, he knows the 'Thriller' hitmaker wasn't happy with what they'd done and he respects his idol's ''legacy'' too much to ignore that.

Asked about releasing the songs, he said: ''I would never do that. I grew up obsessed with Michael Jackson. When he called me to ask him to work with him I didn't believe it was him. But those songs weren't perfected in the way someone like him wanted them to be perfected. You don't do that. You have integrity. You respect the legacy.''

The 42-year-old star believes a lot of young people think they can reach the heights that Michael did, but he doesn't think that's possible if they don't put in the ''work''.

He told Event magazine: ''It's all about work. You need to be prepared to stand up, get knocked down and stand up again. Society has created a lot of snowflakes and social media has created a generation of kids who think they can be Beyoncé or Michael Jackson on social media. You don't get to be that person unless you give it everything.''

The 'Where Is The Love?' hitmaker is single and has no children, but insists his legacy is about more than passing down his genes because his work in technology and the scholarship programme he set up in the Los Angeles neighbourhood where he grew up is far more valuable to the future.

He said: ''I don't want to talk about marriage and kids. But it is completely egotistical to think that a legacy is all about you having children. For me, a legacy is the things you do.

''I have a whole generation of kids from my streets going to college and being educated, I'm part of a movement of people working in technology and artificial intelligence trying to make a better future.

''Today we have racism, sexism, a celebrity president [in] Donald Trump, and that's scary. Tomorrow we can make it a better world.''

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


O.J. Simpson Reveals Michael Jackson Gave Him And Kids Free Pass To Neverland. 17-03-'18

O.J. SimpsonO.J. Simpson has claimed that the late Michael Jackson opened-up Neverland Ranch to him and his kids after his murder trial.

Simpson made the confession in an interview with The Buffalo News claiming he was upset he could not attend the King Of Pop’s funeral.

He also reveals that he and his two youngest children, Sydney and Justin, received comfort from Jackson after the trial.

He revealed: “There came a point where my kids would come up with their best friends and stay long weekends at Neverland Ranch, with everything available to us.

“We were the only ones there, explained Simpson. This place was incredible, like being at the zoo and amusement park at the same time, with a Ferris wheel and bumper cars and a big movie theater.

“He had first-run movies and nobody behind the counter. The popcorn and candy, the kids would go get whatever they want.”

Simpson, 70, explained that he and the Jackson family were close on account of the fact that his home in Encino, where he lived with his first wife Marguerite and their children, was near the Jackson compound.

Jermaine Jackson would come over with his oldest son, who grew close to Simpson’s two older children.

After the trial Simpson told Jermaine it was terrible he could not take his kids anywhere – soon afterwards Michael phoned and offered the facility to them.

According to Simpson this arrangement continued for years and he was unaware about the rumors surrounding Jackson.

“I don’t know what his sexual thing was – I thought he was asexual. But he came to my aid,” revealed Simpson.

The former NFL player could not see or speak with Jackson during his final years.

And to make matters worse, many of the other inmates at Lovelock Correctional Facility were not that upset about Jackson’s passing.

He added: “It hurt me. This is prison. You got Aryan Warriors, 311s, 88's. Heil Hitler, KKK, you got all that.

“It’s tough when you hear them denigrate this guy who has been so great to my family.

“Then when he dies, you can’t get into an argument because some guy is cracking on Michael.”

Source: Radar Online / Billie Jean


769 Entertainment And Laurieann Gibson Collaborate On 'Shut Up And Dance'. 16-03-'18

769 Entertainment 769 Entertainment announces multi-talented choreographer and creative director Laurieann Gibson has been chosen to record an homage to Michael Jackson, 'Shut Up and Dance'. Headed by former Atlantic Records and Michael Jackson's MJJ Music President Jerry Greenberg, 769's ambition for the recording is to launch "a movement crossing racial, social, political, and economic lines as a celebration of dance," that keeps in line with the UN statement, "It can promote ideals like peace and solidarity."

