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SWV Has No Plans To Stop Performing Song With Michael Jackson Sample. 07-05-'21

SWVThe ladies agreed 'Right Here (Human Nature Remix)' is one of their top hits, and they will be performing it during Sunday's Verzuz battle.

The ladies of SWV aren't backing down from playing their Michael Jackson sample during Sunday's Verzuz battle despite potential criticism.

Tamara "Taj" Johnson and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons spoke with TMZ Live on Thursday (May 6) in regards to their upcoming showdown with Xscape. The ladies both agreed, 'Right Here (Human Nature Remix)', is one of their top hits, and they will be performing it during the battle.

"We were one of the first artists he allowed to use his sample," said Johnson. "That song has done great things for us, you will hear it. As a matter of a fact you may hear it three times," she adds jokingly.

They also confirmed the 'King of Pop' gave his 1983 hit, 'Human Nature', to hit maker Teddy Riley. He shared it with the ladies and the rest is history.

According to Billboard, in 1993, the song spent 22 weeks on the US Hot 100, making it one of the most successful R&B songs of that year. Even today, the R&B hit has remained a fan favorite. In 2012, Complex placed it at number 27 on their The Best 90s R&B Songs list. In addition, Billboard ranked it 17 on their list of "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time."

Source: The Grio / Billie Jean

Exclusive: Michael Jackson Estate Legal Team Adds Tom Mesereau To Arbitration Case Over 'Leaving Neverland' Doc. 07-05-'21

The Estate Of Michael Jackson
The Estate Of Michael Jackson

I'm told the Michael Jackson Estate is preparing for battle with HBO in their arbitration case over the documentary, 'Leaving Neverland'.

They've added to their legal team Thomas Mesereau, the superstar defense lawyer who brilliantly convinced a jury to acquit Jackson in his 2005 child molestation and conspiracy trial. The other members of the team are Bryan Freedman and Jonathan Steinsapir.

Adding Mesereau is a sensational idea because he put Wade Robson, one of the main subjects of the Dan Reed film, on the stand as a defense witness to support Jackson in the 2005 trial. If Robson testifies in the arbitration, which seems likely, he would be facing Mesereau in a much different way this time.

Both Robson and James Safechuck have seen lawsuits filed against the Estate dismissed by the court in the last year. Their credibility has been severely damaged by many contradictions in their recollection of alleged sexual abuse. Both men were steadfast supporters of Jackson during his trial and after his 2009 death, but suddenly remembered abuse in 2013.

On the stand in 2005, Robson, his mother, and sister all testified on Jackson's behalf. They stayed at Neverland during the trial. Robson even asked Jackson to be married at the Neverland Ranch, where he later said abuse took place. He also dated Jackson's niece for some time.

At the heart of the Jackson estate's suit against HBO is an agreement between the cabler and Jackson dating back to 1992 in which HBO promised never to besmirch the singer. It was part of a deal for a concert film. HBO tried to get away with breaking the agreement but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Jackson estate.

The court said: "The contract contained a broad arbitration clause that covers claims that HBO disparaged Jackson in violation of ongoing confidentiality obligations. We may only identify whether the parties agreed to arbitrate such claims; it is for the arbitrator to decide whether those claims are meritorious."

The arbitrators are being chosen now, and the actual process should begin within the next month, I'm told.

Source: Roger Friedman; Showbizz411 / Billie Jean

Wade Robson Will Have To Reimburse The Legal Costs Of Michael Jackson's Companies. 07-05-'21

Wade RobsonIn a court decision of May 5, Judge Mark A. Young of the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered that the legal costs of MJJ Production, Inc and MJJ Ventures, Inc be borne by Wade Robson.

He will therefore have to reimburse these companies for all the costs they have had to incur (legal fees, etc.) in order to defend themselves against the case which was dismissed on April 26th.

Here is the judgment:

On April 26, the court issued a Per Minute Order summarily ruling on all of the plaintiff Wade Robson's causes of action, against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants in this case.

In view of the foregoing, it is hereby ordered, judged and decreed that:

The plaintiff Wade Robson will not recover anything from the defendants MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures.
Final judgment is hereby entered in this action in favor of defendants MJJ Production and MJJ Venture and against plaintiff Wade Robson and Defendants MJJ Production and MJJ Ventures will recover their legal costs from plaintiff Wade Robson.

Ordered by the court.

Source: MJJ Repository / Billie Jean

Broadway's Back Pt. 3: Pandemic Delay May Have Been Best Thing After All for 'MJ: Michael Jackson Musical'. 06-05-'21

MJ Musical'MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical' was supposed to open in the summer of 2020. When Broadway shut down in March 2020, 'MJ' was not selling well. There were a lot of questions about the sustainability of the show after a critical and panned documentary about Jackson aired on HBO. A lot of clouds hung over Michael Jackson's legacy.

