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Home / News Archive / News December 2007

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Ebony (Michael 25 Years After Thriller) Magazine CoverEbony (Michael 25 Years After Thriller) Magazine Is Released. 12-'07

Twenty five years after the record-breaking 'Thriller' album was released, Michael Jackson still reigns as the King of Pop. 'Ebony' magazine volume LXIII, Number 2 is released in the USA and published monthly by Johnson Publication.

Ebony magazine offers readers a rare glimpse into the world of the internationally recognized icon.

The talented dancer, singer and songwriter sat down in a New York hotel suite with Ebony to conduct his first U.S. magazine interview and cover story in a decade.

In this special collector's edition, Michael shares a unique view into his creativity, where he's been and where he’s headed next. "I always want to do music that influences and inspires each generation. Let's face it, who wants mortality? You want what you create to live, and I give my all in my work because I want it to live."

This magazine includes inside a 10-page fully-illustrated article and a 9 page article about the interview by Bryan Monroe with lots of pictures of Michael photographed by Matthew Rolston.

Publisher: Johnson Publication
Pages: 194
Printed: USA
Guide price: 20 €

Order the magazine here at Amazon.


Rolls RoyceRolls Royce On Auction. 31-12-'07

On Ebay USA a very special car is on auction. It is a black 1975 Rolls-Royce Cornice Turbo that -according to the present owner - was formerly owned by Michael Jackson. It was bought from a dealer in 1985 who said he bought it from Michael Jackson.

So you would like to own this special car? Well, the only thing that lies between you and this car is spending the extraordinary amount of US$125,000.

Source: Ebay USA / Billie Jean


UsherCollaboration With Usher? 28-12-'07

In a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal singer Usher said that he is working on a new album and that he hopes that one of the tracks will be a collaboration with Michael Jackson:

"I’ve been diligently working on creating a masterpiece. It’s going to be out first or maybe the second quarter. I see the second quarter of next year. And there will be a video and single out at the top of the year. ... I think [Atlanta producer] Polow Da Don is going to have the first one. I think that's going to be the single 'Love In The Club'.

Usher added that a collaboration with Michael Jackson and Atlanta rapper T-Pain is in the early stages:

"It's been created, but it's not recorded. And as long as Michael is open to it, hey, anything goes!"

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Billie Jean


LawsuitMusic Lawsuit Involves Michael. 28-12-'07

Sylvester Thompson of Cook County, Illinois, is suing Will Smith, Michael, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group for copyright infringement of the song 'Different Strokes' along with several other music companies and artists.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants were substantially copying, publicly performing, making and distributing or authorising the making and distributing of records and sharing the proceeds from the use of the song.

The court is asked to prevent the making or distribution of the music that may further on the song’s copyright. The plaintiffs also are seeking unspecified damages.

Source: Bloomberg News / Billie Jean


Fergie and will-i-amFergie And will.i.am Join 'Thriller 25'. 27-12-'07

'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition' of Michael Jackson’, the world’s biggest selling album of all time, premieres new remixes by Fergie, will.i.am, Akon & Kanye West.

Fergie has joined an already stellar line-up of guest artists for the 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson’'s 'Thriller'. Alongside new remixes of classic Jackson tracks by musical contemporaries Kanye West, will.i.am. and Akon, Fergie has added her signature vocals to a new version of 'Beat It' entitled 'Beat It 2008', produced and mixed by her fellow Black Eyed Pea will.i.am.

Epic/Legacy Recordings proudly celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' with a newly expanded deluxe edition of the phenomenal record-breaking pop culture touchstone, available in the U.S. on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. The album will be available worldwide the week of February 11, 2008.

The Michael Jackson 'Thriller 25th Anniversary' celebration kicks off in December 2007 with the release of a new single and continues throughout 2008 with a multi-faceted global marketing campaign featuring high-profile television, radio and online events around the world.

