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Thriller Video Clip‘Thriller’ Dominates Halloween. 31-10-'19

Halloween is here and towns across America have hosted 'Thriller' walks and parades as an homage to the Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking music video, which featured him dressed up as a werewolf and zombie. The famous zombie dance is now a legendary piece of popular culture.

On Saturday (November 2), the city of Macon, Georgia held their 13th Annual 'Thriller' Parade, which was a two-hour parade featuring 100 zombies of all ages who performed the 'Thriller' dance together. Similar events were held in Lexington, Kentucky, LA Crescent, Wisconsin and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

As recently as last year, 'Thriller' remained the top Halloween song, according to Billboard’s charts. Billboard collected the data by a formula blending digital sales, radio airplay and streaming, as measured by Nielsen Music.

Source: People / MJWN / Billie Jean


'My Life With Michael: 10 Years Of Thriller Live!' Book Is Released. 31-10-'19

My Life With Michael: 10 Years Of Thriller Live! Book Cover'My Life With Michael' book is released in the UK by publisher Book Guild Publishing Ltd.

The book is an autobiographical look at director Gary Lloyd's journey working with the legacy of Michael Jackson.

After ten years in London's West End, 'Thriller Live' has become one of the UK's longest running musicals and has played around the world to over 5 million people. The book explores Lloyd's life growing up as a driven and determined male dancer in the 1980's and as an aspiring choreographer/director; and how the inspiration of Michael Jackson's work paved the way for this continued relationship.

We see how the show is cast and follow the journey of various cast members around the world as Jackson's phenomenon continues breathing through this global hit show.

Lloyd has documented many of the amazing, funny and sometimes unbelievable stories as he travels with this show, constantly developing it and documenting its behind the scenes narrative.

Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd
Author: Gary Lloyd
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781912881666
Printed: UK
Guide price: 10 €

Order the book here at Brownsbfs.

Source: Brown Book For Students / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Top List Of Dead Celebrities Earning The Most Money. 30-10-'19

‘King of Pop’ ranks No. 1 for a seventh straight year, despite newly resurfaced sexual-abuse allegations.

Forbes released its 2019 list of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities on Wednesday, the day before Halloween. And Michael Jackson remains the King of Pop even in death, topping the list for the seventh consecutive year with $60 million in pretax income from Oct. 1, 2018, through the same date this year.

And that’s despite the resurfaced sexual-abuse allegations after HBO’s 'Leaving Neverland' aired last spring. The documentary tells the story of two men who allege the 'Thriller' legend molested them as boys, and led to another public outcry against the 13-time Grammy winner. Jackson was acquitted on all charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy in 2005, and repeatedly denied any claims that he hurt or molested children before his death in 2009 at age 50.

Top List Of Dead CelebritiesWith $60 Million, Michael Jackson Estate is ahead of Elvis, Bob Marley or John Lennon. Yes, a bit less than the previous year but this is nothing to do with the so called “Documentary”!

Forbes notes that streaming of Jackson’s music actually surged despite the controversy, rising from 1.8 billion plays a year ago to 2.1 billion this year. It also counted the proceeds from his catalog, a Las Vegas show and a $250 million deal with Sony SNE, +3.22%(giving the company the rights to distribute Jackson’s recordings, per a Wall Street Journal report) for keeping his postmortem cash flow going strong.

The King of Pop was followed by the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, with Elvis Presley snagging the second-place spot with $39 million, in part thanks to the 500,000-plus visitors to his recently expanded Graceland home. The singer, who died in 1977, has also got a Warner Bros. T, +0.47%biopic, being directed by Baz Luhrmann on deck, with Tom Hanks playing his manager.

Deceased musicians claim nine of the 13 spots on this postmortem list, including Bob Marley ($20 million); Beatles John Lennon ($14 million) and George Harrison ($9 million); Prince ($12 million); and Whitney Houston ($9.5 million). The musicians on the list generated a combined 15.2 billion streams in the U.S. over the past year, up 38.5% from the 12 months before.

