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Martin BashirMichael Jackson Special With Martin Bashir. 21-01-'03

Michael Jackson will be shown on a 90 minute special edition of the UK programme 'Tonight with Trevor McDonald'.

The backstage special includes a prime-time interview with Michael by Martin Bashir. The interview, which took place in Berlin two months ago, is described as a 'landmark film'. Current affairs controller of programme makers Granada, Jeff Anderson said:

"We have made this film entirely on our own terms. No money has been paid and no areas of the singer's career or personal life have been off limits."

One of Martin Bashir's most remembered interviews was one which he conducted with the late Princess Diana. The special, 'Living With Michael Jackson' which will go out on ITV1, is to be aired two weeks from today on February 3rd, 2003. It is described as giving a "fascinating personal insight into the mind of one of the world's biggest stars". During the programme Bashir also goes behind the scenes with Michael at his Neverland Ranch.

Editor James Goldston says of the programme:

"We have been filming with Michael Jackson throughout one of the most turbulent periods in his life. The results are utterly compelling - viewers will not believe what they are seeing."

Source: ITV / MJFC / Billie Jean

Maurice Gibb's FuneralMichael Jackson Attend Maurice Gibb's Funeral. 15-01-'03

A private funeral for Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb is to take place later today at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel on Miami Beach.

Maurice Gibb, 53, died on January 12 after suffering cardiac arrest shortly before undergoing emergency surgery on a blocked intestine. Gibb's private funeral was held at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel in Miami Beach at noon and was followed by a cremation service.

The private funeral service for Maurice Gibb was attended by family and close friends, including his fraternal bandmates, twin brother Robin Gibb and Barry Gibb, Michael Jackson and Gibb's first wife, singer-actress Lulu.

An hour after the official funeral Barry and Michael went to the coffin to honor Maurice for the last time. Michael was wearing a turquoise suit and went in quickly protected by a black umbrella to show his friend the last respect.

Michael Jackson is a close friend of the Gibb family, and had been working on a song with the Bee Gees just prior to Maurice's sudden illness.

The Bee Gees - Maurice, his twin brother Robin and their older brother Barry - were known for their close harmonies and original sound. Maurice played bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb. Their contributions to the 'Saturday Night Fever' album (1977) made it one of the best selling movie soundtracks ever. Among their hits on the album are 'Stayin' Alive,' 'More Than A Woman', and 'How Deep Is Your Love.' The Bee Gees won seven Grammy Awards together.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean

Globe Magazine Cover (14-01-2003)"Michael Jackson’s Spider Bite – Shocking Proof." 14-01-'03

The Globe magazine headlines today’s edition with a red banner reading: “Michael Jackson’s Spider Bite – Shocking Proof.”

The front page features a photograph of Michael holding up the leg of his trousers to show the damage a brown recluse spider did when he he was bitten repeatedly as he slept one evening at his Neverland Valley Ranch.

Excerpts from The Globe magazine interview are as follows:

” “The pain… it is bad, really bad… sometimes it feels like a lion took a bite out of my leg!”

“Now, in a world exclusive, Jackson is finally breaking his silence about those problems and giving Globe readers a glimpse into his secret world! The bite, says the King of Pop, did not, in fact, come from a ferocious lion, but from an itsy-bitsy – yet very dangerous and poisonous – spider.”

“That’s what Jackson claimed in court and a judge told him to prove it. Now, he’s doing exactly that. Jackson has chosen Globe to show the whole world that he was telling the truth, displaying one of the gruesome spider bites – this one on his right leg – to our readers in these exclusive pictures.”

“I really was bitten by spiders”, he tells Globe in a blockbuster interview. “I have been in agony”.

“Jackson says a spider sunk its venomous fangs into him one night while he lay asleep at his Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, CA.”

“I don’t know exactly how it happened” he admits. “I never saw the spider. I woke up one morning about a month ago and had a big spot on my leg. Pus was oozing out and it hurt terribly. I then had some cultures taken and found out that it was a bite from a very poisonous spider that can even be deadly”.

"Michael Jackson’s Spider Bite – Shocking Proof."
The Globe magazine front page features a photograph of Michael holding up the leg of his trousers to show the damage a brown recluse spider did when he he was bitten repeatedly as he slept one evening at his Neverland Valley Ranch.

Source: Globe Magazine / Billie Jean

Tommy MottolaTommy Mottola Steps Down As Sony CEO. 09-01-'03

Sony Music Corporation has agreed to release Tommy Mottola from his contract as the current chairman and CEO of Sony Music two years earlier than expected. After 14-years of service with Sony Music Entertainment, Mottola is stepping down to launch a new music venture which has yet to be named. Over the past year, Sony has struggled with increasing sales declines, incurring operating losses exceeding $100 million dollars.
Rumors that Mottola was leaving Sony have been circulating for months now.

"I have been thinking about taking up this new challenge for about a year, and really made the decision to go forward only recently," Mottola said in a statement.

"I am thrilled that I will continue my long-standing relationship with Sony to create a company that I believe will become a blueprint for the music business in the coming years," he added.

After Sony acquired then-CBS Records in 1988 and replaced Walter Yetnikoff with Mottola, it is believed that Mottola was instrumental in helping launch such artists as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Pearl Jam, Maxwell and John Mayer, while continuing to build the careers of superstars Dion, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson and Tony Bennett.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean

'Invincible' Favorite R&B/Hip-Hop Album Of The Year 2002! 02-01-'03

Michael Jackson's album 'Invincible' has received a massive 79% share of the 29,705 votes on Billboards most recent poll for favorite R&B/hip-hop album of 2002.

Fans voted on their favorite from the top 15 albums of the year. 'Invincible' received so many votes that there was hardly a chance for any other albums to make any significant headway. The nearest being Eminem for 'The Eminem Show' with 6% of the votes.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

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