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Home / News Archive / News March 2009

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Promoter Hints At New MJ Move. 15-03-'09

AEG Live chief executive and music promoter Randy Phillips said in an interview that Michael Jackson may unveil a new dance move during his upcoming performances in London.

Phillips said Michael Jackson has been working on a dance move he could reveal for the first time during one of his 50 scheduled performances at London's O2 Arena:

"He's working on a new move. Something like the Moonwalk, but different."

Phillips also rejected rumours Jackson decided on the London performances after struggling financially.

"I asked him straight off: why say yes to the tour now? Was it the money? He said 'You know what? My kids are old enough now.'"
The AEG official, whose company operates the O2 Arena, also revealed that the concerts are a "risk" for AEG.

"We're not in this for the money. We're taking a huge risk on Michael. Forgetting tickets, the local economy will get $500 million."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael Goes To "Wacko". 14-03-'09

After riling up the crowds all over London, Michael slipped into his surgical mask to shop at "Wacko", a specialty goodies shop that stocks unusual trinkets in Hollywood.
One fan managed to slip inside the paparazzi scrum and grab his autograph before he was ushered to his SUV...lucky!

Michael was protected by umbrellas as he left, he popped his head up over the Escalade's door and gave everyone a timid wave.

Source: splashnewsonline / Billie Jean


Fan Protest On Ticket Sale. 14-03-'09

Due to the extremely high demand for tickets for Michael Jackson's concerts at London's O2 arena, many fans did not succeed to get tickets. Especially the longtime fans, who have supported Michael Jackson for years, are very sad that they don't get a chance to finally see their idol in concert.

So some fans have created a special web site on this topic where you can voice your opinion. For details please visit http://www.mjjtickets.com.

Parts of the web site's statement reads as follows:

"This web site is a platform for Michael Jackson fans, who are angry about the way the ticket sale for Michael's concerts in London was organized! We, as fans, should voice our opinions! Let AEG and Ticketmaster know, that we are dissatisfied with their procedure. Additionally, Michael should be informed about the situation. Even if it may be too late to change the ticketing, all fans should let their voices be heard!

We, as Michael’s fans, have always been there for him! We have supported him through thick and thin. We have been by his side during the hardest of times and have defended him whenever needed. Through this, a very special relationship developed between Michael and his fans.

It has been a dream come true for all of us when Michael announced, that he would perform again! We have waited
for so long! After all those years, we finally had something to look forward to from Michael artistically. Fans from around the globe got ready to make their trip to London. The excitement was back!

But now, after the tickets went on sale and sold out, so many dreams are shattered because many of those true fans couldn’t get tickets! [...]

We are sure that Michael prefers to have his fans see his concerts! [...]"

Source: http://www.mjjtickets.com / Billie Jean


Auction Can Move Forward. 14-03-'09

Plans to auction off more than 2,000 of Michael Jackson's personal items can reportedly move forward — at least for now.

Attorneys for MJJ Productions, which sued auction house Julien's Auctions last week claiming it had no right to sell Michael Jackson's possessions, have filed documents in court allowing auction plans to proceed until April 3. On that day the original lawsuit is set to be heard.

Attorneys for Julien's Auction House filed the document Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Darren Julien said:

"They've agreed for us to continue to promote the exhibit and auction", adding that he "hopes and expects" that Jackson's team will honour their original contract and allow the auction to be held on April 21, 2009.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


More Than 650 Tickets Sold Per Minute! 13-03-'09

According to concert organizers, tickets to Michael Jackson's 50-date "This Is It" concert were the fastest selling in London history. How fast? "Tickets sold at a rate of 11 per second, 657 per minute and nearly 40,000 an hour." The managing director of Ticketmaster UK explained: "We often talk about unprecedented demand, but this week we have witnessed a live entertainment phenomenon. We have seen a truly amazing level of interest and demand for tickets from fans from across the world for the Michael Jackson shows at the O2 over the last three days. This was undoubtedly the busiest demand for tickets for an event which we have ever experienced." Randy Phillips (president of AEG) added: "The last week has been the most astonishing I have seen in my career in the entertainment business."

This Is It Ticket

750,000 fans have bought tickets to see the undisputed King Of Pop live at the O2 Arena in days of frantic fan frenzy and saturated media coverage around the globe.

