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Home / News Archive / News May 2018

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Motown 25 Yesterday Today ForeverMichael Jackson's Moonwalk Turns 35 On May 16th. 10-05-'18

“What the hell was that?” For a moment, members of the production staff monitoring the stage at California's Pasadena Civic Auditorium forgot about the control panels in front of them and exchanged puzzled looks with one another. As the team charged with overseeing the ABC special 'Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever', a celebration of the famed record label’s silver anniversary, they were typically too focused on their jobs to become starstruck. But what they were witnessing was something else entirely.

Onetime Jackson 5 bandmate Michael Jackson had taken the stage solo to perform 'Billie Jean', which was already the number one song on the Billboard Top 100 chart. In between all the twisting, contorting, and spinning, Jackson took a fleeting moment to glide backwards on his feet. It had the smooth kinetic energy of someone skating on ice. It lasted barely a second. The crowd erupted.

Jackson had not used the dance move in rehearsals for the show. It was a surprise to everyone, including the live audience and the 33.9 million people who would watch the tape-delayed event on television on May 16, 1983. Jackson was already a superstar, but his moonwalk would take him to another stratosphere of fame. And although many assumed Jackson invented the gliding step himself, he was simply following in the footsteps of dance giants from the past.

For the Motown special, Jackson reportedly agreed to appear with his brothers, the Jackson 5, only if Motown owner and show producer Berry Gordy allowed him a solo performance. Jackson’s 'Thriller' album had been released in November 1982 and was on its way to becoming one of the most successful releases of all time. It’s likely Jackson didn’t feel like he needed the appearance, and some accounts relate that Jackson was initially reluctant to do it because he feared being overexposed. Gordy’s producer, Suzanne de Passe, convinced him the show wouldn’t be the same without the Jackson 5.

Whatever got Jackson on stage that evening, he was clearly prepared for the moment. Short pants and white socks drew attention to his feet; he insisted a stage manager rehearse the placement of his hat following the Jackson 5 performance so that it would be within reach when he segued into his solo performance.

“I have to say, those were the good old days,” Jackson told the crowd after finishing with his brothers. “Those were good songs. I like those songs a lot … but, especially, I like the new songs.” It may have sounded off the cuff, but Jackson’s mid-performance speech was actually written by Motown 25 scriptwriter Buz Kohan.

With that, Jackson got down to business. “Billie Jean” was the only non-Motown song performed during the special, and it felt like a jolt of energy in a sea of nostalgia. Jackson, who was 24 years old at the time, moved effortlessly. Tossing his hat to the side and mouthing lyrics into the microphone, the contrast between Jackson in the middle of a medley with his brothers and then alone on stage was striking. Though he was two solo albums deep by this point, the performance helped cement that he was out on his own.

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever
The Jackson 5 performed a medley of 'I Want You Back', 'The Love You Save', 'Never Can Say Goodbye' and 'I'll Be There' at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for the TV special Motown's 25th Anniversary.

Jackson spent nearly three and a half minutes singing before debuting the moonwalk. It lasted barely a second but seemed to send the crowd into a mania. With 20 seconds to go, he took another few brief steps backward. After the song played out, Jackson received a standing ovation.

When the performance aired several weeks later on ABC, Motown 25 was a ratings hit. Jackson’s reputation as a live entertainer benefited from a broadcast network audience, and the moonwalk became linked to his routine. Fred Astaire called to congratulate him, a gesture that Jackson—a huge Astaire fan—could never quite believe.

Jackson’s fame led to an untold number of people trying to perfect the moonwalk, with varying degrees of success. Anyone who thought it included some camera or visual trickery may have been dismayed to find it simply required some lower-limb dexterity. Those who got the hang of it were able to impress friends. Those who didn't probably felt a little disappointed at their lack of coordination, especially when they heard that Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, learned to do a variation of it.

Source: Mental Floss / Billie Jean


Dangerous Audio Book CoverSpotify To Offer Audio Books Of 'Dangerous' 33 1/3. 08-05-'18

Spotify to offer audio books after striking deal for 33 1/3 series.

Spotify is adding audio books to its bank of streamed content after signing an exclusive deal with UK-based publisher Bloomsbury Publishing.

Through the deal, Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series of short books about popular music will be made available on the streaming service worldwide in a variety of formats.