'Shut Up and Dance's casting of Laurieann Gibson lines up perfectly with 769's mission for the recording. In 2017, Gibson told Life And Style, "Working with Michael Jackson, I finally understood that the gift of dance is born in the heavenly realm. He embodied the purest form—the world calls it magic, I call it dance." Understanding that 'magic,' this former 'In Living Color Fly Girl' and current 'Dance Moms' host has choreographed many of the world's greatest entertainers including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Britney Spears. Now Laurianne Gibson will be applying her talents to herself, not only singing lead on the recording but also choreographing and creative directing the Jackson tribute's associated videos.

Jerry Greenberg, head of 769 Entertainment and driving force behind 'Shut Up And Dance' also worked with Michael Jackson and dozens of artists as well as behind the scenes of many successful creative projects. "Meeting Michael Jackson for the first time was like meeting Walt Disney," Greenberg said in a 2009 statement. "His vision, creativity, and instinct for great talent and intelligent business sense all showed at our first meeting. Michael cared about finding new artists and discovering and developing the best music possible." During his tenure running various labels and A&R departments, Greenberg himself signed artists ranging from ABBA to Genesis. He also brought in dance acts like Chic and gave production deals to groove-heavy artists such as Dr. Dre and Easy E.

Recording 'Shut Up and Dance' is yet another achievement for Gibson, a frequent, on-camera personality featured on various series including 'Making The Band', So You Think You Can Dance, the aforementioned Dance Moms, and Starmaker. Behind the scenes, Gibson currently is working on the potential Fox series 8-Count that Deadline Hollywood describes as, "a music-filled drama that follows a young choreographer who, in order to redeem her damaged reputation in the music/dance world, must invest in an up-and-coming singer who has one last shot at stardom." It is based loosely on aspects of Laurieann Gibson's life, and is being developed by multi-platinum selling and Grammy™-award winning artist, Mary J. Blige.

Laurieann Gibson
Laurieann Gibson is a Canadian choreographer, director, television personality, singer, actress and dancer. She has choreographed dance numbers for musical artists such as Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.

Source: PR Newswire / Billie Jean


One Of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' Gloves Can Be Yours (For The Right Price). 15-03-'18

MJ GloveThree things usually come to mind when people recall Michael Jackson's stratospheric fame in the 1980's: His music videos were events unto themselves; he toted around a chimp named Bubbles (who once bit Quincy Jones's daughter Rashida); and Jackson was often seen wearing a single white sequined glove.

There's no official count on how many gloves Jackson owned and wore during his career, but one performance-used mitt is now up for sale via GWS Auctions and their Legends of Hollywood & Music Auction. Used by Jackson during his 1997 HIStory tour, the Swarovski crystal-covered glove is unique in that Jackson had it made for his left hand, as he wanted to keep the wedding ring—courtesy of his marriage to nurse Debbie Rowe—visible on his right. (Though wedding rings are traditionally worn on the left hand, Jackson was known to wear his on the right.)

According to Jackson associate John Kehe, Jackson allegedly got the idea for the glove in 1980, when he was touring a production company and saw a film editor at a control panel wearing a white cotton glove. Jackson himself wrote in his autobiography, 'Moonwalk', that he had been wearing a single glove since the 1970's. Either way, it was Jackson's performance of 'Billie Jean' during a television appearance for 'Motown's 25th Anniversary' in May 1983 that cemented the accessory in the eyes of the public. That particular glove sold for $350,000 in 2009.

The HIStory glove will be up for auction March 24; pre-bids currently have it in excess of $5000. The Legends of Music and Hollywood Auction is also set to feature a prescription pill bottle once owned by Frank Sinatra and a hairbrush used by Marilyn Monroe.

Source: Mental Floss / Billie Jean


Is There A Song Called 'Miracle' With 3T? 14-03-'18

While doing a little storage, Taryll Jackson found a lot of audio tapes from the time of the recording of the album 'Brotherhood' in which Michael Jackson duet on the title 'Why' and choirs on the title 'I Need You'.

Among these cassettes is one of them where it is written MJJ & 3T 'Miracle'. Taryll does not specify whether it is a song or a simple inscription but it was enough to attract the attention of fans of the King of Pop. Hope to have more information about this tape and its contents.

Miracle Cassette
These cassettes is one of them where it is written MJJ & 3T 'Miracle'.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean


Lionel Richie Frightened By Animal Encounters At Michael Jackson's House. 14-03-'18

Lionel RichieLionel Richie had to deal with a lot of zany animal encounters while writing charity anthem 'We Are The World' at Michael Jackson's house.