Randy Phillips told Sky News that he spoke with Michael after the concerts sold out in record time, and "he was crying. I could hear it in his voice -- he was choked up." Phillips informed BBC Radio 1 that "Michael's already pretty much put together a list of the dancers he wants. Michael's very engaged now." Organizers have confirmed that, despite site crashes and delays due to demand, more than a million tickets across all 50 dates sold out.

Source: Pinboard / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Sells Out 50 London Shows As Controversy Brews On Secondary Market. 13-03-'09

Tickets to all 50 of Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' concerts at London's O2 Arena have completely sold out, the BBC reports. After 360,000 presale tickets sold out in record time, the remaining tickets went on sale to the general public this morning, and they didn't last long. Hundreds of fans "queued" outside the O2 Arena this morning to wait for tickets and over a quarter million people stormed Ticketmaster.co.uk. In the end, more than a million tickets for the This Is It! run were sold. But with a ticket this high in demand, there's going to be a huge secondary market, and that's where the controversy begins.

As Rock Daily reported this week, the Wall Street Journal recently exposed artists who set aside their own tickets for sale on the pricier secondary market; This Is It! promoters AEG Live did just that with some of the best seats to all the MJ shows and stuck a deal making Viagogo the authorized secondary-ticket dealer for the shows. AEG CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard.biz, AEG cut a deal with Viagogo "to give fans access to premium seats and the market would set the price on only a small percentage of the house every night; and, secondly, to give fans a peer-to-peer platform where they know these tickets aren't counterfeited."

But then, "Viagogo did something really bad yesterday we had no idea they were doing," Phillips said. Apparently Viagogo then took those tickets they received from AEG and started e-mailing other secondary ticket brokers, offering them packages and discounts and thus raising the price on the secondary tickets even higher. Plus, by pushing these tickets off on brokers, neither AEG or Jackson would see the additional profits from these tickets that sold in the trinary market. AEG Live filed an injunction against Viagogo to ensure that the site actually sells tickets to fans instead of brokers.

With the 50 sell-out shows official, Jackson more than doubles Prince's previous O2-record of 21 consecutive packed arenas. "Not only are these concerts unparalleled, these records will never be broken," Phillips told the BBC. "We knew this was show business history, but this is a cultural phenomenon."

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Hundreds Queued Outside O2. 13-03-'09

Hundreds of fans have queued through the night to buy the first tickets to Michael Jackson's concerts in London (UK) during the regular sale.

The tickets went on sale at 7 a.m. today, with promoters allowing fans to start queuing at midday on Thursday. They were limited to four tickets per household.

O2 owners, AEG Live, said due to the "incredible level of interest" pre-sale tickets to 10 concerts offered on Thursday sold out within minutes.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


"This Is It" Concert Setlist Revealed? 13-03-'09

UK's The Daily Mirror has posted what it claims to be the setlist for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" concerts in London. The alleged track list spans from Forever, Michael through HIStory, and there is whispers of a Jackson 5 medley as well. However, Randy Phillips of AEG has also commented to the media that Michael plans on performing a couple of new songs and also that an official single may be released before the first concert date. Some of the more interesting and obscure tracks on this speculated setlist include "Girlfriend" from Off the Wall and "One Day In Your Life." The rumoured setlist is below:

Billie Jean
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
Rock With You
The Way You Make Me Feel
Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
I Just Can't Stop Loving You
Human Nature
Smooth Criminal
Girlfriend
Man in the Mirror
Beat It
One Day in Your Life
Heal the World
You Are Not Alone
Remember The Time
Thriller

Source: Billie Jean


More Shows On There Way. 12-03-'09

After an exciting and busy day with AEG announcing another 20 shows for the O2, presale ticket allocation for the 30 shows have now sold out.

However AEG have said that Michael has agreed to add MORE shows, so fans still have a chance to get tickets on presale.

Already, Michael’s record breading residency at the O2 will outstrip the number of people he performed to when he broke records by performing for seven nights at Wembley Stadium during the Bad Tour in 1988.

The first 30 concerts will run from July 8th 2009 - September 29th 2009. After a three month break, the concerts will resume for a second leg on January 7th 2010. The concert dates confirmed so far are:

January 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 23, 25, 27, 29, 2010
February 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 2010 at London, England O2 Arena.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Presale Tickets Sell Out. 11-03-'09

Presale tickets to Michael Jackson's summer concerts at London's O2 Arena have already sold out, despite 11 more dates being added.

