Michael IS in the studio!
The Return Of The King
Calif. (November 1, 2006) –
In the year 1991, when MTV
was still primarily known for playing music videos, a new album from an artist
who helped define the channel in the ’80s was being released. This album was
going to be huge, and MTV kicked into high gear promoting its World Premiere
airing of the first single’s video. The album was called "Dangerous."
The single was called "Black or White." And the artist? Well, he was
suddenly called "The King of Pop."
The premiere of "Black
or White" was broadcast simultaneously in 27 countries on November 14,
1991 with an estimated audience of 500 million people – the largest audience
ever to view a music video. Michael Jackson was back, and the world took
Fast-forward to the present
day: It’s been almost 15 years since Jackson broke records with "Black or
White," and much has happened to him and his reputation, most of it
unpleasant. But one fact remains: Michael Jackson has, despite these
"distractions," made his mark on the music industry in unmatched ways
as an artist, an influence, a pioneer, and a sales-generating force over the
past four decades.
When it’s all about popular
music, Michael Jackson is, without a doubt, the King.
· His 1982 album
"Thriller" remained at number one for thirty-seven weeks (the longest
stay by a non-soundtrack album to date), and has gone on to become the
best-selling album of all-time, nearing 100 million copies sold worldwide. It
also has the distinction of being the first album to have seven Top 10 singles
on the charts.
· 1995’s "HIStory:
Past, Present, & Future" is the best-selling multiple-disc album of
all-time, with 18 million copies sold worldwide.
· Jackson has the most
Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles for a male recording artist:
"Ben" (1 week), "Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough" (1 week),
"Rock with You" (4 weeks), "Billie Jean" (7 weeks),
"Beat It" (3 weeks), "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You" (1
week), "Bad" (2 weeks), "The Way You Make Me Feel" (1
week), "Man in the Mirror" (2 weeks), "Dirty Diana" (1
week), "Black or White" (7 weeks), and "You Are Not Alone"
(1 week). "You Are Not Alone" entered the singles chart at #1, a feat
that had never previously occurred.
· Jackson jointly holds the
record for most Grammy Awards won in a single year, having won eight awards at
the 1984 ceremony. This has been equaled only by Carlos Santana, at the 2001
· In January 1993, he
performed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. It drew one of the
largest viewing audiences in the history of American television.
· Jackson’s latest album,
"Invincible," was released in October 2001 and debuted at number-one
in 13 countries.
· On November 15, 2006,
Michael Jackson will be presented with the Diamond Award (Over 100 million
albums sold) at the World Music Awards.
Sales and world records
aside, another facet of Jackson’s extraordinary career has been the collaborations
he’s done with other artists. He’s worked with established music legends such
as Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers and Stevie Wonder. He’s aided
aspiring performers like Siedah Garrett, Rockwell, Brandy and Monica. Jackson
has run the gamut of various musical genres and styles – inviting other
influences into his own work, as well as lending his voice and skills to other
people’s projects. He’s even
collaborated with Martin Scorsese and Stephen King on video projects.
What definitely has been
confirmed is the fact that Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas is working with
Michael on some new tracks, as Billy Bush learned on Access Hollywood’s recent
exclusive visit to Jackson’s studio in Ireland.
With a new album in the
works, Jackson is finally readying his musical comeback. Michael’s music has
unfortunately taken a back seat to the scandals. It’s high time the music came
front and center again.
So how does Michael plan to
overcome adversity and get back into the music game? As he said in an interview
on Jesse Jackson’s radio show last year, he’s going to persevere and continue
to reach for his goals.
"I’m a person of the
arts. I love the arts very, very, very much," he told Jackson. "And
I’m a musician, I’m a director, I’m a writer, I’m a composer, I’m a producer,
and I love the medium… I know who I am inside and outside and I know what I
want to do. And I will always go with my dreams and my ideals in life. And I’m
a very courageous person and I believe in perseverance, determination, and all
those wonderful things, and those ideals are very important for a person who is
http://www.accesshollywood.com/news/ah2388.shtml for another preview teaser at screen bottom
Billy’s Blog: Michael Jackson Exclusive (October 15, 2006)
(October 15, 2006) — It’s half past four in the morning and I’m making my way to Dublin with Ray. I have spent a fair amount of time in the back of Ray’s car in the last 34 hours. He is the driver, henchman for Paddy who owns the recording studio in the middle of no man’s land, Ireland. Not only is it a quaint studio built inside the grounds of an old stone classic Irish estate…it’s the new creative home of Michael Jackson.
And yes, I just conducted the first interview with Michael Jackson since he left the United States in June 2005. First off, let me tell you what this interview is not:
It is not a bare all, rehashing of that period of his life. I was prepared to ask him all the questions in the world regarding mistakes made and lessons learned, but trust me, he was not. He asked if 5 minutes of rolling tape was ok in the studio while he "collaborated" with Will.i.Am from the Black Eyed Peas. Ultimately, We rolled for about 40 minutes and I did ask him questions about music and his thoughts for making a comeback.
Michael Jackson was nervous and antsy. He was truly torn. He wanted to stay and keep jamming and have some fun, but he also wanted to leave before, from his perspective, he got crucified by another TV interview.
Michael’s publicist and advisor, Raymone Bain, informed us (me and my Executive Producer, Rob Silverstein – pictured above with Michael and Will.I.Am) that Michael would like to meet us alone, no cameras, in his cottage first. We agreed of course and before long we were seated at a breakfast table in a very cozy, humble stone cottage. Down the spiral staircase he came. First his boots, then his pants…black with a gold stripe down the side, then a velvet jacket with a white t-shirt underneath, then he turned to face us. I admit, my pulse was running high. He is a mythical character as atypical and untouchable as can be.
First impression I had was that he looked healthy. Fit. As Paddy told us earlier, artists come to his estate for the whole experience – nature walks and horseback rides, organic, homegrown food, the indoor mineral spring pool….peace and tranquility. It has suited Michael well, although he does not live there.
We stood up, shook hands and began small talk about life… soon, Michael began to make clear what he did not want: an interview. He was just willing to let our cameras roll while he and Will listened to beats and opened the lid to a comeback. I said that we should just go in there and go until he didn’t want to anymore. Pensively, he agreed and we started for the door and the 50 yard walk to the studio.
This interview is a baby step for Michael.
About ten minutes into the session, after I had rolled out several questions, Michael paused and tried to get out. He did not like receiving pointed questions and he encouraged Will to play more beats so we could just roll casually.
At the end of the day, we did a little more of both. At one point, I suggested Michael remake "Thriller" for a new generation…with CD/DVD and web components, essentially go with what’s proven but update with the help of technically savvy producer, Will.I.Am.
Michael lit up. Amazingly that was something he hadn’t considered.
When the music was rolling and he didn’t have me asking him questions, one could see sparks of life and energy. He hummed a little and at one point got up and walked to the back of the room where he could move a little to the music… he was almost dancing.
Michael was there with his children. I never saw them but Paddy, the studio’s owner, said they were having a ball, playing with his children and enjoying the exquisite countryside. According to Paddy, Michael gets up in the morning and makes breakfast for them… usually porridge and fruit. I find myself hoping that Michael’s life is as normal as possible. Of course, it isn’t. Nobody knows anything about him… does he drive? Apparently, he does occasionally and he even had a cell phone before losing it a day later.
There….something normal to which people can RELATE.
Again, this was a first step for Michael. He was excited and terrified. It’s all about feeling whether he can trust somebody or not. His track record is horrible on that front. Maybe it will improve in regards to us. I am quite sure there is more to come.
(Note: More of Billy’s interview coming to Access Hollywood in November)