The producers say they were very happy with the advance sale.

And then came the pandemic. Now 'MJ' will open this winter, a year and a half later. Ironically, the pandemic might have been the best thing that ever happened.

The documentary, 'Leaving Neverland', came and went in March 2019. The ratings weren't great. And many lawsuits emerged. The documentary was widely discredited by fans. And the principals saw their cases against Jackson's estate dismissed from court.

A lawsuit brought by the Jackson estate against HBO will go to court ordered arbitration. The arbitrator will certainly know about the dismissals of Wade Robson’s and Jimmy Safechuck's cases.

This week, a court ruled for the Estate in a major tax case. The government said the Estate owed $700 million based on much was earned after Jackson died in 2009. They said he was worth that much at his death. The Estate argued Michael's image and career were worth about $7 million in June 2009. The IRS said the number was over $1 billion. A final ruling was the amount of $4 million.

Time has been kind to the producers of 'MJ' They probably should have waited a couple of years anyway. But now 'MJ' can open without a cloud over it. The musical will encompass Michael's early life, childhood, the Jackson 5 and his life through 'Thriller'. The musical will end with everyone singing 'Billie Jean' and dancing out of the theater.

Sanitized? Yes. Who cares? Naysayers can beat it.

Source: Roger Friedman; Showbizz411 / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson To Be Inducted To The Brand New Black Music & Entertainment Walk Of Fame. 06-05-'21

Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame is an initiative from Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus with the goal to commemorate iconic individuals and organizations that have impacted black culture and community.

Created on January 2021, the first induction will take place in June 2021 and located in Downtown Atlanta on the sidewalks of Martin Luther King Jr Drive and Northside Drive.

Quincy Jones, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and James Brown will be the first ones to get a spot in the new Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame!

There are few categories to the foundation:

* Legacy Artists
* Mainstream Mogul
* Gospel Female
* Gospel Male
* Hip Hop Female
* Hip Hop Male
* Mainstream Female
* Mainstream Male

Black Music And Entertainment Walk of FameThe foundation has already given the names of the future inductees and of course the 'King of Pop' is number one on the list.

Here are the names of the future inductees:

Michael Jackson (Legacy Artists)
Sean Love Combs (Mainstream Mogul)
Shirley Caesar (Gospel Female)
Kirk Franklin (Gospel Male)
Missy Elliott (Hip Hop Female)
Outkast (Hip Hop Male)
Beyoncé (Mainstream Female
Usher Raymond IV (Mainstream Male)

The date of induction is yet to be set for the above inductees and the look/design of the "stone" has not been reveiled but we will keep you posted!

Source: Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson: "New Projects Are On The Way". 05-05-'21

According to John Branca, [co-executor of the Estate], we will have a year of 'surprises'.

2021 is our year. The harbinger comes after a string of victories for the Michael Jackson Estate: about the men who accuse him of sexual abuse [Wade Robson and James Safechuck had the case dismissed]; and about the United States Internal Revenue Service, reviewing arrears and fines.

"… People realized that Michael is innocent of any charges and unable to protect himself. We have a wonderful Broadway play coming, we are going to reopen our Cirque du Soleil show soon we have some surprises coming." - interview for the Washington Post.

After court disputes and a pandemic the administrators of the 'King of Pop's legacy are ready to return to active duty. Whether the surprises are the restoration of clips in 4k or an album of unpublished ones? We don't know [despite the rumors].

Having left a multitude of recordings and compositions that never made it to formal records, the Estate keeps a good archive of songs that would easily fill at least two albums.

So many hidden gems remain. Things never heard. Magical things that the time has come to open the safe!

Source: John Branca / Billie Jean

Missy ElliotMissy Elliott & Michael Jackson Were To Work Together. 05-05-'21

On social media, Missy Elliott admitted she was talking with the 'King of Pop' regarding working together!

Asked if she ever met Michael Jackson, she replied "Yes I did meet Michael we spoke and was supposed to work on some songs together and he wanted to do a rap to(o).

She also added "He actually beatboxed 'Get Ur Freak' beat to me when I first spoke with him […] I was very impressed with his skill because he was beatboxing and doing the main sound in 'Get Ur Freak' on at the same time and I was surprised he knew 'Pass Dat Dutch' also."

Can you imagine!?

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

Smooth RadioSmooth's All Time Top 500! The Results! 03-05-'21

Like every years, Smooth Radio in the UK has asked listeners to vote for their top 500 all time songs and Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 / The Jacksons got a good play list!

Last year, Michael Jackson had 20 songs charted in the top 500 with the highest at #5 with 'Man In The Mirror' and with 11 songs in the top 100.

This year, the result is a bit different! Maybe because fans have been distracted with other matters.

12 songs made it to the top 500 including 2 songs from The Jacksons.