Organisers AEG Live said demand for his shows had been overwhelming. So this morning organisers added 17 additional concerts, and further shows are possible.

Beforehand the tour web site had crashed with fans registering for and buying presale tickets. Chris Edmonds, Ticketmaster's managing director, said:

"We have witnessed an unprecedented level of demand for the Michael Jackson concerts at The O2. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, we were unable to facilitate all immediate ticket requests. Apologies to those fans who were unable to log on, but fans should keep on trying to purchase tickets."

Organisers also said half the number of seats to each show have been held back until the official sale starts on Friday, March 13 at 7am. They also said to expect further announcements.

Michael Jackson, who has meanwhile returned to the US for rehearsals, is said to be "ecstatic" about the way the shows are being received.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Renting Rod Stewart’s House. 11-03-'09

The pop superstar will live in the ‘Maggie May’ singer’s Essex mansion when he comes to London to play his shows residency at The O2 arena in July, August and September.

The house boasts 180 acres, has its own soccer pitch field and is located 3.5 miles outside Greater London.
A source said: “It’s going to be perfect for Michael and his kids.”

It has also been revealed Jackson – who has three children, son Prince Michael, 10, daughter Paris, nine, and five-year-old son Prince Michael II - will be releasing new music ahead of his shows.

Concert promoter Randy Phillips said: “There will be a new Michael Jackson single before the first date.

“Michael has got some new music and he is looking for a new way of disseminating his material to his fans.”

The singer – who has not performed a full-length concert since 2001 – is also said to be planning some spectacular visual effects, including a complicated trick that will see him floating across the stage.

Phillips explained: “He wants to use some technical effects that have never been seen before.”

Jackson’s arrival in Britain will also be memorable – he has reportedly hired the $7,000-an-hour Challenger 604 plane that featured in the last James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’.

A source said: “He has taken an option on it to hire it for his trip to London in July.”

Source: Billie Jean


More Concerts Dates Added In London Announced. 11-03-'09

Ticketmaster has added more concert dates at London`s O2 Arena to their listing and offer them for sale for fans with a presale code.

July 30, 2009
Aug 1, 3, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 28, 30, 2009
Sep 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 21, 23, 27, 29, 2009 at London, England O2 Arena.

Source: michaeljacksonlive.com / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson To Release New Music. 11-03-'09

Michael Jackson is set to thrill fans eagerly awaiting his comeback concerts by releasing new music before making his return to the stage.

The Thriller star has announced plans to end his career hiatus with a series of live shows - dubbed "This Is It" - at London's O2 Arena in July. At a press conference last week, The King Of Pop told the press he would be "performing songs the fans wanna hear" at his upcoming residency.

However, the star may have to clear room on his concert set-list for new material - he is headed into the studio to record more music. Randy Phillips, head of concert promoters AEG Live, confirms, "There will be a new Michael Jackson single before the first date. Michael has got some new music and he is looking for a new way of disseminating his material to his fans."

And Phillips promises fans who manage to score tickets to the highly-anticipated performances won't be disappointed: "He wants to use some technical effects that have never been seen before."

Source: starpulse / Billie Jean


David Williams, Guitarist For Michael Jackson, Dead. 10-03-'09

The unsung hero behind the recordings of Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Van Halen, Lionel Ritchie and Madonna, the guitarist David Williams, died last Friday from complications from high blood pressure.

However, despite having played on a huge number of records, including the famed guitar solo on Jackson's breakthrough solo record “Billie Jean”, Williams, who was 58-years-old, was without adequate health insurance.

According to the New York Post, after Williams collapsed, he was taken to Sentara Hospital in Hampton, Virginia, where he slipped into a coma. While he lay in the intensive care unit, hospital officials urged his family to allow them to “pull the plug because he had no medical insurance”.

While the American public wait for their new president to do the right thing and institute a system of free at the point of service health care for his country's citizens, why can't the industry that made millions from the work of people like David Williams make sure that they get the treatment they deserve when they are ill?

Organisations like the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the so-called Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame are very good at throwing million dollar parties. But how about actually doing something useful for working musicians? [Murray Abisch]

Source: electricroulette.com / Billie Jean


Dates For July 2009 Concerts In London Announced. 10-03-'09

The 10 dates for the upcoming July 2009 Michael Jackson concert series in London have now been revealed at michaeljacksonlive.com.

