Home / News Archive / News January 2016

DecemberNovemberOctoberSeptemberAugust JulyJuneMayAprilMarchFebruary / January

1 / 2

Sing To Me Book CoverLA Reid Talk About Michael In His New Book. 31-01-'16

In this long-awaited memoir, illustrated with over 100 never-before-seen photos from his personal collection, the groundbreaking record producer chronicles his struggles, his success, and the celebrated artists that made him a legend.

Over the last twenty-five years, legendary music producer and record man LA Reid—the man behind artists such as Toni Braxton, Kanye West, Rihanna, TLC, Outkast, Mariah Carey, Pink, Justin Bieber, and Usher—has changed the music business forever. In addition to discovering some of the biggest pop stars on the planet, he has shaped some of the most memorable and unforgettable hits of the last two generations, creating an impressive legacy of talent discovery and hit records.

Now, for the first time, he tells his story about Michael.

Michael Jackson was known for being happy and child-like, but he had a cold side, reveals legendary record producer L.A. Reid in his new memoir.

He was especially mean to competitor Prince and dismissive of his older brother Jermaine, Reid writes in his new memoir, “Sing To Me.”

In the early 1990's, Reid was co-producing an album for Jermaine when Michael Jackson’s manager called asking if Reid and his partner, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, would like to discuss writing songs with the star.

Reid told Jermaine only that they were slipping away to Los Angeles for a quick project. They didn’t mention what it was.
A helicopter picked up the two at Burbank Airport and flew them to Neverland Ranch, where they were met by an assistant with a nondisclosure agreement — “Nobody got to see Michael without signing one” — and were taken to Jackson’s library.

They discussed music, and Jackson took them on a tour of Neverland. Finally, he brought them to a screening room and showed them footage of a 1983 James Brown concert where Jackson, called on stage as a guest, “danced a few steps,” then told Brown that Prince, Jackson’s longtime rival, was in the crowd as well. Brown called him up too, but to Jackson’s delight, his appearance didn’t go nearly as well.

“Prince [couldn’t] make his guitar work, frantically stripping off his shirt and trying tricks with the microphone stand and making all these poses. After Michael’s dazzling star turn, Prince fell as flat as he could, and Michael enjoyed laughing at the video.”

But Michael wasn’t done humiliating him.

“After that, he put on a scene from Prince’s movie ‘Under The Cherry Moon,’ the artsy black-and-white bomb he made after ‘Purple Rain,’ and he laughed some more at Prince.”

Following a lunch where “Michael’s pasta was all cut in the shapes of Disney characters,” it was arranged that the duo would fly to LA to write songs with Jackson for three weeks. When Jermaine found out, he went ballistic, demanding to be released from Reid and Edmonds’ label, LaFace Records.

When Reid told Michael what happened, the superstar replied, “He’ll get over it.”

“ ‘That’s not really the problem,’ I said. ‘The problem was that he wants off the label now.’

“ ‘Did he sign a contract?’ asked Michael.

“ ‘Yes,’ I said.

“ ‘Then he’ll have to live with it because those are the rules,’ Michael said and walked out.

“That Michael Jackson was one shrewd man,” Reid writes. “He was not wrong, but you didn’t expect that from Peter Pan. You expect a little compassion or something. No. Cold as ice.”

Reid and Edmonds smoothed things over with Jermaine in Atlanta, but when they went back to work on his record, Jermaine complicated matters further by telling them, “I want to make a song about my brother. I want to talk about how he’s treated me through the years, like how every time I find producers like you guys, he takes my producers. He doesn’t care about his family or anybody but himself.”

As Jermaine’s producers, they had to serve their artist. Much as they didn’t want to produce a song slamming Michael, they had no choice. Radio stations nationwide picked up Jermaine’s 'Word to the Badd!' and Reid was in his apartment in LA when he received a call from an angry Michael Jackson.

“ ‘You have to stop this,’ he said. ‘You’re the head of the label. You have to kill this. This isn’t good.’ ”

The brothers convened at their mother’s house to discuss the issue, after which Jermaine called Reid to say that the record would stay on the air, followed by Michael calling to again tell Reid to put a stop to it.

Two days later, Reid writes, “The record disappeared off the air, as if it had never been there in the first place. I don’t know what Michael did. I don’t know if Michael did anything, but it went away in a flash.”

'Sing To Me' book is available at Amazon.

Source: New York Post / Billie Jean

Reginald Hill
Reginald Hill

Violinist's Widow Wins Royalty Battle Over Michael Jackson Hit. 29-01-'16

The widow of a British musician Reginald Hill has won a long-running battle over royalties for Michael Jackson's hit 'Billie Jean'.

Violinist Reginald Hill featured on the pop superstar's classic track after joining studio sessions in Los Angeles in 1982.

