What They Don’t Want You to Know About Michael Jackson
What do you think of when you hear the name, Michael Jackson? W****? Criminal? Great Entertainer? Businessman? Whatever you think of MJ, throw all your thoughts out of the window and let’s examine some facts.
For years the media has labeled him “W**** J****.” What happened to MJ? Wasn’t he the biggest thing in music at one point? When did he go crazy?
All anyone has to do is look when Michael started being portrayed as “Crazy.” It wasn’t during the “Thriller” years. It’s cool being a song and dance man. That’s what they want. DON’T DARE BECOME A THINKING BUSINESSMAN. DON’T DARE BUY THE BEATLES CATALOG. DON’T DARE MARRY ELVIS’ DAUGHTER. DON’T DARE BEAT THE RECORD INDUSTRY AT THEIR OWN GAME. Michael started being labeled crazy when he began making business moves that no one had been successful at doing.
Michael took two cultural icons and shattered them to pieces. All our lives, we’ve been bombarded with 2 facts. The Beatles were the greatest group of all time and Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll. Michael bought the Beatles and married the King’s daughter. (if that ain’t literally sticking it to the man) If I wasn’t a cynic, I’d say Michael did the Lisa Marie thing just to stick it to the people who consider Elvis the King.
The Beatles were great, but they weren’t great enough to maintain publishing rights over their own songs.
Elvis was great, but he didn’t write his songs. His manager, Col Tom Parker, was the mastermind behind Elvis … keeping him drugged with fresh subscription pills and doing all the paperwork.
Michael could do no wrong as an entertainer. “Off the Wall,” first solo artist with 4 top ten singles. “Thriller,” the biggest selling album of all time, with a then record 7 top ten singles. “Bad,” the first album to spawn 5 number one songs (even Thriller only had 2 number one songs). All this is cool. But that is all you better do. SING AND DANCE.
Michael wanted to be greater.
He bought the legendary Sly and the Family Stone catalog and no one really cared. When he bought the Beatles, people noticed. The Sony merger took the cake. Sony, in their eagerness to have a part of the Beatles catalog, agreed to a 50/50 merger with Jackson, thus forming Sony/ATV music publishing. Now, Michael owns half of the entire publishing of all of Sony artists. Check out the complete lists of songs at sonyatv.com. A sampling of the songs he owns the publishing rights to are over 900 country songs by artists such as Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Alabama. All Babyface written songs. Latin songs by Selena and Enrique Iglesias. Roberta Flack songs, Mariah Carey songs, Destiny’s Child’s songs. 2pac, Biggie and Fleetwood Mac songs. In essence over 100,000 songs. “What is this man doing?” None of the greats did this. Not Bono, Springsteen, Sinatra. “Who does he think he is? Get whatever you can on him.”
To “get” someone, you have to attack what they love the most. I’ll say no more on that.
The only man who even approaches MJ in taking on the industry is Prince and to a lesser extent, George Michael. They went after poor George Michael, publicly outing the man as a homosexual. Prince fought hard and made his point, but nevertheless still had to resort to using a major company to distribute his materials. There is nothing wrong with that. Prince would get the lion’s share, but the result were years of being labeled crazy and difficult.
The greatest moment for them was the Sneddon press conference. “We got him.” Never was such glee so evident. Who cares if we have evidence?
Michael was acquitted, did not celebrate, went home and left the USA. Best move ever. Now what is there left for the haters to do? He’s gone. “Gone, what do you mean he moved to Bahrain? Well, how the hell can we get him if he’s not here? Quick, get that columnist to write a series of articles on how MJ’s teetering on the brink of destruction. Oh we did that? Well, what can we do?”
On the outer surface, it appears Michael is not doing anything to make money. Don’t even count the weekly sales of his CDs. 15,000 CDs a week is nothing for Michael. The Sony/ATV catalog is money for Michael Jackson every time he breathes. Serious money. The fact that no one reports on the actual amount is proof of that. They would rather you believe he is broke than tell you the truth. Neverland is still owned by MJ. The family home in Encino is still owned by MJ. Michael still owns the Beatles songs through the merger with Sony as well as full ownership of his own songs. But, hey, that’s our little secret.
