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Home / News Archive / News September 2021

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Smooth Criminal Video Clip'Smooth Criminal' Reaches 600 Million Views On YouTube. 17-09-'21

The short film for the song 'Smooth Criminal' by the 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson reached the milestone of 600 million views on YouTube.

The video still has a little more than 6 million likes. This is Jackson's 4th video to reach this milestone.

The song featured on the album 'Bad' is considered by many to be a multi-sector masterpiece and has become one of Jackson's most memorable rhythmic tracks.

Source: MJ Beats / BIllie Jean


Michael Jackson Could've Starred In 'Labyrinth' Instead Of David Bowie. 16-09-'21

LabyrinthImagine it's the mid-1980s and you're director and puppeteer extraordinary, Jim Henson, casting the Goblin King for your movie, 'Labyrinth'. Which music superstar would you go with: David Bowie, Michael Jackson, or Sting?

Henson, the co-creator of 'The Muppets' with his wife, Jane, ultimately went with Bowie. However, there's a world in which Jackson, the onetime 'King of Pop', could have played the Goblin King in 'Labyrinth'.

'Labyrinth' turned 35 this year, and though Henson himself passed away in 1990, his work has continued to influence filmmakers like 'The Green Knight' director David Lowery. Henson's son, Brian Henson, recently spoke to ComicBook.com, where he outlined some of the other casting options that his father was considering for 'Labyrinth'. Here's what he said:

"I can't speak for my siblings, but I can say for me, I vaguely remember the name Sting coming up. I definitely remember Michael Jackson and David Bowie. I had just been at university for the one year that I went to college, and I can tell you that I was going from nightclub to nightclub, and Michael Jackson and David Bowie were the two biggest names in my generation, for sure.
"So when he asked me, I was leaning in favor of David Bowie. I just felt like Bowie had a quirkiness and yet a really coolness that would work really well for my dad, whereas Michael had a perfection to his work that would have been tough."

Henson elaborated further on why the part of the Goblin King was better suited, in his mind, to Bowie than Jackson: 

"I think it would have been tough for Michael to be Michael in 'Labyrinth'. He would have had to compromise his perfection, and then maybe that's no longer Michael, whereas David was always unpredictable. I remember going with my dad to see David in 'The Elephant Man' on stage and saying, 'God, this is such an unusual artist, David Bowie.' All I remember is when he asked me, I said, 'I think David Bowie.'"

In the wake of HBO's 'Leaving Neverland' documentary two years ago, some might think of Jackson as a sort of Goblin 'King of Pop' anyway. His music was pulled from radio stations and his legacy has taken a hit, but the casting of 'Labyrinth' came when he was at the height of his success — between the albums 'Thriller' and 'Bad' and just about to appear in 'Captain EO'.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 'Captain EO' fortified the Disney attraction of the same name at Epcot and other parks around the world. It opened in 1986, a few months after the summer release of 'Labyrinth', such that its own 35th anniversary was just this week. Instead of moviegoers seeing Jackson in 'Labyrinth', theme park goers got to see him onscreen in a short film that was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made on a minute-by-minute basis.

It all worked out, and at the end of the day, would 'Labyrinth' really be 'Labyrinth' without David Bowie?

Source: Slash Film / Billie Jean


The Jackson 5’s 'ABC' Re-Issue Album Will Be Released On Blue Vinyl. 16-09-'21

On Black Friday this year, the Record Store Day (USA) will release a special edition of 'ABC' by the Jackson 5 on November 26th, 2021.

The special edition will be available for the first time on 180g blue vinyl, limited to 1,500 copies.

'ABC' is the second studio album by The Jackson 5, it featured the number-one singles 'ABC' and 'The Love You Save'. Also present on the LP are several notable album tracks, including a cover of Funkadelic's 'I'll Bet You', 'I Found That Girl' (the only lead song from brother Jermaine - Michael takes most of the leads on the album), and 'The Young Folks', originally recorded by the Diana Ross-led version of The Supremes.

All songs produced by The Corporation & Hal Davis.

'ABC' album was for the first time released on May 8th, 1970 in the USA by Motown and in the United Kingdom in August 1970 by Tamla Motown.

ABC (Blue Vinyl) Album CoverThe limited edition album will contain 11 songs from Motown catalogue.

Track list:

A:
1. The Love You Save - 3:01
2. One More Chance - 2:59
3. ABC - 2:57
4. 2-4-6-8 - 2:57
5. (Come 'Round Here) I'm The One You Need - 2:43
6. Don't Know Why I Love You - 3:49

B:
1. Never Had A Dream Come True - 3:00
2. True Love Can Be Beautiful - 3:27
3. La-La Means I Love You - 3:30
4. I'll Bet You - 3:18
5. I Found That Girl - 3:00
6. The Young Folks - 2:49

Look here at Record Store Day.