He died 10 years after his work on 'Billie Jean', and four years before laws in Britain were changed to ensure record companies pay session musicians a fair share of royalties.

Hill's widow Elizabeth began fighting for a share of the proceeds from 'Billie Jean' following Jackson's death in 2009, and bosses at U.K. music licencing body Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) have now added the musician to the list of performers on 'Billie Jean', allowing his widow to receive royalty payments for the first time.

Hill has also been given a credit on 54 other recordings, including works by Julio Iglesias and Earth, Wind and Fire, according to the BBC.

"It first came to my attention when Michael Jackson died," Elizabeth explains. "I realised they are going to be playing this stuff a lot - I know Reg did a lot. It's a system that's just too hard to fight. You shouldn't have to fight - they should be working for us not against us and it feels like we're fighting them every inch of the way.

"I know that if I had not had the help (from musicians in the U.S.), I would have got nowhere."

PPL chief executive Peter Leithem adds, "It wasn't a situation where we weren't trying to pay money to Mr Hill, it was just for this particular recording there was a disputed range of facts.

"By the time we concluded those investigations by going and speaking to different sources and doing more work, we then got to the position where he should be added to that recording."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonOn The Wall Art Exhibition & Sale. 29-01-'16

A tribute to Michael Jackson in portraits and art will be held in central London from 28th- 30th July, 2016.

This three-day event will include:
•An exhibition of vintage and modern portraits and art by fan and professional artists worldwide
•A 3-day table-top sale of art and collectable's, including vintage books, posters and vinyl
•A silent auction of especially selected art and collectable items

Venue: Gallery Different, 14 Percy Street, London W1T (Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road / Goodge Street)

Opening times: Thursday and Friday 28th and 29th July 11.00 am – 5.30 pm, Saturday 30th July 11.00 am – 3.00 pm. Collection of auction items 3.30 – 5.30 pm.

Entry: Suggested Charity donation of £3 (Accompanied children under age 10 free of charge).

Event organised by the fans, for the fans and promoted by MJ World Network. 100% of proceeds to the two charities Unicef and Street Child.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Once Told Oprah A White Actor Playing Him Would Be 'Horrifying'. 28-01-'16

So Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando go on a road trip. While that sounds like a genius joke set-up (and more recently, a media storm-sparking television one-off), MJ fans don’t seem to be laughing.

It was announced that Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon will indeed be a British TV comedy revolving around the rumored trip Taylor, Jackson, and Brando made across America when they could not catch a plane to California following the 9/11 attacks. White actor Joseph Fiennes of Shakespeare in Love has been cast as the King of Pop, and the Twittersphere is less than thrilled. What would MJ think?

Conveniently, a 23-year-old interview between Jackson and queen of everything Oprah Winfrey has surfaced. During the interview (at 23:48, to be exact), Winfrey asked Jackson about a rumor that he wanted a white child to play him in a Pepsi commercial.

Jackson responded pretty adamantly: "That's the most ridiculous, horrifying story I've ever heard. It's crazy. Why would I want a white child to play me? I'm a black American. I am proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”

Michael Jackson talks to... Oprah (10-02-1993)
On February 10th,1993 visited Oprah Winfrey with a camera crew the estate Neverland, the home port of the most greatest super star in time Michael Jackson.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

The Japanese Deluxe Edition Of 'Off The Wall' Will Be Published In Blu-Spec CD2. 28-01-'16

Off The Wall CD-DVD CoverWe learn on Sony Music Japan that the Japanese deluxe edition of 'Off The Wall' released in limited edition March 9, 2016 on Blu-spec CD2 and only in this format in Japan. The album was digitally remastered and part of the documentary contains Japanese subtitles (only on Japanese edition).

Regarding the documentary about 94 minutes, it will contain images of following archives:

- October 18, 1969: Performance of the Jackson 5 in Hollywood Palace - 'I Want You Back'.
- May 10, 1970: Performance of the Jackson 5 in The Ed Sullivan Show - 'ABC'.
- December 30, 1970: Rehearsals of the Jackson 5 on 'The Love You Save' tour.
- March 27, 1973: Michael Jackson's performance at the ceremony of Annual Academy Awards 'Ben'.
- October 27, 1973: Performance of the Jackson 5 in Soul Train - 'Dancing Machine'.
- June 16, 1976: Interview with Michael in Encino after leaving Motown for CBS.
- September 24, 1976: Video interview Washington.
- February 23, 1979: Michael Jackson's performance at Destiny Tour 'Ben', 'Blame It On The Boogie' and 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough'.
- September 26, 1981: Michael Jackson performance Triumph Tour - 'I Want You Back', 'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)', "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', 'Rock With You', 'Off The Wall', 'Working Day And Night' and 'She's Out Of My Life'.

This new high-fidelity format is compatible with all standard CD players. Blu-spec CD2 is announced as a new generation of CD that employs Phase Transition Mastering, Mastering technology developed for Blu-ray discs and more perfect than the characteristics of the Blu-spec CD.