The musicians penned the track at Michael's home in Encino, California and Lionel reveals Jackson's menagerie of pets made the experience a little crazy at times.

"Michael loved to collect animals...," Lionel told U.S. show The Talk on Tuesday (March 13), "so right in the middle of writing this song we're eating downstairs and there's this dog barking hysterically... And then we heard, 'Shut up, shut up!'

"I'm thinking to myself, 'What's going on, Michael?' He said, 'That's the bird. That's the bird having an argument with the dog'. So we went back into the kitchen and there's the bird in the cage and the dog is barking at the bird and the bird is going, 'Shut up, shut up'."

However, Lionel's next animal encounter at the house wasn't quite as amusing.

"It gets worse," he continued. "I'm laying on the floor and we're working on the lyrics... and I hear a (breathing sound)... I'm looking at Michael and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye the albums that were against the wall were falling down. I'm thinking to myself, 'Well what could this be?'"

"I look over and there is an albino python and he goes, 'There he is Lionel, we found him. We knew he was in the room somewhere Lionel, but we weren't sure. He wants to come out and play with you'.

"I was screaming like the last woman in a horror movie, I was screaming so loud. He kept saying, 'Why are you screaming?' I said, 'Baby, that's a snake, he might be your pet. I'm from Alabama, that's a snake'."

Source: Music News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson To Perform From Beyond The Grave In Ghostly Duet With Prince? 12-03-'18

Michael and PrinceThe 'Thriller' singer and the 'Purple Rain' legend recorded tracks together in secret before their deaths.

The songs were locked in vaults and have never been heard by their fans.

However, it is claimed Jackson has now sent a message from the spirit world urging his family to “honour his legacy” by releasing them.

Hollywood medium Tyler Henry said he contacted the late singer while doing a reading with Jackson’s sister LaToya.

Last night (March 11) Tyler claimed Jackson even brought along his pal Prince, who died in 2016.

Tyler said: “The key thing he spoke about was how he wanted to be honoured with his music. He wants his new music released.

“There is a specific artist he brought through with him.

“He was interested in releasing something they did together.

“It made sense to LaToya.”

Source: Daily Star / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Statue Is Missing From His Childhood Gary Home. So Where Is It? 09-03-'18

The Michael Jackson statue is missing from his childhood home. But police say the culprit wasn't a smooth criminal.

Gary police said the monument was removed from the site in October during Janet Jackson's visit to the family home in Gary.

"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," Lt. Thomas Pawlak said Friday night.

He said the Gary deputy chief reached out to a family representative personally to get the story firsthand.

MJ Statue
The Michael Jackson statue that stands outside his childhood Gary home has been removed by his family, but it will return in the spring, police said.

"So the family has the monument. It's safe, not stolen," he said.

The iconic statue has stood outside Jackson's childhood home since being unveiled in June 2010.

Source: New York Times / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Wanted To Play "The Phantom", Andrew Lloyd Webber Says. 07-03-'18

Andrew Lloyd WebberCould Michael Jackson have played the Phantom? In an interview with Rolling Stone, Andrew Lloyd Webber says the late singer once had his eye on the role early in the run of "The Phantom of the Opera".

The composer’s newly released memoir, Unmasked, features a photo of Michael Jackson backstage at Starlight Express in the 1980's. According to Lloyd Webber, Michael Jackson was a fan of Phantom and expressed interest in getting involved with a filmed version of the show, perhaps attached to the title role: “It would have been incredible, but we weren’t ready,” Lloyd Webber says in the interview. “Phantom was only in its first year on Broadway.”

"The Phantom of the Opera" has long since become the longest-running show in Broadway history, recently celebrating its 30th year in the Majestic Theatre. In addition to his work on "Phantom of the Opera", Lloyd Webber talks about Evita, workshopping his now-iconic shows, and writing music for stage legends in Unmasked. His body of theatre works includes such musicals as Sunset Boulevard, Cats, and the currently running School of Rock.

The Phantom of the Opera
Michael Jackson with Michael Crawford backstage of "The Phantom of the Opera" in Broadway at the Majestic Theater in New York City.