Michael Jackson is literally walking in the shoes that no Black person has ever walked in before. If he ever writes an autobiography, it will be one of the most interesting ever. A Black man with no real formal education becomes the most powerful man in the industry, DESPITE hatred, racism, enemies in his own camps and a media willing to be bought to the highest bidder.
If Sony had any sense, right now they should offer to continue the partnership. That’s the only way they will make future money off of Michael’s catalogue. Tommy Mottola did not lose his job with Sony because he was a bad label head. It was a casualty of war. MJ exposed him and Sony had to cut their losses. Companies do it all the time. Notice no one at Sony nor did Mottola himself ever sue MJ for slander. Michael always was loyal to his bosses at Epic/Sony. Back at the 1984 Grammys, he even brought then label head Walter Yetnikoff on stage with him at one point. He’s always thanked Dave Glew, Mottola and others at Sony in his acceptance speeches.
Sony can still do right by Michael, but it may be too late. However, they still should make a goodwill gesture, but how many times do businesses do that? If I were them, I’d still want MJ as an ally, not as an enemy. It is/was a mutally profitable merger.
I’d be scared as hell if I was an enemy of MJ while he is with the multi-billionaires overseas. Believe me, they aren’t just over there discussing designer clothing. A conglomerate is in the making.
One last note, these facts that I write here should not be the only times you hear this, but the sad fact is it probably is. I was worried that Michael would go down because of the uncertainty of the jury. That’s playing unfair. If I’m presenting these facts here at EURweb, YOU CAN BELIEVE THE MEDIA KNOWS IT ALREADY AS WELL. They aren’t salivating over everything MJ related just because he made “Thriller.” They know what’s up. Think about it. That’s why I laugh when I see shows like BET’s “The Ultimate Hustler.” We all know who that is. (How can Damon Dash know who the ultimate hustler is anyway? He lost Roc-a-fella to Jay-Z)
In the end, Michael won’t be known for being an alleged child molester. He won’t be known for “Thriller.” He will be known as the man that fought the record industry and won and lived to tell the tale. That is a book worth buying.
CHRISTOPHER HAMILTON: There’s Something About Michael July 6, 2004
They say everyone will get at least 15 minutes of fame during their
lifetime. The truth is, most of us will never become famous at all. In the
music field, it’s even harder to maintain any type of longevity due to the
constantly changing musical landscape. Many of today’s artists won’t be
around for long.
Most of the artists from 1994 aren’t in the news much
anymore. Even fewer of the artists from 1984 are making headlines nowadays.
Not to even mention artists from 1974. But there is one personality that’s
been around longer (1969) that dominates worldwide headlines and still
manages to release (despite what you’re led to believe) multi-platinum cd’s.
For those that only know him as the media-created “W**** J****,” let’s
remember why and how Michael Jackson rose above the pack and into the
Back in 1969, five years after the explosion of Beatlemania hit the USA,
The Jackson Five began their careers at number one with “I Want You Back.”
Their second single, “ABC”, knocked the Beatles final Number One single,
“Let It Be,” from the top spot. During this period, the J5’s first 4 singles
went to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. There were other family groups
during that era such as the Osmonds, the Sylvers and the Five Stairsteps,
but the Jacksons were the trendsetters with their hip outfits, widely
imitated dance moves and huge afros. However, young Michael stood out among
his older brothers by his ability to capture an audience. This was a 12
years old boy commanding the stage with the presence of a seasoned
professional. The world didn’t have a problem with this because the Jackson
5 was still a Black group with Black fans. This was Michael’s first 15
minutes of fame.
Even as a teenager, Michael was the subject of cruel rumors and gossip.
There were the constant sex change rumors. One of the most vicious rumors
was that Michael was in love with the actor turned minister Clifton Davis
(who wrote one of the J5’s biggest hits “Never Can Say Goodbye.”