Record label: Epic
Series number: SICP-30926
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 32 €

Pre-order the deluxe softpak here at Amazon.

Source: MJ France / Billie Jean

Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show“Super Bowl’s Greatest Halftime Shows”. 27-01-'16

“Super Bowl’s Greatest Halftime Shows,” A new two-hour special celebrating the best halftime performances in Super Bowl History, to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 5 on CBS.

Featuring Interviews with Halftime Show Performers Beyoncé, Bono, Missy Elliot, Bruno Mars, Chris Martin, Sir Paul McCartney and Katy Perry.

Two days before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers kick off in Super Bowl 50, "Super Bowl’s Greatest Halftime Shows" will celebrate the best halftime performances in Super Bowl history and trace the evolution of the event over 49 years. Narrated by NCIS: Los Angeles star Chris O’Donnell, the new two-hour special will be broadcast Friday, Feb. 5 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As previously announced, Coldplay will be among the artists that will take the stage during Super Bowl 50’s halftime show.

In addition to highlighting past shows, the anthology includes fresh interviews with top performers who have made the Super Bowl Halftime Show one of the most highly anticipated live 12 minutes on television, including Beyoncé (2013), Bono (2002), Missy Elliot (2015), Bruno Mars (2014), Sir Paul McCartney (2005) and Katy Perry (2015).

Also, Halftime Show producers Jimmy Iovine (2003) and Don Mischer (2005-2009), director Hamish Hamilton (2010, 2012-2016), journalists, music executives and former NFL personnel share their insider memories of past performances, such as Michael Jackson (1993), Madonna (2012), No Doubt (2003), Prince (2007), The Rolling Stones (2006), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2009), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2008) and The Who (2010), among others.

SUPER BOWL 50, featuring Denver taking on Carolina, airs live from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Feb. 7 (6:30 PM, ET/3:30 PM, PT) on CBS.

SUPER BOWL’S GREATEST HALFTIME SHOWS is an NFL Network production in association with IMG Original Productions.

Source: The Futon Critic / Billie Jean

TJ Jackson And Family Offended Over Michael Jackson 9/11 Comedy Film. 27-01-'16

TJ JacksonSky Arts is releasing a film entitled Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, which has many in and out of the fan community upset over the content and the actor cast to play Michael in the film.

TJ Jackson, Michael’s nephew and the guardian of his three children, tells the TRUTH about what really happened in New York in 2001.

“It’s offensive to me and my family for my Uncle Michael to be portrayed in a comedy taking place around 9/11,” Jackson says in a statement released to Entertainment Tonight.

“Like everyone else, he was distraught, saddened and trying to process what had just happened. Following the events of 9/11, my uncle, Michael, stayed with a family friend in New Jersey for a week before flying back. The rest of our family, immediately took buses back to Los Angeles as planes were grounded. There was no road trip with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando. I have no comment on the casting of the project.”

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean

ALL 4 U CoverThe Jacksons Featured On Song 'ALL 4 U'. 26-01-'16

On January 26th, Kawasaki Disease Foundation, the song 'ALL 4 U' is released to raise awareness and funds for The Kawasaki Disease Foundation. 'ALL 4 U' is written & produced by Dave Harris, Micky Parsons, and Cameron Browne.

The track features many studio legends that played on Michael Jackson's hit songs and albums. 'ALL 4 U' is a throwback song that pays homage to the late great Michael Jackson. In fact, in addition to his brothers (The Jacksons) many of Michael Jackson's session musicians from 'Off The Wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad' appear on the song. This includes Nathan East & Deon Estus - Bass, Greg Phillinganes - Piano/Keyboards, John "JR" Robinson - Drums, Paul Jackson Jr & Wah Wah Watson - Guitars, Mr. Talkbox - Talkbox, Paul Buckmaster - String arrangement. Micky Parsons - Lead vocal, The Jackson's - Background vocals.

Download the song and support the worhtu cause at CDBaby, Amazon or iTunes.

Source: Jackson-Source / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Confirmed To Have Composed Music In Secret For Sonic The Hedgehog 3. 26-01-'16

Though Sonic the Hedgehog fans have long been studying and dissecting the similarities between Michael Jackson's music and the tunes featured in the 1994 game Sonic the Hedgehog 3; it appears as if all their conspiracy theory dreams may have finally come to fruition.

As it turns out, it's all true. A new feature by The Huffington Post has brought to light the real story of the making of Sonic's soundtrack and the secret contribution made by Michael Jackson himself. Six composers are officially credited on the game, which was developed in a secure location in California's Silicon Valley: Brad Buxer, Bobby Brooks, Doug Grigsby III, Darryl Ross, Geoff Grace, and Cirocco Jones.