Each of the 130 titles focuses on a particular album and includes stories about music by David Bowie, Metallica, Björk, Nirvana, J Dilla and of course Michael Jackson’s 'Dangerous'.

Courtney Holt, Vice President and Head of Spotify Studios and Video, said: “As a die-hard music fan, I discovered the 33 1/3 series many years ago.
“When I first joined Spotify to think about spoken word and audio content, I knew this would be a perfect partner for Spotify. We look forward to bringing this amazing series to our global music-loving audience.”

Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for our authors to reach a whole new audience. For 15 years the series has produced an amazing range of personal, experimental, and innovative music writing. I’m delighted that our partnership with Spotify will break new ground for the 33 1/3 series.
It is one of a number of partnerships which Bloomsbury is successfully seeking out with the world’s most ground-breaking companies to expand our digital offering.”

Source: Music Business Worldwide / Billie Jean


Margo JeffersonMargo Jefferson: ‘I Have Always Loved Michael Jackson’. 05-05-'18

The US author talks about her book ('On Michael Jackson') on the pop star whose life distilled so many of our obsessions with race, gender and the body.

This book is about the life and work of Michael Jackson, from his early years as a child star to the “freak show” aspects of his image later on. Why write about an already well-documented life?

Because I’ve always loved Michael Jackson – first in a “pure fan” way, and then as I got older it became a critic’s fascination. He was the best performer at his peak – an all-encompassing dancing, singing artist in the theatrical tradition of Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, with an acute sense of the mise en scène. He craved omniscient superstar status – a need to top himself with more record sales, bigger audiences, than the last time. By the time I was writing this book, he had become emblematic of complicated dilemmas

This book was first published in the US in 2006, three years before Jackson died. It’s now out in the UK with an updated introduction. Has your outlook on his life, and his trial for child molestation, changed since then?

Yes and no. I can now feel my own struggles in this book. I was asking questions that weren’t being asked then except through underground gossip routes – on his vitiligo, on the alleged sex with little boys – to which I could get no firm answers. The final chapter, on his trial, I’d want to think through more carefully now, especially in the context of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement, and to grapple with the asymmetries of the alleged sex abuse.

You write that Michael Jackson, since his death, has been rehabilitated into the music canon – that “he got it all back with his art” after his death. Do you think we can separate his music, wonderful as it was, from the allegations that dogged him?

No, we can’t. But his death allowed the canon simultaneously to reacknowledge the greatness of his art and to look at him as a damaged, harmed, and harming person. I have to live with, and keep analysing, this contradiction. In deciding I love Michael Jackson I take it all in – his music, the crimes he may have committed, his inner turmoil. I need the pleasure and the complications he gives me. As F Scott Fitzgerald said: “The test of a truly first-rate intelligence is to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

The updated book 'On Michael Jackson' is available at Guardian Book Shop.

Source: The Guardian / Billie Jean


Music IconsMore Michael Jackson Items For Sale! 04-05-'18

Julien’s Auctions will have more items for grab for their “Music Icons” auction which will take place in New York on May 19th!

And here we go again with more and more Michael Jackson items sold and dispatched to private collectors across the world! This is maybe the last time you might see those items so if you can, go to see them!

Items from the Jackson 5 to Michael’s Neverland Ranch items, the choice is there and all will go! Including personal shirts, Life size masks used in 'Ghosts', 'Thriller' style jacket, signed pictures, documents and so on…

Few items you might recognized like the shirt from 'Leave Me Alone' video, the leather jacket from 'One More Chance' video, or the amazing belt and outfit from 'Dirty Diana' / 'Moonwalker'.

MJ Memorabilia
The Honda ATC 70 Bike, 'Ghosts' Mask and the Silver Belt from 'Dirty Diana'.

Music Icons:
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Session I: 10:00 a.m. EDT
Session II: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Go to Julien's Auctions for more information.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Dangerous (2LP Set) Album Cover'Dangerous' Is Re-Released On Vinyl. 04-05-'18

Michael Jackson’s 'Dangerous' album (vinyl) is re-issued today!

The US had their re-issue of this album few years back so here comes the one for Europe from Sony Music CMG!