Read the full Rolling Stone interview on Lloyd Webber’s memoir here.

Source: Broadway World / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson The Mirror'Michael Jackson The Mirror'. 05-03-'18

The Adelaide Fringe is the world’s second-largest annual arts festival and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, held in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. For 31 days and nights during February and March, it features more than 5,000 artists from around Australia and the world, featuring world premieres, hit shows and new artists. Over 1100 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, laneways and disused buildings as well as established venues such as theatres, hotels, bars, pubs, art galleries and cafes. This year, in the Adelaide Fringe 2018, Michael Jackson was added to the festivities for the first time with a world premiere.

With four sold out shows the audience were able to immerse themselves in a journey mirroring the dynamic showmanship of Michael Jackson with 'The Mirror' show.

The show was presented by three talented Adelaide individuals, Lauren Pisaniello, Ghita Prey, and Joshua Dal Santo the award winning MJ Tribute Artist who played Michael.

Joshua brought to Adelaide, South Australia some MJ magic. With a cast of brilliant dancers in massive dance pieces, re-telling compelling signature moments and moves, the show took you back to Michael’s music videos. It brought to life on-stage the 1930’s gangster style lounge in ‘Smooth Criminal’ – The reflection of ‘Man In the Mirror’ – Anti-gravity leans, moonwalking and everything MJ to an in-your-face graveyard horror of ‘Thriller,’ plus the inclusion of an entire choir, reflecting Michael’s diversity, his biggest hits and moving ballads. Pure entertainment for the young, the old and everything in between, MJ style.

'Michael Jackson The Mirror' show was held at the Adelaide Fringe at The Octagon Stage at Glutony and hopefully it will return to the Adelaide Fringe again next year to delight MJ fans once more.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean


Madonna Recalls Her 'Best Date Ever' With Michael Jackson At The Oscars. 04-03-'18

In 1991, pop royalty Madonna and Michael Jackson made headlines for showing up to the Oscars together. Madonna had been asked to perform the Oscar-nominated song "Sooner or Later," written by Stephen Sondheim for the film Dick Tracy, and she invited the King of Pop as her date.

In an interview at the time, Madonna explained: "Michael was like, 'Well who are you gonna go with?' I looked at him and said, 'I don't know. You wanna go?' And he said, 'Yeah, that'd be great.'" She teased, "And then, yes, he took me home. You wanna know what happened after that? I'm not gonna tell you." (We do know they did at least kiss, at some point, thanks to her episode of Carpool Karaoke.)

Flash forward to 2018: Madonna is now looking back at that night as her "best date ever."

Academy Awards Oscars Ceremony (25-03-1991)
Michael Jackson with Madonna just after the 63rd Academy Awards-Oscars Ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

The singer posted a photo of the pair on the Oscars red carpet on social media Sunday (March 4), also using the hashtags #epic and #fun to describe the special evening they shared more than two decades ago.

Making the night even better, "Sooner or Later" won the Oscar for best original song at the Academy Awards that year.

Source: MSN / Billie Jean


Neverland Ranch TrainMichael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Train Is Coming To Auction. 02-03-'18

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch (now named Sycamore Valley Ranch) has sat on the market for almost three years without a buyer. The contents that once filled the 2,700-acre property, in contrast, have been more fortunate.

Even before his death in 2009, Jackson had slowly begun to sell the estate’s decorations, furniture, dozens of bronze statues, and hundreds of toys and arcade games, both privately and (in an abortive attempt) at auction.

One such item was an electric train set, custom-made in Germany, which Jackson originally purchased for his children to ride. (This set should not be confused with the life-size train that ran throughout much of the ranch.)

“It went around a tree,” says Brigitte Kruse, owner of GWS Auctions Inc. in Agoura Hills, northwest of Los Angeles. “I’d say there are about 40 feet of track,” on which the train and its four cars would run round in circles. Each car fits two children—or one fun-loving adult.

The train was purchased in either 2008 or 2009, Kruse says, by a devoted Jackson fan. “He’s been collecting Michael Jackson memorabilia since he was 5 years old. Now he’s in his mid-30's.”

The collector, she says, has a deep nostalgia for childhood. “He had a child come from the Netherlands who had autism, and he showed him the collection. He does cool things like that all the time.”