However, after the Sonic community exploded with rumours of Jackson's involvement, as well as mounting evidence of the similarity in the music's melodies, a 2009 article in French magazine Black & White seemed to give first official confirmation of the collaboration. Within its pages, an interview with Brad Buxer stated he had worked with the singer, though he was unsure whether anything had made it into the final game; "I've never played the game so I do not know what tracks on which Michael and I have worked the developers have kept."

The Huffington Post has now significantly substantiated the story; elaborating that Jackson had, indeed, visited the Sega Technical Institute in early 1993. "He wanted to drop by and say hello," stated Roger Hector, who headed the development team for Sonic 3. "There was no agenda beyond it other than, he really, really liked the game. He enjoyed playing it a lot and he wanted to meet the people behind it."

It was during that visit, purportedly, that he was asked to write music for the game. "I was working with Michael on the Dangerous album," Buxer stated, "and he told me he was going to be doing the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack for Sonic 3. He asked me if I would help him with it."

The six composers worked for four weeks alongside Jackson, creating an estimated 41 tracks (or cues, as gaming culture names them); Cirocco Jones even recalls receiving late night phone calls from the singer to discuss ideas and melodies for the game.

Sonic 3
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Japanese: ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3スリー Hepburn: Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Surī?) is a platform video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. The third main game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it was released for the Sega Genesis worldwide in February 1994, and in Japan three months later.

Audio was recorded in full for later compression into the game. "We were recording lots of beatboxing. Lots of Michael's mouth percussion. ... He'd be laughing, joking, and that kind of infectious attitude would ... make the work not seem like work," recalled one of the game's sound engineers, Matt Forger. "Michael understood that this was for a game, he was in a really up mood whenever we'd be working."

However, between Jackson's visit to the Sega Institute and the release of the full game on 2 February 1994, the first accusations of child molestation against the star began to surface. Hector claims Jackson was pulled from the game because of the allegations, though several of the composers insist it was due to his own dissatisfaction with the quality of the audio compression. It's also unclear how much of Jackson's music actually made it to the final game and how much may have been created by composer Howard Drossin, who was hired after Jackson's removal. To this day, Sony has only stated on the matter: "We have nothing to comment on the case."

One thing can be settled, however. The conspiracy theorists were right, with Buxer confirming the melody of the game's end credits can also be found on Jackson's single Stranger in Moscow. "These cues are all over the Internet," he said. "People have accurately matched the songs to the cues."

Source: Independent / Billie Jean

Showtime’s Viewing Schedule For 'Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall'. 25-01-'16

Visual Of The 'Off The Wall Documentary'Showtime has released the following schedule for the premiere and viewing of Director Spike Lee’s 'Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall' for TV, On Demand and streaming services.

The film documentary takes an in-depth look into the evolution of The King of Pop, Michael Jackson and the cultural significance and lasting impact of his seminal first solo album as an adult, ‘Off The Wall.’

Don’t miss it!

Video Teasers:
Iconic Yell (Michael Jackson's Off The Wall Spot) (New)
'Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall' Tease

Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall':

Upcoming TV Airings on Showtime (All Times ET/PT):

Fri, Feb 05, 9:00 PM – Showtime

Fri, Feb 05, 11:00 PM – Showtime

Sat, Feb 06, 6:00 PM – Showtime

Sun, Feb 07, 12:00 AM – Showtime

Sun, Feb 07, 5:30 PM – Showtime showcase

Mon, Feb 08, 8:00 PM – SHO 2

Tue, Feb 09, 9:35 PM – Showtime showcase

Wed, Feb 10, 8:00 PM – Showtime

Fri, Feb 12, 11:00 PM – SHO 2

Sat, Feb 13, 10:00 PM – Showtime

Tue, Feb 16, 9:00 PM – Showtime

Thu, Feb 18, 10:00 PM – SHO 2

Fri, Feb 19, 8:35 PM – Showtime showcase

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean

Exclusive Screening Of 'Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown To Off The Wall' Presented By The Estate Of Michael Jackson And Spike Lee. 24-01-'16

To kick off Black History Month, on February 1st, The Estate of Michael Jackson and Spike Lee present an exclusive screening of ‘Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off The Wall' at The BAM Rose Cinemas in New York.

Submission Period Ends: Monday, January 25 at 11:59pm ET

Click here to enter, US only. See sweepstakes rules before entering.

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean

The Estate Of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson named attorney John Branca (family friend) and music executive John McClain as the executors of his estate.

Why Michael Jackson's Legacy Was Entrusted To Spike Lee. 21-01-'16

John Branca had been Michael Jackson's longtime legal adviser and friend since the 1980's and, as the co-executor of the Michael Jackson estate (along with music executive John McClain), has continued to keep the iconic singer's legacy alive since his death in 2009. After Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' — the 2009 concert documentary that followed Jackson as he prepared for his concert tour — became the top-grossing concert doc of all time ($261.2 million worldwide), the estate decided to make another documentary.