'Dangerous' is the eighth studio album by Michael Jackson, released by Epic in the USA on November 26th, 1991. Jackson ended his association with Quincy Jones, and enlisted the producing talents of new jack swing inventor Teddy Riley. The RIAA certified 'Dangerous' at 7x Platinum, internationally the album has sold an estimated 32 million copies, tying it with 'Bad' as the second best-selling album of Jackson's career.

All songs produced by Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley and Bill Bottrell.

Track list:

LP 1:
A:
1. Jam - 5:39
2. Why You Wanna Trip On Me - 5:25
3. In The Closet - 6:32

B:
1. She Drives Me Wild - 3:42
2. Remember The Time - 4:00
3. Can't Let Her Get Away - 5:02
4. Heal The World - 6:24

LP 2:
C:
1. Black Or White - 4:16
2. Who Is It - 6:35
3. Give In To Me - 5:28

D:
1. Will You Be There - 7:40
2. Keep The Faith - 5:57
3. Gone Too Soon - 3:22
4. Dangerous - 7:00

Record label: Sony Music CMG
Series number: ?
Printed: EU
Guide price: 46 €

Order the album here at Amazon.

If you are interested in the re-issues of 'Bad' and 'Off The Wall', the two CD's will be re-released on May 2nd by Sony Legacy.

Order 'Off The Wall' here and 'Bad' here.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Tribute Show Set To Mark 30TH Anniversary Of 'Bad'. 04-05-'18

Robin ParsonsSaluting 30 years of Michael Jackson’s multi-million-selling album Bad. the Forever Jackson stage show comes to Carmarthen's Lyric Theatre on Saturday, June 9.

'Bad' sold 500,000 copies within just five days of its UK release.

It was Number 1 in 25 countries, shifting an incredible 45 million copies.

Five of its songs topped the UK charts and the supporting tour grossed £100m.

Forever Jackson captures the moment with superb musicianship, electrifying choreography, stunning audio visual projections and jaw-dropping special effects.

More than that, it takes you from The Jackson 5, through The Jacksons and on to MJ’s rise to become The King of Pop.

'Bad’s 'The Way You Make Me Feel', 'Man In The Mirror', 'Dirty Diana', 'Smooth Criminal', 'Another Part Of Me' and its title track climax a brand-new production that also features 'Thriller', 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean', 'Can You Feel It' and many more.

Tickets are here available.

Source: South Wales / Billie Jean


On Michael Jackson Book Cover'On Michael Jackson' Book Is Released. 03-05-'18

The updated book 'On Michael Jackson' is released on May 3rd in the USA by publisher Granta Books.

Michael Jackson: provocateur, icon, enigma.

Who was he really? And how does his spectacular rise, his catastrophic fall, reflect upon those who made him; those who broke him; and those who loved him?

Almost ten years on from Jackson's untimely death, here is Margo Jefferson's definitive and dazzling dissection of the King of Pop: a man admired for his music, his flair, his performances; and censured for his skin, his erratic behaviour, and, in his final years, for his relationships with children.

Publisher: Granta Books
Author: Margo Jefferson
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-1783784202
Printed: USA
Guide price: 10 €

Order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson On Pepsi Cans Once Again! 02-05-'18

Following our articles on Pepsi celebrating their 120th birthday, the campaign “Celebrating Every Generation” carries on with the release of 3 limited edition cans of music legends, Britney Spears, Ray Charles and of course Michael Jackson.

Those cans will be only available in the US and are limited and part of the “Music Generation Series” and the Michael one has been officially approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Pepsi Can
Three limited edition Pepsi cans of Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Britney Spears.

Source: MJ VIbe / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson To Return To The Stage With The Jackson 5... As A Hologram. 02-05-'18

MJ Hologram BIllboard Music AwardsThe Jackson 5 are set to return to the stage along with late brother Michael - who will take the form of a hologram. The return of the chart-topping band of brothers, who had hits in the sixties and seventies, would surely rank as one of the most unlikely reunions of all time, elder sibling Tito Jackson, 64, says.

"We've thrown the hologram idea around and we've considered it," he told the Daily Express at The Jazz FM Awards at London's Shoreditch Town Hall this week.

"We've been offered a hologram of MJ to have with us so there's a really great possibility of us featuring that."

The reunion plan with a hologram follows an announcement that Abba is staging one from their Seventies heyday while Roy Orbison has also been reincarnated.

Tito is visiting Britain next month with The Jacksons in the current incarnation of the group. They played at Glastonbury last year and have two gigs this month, in Oxford and Southampton, on May 26 and 27.