Source: Market Watch / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Son Hosts Charity Fundraiser In Jackson Family’s Original Home, Hayvenhurst, Once In Foreclosure. 26-10-'19

Prince and Bigi JacksonLast night (October 25), Michael’s unusually seemingly wonderful son, Prince Michael, hosted a charity event there. Wow, has the vibe changed. Prince’s Heal L.A. charity is very different than the old Heal the World Foundation. It’s actually organized under his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University. There’s no funny business. Prince really seems to have his head on straight. I like the fact that he’s always smiling in photos. Good for him.

Guests included his brother, who calls himself Bigi and we think of as Blanket. Once dangled out a hotel window, Bigi (which is ironic because that’s what they call Berry Gordy– BeeGee) is tall and lanky, the opposite of Prince physically. But what’s nice is that Michael’s three kids including Paris stick together and seem to have a loving, close relationship.

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean


Jackson Fest In Chile Cancelled. 25-10-'19

If you recall, we announced a MJ Event last August which would have taken place in Chile in November 16: Jackson Fest.

The event had 3 guests in place:
•Leo Blanco
•Richard Mendelsohn
•LaVelle Smith Jr.

However due to the issues in the country at present, the organisers have decided to cancel the event for security and safety issues.

Source: MJ VIbe / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Accusers Using New California Child Abuse Sex Law To Fight Singer's Estate.
25-10-'19

Wade RobsonWade Robson and James Safechuck are hoping to get another shot at a financial windfall from the estate of Michael Jackson and he's citing a newly signed California law meant to support victims of childhood sexual assault.

According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, letters were filed with the appellate court where they continue to fight the MJ estate, citing Assembly Bill 218 that Gavin Newsom signed into law on October 13, 2019.

In the letter, James and Wade are asking the court for an "opportunity to submit supplemental briefing as to the new law and its effect on this action." Translation: The new law may drastically change the case.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2020 and is designed to extend the time for victims for childhood sexual assault. According to the law, the new period to sue direct perpetrators of such crimes is either the victim's 40th birthday or within five years after the victim discovers the psychological injury from the sexual assault.

Wade Robson is 37 years old. James Safechuck is 41.

James SafechuckAs far as the Michael Jackson estate, or any of late King of Pop's companies Wade filed the lawsuit against, claims against third-party non-perpetrators, a victim may also only sue up to his or her 40th birthday.

There is an exception, and it is unless the company or its officers, "knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of any misconduct that creates a risk of childhood sexual assault by an employee, volunteer, representative, or agent, or the person or entity failed to take reasonable steps or to implement reasonable steps or to implement reasonable safeguards to avoid acts of childhood sexual assault."

Wade Robson has claimed through his lawsuit that his assault at the hands of MJ, was not only known by people around Jackson but facilitated by them. Specifically, Robson says people working for the various companies set up meetings and helped deliver kids to spend time with him.

A judge dismissed Wade Robson's lawsuit against Michael Jackson's estate in 2015, saying that Robson had filed his lawsuit too late to get any of Jackson’s estate.

The two parties left in the case, at that point, corporate entities owned by Jackson MJJ Productions, Inc., and MJJ Ventures, Inc. were dismissed in 2017.

They have appealed the decision and the case sites with the appellate court. During the process, Robson and Safechuck were featured in the documentary 'Leaving Neverland' where he described in detail his allegations against Jackson.The MJ estate responded to the request saying, regardless of the law change this appeal should end before Jan 1, 2020. The case should be concluded based on the law that is in place today. They ask that the case not be delayed.

The appellate court issued an order asking both sides to submit arguments addressing the following questions, (1) Do the revisions in AB 218 apply to the claims pending in these appeals? (2) If AB 218 applies, are plaintiffs' claims timely under the revised statute? Is the parties' dispute over timeliness now moot? (3) What issues unrelated to the timeliness of plaintiffs' claims, if any, remain to be decided on appeal? "

The law firm Panish Shea & Boyle, who supported the bill through the legislative process, says, "The bill is a critical step forward for survivors of child sexual assault and is instrumental in the effort to protect California’s children. The bill additionally extends the civil statute of limitations to age 40 or anytime thereafter within five years of discovering related psychological injury. This statute of limitations was previously set at age 26, or within three years of discovery.