But who should helm it? Spike Lee, who had directed Jackson's 1996 music videos for 'They Don't Care About Us,' was an obvious choice. "Spike is a great director and a good friend, but he's also a huge Michael Jackson fan," says Branca, who hired Lee to direct 2012's 'Bad 25', a retrospective on the making of Jackson's 1987 album.

Lee, who hosts an annual tribute to the late singer in Brooklyn, heads to Sundance this year with 'Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to 'Off The Wall', which follows Jackson from his days in the Jackson 5 to his launch as a solo artist with 1979's 'Off The Wall'. "This is a coming-of-age story," says Branca, who serves as a producer on the film, which features Lee's interviews with such stars as John Legend, Questlove, Pharrell Williams, Lee Daniels and Kobe Bryant. "He starts out as a child star who supported his entire family. And then, through a crisis in his career — leaving Motown — re-emerges as a solo artist. It's a compelling story."

Branca says they wanted to work with Lee again because of the shorthand that's developed between them. "There's never any tension. I have a lot of ideas when it comes to these things — there's always a great give-and-take," he says.

Branca is most involved in the outlining stage, and then comes in again to help with the edit after Lee has done the interviews. For 'Off The Wall', Branca helped cut it down from 120 minutes to 90. "We wanted to keep the pace and the tempo moving," he says.

And there's more Michael on the horizon. Lee hopes to make a trilogy of Michael Jackson docs, and has already said he'd love to finish it off with a film about the 1982 album 'Thriller'.

"We definitely want to do a third one," adds Branca. "'Thriller' would be a logical choice because it's the biggest-selling album in history, but I've always felt that Michael's History album was his most unappreciated. When you really listen to that album, start to finish, you can't help but be blown away at the quality of the music."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean

Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson Documentary To Feature Never-Before-Seen Footage. 20-01-'16

Michael Jackson’s signature dance move and incomparable vocals made him one of the greatest performers of all time, and director Spike Lee is now pulling back the curtain on the singer with the new documentary 'Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to 'Off The Wall.’

Next month 'Off The Wall' will be re-released as a CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray featuring the original album and the Lee documentary. The film will include never-before-seen footage from the Jackson archive, such as video of the 1981 performance from the Jacksons’ 'Triumph' tour.

The documentary is a celebration of Jackson’s talent as a musician with no reference to any of the controversies that would later plague the King of Pop, which Lee said was intentional.

“Yes, that was intentional,” the director explained on “Good Morning America” today. “We just wanted to focus on what made Mike one of the greatest entertainers of all time. One of the greatest singers, writer, dancer, so it was just about the music. That was intentional.”

The film will premiere on January 24 at the Sundance Film Festival and will debut on Showtime Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It features interviews with several prominent artists such as The Weeknd, John Legend and Misty Copeland, all of whom discuss how Jackson influenced them.

“I always viewed Michael first and foremost as a vocal inspiration, and 'Off The Wall' was definitely the one that made me feel like I could sing,” said The Weeknd. “I found my falsetto because of 'Off The Wall'."

“We wanted to show the breadth of Michael’s influence,” Lee said. “And we also wanted to get the people who worked on Michael’s songs. We even interviewed Stevie [Wonder], who wrote that great song on Michael’s album, 'I Can’t Help It.' We wanted to get a mixture of the people who worked on it and also the generations he’s influenced after that.”

'Off The Wall' was Jackson’s first solo album as an adult. Containing hits such as 'Rock With You,' 'She’s Out Of My Life' and 'Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough,' the album made the then 20-year-old Jackson the first solo artist to have four top-10 singles from the same album.

Lee said he wants the documentary to “reaffirm how great he was. Because you know, people forget. And people need to be reminded who Michael was.”

'Off The Wall' has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since it was first released in 1979.

Source: ABC News / Billie Jean

Chinese Enterprises Invest To Bring Back Dead Stars. 20-01-'16

Two Chinese companies announced on Monday (January 18) that they would invest in Pulse Evolution to bring back Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson in virtual hologram form.

An executive from Original Force Animation, who asked for anonymity in this story, told China.org.cn that the company and Shanghai U9 Game Co., Ltd. have invested US$10 million into Pulse Evolution headed by John Textor to explore the market for digital virtual characters.

Original Force and U9 Game will have seats on the board of Pulse Evolution and will participate in the operation of the company. "Investing in Pulse Evolution is in consideration of Original Force's long term strategy," the executive said, adding they did so to take up a share of the market in advance and place their position on the map in the industry.

Pulse Evolution is now licensed to work on shows of three deceased mega stars, namely, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. The executive said they will first present virtual shows featuring Jackson in several selected places in China and that in the next year, Pulse will work hard to pull off an Elvis show.