Source: Record Store Day / Billie Jean


Madonna Opens The VMAs With A Shady Michael Jackson Tribute. 13-09-'21

MadonnaMadonna seems to have a standing invitation to MTVs Video Music Awards. After making a surprise appearance to close out the 2018 VMAs, she showed up unannounced at the 2021 VMAs to instead open the show. If you found the moment just a little bit awkward, well, maybe that was on purpose. She was referencing (perhaps in homage, or perhaps as a bit of shade) one of the most awkward moments in VMA history: when Michael Jackson similarly made a surprise appearance to open the 1994 edition of the VMAs. Yes, it’s a reference older than most of the night's nominees.

Back in 1994, Jackson was married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis, for only a few months. Neither the tabloid press nor much of the public really understood the union, and Jackson and Presely opened that year's VMAs hand-in-hand. After a minute of silence, and then a welcome given to the audience, Jackson said, "and just think, nobody thought this would last," while motioning to Presley. The two shared a very public make out session before walking off stage with no further word. The pair would be separated by the end of 1995.

Madonna decided to recreate the moment in her own fashion, though we suppose she meant MTV was the Presley to her Jackson. She, too, quickly walked off with little further comment.

To be quite honest, it is an iconic moment in VMAs history, though one MTV itself doesn’t quite celebrate. Of course, leave it to Madonna to bring it up on the edition of the VMAs that also celebrates the channel's 40th anniversary. Between Jackson and Madonna, MTV as we know it wouldn't exist. It's fitting, we guess, that their legacies would intersect, even in such an awkward fashion, this year.

Source: Wmagazine / Billie Jean


Positively Collecting Michael Jackson Memorabilia. 12-09-'21

It is not every day that fans are shown in a positive way in the press and this is the case for Vernay and Ryan in New Jersey, USA.

If you recall, Vernay and Ryan won the Hector Barjot Award 2021 for best Michael Jackson Collection.

Today, they made it to FOX29 News where they were portraited nicely and explaining why they are collecting Michael Jackson memorabilia.

 

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Almost Died On September 11 Before Bizarre Twist Of Fate. 11-09-'21

Michael JacksonOn the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we look at some of the famous figures who have fate to thank for not becoming one of the 2,997 victims of the horrifying tragedy.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre - a moment that changed the modern world forever.

On the morning of Tuesday September 11 2001, militant Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked commercial planes and flew then into the iconic New York building.

A third plane was crashed into the west side of the Pentagon, causing a partial collapse of the American military headquarters. The fourth and final hijacked flight crashed into a field in Pennsylvania without making it to its intended target.

The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities, over 25,000 injuries and substantial long-term health problems.

In the years that have followed the senseless tragedy, many have opened up about how they narrowly escaped the horrors on that fateful day - including a few famous faces.

Pop star Michael Jackson could have been among those killed in the tragic attack had fate not intervened.

The late singer had been due to attend a meeting in the World Trade Centre on the very day of the incident.

Jackson had left his Neverland Ranch for New York to perform in his 30th Anniversary Solo All Star show on September 7 and September 10 at Madison Square Garden.

The star-studded shows also featured performances by some of the biggest names in music including Whitney Houston, Liza Minnelli and Gloria Estefan while the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin graced the royal viewing box side of stage.

Britney Spears also joined the 'King of Pop' for a special rendition of 'The Way You Make Me Feel'.

Hours after the second concert, New York's World Trade Centre was under attack.

The same day the planes hit Michael had been due to make an appearance in the tower, but overslept after his show and missed his schedule appointment entirely.

Brother Jermaine Jackson explained in his biography how his late sibling had stayed up late the night before chatting with his mother, Katherine and sister, Rebbie.

"Thankfully, none of us had had a clue that Michael was due at a meeting that morning at the top of one of the Twin Towers," he wrote in he book 'You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eyes'.

"We only discovered this when Mother phoned his hotel to make sure he was okay. She, Rebbie [Jackson] and a few others had left him there around 3am.

"Mother, I'm okay, thanks to you. You kept me up talking so late that I overslept and missed my appointment,'" Jackson told his mum.

Michael passed away eight years later on June 25th, 2009.

Source: Mirror / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Official 2022 Calendar Is Released. 08-09-'21

The official Michael Jackson 2022 calendar is released by Danilo.