The continued, "Data suggests that survivors of childhood sexual abuse typically do not tell anyone about the abuse until they are well into their adulthood. Survivors can finally help protect today’s children by ensuring that what happened to them does not happen to another child."

The statements were made primarily targeting the Catholic Church and the Boy Scott's of America. But, it may impact this case involving Michael Jackson and Wade Robson.

The case is due back in court in November for a hearing on the case.

Source: The Blast / Billie Jean


Frank DiLeo’s Michael Jackson Collection For Grab. 23-10-'19

It is sad to see but more Michael Jackson items are going on auction at “Gotta Have Rock and Roll”.

This time they are from Frank DiLeo’s Estate and includes personal items that Frank has kept through the years working with Michael.

The full list has not been released yet but we can reveal that this auction will includes awards and props that where used on Michael Jackson’s videos.

The auction will take place from 13 -22 November 2019.

MJ Memorabilia
'Thriller' Award, Michael Jackson prop sign as seen in the movie 'Moonwalker' and in the music video 'Speed Demon' and 'This Is It' music award presented to Frank personally.

It is said that the DiLeo’s collection is big and many more items will appear on the auction soon.

Go to Gotta Have Rock and Roll.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Unseen Picture Of Michael Jackson Is Going Viral On The Web. 23-10-'19

This unseen picture of Michael Jackson is going viral on social media.

The shot was taken during the filming of the Pepsi Commercial in 1984 and the photographer is believed to be Michael Leshnov.

The shot is believed to have been taken back stage before the commercial was filmed.

The commercial in question is the one where Michael Jackson was injured and burned during a pyrotechnic effect.

The unseen picture has now been shared over a thousand times on different social media.

Pepsi Commercial - Backstage (27-01-1984)
Michael Leshnov photographed Michael Jackson backstage for the Pepsi Commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

You can find more information about Michael Leshnov here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Freddie Mercury Roasted Michael Jackson For Sleeping On The Floor In His Mansion. 23-10-'19

Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson’s famous recording sessions in the 80's are the stuff of legend. The music icons spent days together working on new music at Jackson’s home studio in Encino, California in 1983 and developed a close friendship.

Fans have heard snippets over the years of what really happened inside those four walls, including from Freddie himself. But one man who was there to witness it all was Freddie’s personal assistant, Peter ‘Phoebe’ Freestone. Peter worked for Queen and Freddie for 12 years, right up until the musician’s death in 1991. According to the former PA, hanging out with two of the biggest superstars in the world didn’t feel out of the ordinary. Peter told Metro.co.uk: ‘You accept people how they are. For example, with Michael Jackson, Freddie and I went to his house to record for eight hours one day. This was back in 1983, and Freddie and Michael collaborated on three different tracks at that point. ‘But Michael didn’t treat me any differently than he treated Freddie. It was just the way people are. Michael and I played video games for half an hour while Freddie was outside smoking.’

According to Peter, Michael later took him and Freddie on a tour of the house, situated on Encino’s Hayvenhurst Avenue. When they got upstairs, Freddie couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a mattress on the middle of the floor of the king of pop’s million-dollar mansion. ‘Freddie just could not keep his mouth shut because right in the middle of the floor, was this big mattress made up as a bed,’ Peter recalled. ‘Freddie said, “You’ve got money why don’t you buy a bed?” And Michael just said, “I feel so much better when I’m closer to the Earth”. Freddie said, “Well how much closer does not having a bed make you? We’re upstairs”.’ Peter added: ‘That was the sort of thing that happened.’ Not many are privy to the inner workings of two music icons in the studio, and it’s an experience Peter is able to recall in minute detail, even after all these years. ‘It’s actually amazing to see two amazing talents working off each other,’ he revealed. ‘Basically Michael had a track ready, which was called State of Shock, which he wanted Freddie to put his voice on, so he did.’