One of its most famous and outstanding achievements was the Michael Jackson virtual performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, which stunned audiences and industry professionals. Jackson, in hologram form, performed 'Slave To The Rhythm' midway through that night's show with a five-piece band and 16 dancers live onstage.

Pulse Evolution
Zhao Rui, CEO of Original Force Animation, announced at the company's annual convention that they have invested in Pulse Evolution to explore the virtual world.

The Original Force executive said they will do the shows of three deceased stars separately at first, and then they would consider having them perform together. He added that in future, Jackson's performances would be better than what was shown during the Billboard Music Awards by hiring the best dancers in the world and reviewing Jackson's past performances in order to make it as perfect as it can be.

The virtual stars will not only appear in hologram shows, but they would be used and activated in various areas such as Virtual Reality, a mobile app, stage shows and commercials. Some observers said the three stars alone can produce more than US$300 million in market value.

The executive also said they would consider making virtual holograms of Chinese celebrities and they have got in touch with estates of a few deceased Chinese stars.

"The virtual performances will be a tribute to the deceased stars, and they would be an extension of fans' emotions," the executive said, "and when compared with biographies, commemorative records and other merchandise, the virtual shows will be more direct and innovative. What's more, there's great potential and creativity in it, even the living stars can have a virtual self on stage to perform together."

Source: China.org.cn / Billie Jean

Off The Wall CD/DVD And CD/Blu-ray (Deluxe Softpak) Cover‘Off The Wall’ Shows Promise Of Young Michael Jackson. 18-01-'16

I’m sure I’ve told you this a million times before that I’m a big fan of Michael Jackson, but then aren’t we all? His estate and record label are extremely astute at keeping his legacy alive and finding new ways to present his incredible back catalogue.

Next month 'Off The Wall,' his 1979 album is having the reissue treatment with all the usual extras you would expect including a glossy booklet and a documentary directed by Spike Lee. When Jackson is discussed there are no end of plaudits for 'Thriller' which is understandable as it did rather well sales wise. More than 100m copies at last count and still has the accolade as the world’s biggest-selling album. A record that will probably stand for a while yet.

So it’s no wonder that 'Off The Wall' is often overlooked by fans and critics alike. There are tracks on the record that everyone will know including 'Rock With You' and 'Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough' but it’s also crammed with hidden gems which makes it really worth a listen if you are not familiar.

Jackson recorded the album at the age of 20, his first with producer Quincy Jones. Of Course Michael Jackson was a child star with his brothers at Motown. He had released solo records previously but ‘Off The Wall’ was his coming of age. He really found his trademark vocal style with all the yelps and ows and shee hees he is so famous for. It was also the first time we heard his gruff powerful voice on tracks like 'Workin’ Day And Night.' He was always known as a soul singer but this album was more than just soul, it was funky. And heartfelt at the same time. The ballad 'She’s Out Of My Life' is simply beautiful.

The album was a massive indicator of what was to come. Jackson was a great pioneer of the music video and you will see some his early experiments in the field with this album. They may look a little primitive by today’s standards but at the time they were considered cutting edge and no one else was making them.

Rolling Stone Magazine once described the album as the record that “Invented modern pop music as we know it.” High praise indeed.

Source: Pendle Today / Billie Jean

Moonwalker Funhouse And Neverland Rides At Holtsville Carnival. 18-01-'16

The Holtsville California Chamber of Commerce will host its 69th Carrot Festival on January 29th- 7th. The Carrot Festival Midway Carnival will start on February 4th and will be held on Holt & 6th Street.

Butler Amusements will feature several of its large inventory of amusement park rides for all ages, which includes some Michael Jackson related rides featured below:

The Moonwalker Funhouse takes you on a musical journey of epic proportions. This Michael Jackson themed walk-through attraction is a thrilling trip through a maze of unusual sights and sounds inside and out. The Moonwalker Funhouse is an eye-catching show, complete with Michael Jackson music, lights and picturesque scenery! Day or night, Moonwalker will prove to be a favorite of funhouse enthusiasts.

Moonwalker Funhouse

The Balloon Samba operated at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and was acquired by Butler Amusements in 2008. Manufactured in Italy, this kids ride features hot air balloon carriages and is truly a marvel to look at. The bright lights make it especially magnificent to look at during the evening. The Balloon Samba seats 32 children in 6 air balloons. Fluffy white cloud cut-outs and bright, smiling suns grace the safety barrier and give kids the illusion of floating up in the sky.

Balloon Samba

Also the Dragon Wagon is a kid size coaster. Riders travel in an undulating circle around a raised track. The coaster cars are themed like a dragon and each section of its body hold two passengers.

See Carnival times and dates below:
February 4 – 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

February 5 – 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

February 6 – 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m.

February 7 – Begins at 11:00 a.m., no end time listed.

Source: All Things Michael / Billie Jean

Joseph McBratney
Joseph McBratney — aka Joe Brat, the former private investigator.

