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More On Monday's Hearing. 31-08-'11

On Monday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor excluded more than a dozen witnesses in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Today, more details of that hearing are coming to light.

Included on the excluded witness list are Michael Jackson's longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein and his assistant. Also former Jackson manager Tohme Tohme and the nanny to Jackson's three children, Grace Rowamba. Co-executor of Jackson's estate, John Branca, has also been excluded.

The defense had hoped the testimony of these individuals would help paint Jackson as a hardcore addict. Judge Pastor however, believed these witnesses would be "distracting."

"Discussions of these subject matters are sufficiently convoluted, distracting and detracting as to substantially outweigh any probative value whatsoever," Pastor said.

Pastor also prohibited any witnesses connected to Jackson's 2005 prosecution and acquittal for child molestation, including a Santa Barbara County sheriff's detective who found propofol and Demerol in Jackson's Neverland estate in 2003.

"That is no-go territory as far as this criminal trial," Pastor said.

Attorneys for Murray said the defense planned to file a motion later this week asking the judge to reconsider.

"A large point of our defense has been gutted," Edward Chernoff said, "but if we have to go to a tank battle with a switchblade, that is exactly what we'll do."

Prosecutors contend that Murray bears criminal responsibility for Michael Jackson's death. They have said he injected Jackson with propofol, a surgical anesthetic that should never be used outside a hospital setting, and then left him unattended. Prosecutors urged the judge Monday to keep testimony focused on the medical care Murray provided to Jackson before his June 25, 2009, death and not the singer's mental state, finances or drug use.

"The People are very concerned about this trial deteriorating into an attack on Michael Jackson," Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren said.

Jury selection begins on September 8.

Source: MJFC / latimes.com

Motown Gold From The Ed Sullivan Show. 31-08-'11

Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show is a 2 DVD (3 volume) collection with appearances by legendary Motown acts including The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Martha & The Vandellas and Gladys Knight & The Pips. The collection is packed with classic Motown performances taped live between 1964 and 1971, fully restored with footage never before released. Some of the highlights include:

* The Jackson 5 ushering in a new generation of Motown acts with a medley of their No. 1 hits "I Want You Back," "The Love You Save" and "ABC."

The DVD set is now available for purchase here on Amazon.com

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean

MJ Tribute Concert. 30-08-'11

The people behind the upcoming Michael Jackson tribute concert want to make peace with the fans who have sworn to boycott the event ... by inviting them all to join in on a conference call to air out their grievances.

TMZ spoke to a rep for the concert who says they're inviting the leaders of several prominent fan groups to join them Wednesday for "an informative call to address some of the misinformation about the upcoming Michael Forever tribute."

For those unfamiliar, a TON of MJ fan groups banded together in anger -- after Jermaine and Randy Jackson claimed it would be "inappropriate" to support a concert "during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death."

We're told event organizers are hoping the call with put "rumors and incorrect information to rest."

Stay tuned ...

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Michael's Dermatologist Will Not Testify In Trial. 30-08-'11

A judge has ruled that Michael Jackson's dermatologist will not testify in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop icon. Murray's defense had hoped to use testimony from Dr. Arnold Klein to put forth an argument that Jackson was a drug addict who was ultimately responsible for taking the powerful anesthetic that caused his death in June of 2009.

In court papers, Murray's attorneys suggested that Klein gave Jackson frequent injections of the painkiller Demerol for "no valid medical purpose" and that the singer "became physiologically and psychologically dependent" on the drug.

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Molestation Talk Banned From Manslaughter Trial. 30-08-'11

A judge has ruled that witnesses will NOT be allowed to discuss Michael Jackson's child molestation case during Dr. Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said any testimony relating to the molestation case is irrelevant -- and would be distracting and misleading to the jury.

The judge also banned Arnie Klein from testifying -- after prosecutors argued the defense would try to blame the dermatologist for the death ... and take away attention from the man on the hot seat -- Dr. Murray.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Cirque Du Soleil Marks Michael Jackson’s Birthday. 29-08-'11

Today marks what would have been Michael Jackson’s 53rd birthday. To mark his birthday, Cirque du Soleil disclosed today that no less than 10 diverse choreographers -- some of whom worked with Michael -- will contribute their talents to the upcoming Immortal world premiere.

Cirque unveils the show in Montreal on Oct. 2, and the high-profile choreographers teamed with the company’s own crew make it the largest creative team ever assembled for any of Cirque’s multimillion-dollar spectaculars. Immortal, written and directed by Jamie King, is a unique tribute to Michael’s music legacy.