Michael Jackson backstage at The Forum in California (07-1980)
Michael Jackson backstage at The Forum in California. He was at the Queen show that evening and came to see the band afterwards.

‘Then they worked on a track of Freddie’s, which was 'There Must Be More To Life Than This', that he was working on for a Queen album. ‘But the thing is, there was hardly any words or anything. So a lot of the time Michael was ad-libbing putting his own words in. In fact, there was a third track. The combination of the two of them, but just being there while they were actually, they were feeding off each other.’ Peter continued: ‘Each of them were just giving out everything they could to create something and to be present at that sort of thing is amazing. The same the same happened with David Bowie with 'Under Pressure' for Queen. ‘To be present when you have… it’s almost like electricity. Then you feel tension in the air and there’s that o-zone smell. It’s almost like that.’ Fans are able to enjoy Freddie’s music with fresh insight thanks to the release of the Never Boring box set, which features a specially-curated selection of the singer’s music, visuals and written and spoken words.

It includes three CD's with 32 tracks, a Blu-ray and DVD featuring 13 promo videos and an interview, a 120-page 10”x10” hardback book full of photos, and an introduction from Rami Malek himself. Earlier in October, the previously-banned music video for Freddie’s song 'Living On My Own', was released for the first time completely remastered. The visuals were shot at Freddie’s 39th birthday party and basically, it was a raucous affair. Recalling the night it was shot, Peter said: ‘The party was always meant to be filmed. It was going to be part of this video. So they set up a camera on a track going all around the room and everything. ‘People knew it was going to be filmed.’

He added: ‘The thing is, it still didn’t stop all the alcohol flowing. ‘It really did get quite crazy at the end. I mean, I can remember more about staggering home at four o’clock in the morning, than the three or four hours before that. It was a nonstop round of dancing, drinking. It just became totally crazy.’

Source: Metro / Billie Jean


Peter Andre Defends Michael Jackson’s Music Ahead Of 'Thriller' Musical Role. 23-10-'19

Peter AndrePeter Andre has defended his decision to take on a guest role in the 'Thriller' musical despite renewed sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson.

Historic allegations against Jackson hit headlines again earlier this year after the release of the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', which featured graphic claims of abuse.

Jackson’s estate vehemently denied the allegations against the star and unsuccessfully urged to Channel 4 to rethink their plans to screen the two-part film.

Andre, 46, will take on the lead role in the West End production of 'Thriller' this December, and has defended the continued prominence of Jackson’s music.

Speaking on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain, he said: “I’ve always said that I think we’ve got to keep the music separate.

“If you’re going to go there and say you can’t listen to the music because there are allegations, OK, well do you listen to the music pre and supposed allegations? Where do you go with it?

“This show is about the music. I always have to say that they are allegations.”

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


Ed Cherney'Off The Wall' Engineer Ed Cherney Dies Age 69. 22-10-'19

Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Ed Cherney passed away today after a battle with cancer. Cherney had a long and successful career as one of the industry’s most respected and premier recording engineers for his work on both studio and live remote recording projects.

Born in Chicago in 1950, Cherney began as an amateur musician, but later roadied for some friends’ band and eventually began mixing their live shows, and ended up in the studio working with them, followed by more P.A. gigs mixing with a local sound company, while studying electronics at DeVry University. After taking a short course with legendary producer/engineer Bruce Swedien, Cherney was hooked on studio life and took an entry-level job at Paragon Recording Studios, and over the next three years, built his engineering chops.

He then moved to southern California, snagging an assistant engineering gig at Westlake Studios, a favorite haunt of Bruce Swedien and Quincy Jones and starting with working on Michael Jackson’s 'Off The Wall', began a lifelong association with Swedien and Jones and a host of other top producers including greats like Phil Ramone and Don Was.