Michael Jackson’s Huge Drawing Collection To Help At-Risk Kids. 17-01-'16

Joseph McBratney — aka Joe Brat, the former private investigator, current addiction interventionist and son of infamous mobster James McBratney — claims that he’s privately amassed the largest collection of drawings by Michael Jackson and plans to sell them to help at-risk kids.

McBratney told Page Six he owns 100 drawings by the King of Pop spanning subjects real and fictional — from The Beatles, Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln and Charlie Chaplin to Bart Simpson, Peter Pan, Garfield, the Grinch, Mickey Mouse and Snoopy. He also showed us images of the works.

“Many people don’t know that Michael Jackson, besides being the King of Pop, was also a talented artist. His mentor in the art world was Brett-Livingstone Strong, with whom he created the Jackson-Strong Alliance collection,” said Jeffrey Gurian, whom McBratney calls “my Jewish consigliere . . . He advises me on everything I do.”

McBratney told us his obsession with the Jackson drawings began when he bought some Jackson memorabilia on eBay, including two drawings, and was then led by a dealer to a woman in Mexico who did not speak English but said she’d acquired a number of the drawings while working for Sony, which created the Sony/ATV music publishing company with Jackson in 1985.

MJ Drawing
McBratney told Page Six he owns 100 drawings by the King of Pop spanning subjects real and fictional, this is one of the drawings of Michael Jackson.

(The woman also said, according to McBratney, she had a past association with Mexican singer Thalía — though Thalía told Page Six through a rep she doesn’t recall the drawings or the woman.)

McBratney said he’s had the drawings, all signed by Jackson, authenticated by an autograph authentication service. A rep for the Michael Jackson Estate had no comment.

“It’s a big responsibility, I put this collection together,” McBratney said, adding he wants to create a “nonprofit endowment to help kids . . . It would be a shame for this beautiful property to be anything else but a healing property for suffering kids and adults who would never have the chance to be in recovery or treatment,” he said. He also plans to launch an exhibition.

Source: Page Six / Billie Jean

Spike LeeSpike Lee On His Revealing New Michael Jackson Documentary. 14-01-'16

Your new documentary, 'Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off The Wall', is a lot of fun to watch. It was the simplest period of his life, wasn't it, before all the tabloid ­headlines and abuse accusations?

Back in 1979, there was no big pressure on Michael for 'Off The Wall'. There were no expectations. It all turned after 'Thriller' -- things get complicated when you sell the most records ever. People got swept up in 'Thriller', but 'Off The Wall's my favorite of the three records he did with Quincy Jones. Many people say that in the documentary, too.

His mom, Katherine, says Michael was very hurt when he won only one Grammy Award for 'Off The Wall' in 1980. How much did that motivate him?

Michael Jordan's a good friend of mine. Any ­negative thing someone says to him, he uses that as fuel. When Michael didn't win the Grammy's he thought he should have won, it's like, "Alright, motherf--ers. I got somethin' for yo' ass." And that was 'Thriller'.

Michael never seemed like an "alright, ­motherf--ers" kind of guy.

No, he was. Let's not get it twisted: Michael was competitive. Any record he did, he wanted the thing to be No. 1. He was hurt, and he came back with a vengeance.

Did you like Michael?

Yeah. Mike came to my house in Brooklyn. I put on the CD -- this was [1995's] 'HIStory' -- and he said, "Pick any song you want to direct." So I picked 'Stranger In Moscow.' He said, "No, that's not the one you want! You want to do 'They Don't Care About Us.' " (Laughs.) Michael was slick.

When Michael was making 'Off The Wall', a lot of people thought his career was over, didn't they?

There were doubts. But Michael never doubted ­himself. He just knew he had been given the freedom to do his thing. And to do that, he and his brothers first had to get out of a Motown contract. And then he had to step away from his brothers, too. Family is a cross to bear.

In the movie, you don't address Michael's accusation that his dad, Joe, was physically abusive. Why not?

Here's the thing, and I appreciate your ­question: So many people focus on the other stuff. We wanted to focus on the music. People might say that's a cop-out. I don't care. Personally, I'm not going to say Joe Jackson was a bad guy. Have you ever been to the Jacksons' house in Gary, Indiana? There were nine kids sleeping on top of each other. He saw talent in his kids, and he made it work. Nowadays, if you hit your kid, you're going to jail. Back then, if you messed around -- I'm just talking for black folks -- you got hit. I don't think children should be beat, but sometimes, upside the head? (Shrugs.) Maybe I'm old-fashioned. And that house in Gary? That should be a national landmark. Alright, President Obama. You've got one year left. (Laughs.)

It seems like Joe was simultaneously the best artist manager of all time and the worst.

Joe's OK in my book. Of course, he wasn't my father! (Laughs.)