Source: MJ Europe / Billie Jean


Jet (Michael Jackson with Remix CD Set For Release - The Thriller Returns) Magazine CoverJet Magazine Is Released. 24-12-'07

'Jet' magazine is released in the USA and published weekly by Johnson Publication.

Michael Jackson appears on the cover of the 'Jet' magazine - Michael Jackson with Remix CD Set For Release. The Thriller Returns.

This new picture on the cover of the 'Jet' magazine was not part of the set published in ‘Ebony’.

It’s been a quarter of a century since Michael Jackson made history with his album 'Thriller'.

When the time came to mark the 25th anniversary, he called on hit makers Kanye West, Akon and will.i.am to add a little remix flavour to the original content. "I’ve been talking to Mike about this and about doing his other record for about a year and a half," Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am told 'Jet' exclusively.

Jackson shares that he is in the studio daily working on a new album and may also do a short tour. In the meantime, he wants his fans to know, "I feel grateful, all those record-breaking things, to the biggest albums, to those number ones, I still feel grateful."

This magazine includes a 5-page article with additional pictures of Michael photographed by Jonathan Exley.

Publisher: Johnson Publication
Pages: 66
Printed: USA
Guide price: 10 €

Order the magazine here at Amazon.


Akon Hints At 2008 Project. 23-12-'07

Singer Akon gave an interview on the radio show 'Courtney & Kiss In The Morning' on the Hartford, Conneticut radio station Kiss 95.7.

During the interview, he talked about working with Michael for the 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition' album and also hints at an upcoming project 2008 around Super Bowl time (Super Bowl XLII will take place on February 3, 2008).

Source: Kiss 95.7 / Billie Jean


Bobby TaylorBobby Taylor Talks About Discovering The J5. 22-12-'07

In an interview to The Vancouver Sun, Bobby Taylor (73; formerly Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers) talked about his time at Motown and how he discovered and worked with The Jackson 5.

Bobby Taylor had signed to the Motown label in1966. Two years later he and guitarist Tommy Chong discovered the Jackson 5 when the group opened for the Vancouvers during a 10-day revue show in Chicago. Taylor recollects the first time he saw Michael Jackson: "I just loved to watch that little sucker dance."

After the Chicago shows, he immediately took the group to Detroit and brought them to the attention of Motown, where they were signed. While others such as James Brown, Gladys Knight and most notably Diana Ross would take credit for "discovering" the Jackson 5, it was Taylor who had the greatest impact on them initially.

Bobby Taylor put his singing career on hold and worked on producing the Jackson 5's first five albums. He also wrote the group's early hits 'Ben', 'ABC', 'I Want You Back', 'I'll Be There' and 'Maybe Tomorrow':

"I worked a lot with Michael Jackson. He was eight at the time. He was the voice. He had the tools. He screamed a lot. He was a James Brown at that time. Jermaine was okay and Jackie was okay. So those are the three that I used."

His work, however, went unaccredited when he fell out with the Motown brass. He later sued the label and won but claims he has yet to see any money. Taylor said his fight with Motown bothered him so much that he quit his career and admits he was "stupid for that."

"I have a whole bunch of them that I am still not getting paid for from Motown -- Jackson's mainly. Beat ' em in court, never got paid."

Taylor, who recently gained quite some succession China, also said he was currently looking for a Chinese version of the Jackson 5 and was confident they were out there.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


The Girl Is Mine 2008 with will-i-am CD Single Cover'The Girl Is Mine' Single Cover. 21-12-'07

'In Switzerland, the first single 'The Girl Is Mine 2008 with will.i.am' from the upcoming 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition`will be released on January 25, 2008. It will be a 2-track CD single.

Track list:

1. The Girl Is Mine 2008 with will-i-am - 3:10
2. The Girl Is Mine 2008 Club Mix with will-i-am - 3:25

We additionally received information that in Switzerland the 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition' will also be released on vinyl.

Source: Sony Switzerland / Billie Jean


Prison Thriller VersionPrison 'Thriller' Version Among Top 10 Viral Videos 2007. 20-12-'07

The video of prison in mates in the Philippines performing their version of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' has landed in Time Magazine’s list of Top 10 Viral Videos for 2007.