This year, 6 were in the top 100 with 'Billie Jean' at #5 [was #7 in 2020] 'Man In The Mirror' ending at #3 [was #5 in 2020].

Full All Time Top 500 here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson's Image Worth Just $4M, Tax Court Rules. 03-05-'21

Michael Jackson's image was worth just $4 million at the time of his death in 2009, a U.S. tax court judge ruled on Monday (May 3), far below the $161 million valuation sought by the IRS.

The ruling will dramatically reduce the estate tax bill incurred by Jackson's heirs — his mother and children.

In a ruling that ran to 271 pages, Judge Mark Holmes sketched Jackson’s rise to stardom and the long period after the peak of his career when his debts mounted, his income dried up and he was dogged by allegations of child molestation.

By the time of his death, at age 50 in 2009, Jackson had not released new material or toured in nearly a decade. His "comeback" tour, 'This Is It', could not land a sponsor due to Jackson's image problems. In fact, the judge noted that Jackson had earned nothing from licensing his name and likeness in the years preceding his death.

"This cannot be a surprise — allegations that a celebrity molested little boys might reasonably be thought to repel potential licensees in any society that has not become completely decadent," Holmes wrote. "Those allegations had a dramatic effect on Jackson's ability to win sponsorships and merchandising deals once they became public."

The Jackson estate filled out a tax return in which it pegged the value of his image at $2,105 — roughly the same, the judge noted, as a "heavily used 20-year-old Honda Civic." The valuation expert who arrived at the figure, Owen Dahl, testified at trial that Jackson was "a deeply flawed person with serious significant issues when it came to the issue of licensing image and likeness in a non-music setting."

The IRS had initially pegged the value of Jackson's estate at more than $1.1 billion, including $434 million alone for Jackson's image and likeness. The IRS initially found that the estate had underpaid its estate taxes by $500 million and added nearly $200 million in penalties.

By the time of the trial, the IRS had come down considerably from its early estimates. It had also narrowed the disputed asset values to three: Jackson's image and likeness, the trust that held Jackson's stake in Sony/ATV and a trust that held music copyrights. The latter two were used to secure debts, diminishing their value at the time of Jackson's death.

The estate and the IRS differed by orders of magnitude on the value of those assets. By the time of trial, the estate argued they were worth $5.3 million, while the IRS claimed they were worth $482 million.

The judge sided with the government on the value of the music catalog, pegging it at $107 million, just $7 million less than the IRS estimate. But on the other two assets, he agreed with the Jackson estate, valuing Jackson's image at $4 million and the Sony/ATV stake at zero.

The Jackson estate applauded the ruling.

"This thoughtful ruling by the U.S. Tax Court is a huge, unambiguous victory for Michael Jackson's children," co-executors John Branca and John McClain said in a statement. "For nearly 12 years Michael's Estate has maintained that the government's valuation of Michael's assets on the day he passed away was outrageous and unfair, one that would have saddled his heirs with an oppressive tax liability of more than $700 million. While we disagree with some portions of the decision, we believe it clearly exposes how unreasonable the IRS valuation was and provides a path forward to finally resolve this case in a fair and just manner."

Holmes' ruling includes a number of florid touches, as when he noted that Jackson's death effectively sidelined the hapless advisers who had been in his inner circle.

"It was to the considerable benefit of the Estate that (Jackson) was no longer able to get in the way of the rational profit maximizers who were now in control," the judge wrote.

He also concluded on a poignant note, finding that the King of Pop will one day fade from collective memory.

"Popular culture always moves on," he wrote. "There will come a time when 'Captain EO' joins Monte Brewster and Terry Forbes as names that without googling sort of sound familiar, but only to people of a certain age or to students of entertainment history. And just as the grave will swallow Jackson's fame, time will erode the Estate's income… The value of what it has left, no matter how well managed, will now dwindle as Jackson's copyrights expire and his image and likeness shuffle first into irrelevance and then into the public domain."

Source: Variety / Billie Jean

Mumbai Police Uses Michael Jackson To Combat COVID-19. 02-05-'21

With over 16 million cases of COVID-19 and over 216,000 death in India, the situation is humanly dramatic and scary for all those living in the country.

To combat the spray of the virus, the Mumbai Police has released social media posters to push people to wear masks.

Michael Jackson is very popular in the country and therefore the police has used the 'King of Pop' to push citizens to comply.

The poster and slogan pushes people to double up wearing a mask on their faces with the tag line: "There are people dying… If you care Enough for the living… Make a better place" from the lyrics of 'Heal The World'.

Mumbai Poster
The Mumbai Police has released social media posters to push people to wear masks.

The hashtag used also refer to the 'King of Pop': “#justbeatit”

We all pray for the people affected with the virus! So it is essential to wear a mask!

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

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