Artists he worked with included: Bette Midler, Bob Dylan, Bob Seeger, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Wilson, Buddy Guy, David Lindley, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Goo Goo Dolls, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne, John Mayer, Keb’ Mo, Ry Cooder, Spinal Tap, Sting, The Rolling Stones, Wallflowers, Willie Nelson and Wynnona Judd. Scores and soundtracks Cheney worked on included Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Coming To America, The Bourne Legacy, Green Hornet, The Hobbit, Hairspray and Sex & The City — among many others.

During his career, Cherney received three Grammy Award nominations, an Emmy Award, five TEC Awards, and was inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame in 2015. Yet through it all, he always remained humble. “What success I’ve had owes much to the musical greats I’ve sat behind over the years — giants like Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien, Don Was and Phil Ramone — listening through their ears, learning how they make great music,” he once said. “The secret was to just be cool, stay in God’s graces and work it out.”

Cherney was generous with his time, often sharing his knowledge at NARAS, NAMM and AES events and seminars, and had many friends throughout the industry. Rest well, old friend. You will be missed and never be forgotten.

Ed Cherney is survived by his wife Rose Mann-Cherney. No plans for a memorial had been announced at presstime.

Source: Guitar / Billie Jean


HBO Taking Michael Jackson 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute To Appeals Court. 21-10-'19

HBOHBO wants another shot at convincing a court that the Michael Jackson Estate can't go to arbitration over its Emmy-winning sex abuse documentary 'Leaving Neverland'. On Monday, the pay network filed paperwork for a high-stakes appeal.

The Michael Jackson Estate is attempting to enforce a non-disparagement clause in a 1992 contract — one that provided HBO with rights to air a televised concert following the release of Jackson's album 'Dangerous'. That contract had provisions pertaining to secrecy and non-disparagement, which the estate is seizing upon to litigate 'Leaving Neverland', which focuses on allegations against Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck. In February, a petition to compel arbitration was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court just days before HBO aired the documentary.

In response, HBO had the case removed to federal court and attacked it as a "transparent effort to bolster their publicity campaign against the documentary."

The pay cabler argues that the legal claims are premised on an old agreement that has been fully performed by the parties and thus terminated. It further contends that the Michael Jackson Estate is attempting to trample on its First Amendment rights by using a quarter-century-old, nearly forgotten contract as "a perpetual platform to police HBO's speech."

Ultimately, though, a federal court deferred to the primacy of the Federal Arbitration Act and decided that the arbitrator would have a crack at tackling the controversy. In making this decision, U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu rejected HBO's bid to have a petition for arbitration stricken under California's anti-SLAPP statute, which provides special recourse to those hauled into court on frivolous actions targeting First Amendment activity.

HBO is now going to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"This bogus appeal is nothing more than HBO’s latest desperate attempt to cover up the truth about its shoddy journalism," responds Bryan Freedman, an attorney for the Michael Jackson Estate. "For seven months HBO has tried and failed to avoid a public arbitration. This appeal, which is its latest Hail Mary attempt, is even more pathetic than all of its other attempts to avoid public scrutiny. If HBO truly wanted to avoid a judgment, it should have thought about that before it aided and abetted a one sided documentary without any journalistic integrity and in which the subjects have a huge motivation to lie — namely the millions of dollars for which they are suing the Estate. Our client will never stop until justice is served."

Although Freedman characterizes the appeal as a "Hail Mary," that was hardly the assessment of Wu, who during a Sept. 19 hearing stated that "a lot of these issues are so close and up in the air that I think no matter which side wins or loses, they are going to appeal."

The judge also told the parties at the hearing that "this stuff should be decided in the Circuit Court."

Although HBO hasn't spelled out the grounds for its appeal before the Ninth Circuit, the network — represented by the all-star legal team of Daniel Petrocelli and Ted Boutrous — will likely argue that California's anti-SLAPP statute isn't preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and thus the Michael Jackson Estate can't go to arbitration unless it can demonstrate the likelihood of its victory there.