The entry at position #5 in Time magazine reads:
"The only thing certain is that Vincent Price was right when he said, "No mere mortal can resist the evil of the 'Thriller': The video has been downloaded more than 9 million times."

The prison dance routine was the brainchild of Byron Garcia, Cebu provincial consultant on security, who said the dance was part of the prisoners’ daily exercise under the jail’s rehabilitation program. The program started in April last year when Garcia devised a plan to convince prisoners to attend the daily grind. Since the more conventional exercises we reconsidered boring and dull, Garcia said he thought of introducing a new routine that would be entertaining and therapeutic.

A video of the 'Thriller' dance routine made it to YouTube and became one of user's most favourite videos.

Source: Time Magazine / Billie Jean


Thriller Album Cover'Thriller' Featured On Swiss Radio. 20-12-'07

This week, 'Thriller' will be featured in '50 Masterpieces' on Swiss National Radio DRS3.

The biggest Swiss radio station DRS3 is having a series called '50 Masterpieces'. In their series they picked the best of the best records of all time.

They feature each record for one week and this week (December 16-23, 2007) 'Thriller' is getting the honour of being one of the final records to be presented to their listeners.

Also, from Monday to Friday DRS3 will tell you something about the album at 2:40 pm. On Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 9 pm the album will be played in its entirety on the radio station.

Source: DRS3 / Billie Jean


'The Girl Is Mine' Will Be The First Single From 'Thriller 25'. 19-12-'07

'The Girl Is Mine' will be the first single from the upcoming 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition' album. The one track digital single version will be released on January 14, 2008. On January 28, 2008, a three track CD single version will be released simultaneously with the three track digital version.

Track list:

1. The Girl Is Mine 2008 with will-i-am - 3:10
2. The Girl Is Mine 2008 Club Mix with will-i-am - 3:25
3. The Girl Is Mine 2008 Club Mix with will-i-am (Original Demo Recording) - 3:13

The previously unheard original demo of 'The Girl Is Mine' was record in the early 1980’s and features Michael singing both parts of the vocals (later shared by him and Paul McCartney).

A three track 12” Vinyl release is also planned, however the track listing is still to be confirmed.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean


'Thriller 25' Teasers. 19-12-'07

Epic Records has relaunched the 25th anniversary of the 'Thriller' album. There you can watch all the videos from 'Thriller' and you can also view the new teasers for the 25th Anniversary 'Thriller'.

Additionally, in January 2008 an updated version of MichaelJackson.com will be launched. Stay tuned...

Source: MJFC / Epic / Billi Jean


Michael Jackson's 'Off The Wall' And 'Thriller' Include In 2008 Hall Of Fame. 19-12-'07

Grammy Hall Of FameToday Grammy.com announced the 2008 Hall of Fame inductees, and they include Michael Jackson's 'Off The Wall' and 'Thriller'.

The Recording Academy announced the newest additions to its Grammy Hall Of Fame, adding 70 recordings to a timeless list that now includes 798 titles. The Hall Of Fame serves as a celebration and reminder of the triumphs and achievements of the recording arts. Selections are drawn from all categories of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which The Recording Academy has become renowned.

The selections range from 1905's "Give My Regards To Broadway" by Billy Murray to Michael Jackson's 1982 album 'Thriller'.

Off The Wall
Michael Jackson
Epic (1979)
Pop (Album)

Thriller
Michael Jackson
Epic (1982)
Pop (Album)

Reminder: 'Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition' will be released in the USA on February 12th, and the Grammys air live on February 10th, 2008.

Source: MJNO / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson: Funds Found, Shows Planned. 17-12-'07

First of all, Michael Jackson has evidently found someone to buy his $300 million main loan from Fortress Investments.

The dubious winner of this prize is said to be HSBC, the same bank that recently wrote down $3.4 billion in losses on bad credit and closed several hundred branches.