The dance team is comprised of Travis Payne, Rich and Tone Talauega, Debra Brown, Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, Jamal Sims, Cloud and Tamara Levinson and Mandy Moore.

Other creators include Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix, creative guides; Chantal Tremblay, director of creation; Carla Kama, associate show director; Kevin Antunes, musical designer; Greg Phillinganes, music director; Mark Fisher, set designer; Michael Curry, props and scenic designer; and Zaldy Goco, costume designer.

Cirque promises that the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of The King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations. It takes place in a fantastical realm of his inspirational Giving Tree that expresses his love for music, dance, fairy tales and magic and the fragile beauty of nature to underscore Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity. The show arrives here in December at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Cirque Du Soleil Marks Michael Jackson’s Birthday

Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil; Chuck Bowling, president and COO of Mandalay Bay; Jackie Jackson, brother of Michael Jackson; John Branca, co-executor of The Michael Jackson Estate; and Jamie King, writer and director of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.

Source: Las Vegas Sun / Billie Jean

Britney Spears Honored With Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award At 2011 VMAs. 29-08-'11

Lady Gaga (still dressed as Jo Calderone) presented Britney Spears with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the 2011 VMAs, causing some honorific and near-shocking moments.

After bringing Spears on stage, Gaga and Spears began to emulate the iconic Spears-Madonna lip-lock from the 2003 VMAs, but backed off at the last minute. Even Britney knew we've seen that before (though if it's Jo Calderone, is that just hooking up with a guy?) Britney went on to thank her family, MTV, and most importantly, her fans.

Spears accepted the award the day before what would have been Jackson's 53rd birthday.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Would Have Been 53 This Year. 29-08-'11

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson, today marks the day you would have been 53 years old. We celebrate your life, music, and the legacy you have left behind.

Michael Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009. Michael will forever be remembered as the KING OF POP and his songs will be played for hundreds of years. He was one of the greatest artists of our generation, despite many controversial incidents in his life.

Michael I miss you everyday more and more, I see you not more with new images, a glimpse of Michael, only bad news about the trail with Dr. Murray and the Tribute Concert.

But that is nothing for me, I want you back Michael, I pray to God that he lives happy in the heaven for ever.

Love you Michael, Gone Too Soon.

Webmaster Dirk.

Source: Billie Jean

Tribute Concert: Michael’s Brothers Issue Joint Statement. 28-08-'11

Many of Michael Jackson’s family have agreed to participate in the forthcoming tribute concert, either as performers or producers of the show. In a joint statement to Billboard, Michael’s brothers Jackie, Marlon and Tito said,

“When we were approached to do this show, we thought it was important for us to say yes as our mother has endorsed this event and we wanted to support her with this tribute to our brother Michael. We feel this tribute would be something Michael would be proud of. I know our mother is thrilled that we are able to share this special event with her as well as all of Michael’s fans. We look forward to seeing you all there.”

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

Michael Tribute Concert – Official Trailer. 28-08-'11

Source: YouTube / Billie Jean

Kids Visit Gary, Pay Tribute To Dad. 26-08-'11

Fans who gathered outside the Jackson family home at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana got a rare treat on Friday as they were greeted by Michael Jackson's three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket.

The trio were welcomed by their cousins and they spent time talking to fans, signing autographs and taking a tour of their father's old neighborhood.

The children were in Gary for the start of the city's four-day inaugural Legend's Weekend which features musical performances by local Gary talent, a circus, food and vendors. The weekend-long festival celebrates what would have been Jackson's 53rd birthday on Monday.

Mayor Rudy Clay has vowed that the city will celebrate Jackson's birthday each year.

"Every year we should celebrate the birthday of Michael Jackson because he's the greatest entertainer who ever lived. We have a lot of love for Michael."

Source: MJFC / nwitimes.com / Billie Jean

Gary Plans 4-Day Michael Jackson Birthday Party. 26-08-'11

Michael Jackson's hometown of Gary is getting ready to throw a birthday party for the late King of Pop.

Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, would have turned 53 on Monday. The Times of Munster reports that the northwestern Indiana city is planning a four-day party. It will feature musical performances, a circus, food and vendors in front of Jackson's boyhood home and the Leonard Douglas Stadium at Roosevelt High School.

City spokeswoman LaLosa Burns says Gary wants to preserve the legacy of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family, which left and moved to California in 1969 after the Jackson 5 struck it big.