July 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 2009 at London, England O2 Arena.

Source: michaeljacksonlive.com / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Makes A Special Call To Jade Goody. 10-03-'09

Jade Goody, the UK reality star who is terminally ill with cancer, was 'blown away' when she received a surprising phone call from Michael Jackson. The pop superstar, who is currently in London for a press release regarding his summer concerts, wanted to visit Goody but was unable to get through to her over the weekend to schedule the visit.

"He wanted to pop in and see her but instead sent her his love and said he was thinking about her", said Goody's publicist Max Clifford. A close friend stated that, "When she [Goody] was told Michael was on the phone her eyes lit up and she mustered all the strength she could to have a chat."

Michael wished her the best and asked if there was anything he could do for her or her family.

Goody appeared as a cast member in 2007 on the reality hit show, Big Brother, with Jermaine Jackson. Upon entering the house during the taping of the show, Jermaine Jackson stated that Michael was a fan of the show and would be watching. He added, "Michael is in Vegas right now, but has a way of seeing everything."

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Quote. 09-03-'09

The web site michaeljacksonlive.com has published the following quote by Michael Jackson:

"The Time Has Come

It is now I see and feel that calling once again,
To be part of a music that will not just connect but,
Make all feel one, one in joy, one in pain
One in love, one in service and in consciousness"

Michael Jackson

Source: michaeljacksonlive.com / Billie Jean


350,000 Register For Chance To Buy Michael Jackson Concert Tickets. 09-03-'09

ITN reports that 350,000 people have already registered for the chance to purchase tickets to Michael Jackson's London concerts at the 02 arena this July. Michael Jackson announced the concert at a press conference where he looked healthy but acted oddly and spoke little.

People interested in the concerts were told to register at MichaelJacksonLive.com. in order to be able to purchase a ticket. Tickets will actually go on sale on the web site beginning March 13th. Tickets will cost $70, $92 and $105 depending on seating.

Source: ITN / Billie Jean


Audigier Talks About Shopping Trip. 08-03-'09

Designer Ed Hardy appeared in an interview on German tv channel RTL and talked about his recent shopping trip with Michael Jackson on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles (USA).

"Michael is one of my dear friends today. So, I helped him to style for the presentation of his new tour in London. I just helped him to pimp him up, you know.

Oh, I believe he actually likes to hang around with me. And I like him, too. He always feels comfortable around me.

And there are worse things than doing a shopping trip with Michael Jackson at night on Rodep Drive. It`s some kind of friendship that has developed, I believe.

It was actually very cool. I was with him in the changing room at Dolce & Gabana. And we were looking at different outfits. And suddenly he starts to dance there in the changing room. That was unbelievable... you see Michael Jackson dancing in his new suit."

Hardy also explained how he got Michael to attend his birthday party:

"I invited him and he came. And when he was there he officially declared me to be the King of Fashion. And if this is said by the King of Pop...of course I was touched."

Source: RTL / Billie Jean


Michael Attends Oliver! Musical. 07-03-'09

Michael Jackson attended a performance of the musical Oliver! with two of his children in London (UK). However, things got a little out of hand after the show when the large crowds of fans tried to get close to their idol.

The scenes began when Michael Jackson left his hotel, The Lanesborough in Knights bridge. He appeared happy with the warm reception from his fans, smiling and waving at fans, signing autographs and shaking hands before leaving in a minibus.

He then descended on London's Drury Lane to watch the show starring Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson, with his two youngest children, Prince Michael II and Paris. At the show, the trio were joined by Michael Jackson's friend Mark Lester, who played Oliver in the original 1968 film.

Reportedly, instead of insisting on a private box, they all sat in the stalls. The crowd scrambled to take pictures, followed by a stern announcement that flash photography was banned.

Michael Jackson clapped along to the performance and according to theatre-goers seemed to know the words to the songs.

Actor Alan Davies was in the crowd, and was astonished to suddenly find himself sat a few seats away from the King Of Pop.

"He was about four seats away all night." He added that Jackson was "loving the show. He applauded a lot at the end, signed a couple of programme's and left. Funny old world."
Editor's note: While we of course understand fans being very happy to see Michael, MJFC kindly asks all fans to take care of the security of Michael Jackson and especially his children.

Source: The Daily Telegraph / Billie Jean

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Updated: 15/03/2009 12:42 PM

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