When the train was purchased, its new owner put it directly into storage. “It hasn’t been touched, or run, ever since,” Kruse says.

Now it’s coming up for auction at GWS with a starting bid of $2,000. The consignor “has health problems, and he wants to exhibit the rest of his collection in a museum,” Kruse says, adding that the sale of this and other Jackson memorabilia from his collection is an attempt to raise the funds to do so.

The Memorabilia Market:

The works are part of GWS’s March 24 Legends of Hollywood & Music Auction, which includes Jackson items such as a Swarovski crystal Billie Jean glove worn during his 1997 'History' tour (starting bid: $2,000), as well as other, more esoteric pieces, like a prescription pill bottle made out to Milton Berle ($25).

While the more personal elements of these items might raise eyebrows, there is, more generally, a thriving market for Hollywood collectibles.

Julien’s Auctions, the Los Angeles-based showcase known for its hardcover catalogs and elaborate exhibition displays, is probably at the forefront of the celebrity memorabilia business. (The auction house was enlisted several years ago with selling the bulk of the Neverland estate privately.)

“Michael Jackson’s collectibility, since his passing, has continued,” says Darren Julien, president and chief executive officer of his namesake auction house. “Asia is a big market, as is Russia. And then there’s obviously the United States.”

Career and Market Highs:

Julien says there’s a direct correlation between each item and Jackson’s career arc; something from his 'Thriller' period would sell at a premium, especially as his estate makes a concerted effort to repromote it every Halloween. “We sold his 'Thriller' jacket for $1.8 million,” Julien says. “And then you look at stage performances—anything he did onstage would be most collectible.”

Jackson had hundreds of crystal-covered gloves, for instance, but one he wore doing the moonwalk during his 'Motown 25 TV Special' performance sold at Julien’s for a record $425,000.

Julien says he expects the train on offer at GWS to far exceed its minimum bid, as does Kruse.

“I’ve heard numbers from $20,000 to $250,000,” she says. “I think with Michael Jackson items, there’s fans, and then there’s everybody else.”

Source: Bloomberg / Billie Jean


‘Moonwalkers’ – MJ Impersonator Documentary. 01-03-'18

A documentary about Michael Jackson impersonators called ‘Moonwalkers’ has launched on Kickstarter.

‘Moonwalkers’ is a documentary by a BAFTA-winning team following three Michael Jackson tribute artists as they search for fame and fortune in Hollywood. In the run up to the 35th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s signature dance move, two London filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to shoot the final footage for a feature documentary, the story of three fans so dedicated to their hero they have become a Michael Jackson tribute act.

The documentary follows three Michael Jackson tribute artists – Quintin, Malachi and Chavail – from their homes in Northern California as they embark on a road trip to Hollywood to realise their dreams of becoming full-time performers. Throughout the journey we are reminded of their resilience as they stop at nothing to find success, supporting each other along the way. We see them face the harsh reality of trying to make it in Hollywood, experiencing high and lows which force them to look within and examine their motivations.

Moonwalkers
Chavail 24, Quintin 28 and Malachi 29 are three Michael Jackson tribute artists from small towns on the west coast of America, who dream of making it big in Hollywood.

Director Tom Goudsmit says;

“When I first met them I was stuck by there energy, enthusiasm and love for MJ, after talking to them I knew we would go on a journey together.”

“I’ve always been a Michael Jackson fan,” said Producer Tristan Anderson, “and I was instantly spellbound by the extremes that these guys go to. In some ways Chavail, Quintin, and Malachi are everyone who has ever attempted to follow a dream, and that’s what Kickstarter is all about.”

The project has been self-financed by the team and filmed in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Funds raised through Kickstarter will fund for one final shoot and post-production complete the film before the anniversary of the Moonwalk later this year.

For Michael Jackson fans, rewards include a copy of the film, a make up tutorial or a digital dance lesson from one of the Michaels and a chance to appear in the credits of the film. For London filmmakers, there’s also a documentary filmmaking masterclass from the award-winning filmmakers behind the project a chance to attend the red carpet premiere in London and executive producer credits.

Visit the 'Moonwalkers' Kickstarter page.

For more information visit their website at www.moonwalkers-film.com

Source: MJ World / Billie Jean

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