Source: chicagotribune / Billie Jean

Chris Hunt (Global Live Events) Responds To Criticism Forever Michael. 26-08-'11

Responding to a lot of criticism about the Michael Jackson special tribute concert, promoter for the event was quick to issue defensive statement. In a recent interview with BBC, Chris Hunt said that what people said about the gig was understandable but wrong.

“The notion that an event which reminds people just how fantastic Michael Jackson was, what a loss he was to the world he is, what a great singer, a great performer he was, should be inappropriate – it doesn’t compute,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense. They were saying that it was a pity that there had not been a big scale, proper tribute to Michael,” the promoter continued. “We began to think, ‘Why don’t we try and do one.’ LaToya was the lead one but there were other family members around as well.”

Commenting on the other Jackson members who were not happy with the gig, Hunt stated, “I don’t wish to be ungenerous to anyone. I have the greatest respect for Jermaine, who I’ve met a number of times. He did a couple of times announce that he was going to organize a concert like this and then wasn’t unable to do so. So I suppose it’s a little understandable.”

As for fans’ protests, he said, “We have the greatest respect for the fans. We’ve been listening to the fans. I think what’s happened is that there’s been a campaign, which some of them have listened to and haven’t heard our responses to it yet. This concert will sell out either very quickly or quickly. We have no worries about it at all.”

Source: BBC / Billie Jean

No Sequestration. 26-08-'11

In the face of Defense attorneys’ arguments for a fair trial for their client, Judge Michael Pastor ruled today that the jurors in the case of Murray’s involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson will not be sequestered.

He did not agree that the jurors should be kept from living their normal lives during the four to six week trial. The Defense attorneys countered, saying that in the case involving Michael, widespread media coverage will make it likely that the jury should be protected.

Judge Pastor said he trusted jurors to heed his admonitions about reading or listening to news reports about the case. He said cost did not factor into his decision, although he said one estimate of the cost of sequestering jurors during the trial was more than five hundred thousand dollars, and a jury has not been sequestered since the trial of O. J. Simpson.

Source: Yahoo / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Manager Frank Dileo Dead. 25-08-'11

Michael Jackson's longtime manager Frank Dileo has died at the age of 63.

The music executive, who worked with the King of Pop during his 1980's hey-day, passed away on yesterday (August 24). The details of his death are not known as WENN goes to press, although he suffered complications from heart surgery in March (11).

The Thriller hitmaker asked Dileo to take charge of his career in 1984 at the height of the Jackson pop phenomenon. The svengali went on to manage Jackson's Bad World Tour, which remains the largest grossing trek of all time.

The pair parted professionally in 1989, but Dileo was later rehired as support to the singer during his infamous 2005 child molestation trial. He returned as manager once again just before Jackson's death in 2009, and helped the star's estate officials put together a posthumous album.

Dileo was planning to lift the lid on his life with the late superstar in a tell-all tome before his passed. It is not known how far along he was with the project and whether any of his memoirs will be released.

The cigar-smoking music mogul also enjoyed an acting career - he played gangster Tuddy Cicero in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and enjoyed appearances in Wayne's World and its sequel.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, a daughter, son and a grandson.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

MJ Wins MTV VMA's' 10 Best Performances Ever Poll. 25-08-'11

Michael wins the MTV VMA's' 10 best performances ever poll for his 1995 medley (“The Way You Make Me Feel”/”Scream”/”Beat It”/”Smooth Criminal” ) performance.

Michael wins before Bon Jovi with 57,05 %, so you see Michael is the best performer in the world.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Estate Huge Financial Gains Revealed. 25-08-'11

New documents reveal ... Michael Jackson was in such debt at the time he died, his Beatles catalog was almost valueless, but the Estate has worked nothing less than a financial miracle to right the ship.

The docs -- obtained by TMZ -- show that at the time Michael died, his net worth was around $50 million. Shockingly, the ATV Publishing Trust -- the Beatles catalog -- was valued at only $474,544. We're told the reason it was so low was because Jackson had borrowed around $300 million against it.

Now, fast forward to October, 2010 -- 15 months after MJ's death. The net value of MJ's estate -- under the leadership of the Executors -- swelled to $218,964,000. And get this ... that figure doesn't include $185 million the Estate paid out for loans, family allowances, interest, paying off the Hayvenhurst mortgage, etc.

There are no figures for the current value of the Estate, but sources say it's worth much more than the valuation in October, 2010.