Details are sketchy, but the international bank — with Sony’s help — is nevertheless taking on the debt. The refinancing should kick out about $20-$25 million in cash for the liquidity-free singer.

But it’s not all a golden story. Jackson still owes Fortress $23 million for the loan secured by his Neverland Ranch. The default notice issued Oct. 12, 2007, had a 90-day moratorium, which means time is running out. The deadline before foreclosure would run somewhere between Jan. 12 and 19.

And guess what? Jackson, my sources say, will not use that new cash to pay the Neverland debt.

“It’s all the money he has,” one source says. “And you know how fast he can run through that.”

More than likely he won’t pay off the $4 million mortgage he’s got on his parents’ home in Encino, either.

But Jackson may have a way to make money. As I told you last week exclusively, AEG Live has been talking to Jackson about doing a tour. Now I hear that the proposal is to do a series of shows just at the O2 Arena outside of London, the same venue where Led Zeppelin just played.

The shows would run from March through April, all at O2. They’d be stripped down, and not big productions. Fans would be expected to travel to Jackson rather than make him go around the world.

They’d also be pricey for fans, because Jackson would by then need some big, big bucks to fill his emptying coffers. But it might be worth it: the word is that the basis of the show would be, soup to nuts, a 25th anniversary re-creation of “Thriller” to go along with the soon-to-be-released Sony CD and video package.

AEG’s Randy Phillips, who used to co-manage Rod Stewart, is behind the plan. Sources say he and Jackson have met several times, and that Michael “is in good shape.”

But insurance is still an obstacle, and so is Jackson’s mental health. Whether he would actually be able to fulfill such a contract remains to be seen.

“This is just in the talking stages and you never know what will happen,” says a source.

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson At Barnes & Noble Bookstore. 17-12-'07

Michael Jackson’s recent shopping trip on Friday (December 14) at a Las Vegas Barnes & Noble bookstore has helped to find Michael on the front of many tabloids today.

Jackson tried to cover his appearance with a hat, sunglasses and scarf wrapped around his head. But he was captured in the bookstore on camera, he holding a copy of 'The Book of the Dragon' by Ciruelo in his hands.

Michael had bandages above and below his mouth. MJ and his children arrived about 10:30 pm and stayed for about three hours. They left with several boxes of books and magazines, according to the National Photo Group.

Michael at Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Michael Jackson was spotted at the Las Vegas Barnes and Noble holding a copy of 'The Book of the Dragon' by Ciruelo in his hands.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Thriller 25New Single And More! 14-12-'07

MJWN have attended an exclusive hearing of three songs from Michael’s forthcoming 25th Anniversary Edition of 'Thriller'.

The three tracks played at Sony BMG’s headquarters in London were 'The Girl Is Mine' performed by Michael and will.i.am, 'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin' performed by Akon and the un-released track 'For All Time'. Below is a review of what we heard and some never before released details.

The single:

'The Girl Is Mine' – We can exclusively reveal that 'The Girl Is Mine' will be released as a digital single on January 14th 2008, followed two weeks later on January 28th, 2008 by a three track CD single version.

The song, credited as a remix by Michael Jackson and will.i.am, has a heavy beat and Paul McCartney’s vocals from the original song have been removed. New unheard vocals from Michael also appear at the end of the song. The song is just over three minutes in length. It’s absolutely FANTASTIC and could easily be a number one single. Probably the best re-mix to be given to a Michael song.

'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin' – Akon has given this classic song a new modern touch. It’s predominately a cover (rather than remix) with Michael providing backing vocals and one verse.

'For All Time' – This is a wonderful ballad with loads of emotion driving through it. Many know that it has unfortunately been leaked in the past. For those who have heard this version around the Internet, this is the same version but re-mastered to sound brilliant as well as featuring a bridge in the song that has previously not been heard. The song is just over four minutes in length.

The albums:

The album will be released in four different ways:

Classic CD Edition:
This will be an audio CD featuring the track list as per the Press Release. It will have a cardboard slip on case with the traditional 'Thriller' picture. The only twist will be that it is a holographic cover.