Michael's brothers Jackie and Marlon, who have good relationships with John Branca and John McClain, the executors of Jackson's estate, are in the film. But Janet, Jermaine and Randy, who have denounced the executors, are not in it. Why?

They didn't want to be a part of it. It's no secret that there's tension between [parts of] the family and the estate. Any time money's involved, there's going to be static.

There's one thing about your ­documentary that isn't great: the title. Why such a ­cumbersome title?

Wasn't me.

Was the title dictated to you by the estate?

It wasn't me. (Laughs.) Man, I should be running for office right now. That was a true politician's answer, wasn't it? Give me Iowa!

This is your second Jackson documentary -- the first was 'Bad 25'. Do you want to do another one?

I'd really like to do a documentary about 'Thriller'. I've let the estate know, but I've not been given the job yet.

Do you think the success of 'Thriller' was bad for Michael's music? After that, he was ­obsessed with topping it.

'Thriller' became a monster on his back. Every record after that, he was trying to sell more records. I think there's a cost for that.

This story originally appeared in the Jan. 23 issue of Billboard.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean

The Dangerous Philosophies Of Michael Jackson Book CoverPre-Order ‘The Dangerous Philosophies Of Michael Jackson’ Book. 13-01-'16

A new book about Michael Jackson entitled 'The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife' is due to be released on August 28th.

An essential companion to Michael Jackson’s music, films, and books, this work offers 21 original, academic essays on all things Jackson—from film, music, and dance to fashion, culture, and literature.

Michael Jackson is the biggest-selling music artist ever. What qualities made him a star—and fuel his continuing influence?

Michael Jackson is regarded as one of the most important musicians of our time. Going well beyond the average celebrity biography, this comprehensive book looks at why that is true, offering insights into every facet of Jackson’s art, his life, and his artistic afterlife. It looks at the methods by which his work was created, presented, received, and appropriated, and discusses Jackson’s varied personas along with his public and private appearances, albums, conceptual art, short films, and dance, as well as his use of costume, makeup, and reinvention.

To help readers understand the phenomenon that was—and is—Michael Jackson, the book focuses on Jackson’s historical context through an analysis of his films, songs, and books, examining him as an artist and shedding light on the political and ideological debates that surrounded him. Not shying away from the controversial aspects of Jackson’s life and legacy, it also tackles questions of sexuality and racism, gender, and class, comparing Jackson to artists ranging from J. S. Bach to Andy Warhol. Through its examination of Jackson’s entire catalog, the work connects all the aspects of his art and life to exemplify—and explain—the performer’s unparalleled influence in the 20th and 21st centuries.

• Takes a sophisticated, academic approach to understanding Jackson’s art and life, providing insights into his entire body of work from a perspective never before available outside of music/culture journals.
• Concentrates on aspects of Jackson’s art that have not previously been researched, such as his use of costumes and clothing, his poetry, and his function as an auteur.
• Includes a section focused on Jackson’s posthumous work and representation.
• Connects with the study of literature, especially early modern English writings and, perhaps surprisingly, the works of William Shakespeare.

Publisher: Praeger Publishers Inc
Author: Elizabeth Amisu
ISBN: 978-1440838644
Pages: 324
Printed: ?
Guide price: 60 €

Pre-order the book here at Amazon.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

The Spirit Of MichaelLaser Spectacular's The Spirit Of Michael. 13-01-'16

Laser Spectacular’s “The Spirit of Michael,” an amazing multi-media experience paying tribute to the life and legacy of Michael Jackson’s forty-year career, will be held at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The program features live performances of Jackson’s amazing choreography and also includes state-of-the-art lasers, large screen video projections and concert sound. This show takes the audience on a visual journey that captures the essence of Michael Jackson his early years as a child prodigy to mega star.

Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop. His numerous works in video, film, live appearances, and his unique and varied creations expanded the boundaries of the visual arts, thereby making Michael not only the King of Pop, but the King of Multi-Media as well. Along with the laser beams and graphics, the Laser Spectacular show is designed to give the audience the same experience of a live concert.

For tickets ($47.50 Adults, $37.50 Children), call or visit the box office at The Ridgefield Playhouse, (203) 438-5795, or order your tickets online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Sources: All Things Michael / Billie Jean

1 / 2

DecemberNovemberOctoberSeptemberAugust JulyJuneMayAprilMarchFebruary / January

Copyright ©2002 Billie Jean, All rights reserved
Website design by webmaster Dirk

Updated: 31/01/2016 11:52 PM

News Archive 2002

News Archive 2003

News Archive 2004

News Archive 2005

News Archive 2006

News Archive 2007

News Archive 2008

News Archive 2009

News Archive 2010

News Archive 2011

News Archive 2012

News Archive 2013

News Archive 2014

News Archive 2015

News Archive 2016

News Archive 2017

News Archive 2018

News Archive 2019

News Archive 2020