Short story -- Michael could be entering Elvis territory.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Q-Tip, DJ Spinna Plan MJ Birthday Celebration. 24-08-'11

Rapper Q-Tip has announced his plans to celebrate the King of Pop with a birthday Tribute Show featuring special guest DJ Spinna.

The event, which happens on August 27 at 9:00pm, will take place at New York City's Irving Plaza, just two days before what would have been Michael Jackson's 53rd birthday.

"Michael Jackson was a huge influence on my music and was an inspiration to me and so many others. I want to bring people together to celebrate the man, his music and his legacy that will undoubtedly live on forever," Q-Tip said.

Source: MJFC / hiphopdx.com / livenation.com / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Fans Say Tribute Concert 'Doomed To Fail'. 22-08-'11

A group of 35 Michael Jackson fan clubs have joined forces to lobby for the cancellation of a Michael Jackson tribute concert, saying the October event is "doomed to fail."

In an open letter to organizers Global Live Events, the fan clubs representing thousands of die-hard Jackson followers in Europe, Australia, China and Russia, said they had multiple concerns with the Oct.8 event in Wales.

These ranged from confusion over charitable donations to the timing of the concert during the scheduled involuntary manslaughter trial in Los Angeles of the singer's doctor.

Organizers on Monday announced that Beyonce would sing one song via satellite at the "Michael Forever Tribute." Other headliners include Christina Aguilera, Smokey Robinson and Cee Lo Green who are due to perform a Jackson hit along with their own songs. Ticket prices range from 55 to 240 pounds (about $90-$390).

Last week, organizers were forced to oust rock band Kiss from the line-up after Jackson fans recalled that frontman Gene Simmons called the "Thriller" singer a child molester last year.

Jackson, who died in Los Angeles in June 2009 at age 50, was acquitted of all charges in a 2005 child sex abuse trial.

"From the timing of this tribute ... to the ticketing prices, to the obscurity over what charities will be receiving the donation, to the no-guarantee policy of performers, the addition of Gene Simmons and dishonoring, thus tarnishing Michael Jackson's legacy was simply the last straw," said the letter from the 80,000 strong members of MJJ Community, and more than 30 other fan clubs.

"Please understand that this concert is doomed to fail now ... Do the right thing for Michael Jackson and cancel this tribute," said the letter, posted on the Fans against Michael Forever Tribute Facebook page.

"There has been one catastrophic mistake after another. We don't feel like it's the tribute he (Jackson) deserves," MJJ Community founder Gary Taylor told Reuters.

Global Live Events did not return calls for comment on Monday.

Attorneys for Jackson's estate also expressed concerns last week about the planned concert, which is supported by the singer's mother Katherine and several of her children, but not by Jackson brothers Jermaine and Randy Jackson.

Organizers said last week they had pledged $100,000 of their own money to establish a trust fund for Jackson's three children and that ticket revenue "is going, at least in part" to the trust fund and to a Los Angeles Aids charity and the Princes Trust which helps youth job training and education in the UK.

Fans were encouraged to register in advance for tickets online and make a charity pledge. Organizers have not said how many people registered and how many tickets are left for public sale, which starts on Wednesday. The stadium in Wales holds about 75,000 people and the concert is due to be broadcast around the world on pay television and in movie theaters.

Source: interaksyon / Billie Jean

Beyonce Performing At MJ Tribute Concert... Via Satellite. 23-08-'11

Beyonce just joined the growing list of A-listers performing at the upcoming MJ Tribute Concert in Wales -- but unlike the rest of the line-up ... she'll only be a glimmer of her former self.

Promoters behind the "Michael Forever Tribute" in October just posted the announcement to their Facebook page -- Bey will perform one of her favorite Jackson 5 songs ... via satellite.

Sadly, Beyonce couldn't perform live due to scheduling issues -- but this is almost the same, right? Right?

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Defense Demands Sequestered Jury. 20-08-'11

Lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray have demanded a sequestered jury, arguing that the Casey Anthony trial set a dangerous standard in television coverage of high-profile legal proceedings.

In court papers filed on Thursday, attorneys for Murray wrote that opinionated commentary from cable personalities such as Nancy Grace “demonstrated the danger that is created to a fair trial when basic information is managed for the purpose of entertainment and television ratings.”

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor has previously stated that he believes around-the-clock isolation of jurors is not necessary in this case. He also said the cash-strapped LA court system cannot afford the expense of hotel accommodations for the jury.

But in their filing, defense attorneys urged him to reconsider, saying the Anthony case underscored the need for the jury to be kept away from press coverage.