The use of SLAPP laws in federal courts is a particularly hot topic, and there's some reason to believe this case might be a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, particularly since it also addresses the topic of arbitrability, something that has attracted close attention by the high court justices in recent years.

If the case does eventually wind up in arbitration, it could be an odd one. The Michael Jackson Estate says it wants an "open" proceeding, which would be rare for an arbitration forum like JAMS. Additionally, it's not clear that 'Leaving Neverland' needs to be factually inaccurate for the estate to prevail over HBO. After all, this is not a defamation suit. It's a dispute based on an agreement not to disparage Jackson. Nevertheless, the estate is eager for the opportunity to show off evidence it has collected in prior legal disputes with the Jackson accusers featured in 'Leaving Neverland'.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson X Halloween. 19-10-'19

Sony just released a brand new Michael Jackson play list special Halloween called: 'Michael Jackson X Halloween' on Spotify!

37 Michael Jackson tracks to play during the Halloween season and Halloween parties!

The album (digital) cover takes the last year 'Halloween' compilation 'Scream' artwork:

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonNew Michael Jackson Documentary Coming On Netflix In 2020. 19-10-'19

A new documentary will see light in 2020 on Netflix. The documentary is directed by Spanish film maker Marcos Cabota and is about Michael Jackson, the artist and the man.

Cabota has been posting about the movie for a while now and will have many people who worked with Michael Jackson and his family.

Known people already on board are Brad Buxer (who also worked on the music of the documentary), Toto, Bruce Swedien, Tarryl Jackson, Siedah Garrett.

The documentary will show how Michael was as an artist, his work and legacy in the music industry.

On twitter, Cabota has posted many pictures of locations where he filmed the documentary: The Thriller house, Neverland Ranch, New York recording studio, London Quincy Jones’ concerts and so on.

On Cabota’s website, 'Music. Love. Billie Jean' is showing as the title of the up coming documentary.

It is also said that the documentary will be on Netflix around the time of the opening of the new Broadway show “MJ” in 2020.

It is unclear if the Estate of Michael Jackson was involved in this project but we are looking forward to see a very positive documentary about Michael Jackson coming to the masses.

To be continued…

Source: JR / Marcos Cabota / MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Review: 'In Japan!' (Purple Vinyl - Limited Edition) Album Is Reissued. 18-10-'19

The reissue of the 'In Japan!' album in purple vinyl is released in Europe by Motown.

This year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of the King of Pop. That's why we reissue the album of his Jackson 5 period!I t's a limited edition album (limited to 1000 pressings).

'In Japan!' album was for the first time released in December 1973 in Japan on the Tamla Motown label. 'In Japan' a Jackson Five concert from April 30th, 1973.

This 11-track album, gatefold pasted picture sleeve with a four-page Japanese/lyric insert .

Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie turn in a solid performance of their own material, plus solo hits from Michael and Jermaine.

In Japan! (Purple Vinyl - Limited Edition) [re-issue] Album CoverPurple vinyl ... limited edition of only 1000 copies!

Track list:

A:
1. We're Gonna Have A Good Time - 3:39
2. Lookin' Through The Windows - 3:52
3. Got To Be There - Michael Jackson - 3:44
4. Daddy's Home - Jermaine Jackson - 5:23
5. Superstition - 3:17
6. Ben - Michael Jackson - 2:54

B:
1. Papa Was A Rollin' Stone - 3:59
2. That's How Love Goes - Jermaine Jackson - 4:46
3. Never Can Say Goodbye - 2:21
4. Ain't That Peculiar - 5:28
5. I Wanna Be Where You Are - Michael Jackson - 6:31

Record label: Motown
Series number: SWX-6024
Printed: Europe
Guide price: 28 €

Order the album here at Culture Factory.

Source: Culture Factory / Billie Jean


Stuck In Neverland: Streams Of Michael Jackson's Music Have Actually Increased Since HBO Doc.
18-10-'19

Michael JacksonIn March, HBO's harrowing four-hour, two-part documentary 'Leaving Neverland' reexamined allegations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck that Michael Jackson had repeatedly sexually abused them when they were children in the 1980's and 1990's. And the explosive program had the late star's fans — as well as radio programmers — fiercely debating whether his hits would, or should, be played again.