If that was the end of the story, it would have been enough for a career
for many artists. However, for Michael, it was only Act One.
A combination of events set the stage for Michael to take over the world.
The 1979 release of “Off the Wall” was a mega album for a Black man. “Motown
25” showcased Michael’s performance as a solo artist, complete with the
Moonwalk. Artists such as Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire were singing his
praises. The “Thriller” album became the world’s biggest selling album ever.
MTV exploded the videos or “short films” (as Michael would call them).
Suddenly, Michael wasn’t just a Black star. He was a worldwide phenomenon on
an Elvis & Beatles level with fans of all races. It was Michael’s next move
that cemented his legacy and secured his future for life.
After being advised by Paul McCartney that the real money was in owning
music publishing, Michael went and did just that. He bought the Sly & the
Family Stone catalog. He bought songs of Elvis, Little Richard and secured
all the rights to his post Motown songs. Then he bought the entire Beatles
catalog for $47 million, infuriating his advisor, Paul McCartney. (Paul and
Beatles partner John Lennon had lost the publishing rights years ago to the
songs they had written as the Beatles. Paul could have bought the songs
himself but thought the price tag was too steep.) The catalog now is worth
over $500 million. This was only Act Two and the continuation of Michael’s
seemingly endless 15 minutes of fame.
It was around this time that the “W**** J****” image begin to appear in
print. Before you begin to judge him, imagine being in his shoes. MJ was
walking ground no Black musical entertainer had ever walked. You had better
believe there were certain elements that weren’t happy with the power that
Michael Jackson was getting universally. The “Bad” album had yielded 5
number one singles. The “Dangerous” CD contained his biggest hit ever,
“Black or White.” “Wacko Jacko” then made his most cunning move of all.
In an act of sheer genius, Michael merged half of his Beatles catalog with
Sony Music publishing, thus becoming co-owner of the entire Sony catalog
(which includes the works of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Destiny’s Child
& countless others.) The move to destroy Michael Jackson was put in full
The “Michael Jackson is broke” rumors began. The child molestation
accusations began. To date, with all the children that have ever been around
MJ, we know of TWO to accuse him of this horrendous crime. One took money to
make it go away and the second proclaimed on “Living With Michael Jackson”
that Michael is nothing but good to him but now wants you to believe that
Michael started molesting him after the special aired. Oh and out of the
thousands of lawyers in California, they went and got the same lawyer that
represented the previous child. Armed with information that MJ allegedly
molested a child in Feb 2003, the DA waits until November 18, 2003 (the day
MJ is scheduled to drop a new CD) to have a 60 member SWAT team tear
Neverland apart. Maybe it was just a coincidence.
We now sit and await the Trial of Michael Jackson. It’s up to a jury to
decide whether Michael is “off the wall”, a “thriller”, “bad”, “dangerous”,
“history” or “invincible.” While the R. Kelly case receives merely a
soundbite on the trial TV shows, Michael, once again, dominates the
airwaves. While Justin jumps off the MJ bandwagon, Usher has become the
hottest thing in music while embracing MJ’s sounds & signature moves.
Another coincidence? I think not.
Christopher Hamilton is a freelance entertainment writer. He can be reached for questions or comments at email@example.com
Michael Jackson Gets Thriller of Deal To Stay With Sony
By RANDALL ROTHENBERG Published: March 21, 1991
In what may be the most lucrative arrangement ever for a recording
artist, the Sony Corporation announced yesterday that Michael Jackson,
the gyrating pop-music icon of the 1980’s, had entered into an
agreement to create feature films, theatrical shorts, television
programming and a new record label for the Japanese conglomerate’s
American entertainment subsidiaries.
Mr. Jackson, whose albums “Thriller” and “Bad” were the two
biggest-selling records of the past decade, also agreed to extend by
six albums his existing contract with Epic Records, a Sony subsidiary.