“Would [the Anthony jurors] have been so sure of the facts if the ‘experts’ had informed them on a nightly basis that they were wrong?” defense lawyers Nareg Gourjian and Edward Chernoff wrote.

In their filing, Murray’s attorneys predicted viewership of the trial on both television and the Internet would outdraw the Anthony case given Jackson’s massive global fame.

“There is reasonable expectation that Dr. Murray’s trial will be the most publicized trial in history,” they wrote.

The defense noted that during a previous attempt at jury selection this spring - a process that was halted by unrelated delays - only one potential panelist said she had never heard of the case.

“And she could not speak English,” they added in a footnote.

A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for August 25.

Source: MJFC / latimes / Billie Jean

Dr. Conrad Murray Wants Protection From Nancy Grace. 19-08-'11

Dr. Conrad Murray's legal team filed legal papers claiming sequestering the jury during the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial is the only way to protect him and the system from Nancy Grace type "character assassinations."

In legal papers obtained by TMZ, Dr. Murray's lawyers argue the only reason the Anthony jurors were untainted was because they were sequestered. According to the docs, the networks, and in particular Nancy Grace, were well aware of the ratings boost from the trial, and Grace and others engaged in "nonstop on-air abuse of not only the defendant, but the jurors and defense attorneys involved."

The legal docs claim, "There is reasonable expectation that Dr. Murray's trial will be the most publicized in history," and that of the several hundred jurors who were polled during jury selection, only one claimed not to have heard of the Murray case, and she didn't speak English.

Judge Michael Pastor said last month he would consider sequestering the jury, although he felt it was unnecessary and too expensive.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Estate Suing Insurers. 19-08-'11

Michael Jackson's estate is taking his insurance company to court to demand a $17.5 million payment over his 2009 death.

The estate - which has been executed by attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain since a high court ruling in 2009 - claim Lloyds of London owe $17.5million on an insurance policy taken out by the 'Thriller' hitmaker against his death ahead of his 'This is it' comeback shows.

The 50 London shows were due to begin weeks after his death in June 2009, and tickets had already been sold for the event.

However, Lloyds has asked courts in Los Angeles to declare the policy null and void, claiming Michael - who passed away from acute Propofol intoxication in his rented Los Angeles home - had lied about his medical history and drug use.

Lloyd's insists the policy "was restricted to losses resulting from accident only" and point out Michael's official cause of death is listed as "homicide".

The estate are hitting back and have filed a cross-complaint saying Michael never intended to die, no matter what the official cause of death was, and they believe it still qualifies as an accident.

The estate's lawyer, Howard Weitzman, has said of Lloyds' claims: "This legal action is nothing more than an insurance company trying to avoid paying a legitimate claim by the insured."

Michael's estate are also asking for punitive damages on top of the $17.5 million they claim they are owed.

Source: contactmusic / Billie Jean

MJ ESTATE To LLOYD'S OF LONDON - This Is It. Now Pay Up! 18-08-'11

The Michael Jackson estate is tired of waiting for Lloyd's of London to pay out on the $17.5 million "This Is it" insurance policy -- so they're going after Lloyd's in court ... demanding they pay up, stat.

Lloyd's of London originally issued the policy to cover potential losses for MJ's 2009 "This Is It" concerts -- but earlier this year, the company asked an L.A. court to declare the policy null and void ... claiming MJ lied about his medical history and drug addiction.

Lloyd's insists the policy "was restricted to losses resulting from accident only" -- pointing out Michael's official cause of death was "homicide."

But the estate is now on the offensive -- filing a cross-complaint, claiming MJ never intended to die, whether by homicide or not, so his death still qualifies as an accident.

But the estate isn't just settling for the original $17.5 million -- they also want punitive damages. FYI, suing for punitive damages often scares the crap out of insurance companies.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Promoters Give In, KISS And Simmons Not On Michael Forever. 17-08-'11

Following lots of complaints from Michael Jackson fans worldwide and a very good letter by the Estate of Michael Jackson (read here), the promoters of Michael Forever Tribute Concert have made a wise decision.

Gene Simmons, who has accused Michael of being a pedophile – and his band KISS, have been taken out of the line-up. The unacceptable comment by Simmons was made last year: “There is no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt.” If so, why would you be in a Michael Jackson tribute?

The promoters have been quoted: ”We have listened to Michael’s fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons. Under the circumstances we fully agree that even though KISS is a band Michael admired we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert.”