The backlash was fast and fierce. Reviewers predicted the film would devastate Jackson's legacy; Oprah Winfrey agreed to sympathetic interviews of Robson and Safechuck on HBO; radio stations in New Zealand and Canada pulled Jackson's music. In response, Jackson's family called the allegations a "public lynching," pointing out that Jackson, who was found innocent of child-­molestation charges in a 2005 trial, was not around to defend himself. The late singer's estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. (The estate declined to comment.)

In the immediate aftermath, U.S. radio airplay of Jackson's catalog dropped precipitously. According to a Billboard analysis of Nielsen Music data, in the four weeks prior to 'Leaving Neverland', his songs averaged 14,000 spins per week at radio, while in the 31 weeks afterward, through Oct. 3, stations played his music an average of 11,000 times. The radio audience for Jackson's music fell 32.1% during this period.

Yet people kept listening to Jackson's music. During the same 31-week period, Billboard found that streaming consumption of Jackson's catalog never saw a decline — on-demand streams of Jackson's catalog actually increased by 22.1%, outpacing the industry's 21.8% growth.

"After I saw the documentary and played Michael Jackson, I got on the mic and said, 'I hope no one here saw the documentary,' and people didn't say a word," says Jeff Wittels, owner and DJ at Retroclubnyc, a New York dance club that spins 70's, 80's and 90's hits. "They couldn't care less."

WFEZ Miami, which reaches 1 million listeners, "backed off" on the amount of spins of Jackson's music after the documentary aired, according to branding and program director Gary Williams. "But as far as complaints go, I maybe got two emails," he says. "As soon as we went back [to playing Jackson's music], we got a positive response."

"These are some of my top-­testing songs, and you want to give the listeners what they want," adds WRRM Cincinnati program director Brian Demay. "If the listeners haven't complained, don't sacrifice your product."

Such listener loyalty bodes well for the Jackson estate, which has been rolling out new projects including a Broadway musical, set to debut in August 2020, and a 1,000-copy box set containing LP's and Blu-ray discs. Sony reps were prepping the box set before 'Leaving Neverland', and Scott Carter, senior vp marketing for Epic Records and Legacy Recordings, says the allegations had no impact on the release: "The basics for this were drummed up before that even happened."

"We got more emails saying, 'Thank you for playing this' versus 'Why are you playing it?' " says WALR Atlanta branding and program director Terri Avery. "And what would Halloween be without 'Thriller'?"

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Message From The Estate Of Michael Jackson About MJ The Musical. 18-10-'19

The Estate Of Michael JacksonAs we are sure you have recently read, tickets for the new Broadway play, 'MJ The Musical', go on sale January 15 with previews starting at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020 and the show will premiere on August 13, 2020.

In the meantime, we wanted to say how excited we are about the show. We were excited when we worked with Cirque du Soleil and Jamie King in creating 'Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour' which went on to become one of the most popular and highest grossing touring shows of all time. And we were equally excited about working again with Cirque de Soleil and Jamie King in creating the 'Michael Jackson ONE' show in Las Vegas which just enjoyed its 3,000th performance and remains one of the top selling shows in Las Vegas.

We also were very pleased about the work we did with Spike Lee in creating the 'Bad 25' documentary and the documentary 'Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall'.

We are confident that this new Broadway show will be every bit as good as any show we have had a hand in creating.

Some of you have expressed concern about Lynn Nottage. Let us assure you that Lynn Nottage is a huge Michael Jackson fan. We are always careful about selecting the creative talent who will work on a Michael Jackson project. She was ambushed by the UK tabloid reporter and statements made in casual conversation were taken out of context and have been misconstrued. No show we ever create about Michael will be anything other than truthful and positive, and of course we would never validate the lies and slander that have been perpetrated by Reed, Robson, Safechuck and HBO in what the fans have called a “bullcrapumentary.”