Tito, the second eldest of the brothers, also performs as a solo artist with BB King's Blues Band.

Originally a three-piece formed in 1964 by Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, the band was joined by younger brothers Marlon and Michael soon afterwards to create the five-piece known famously as The Jackson 5. The band's big hits include 'I Want You Back', 'ABC', 'I'll Be There' and 'Never Can Say Goodbye'.

Michael, who began performing with the group at the age of five, launched his solo career in 1971 at just 13, and in 1976 the brothers left Motown records and signed with the Epic label.

Jermaine was replaced by Randy and the group changed their name to The Jacksons.

If the hologram idea does come to fruition, it will not be the first time Michael has been brought back in animated form.

Five years after his death from a heart attack at 50 in 2009, the King of Pop was projected on to the stage to sing 'Slave To The Rhythm' at the 2014 US Billboard Awards.

It was believed to have been the first use of a posthumous hologram.

However, it later turned out not to be an actual hologram but a two dimensional illusion technique known as Pepper's Ghost, named after 18th century British scientist John Henry Pepper, who invented it.

There is a proper hologram of the superstar which features in the Michael Jackson ONE show in Las Vegas, a joint collaboration between Cirque Du Soliel and the family estate.

However, the new Jackson 5 hologram will have to be of a much younger Michael, in keeping with the band's heyday.

Source: Express / Billie Jean


One Rose For Michael J.JacksonOne Rose For Michael J. Jackson 2018. 01-05-'18

For the ninth year One Rose for Michael J. Jackson is pleased to announce the opening of the event for June 25th.

Every rose represents a heart of fans from all over the world, but together we are a love blanket celebrating his creative genius and his legacy, uniting all over the world to show our love and gratitude and pay that love in his name.

The roses are priced at just $3.00 and can be purchased through the email address below using Paypal: onerose4mjj@gmail.com

Once the roses have been displayed outside Michael’s resting place on June 25th, they are given to several charities in Los Angeles and to the children of Baby Land and Lullaby Land at Forest Lawn.

For further information please go here.

Source: Michael's Heart Blog / Billie Jean


Thriller Album Cover'Thriller' Vinyl Album Is Still Selling Very Well In France. 01-05-'18

On the occasion of the Disquaire Day, the National Union of the Phonographic edition published the key information of 2017 concerning the vinyl in France.

The figures show that the sale of LP's is still increasing with + 46% in relation to 2016 and today 45% of record sales outlets sell vinyl.

If 145000 turntables were sold in 2017, fans of the King of Pop will especially note that the album 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson is the 4th best selling vinyl album in France in 2017.

For information it ranks behind 'Nevermind' of Nirvana (# 1), 'Back To Black' by Amy Winehouse (# 2) and 'MTV Unplugged' In New York by Nirvana (# 3).

Source: SNEP / Billie Jean


KINGVENTION Announcement… 01-05-'18

We were all waiting for an announcement from KINGVENTION, the Michael Jackson Convention! And here it is! Not maybe what we expected but it seems that the worldwide event will now take place in 2019!

But not to worry, 2018 is already full of MJ Events with special art events, MJ 60th Birthday and so on …

Here the official KINGVENTION Announcement:

It’s time we gave you an update on KINGVENTION 2018.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been working on the next instalment of KINGVENTION. After such positive feedback from the 2017 event, which many of you called our best yet, we had to take a look at how we could make the event even better than before…AND we think we’ve done that...

However, due to the new plans which include a new location, it’s just not ready. We’ve delayed the ‘launch announcement’ numerous times and still, for what we’re trying to achieve with the next KINGVENTION, it’s just not where it should be to happen in September right now.

Kingvention
KINGVENTION, the 2018 Edition which include a new location.

The sheer scale of bringing this event to fruition requires us to make sure it is 100% perfect before we share it with you. So we’ve spoken with our Special Guests who are lined up for the event and have all agreed to move the event to an early, unannounced date in 2019!!

We’re disappointed that we’re not able to bring you a KINGVENTION this year, but it’s about Michael Jackson, so we’ve got to make it perfect!

But as soon as we are ready to go, you’ll all be the first to know and we hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait. 😎

The KINGVENTION Team

Source: Kingvention / Billie Jean

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