The following acts have been confirmed on the event website so far: 3T, Alexandra Burke, Alian Ant Farm, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Graig David, Diversity, Jackson Brothers, JLS, Leona Lewis, Pixie Lott and Smokey Robinson. According to the promoters more acts will follow.

Source: Global Live / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Doctor Loses $10,000 Jacket Battle With MJ Estate. 17-08-11

Dr. Arnie Klein's got some fall shopping to catch up on in Beverly Hills -- because TMZ has learned, the Michael Jackson estate just REJECTED the good doc's claim to return his old, $10,000 jacket.

TMZ broke the story -- Klein says he loaned Michael Jackson a $10,000 Gianfranco Ferre jacket before the singer died, but MJ never returned it.

Klein filed a claim against Michael's estate back in February 2010 to get it back -- and yesterday, the estate finally got around to giving him an answer ... go fly a kite.

But the estate didn't just tell Arnie to buzz off -- according to the legal docs, the estate also rejected a former lawyer's $3 million bill, an old accountant's $60,000 bill ... plus an additional $354,230 in other claims.

That said, it's not the end of the road for Arnie or MJ's other creditors -- they can still sue the estate in court. But it's unclear if that's what Arnie and co. plan to do.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Tribute Concert - We're Killing KISS From The Roster. 16-08-'11

The promoters of the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert have heard fans loud and clear -- Gene Simmons, who has accused Michael of being a pedophile, and his band KISS, have been dropped from the roster.

There was a flurry of criticism after TMZ posted a story ... that Gene said last year, "There is no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt."

The promoters tell TMZ, "We have listened to Michael's fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons. Under the circumstances we fully agree that even though KISS is a band Michael admired we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert."

The Estate had fired off a letter to the promoters yesterday, expressing their displeasure over KISS performing at the concert.

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

Katherine Jackson Confirmes KISS For ‘Michael Forever’ Line-up. 15-08-'11

Rock band KISS signed up to pay tribute to Michael in the October concert that will also headline Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Smokey Robinson, Cee Lo Green and JLS, the promoters told CNN Monday.

Musicians who played in Michael’s touring band for the past two decades will also reunite as the house band for “Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert” in Cardiff, Wales, according to promoter Global Live Events. Kevin Dorsey, who served as musical director for several Michael Jackson tours, will also direct the October 8 show, it was announced Monday.

Katherine Jackson appeared on CNN Monday to discuss the show, which will also include performances by her children and grandchildren. ”I know he would be very excited about KISS,” Michael’s mother said.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean

Nine Of Jackson's Former Docs Could Be Called As Witnesses In Dr. Murray Trial. 15-08-'11

Dr. Conrad Murray's criminal defense team has nine of Michael Jackson's former doctors on their witness list, all of whom could be called at his upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.

In court documents reviewed by RadarOnline.com, Dr. Murray's lawyers list 103 people who could be called at the trial, including a nurse practitioner Cherilyn Lee who claims Jackson asked her for Propofol in the weeks leading up to his death, but she refused to supply it.

Among the doctors on the list, which includes Dr. Arnold Klein, is Dr. Neil Ratner, who toured with Jackson in 1996 and 1997. According to a CNN report Dr. Ratner would keep medical equipment which would monitor Jackson's vital signs as he was "under." Jackson allegedly had trouble sleeping and utilized the anesthesiologist to "take him down" and "bring him back up."

Ratner confirmed that Michael Jackson suffered from a sleep disorder, but wouldn't elaborate further than that. It's anticipated that Dr. Murray's lawyers Ed Chernoff and Michael Flanagan will grill Dr. Ratner about the specifics of his medical treatment of Jackson.

Source: radaronline / Billie Jean

MJ's KIDS We're Going To The Tribute Concert. 13-08-'11

Michael Jackson's children have decided they want to fly to Wales to catch the upcoming MJ Tribute Concert in person ... despite the fact they're getting pushback from two of their famous uncles.

An MJ family rep tells us, "Paris, Blanket and Prince have been asked to attend the MJ Tribute in Wales and they have decided to go."

The rep adds, "They are extremely excited and they're hoping they will have the opportunity to contribute in some way by making a speech. Nothing has been set in stone yet for how they can help, but they really hope they can. "

However, we're told, "Jermaine and Randy are fighting it."

As TMZ previously reported, the two brothers feel the timing of the tribute is "inappropriate" -- explaining, "We find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death."

Source: TMZ / Billie Jean

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