The creative team on this Broadway show is outstanding. Lynn Nottage is the only living playwright who has won two Pulitzer Prizes. Christopher Wheeldon, also a huge Michael Jackson fan, is an acclaimed director and choreographer who won the Tony Award for his work on 'An American In Paris' on Broadway.

Having seen rehearsals and read the book we can assure you fans will be very excited. Of course, no one can replace Michael. No one can do what Michael did. There was a reason that Berry Gordy confirmed that Michael is the greatest entertainer who ever lived. However, just as in any movie where a famous historical figure is portrayed, once we enter the playhouse, we have to suspend our disbelief and look forward to seeing a great show paying homage to Michael’s legacy.

You all know that the media has tried very hard to negate Michael’s influence in the world. To use their term, they tried to cancel Michael. The Michael Jackson fans and the Michael Jackson Estate will not allow that to happen. The love of Michael is too strong, it will always be with us. While some media outlets might be hesitant to telecast new Michael Jackson programs in the short term, that will turn around in the long term since everyone wants to see and enjoy Michael and his work. This Broadway show will go a long way toward reminding the world who the King of Pop is. Let’s celebrate it, let’s embrace it and let’s remind everybody that Michael is the greatest of all time.

Source: The Estate Of Michael Jackson / Billie Jean


Michael Tops The Lyric Find Chart. 17-10-'19

As Halloween is approaching, Michael’s 'Thriller' is top of Billboard’s October 12th LyricFind Global Chart. The Global Chart includes all lyric queries worldwide with data provided by more than five thousand publishers and more than one hundred services. These include; Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Microsoft, SoundHound and iHeartRadio.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Settlement Between Michael Jackson's Ex-Manager, Estate Falls Apart. 17-10-'19

Tohme TohmeA seven-year-old lawsuit between Michael Jackson's estate and his former manager Tohme Tohme appears to be back on with a Los Angeles Superior Court judge refusing to enforce an oral settlement agreement.

Tohme was one of the last managers for Jackson before the superstar died in 2009. He sued the estate, claiming he was owed a 15 percent commission on money Jackson made during the last year of his life, a cut of This Is It revenues and a finder's fee for a loan that stopped Neverland Ranch from going into foreclosure.

In May, a trial began — one that explored Jackson's final days and the estate's contention that Tohme got Jackson to sign an unconscionable agreement and stole money from the performer.

Then five days into trial, the parties settled in open court. Or so it appeared, with the parties sending The Hollywood Reporter a joint statement about the "amicable" resolution.

But after the lawyers read the material terms of the settlement to the judge (and then had the transcripts sealed), according to court documents, the Michael Jackson Estate refused to pay Tohme his settlement money unless he agreed to a non-disparagement clause and an agreement to not sue again.

So without payment, Tohme asked the judge to enforce the terms of the settlement.

"The settlement terms did not include a non-disparagement clause or an agreement not to sue," writes Mark A. Young in his ruling. "However, the law requires the settling parties’ presence in order for an oral agreement to be enforceable under §664.6. Counsel, and not the parties themselves, were present when the terms of the settlement agreement were stated before the court."

The judge adds that Tohme can file a new lawsuit aiming to enforce the settlement agreement. But Young won't quickly do as Tohme asks. In the meantime, the ex-manager's 2012 suit seeking about $20 million remains active. And Tohme is apparently free to disparage his ex-client.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean


Thriller DanceLearn The 'Thriller' Dance With Eddie Garcia. 13-10-'19

We all know Eddie Garcia, one of Michael’s dancer and choreographer, also was at Kingvention 2017 and had a dance workshop in London with 'Thriller'.

Eddie is doing a 'Thriller' workshop on October 18 at 11.30am in Los Angeles at the EDGE Performing Arts Center.

Eddie will be teaching the original Michae Peters choreography so better be there!

6300 Romaine Street, Suite 100Los Angeles, California.

You can sign up for the class here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

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