Michael Jackson was regarded as the 'King of Pop' and sprang onto the music scene with his brothers as the 'Jackson 5.' In the early 1970's Michael also started to develop a solo career and by the end of the decade, he was an established pop artist. To date, Michael Jackson has now sold over 350 million songs worldwide.

Michael Jackson's back catalogue of album and singles brought many awards including Grammys and Brit awards and MJ was one of the most significant figures of the last century. Some of Michael Jackson's popular hits were 'Billie Jean,' 'Beat It' and 'Leave Me Alone.' MJ was also an amazing dancer and his move called the 'Moonwalk' was special to watch. Likewise, his music videos were well thought out and no one can forget the icon 'Thriller' video.

Buy today a Michael Jackson Official 2022 A3 Wall Calendar featuring the classic photos of the 'King of Pop'. This A3 Calendar is a Michael Jackson Poster calendar as well as an opportunity for you to write your 2022 appointments in the date boxes.

Specifications
Publisher: Danilo
Height: 420 mm
Width: 297 mm
Product code: ?
Guide price: 11 €

Order your official Michael Jackson 2022 calendar at Danilo.

Source: Danilo / Billie Jean


Patchogue Theatre Presents I A King: The Michael Jackson Experience. 08-09-'21

I A King: The Michael Jackson ExperienceI AM KING – The Michael Jackson Experience is as close as you will get to seeing the 'King of Pop' live in concert!

Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts announced that it will present I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience on Friday, October 1 at 8pm. Tickets are $39.00 - $69.00 plus fees and are available online at PatchogueTheatre.org. At this time, everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, as per current CDC guidelines. Click here to view Patchogue Theatre's COVID-19 Guidelines.

I AM KING - The Michael Jackson Experience is as close as you will get to seeing the 'King of Pop' live in concert! Featuring Michael Jackson tribute artist, Michael Firestone who can sing LIVE while mastering the intense dancing that Jackson was so famous for, I AM KING takes the audience on a musical and visual journey into the world of the 'King of Pop'.

The creators of I AM KING have put together an incredible cast of talented musicians and Broadway and Las Vegas dancers to bring Jackson to life in an explosion of unmatched energetic perfection. I AM KING features amazing renditions of Jackson's biggest hits including 'Bad', 'Billie Jean', 'Thriller', 'Man In The Mirror', 'Human Nature' and many more.

Having performed to millions of Michael Jackson fans worldwide, Michael Firestone has been hailed by fans and critics alike as the heir apparent to Michael Jackson in look, performance and authenticity. When it comes to Michael Jackson tribute artists, there are none quite like Michael Firestone. His ability to sing live while mastering the intense dancing that Michael Jackson was so famous for has made him the most sought after MJ tribute artist in the world.

Michael Firestone was chosen as one of two official Michael Jackson impersonators for the Michael Jackson Laser Spectacular shows in theaters and casinos all over the USA and Canada including the Tacoma Dome. Most recently, Michael Firestone co-created and starred in MJ Live and numerous other Michael Jackson tribute shows that are still using his image/video to sell tickets.

Prior to Michael Jackson's untimely death, Firestone had performed as a Michael Jackson tribute artist in live shows such as 'MTV Magic' and 'Around The World' in Asia', 'Legends in Concert' in Myrtle Beach, 'LaCage' and 'Masquerade' in Atlantic City. Firestone also did guest appearances on 'Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Spectacular' and the Asian variety show 'The Bon Show.

20% of proceeds benefit the Andrew McMorris Foundation. In September 2018, Andrew and his Boy Scout Troop were tragically hit by a drunk driver while hiking. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after and passed away. The lives of his family, friends and community were forever changed by his senseless passing.

Patchogue Theatre Box Office is currently open online only at PatchogueTheatre.org.

Source: Broadway World / Billie Jean


New Unseen Picture From Michael Taken by Greg Gorman. 07-09-'21

A new picture of Michael Jackson taken by amazing photographer Greg Gorman has surfaced on social media for the last few days.

Greg has taken few artistic photos of the 'King of Pop' for the cover of the album 'Bad' which were not used for the final product.

In 2015, Greg showcased a unseen picture of Michael in a very different way at a gallery.

Between March and May 2021, an exhibition of new photos from Greg Gorman were showcased in California called "It's not about me" and it is believed that this new unseen picture was exhibited there.

Greg Gorman Pictures
The photos were taken in 1987 as per the description from the artist and fans have already started to play with the original by adding some colours.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


They Don't Care About Us CD Single Cover'They Don’t Care About Us' Single Gold Record In England. 06-07-'21

The British Phonographic Industry, better known by its initials BPI, has just updated its certifications, including the title 'They Don't Care About Us', now certified Gold Record with the sale of 400,000 units. It is quite normal that this certification dated September 3, 2004 seems low to you, since it only represents sales of this title from November 15th, 2004.