Neither Sony executives nor representatives of Mr. Jackson would say
how much the singer will receive under the agreement, which had been in
negotiations for six months. However, Sony officials said the company
could realize $1 billion from retail sales of the various Jackson
The deal could be a prototype of the multi-media arrangements star
performers can now demand and receive from the giant
information-and-entertainment conglomerates that have been created
through mergers and acquisitions during the past several years.
Entertainment industry executives and analysts said, in fact, that to
keep the 32-year-old Mr. Jackson, who had reportedly made rumblings
about leaving for another label, Sony had no choice but to allow him to
produce his own records and films.
“He doesn’t need the money; this is the guy who owns the Beatles’
music catalogue,” said Emanuel Gerard, a communications analyst with
Gerard Klauer Mattison in New York. “What we’re dealing with largely is
his ego. And from Sony’s standpoint, no matter what, they could not
afford to have Michael Jackson signed away from them.”
A senior executive of a rival entertainment company, who spoke only on
condition that he not be identified, said: “My reading is that they
were close to losing Michael Jackson. So you start by saying, ‘What do
you have to do to keep him?’ He doesn’t need the money. So you say we
have this fantastic company that has all these avenues for you. Give us
your albums and you can do movies, TV shows.”
Neither Sony executives nor representatives of Mr. Jackson would
comment on the negotiations, and a spokesman for Mr. Jackson said the
singer would not talk. But Michael P. Schulhof, the president of Sony
Software, the Sony division that includes its entertainment
subsidiaries, said the deal was viable simply because of Mr. Jackson’s
“This is the first example where we have been able to combine interests
in both film and records,” said Mr. Schulhof, 48, who is directing
Sony’s efforts in multi-media packaging. “Because Michael Jackson is a
multifaceted entertainer, we felt this was the first time we could
attempt it. If this transaction works as we anticipate, it might very
well be the forerunner of a new kind of entertainment deal.”
Mr. Schulhof said the contract with Mr. Jackson was the first
involving a performer with Sony Software, rather than with Columbia
Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment or one of the
company’s other entertainment subsidiaries.
Industry executives who have followed the negotiations said the
contract called for Mr. Jackson, who is already the highest-paid
performer in the record business, to receive an advance higher than the
$18 million he was reported to have received for the final record of
his current contract. That would mean that Mr. Jackson would be paid
more than $108 million for the six new albums alone, on top of whatever
he might receive for the movies, television shows and records he might
produce, write or star in.
Under the terms of his deal with Sony Software, Mr. Jackson will star
in his first full-length feature film, which will be produced by one
such subsidiary, Columbia Pictures Entertainment.
Many features of the new contract appear to be speculative. For
example, while Sony executives publicly said they expect the
forthcoming movie to be the first of many with Mr. Jackson, one
executive who would speak only on condition that his name not be used,
said the current agreement only called for one film. Executives also
said that the script for his forthcoming movie was not yet completed
and that a director had not yet been signed.
Mr. Jackson will also establish a new company, the Jackson
Entertainment Complex, in a 50-50 joint venture with Sony Software. The
new company is producing Mr. Jackson’s new album, which Epic will
release in June or July, said Sony Music Entertainment,
and will produce a series of short films for theatrical and music-video
release based on songs from the album.
Mr. Jackson is currently negotiating with Sir Richard Attenborough,
who made “Gandhi,” and Chris Columbus, the director of “Home Alone,” to
direct two of the short films, Mr. Mottola said. He said other
potential directors include David Lynch, the creator of “Twin Peaks,”
and Tim Burton, the director of “Batman.” Creating New Record Label
The singer is also creating a new record label, called Nation Records,
under the auspices of the Jackson Entertainment Complex. With it, he
will be developing new, young and budding talent, and he will be the
magnet to attract superstars to leave their current recording company
to come to Sony.
Some analysts suggested that Sony might be taking a large risk in
assuming that Mr. Jackson’s popularity will extend from records to
But Sony’s competitors in the entertainment industry were not so quick
to criticize the deal. “I don’t think you’d ever bet against Michael
Jackson,” said Joe Galante, the president of RCA Records.