Zombie CD Edition:
The content is identical to the Classic Edition, but has the famous picture of Michael with the zombies around him as the slip on case display. This will also be a holographic cover.

Deluxe Limited Edition:
This comes as a hardbound book, containing the same CD and DVD as above. However, it will also come with a booklet containing more photos and extra content. This will be limited to only 20,000 copies.

12" Vinyl:
The album will be released as a gatefold double LP. A must have for all collectors!

PROMOTION:
As well as planned posters and radio advertising, the album will get a thirty second TV advert; the first time 'Thriller' has ever been advertised on TV. The advertisements are due to start on February 11th, 2008.

The single 'The Girl Is Mine' will get its first radio airplay on the same day as the digital release, January 14th, 2008.

The Classic and Zombie CD Editions, with an audio CD and DVD, will be printed up to near the end of 2008. They then plan to revert to just the audio version of the CD being sold.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonFYI: Michael Ordered To Turn Over Financial Information. 13-12-'07

On Wednesday (December 12), a Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a court order giving Michael Jackson 25 days to turn over financial information to law firm Ayscough & Marar or alternatively making good on his unpaid legal fees.

Michael Jackson engaged the law firm during his 2005 child-molestation trial to perform such tasks as obtaining court orders to block information from being publicly released and delaying discovery in several civil cases. The firm also represented him in a lawsuit brought by former business associate Marc Schaffel.

In July 2007, Ayscough & Marar had won a$256,000 judgment against Michael Jackson. In October, they won a second judgment, ordering him to cover the $175,000 in attorneys' fees the firm spent in hiring outside lawyers in the original case.

Michael Jackson is currently appealing the $175,000 ruling, meaning the firm can only pursue the $256,000 award for now.
On Wednesday (December 12), Judge James C. Chalfant said that Michael Jackson had agreed to turn over the records requested by Ayscough & Marar in October but had yet to comply. In his order the judge stated:

"While the court has no reason to doubt the sincerity of the representations of his attorneys, the fact of the matter is that under law, Jackson must provide further responses to the [law firm's] request, particularly since he agreed to do so through the meet-and-confer process.

Jackson's legal team has said the funds he plans to use to settle his debt with the law firm have been tied up, in part because he has not yet completed a planned refinancing of his Neverland Ranch.

On Wednesday (December 12), his attorney, Marshall L. Brubacher, told the judge his client could come up with the funds within nine days. On the other hand, sorting through Michael Jackson's financial records for the information requested by Ayscough & Marar could take longer than the 25 days allotted by the court:

"I went to Neverland last week, and it's a mammoth amount of work, because there are 30,000boxes of financial documents. It's going to take a tremendous amount of time."

Source: E! Online / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson To Tour In 2008? 13-12-'07

Pop superstar Michael Jackson is in talks to embark on a three-month tour - in a bid to pay off his outstanding debts.

Jackson is rumoured to be negotiating with promoters AEG Live to organise three months' worth of live dates from March to May next year (08), with proceeds going towards repaying his $325 million debt, according to U.S. columnist Roger Friedman.

Friedman writes, "He (Jackson) is so deeply in debt and at such a crisis point in his finances that he and publicist Raymone K. Bain may be using potential proceeds from a tour as leverage for refinancing his $325 million in loans."The refinancing was due on December 1. Not only did it not happen, but Jackson is now in default on $300 million secured by his Neverland Ranch."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Michael On The Cover Of Jet Magazine. 12-12-'07

Following on from Michael’s interview and appearance with Ebony magazine, his photograph is now also on the cover of Ebony’s sister magazine Jet December 24th to December 31st issue.

This new picture was not part of the set published in ‘Ebony’, and Michael is wearing a black polo-neck sweater, a tight, zipped gold and black jacket and black pants.

Jet Magazine Cover
Jet (Michael Jackson with Remix CD Set For Release - The Thriller Returns)

Source: Jet / Billie Jean

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