On August 27, two singles were certified silver with the sale of 200,000 units each. These are 'Scream' and 'Stranger In Moscow', which only started counting since November 14 and 15, 2004, respectively.

On August 26, 'Blood On The Dance Floor' was certified silver with the sale of 200,000 units. His count only started on November 15th, 2004.

It should be noted for the BPI certification that since 2014 (Singles) and 2015 (Albums), the sales count has reflected consumption via audio streaming and in April 2018, the certifications were renamed from the BPI Awards to the BRIT Certified Awards, with the Eligibility for video streams added shortly thereafter.

"When a single or album has reached the appropriate level of sales as measured by Official Charts, the tracks are now "automatically certified" by the BPI. Streams now count towards album and singles certifications and are measured according to the chart eligibility rules established by Official Charts."

Source: BPI / Billie Jean


Dell FuranoDell Furano, The Man Behind Sony Signatures, Has Dies At 69. 05-09-'21

Dell Furano, a pioneer in rock merchandising as the co-founder of Winterland Productions and later founder of Epic Rights, an entertainment agency and brand management company, has died. He was 69.

Motley Crue manager Allen Kovac said of Furano, whose Epic Rights is handling the merchandising for the band's upcoming stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: "Dell was a trailblazer in the merchandising world. Always smiling as if he had a special gift, something new he would to bring you didn't know you needed."

Furano started in the merchandising and licensing business co-founding Bill Graham's Winterland Productions. He would go on to work with some of the top names in music, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Maroon 5 and Aerosmith.

"In the 70s, it was not cool selling merchandise, so we had to be careful," Furano once told Billboard. "Groups would say, 'OK, you can sell, but don't ­embarrass us. Stand in a corner.'"

Born in Nevada City, Calif., near Lake Tahoe, Furano graduated from Stanford University in 1972 with a degree in political science and government, taking a year off to learn the concert business from Graham before a plan to attend law school. Working part-time at the San Francisco Winterland venue with his brother Dave, a well-known promoter, while still at college, Furano was enlisted to do merchandising when Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s wife legendarily asked Graham whom she should talk to about T-shirts and Graham replied, "Go talk to Dell."

Another variation of his story has Dell stenciling Rolling Stones on a collection of psychedelic tie-dyed T-shirts and selling hundreds of them outside the venue. That was the start of Winterland Productions, co-founded by the brothers with Graham, which soon became the leading merchandising and licensing company in the earliest days of the modern concert business. Graham and the Furanos eventually sold Winterland Productions to CBS Records in 1985, then to MCA/Universal three years later.

In 1993, Furano became the CEO of Sony Signatures, the entertainment merchandise licensing and consumer products division of Sony Corp. directing the merchandise licensing programs for Columbia and Tri-Star Pictures, as well as the concert and retail sales of a number of top music artists. He was instrumental in the company’s successful merchandise program for the 1998 World Cup in France, with record sales for FIFA merchandise.

As a Michael Jackson fan, you might know his work for the 'King of Pop' such as The Sony Signatures Series which has become one of the rarest Michael Jackson CD out there or the 'HIStory' era golden framed 7".

Scream Gold Record Award
There are only 3000 of this 'Scream Gold Record Award' released in the whole world.

Furano then started Signatures Network, Inc. in 1999, expanding the enterprise into working on musicians' online presence, including the management of official websites, social media pages, VIP ticketing/fan club programs and e-commerce sites. Live Nation acquired Signature Neworks in 2008, with Furano serving as CEO of Live Nation Merchandise through 2012.

In 2014, Furano and his wife Kym founded Epic Rights, a full-service entertainment agency and brand management company based in West Hollywood, which also offers services in celebrity, retail fashion and lifestyle branding, e-commerce sales, VIP ticketing, digital fan communities, and global tour merchandising. In February 2019, Universal Music Group's Bravado, the company's consumer, lifestyle and brand management division, acquired Epic Rights and, along with it, licensing deals for Madonna's skincare line, Celine Dion's handbag collection, an apparel deal featuring the lyrics of Lennon and McCartney, Kiss waffle makers, a CBGB/Dr. Marten’s tie-in and Funko Def Leppard and Duran Duran figures.

Furano was a board member of the trade organization International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA). He was inducted into the LIMA Hall of Fame in 2017, the first member of the music industry to be so honored.

Thank you Dell for the magic and all our condolences to his friends and family.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

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