Yesterday, Today, & FOREVER The King of Pop

Other Interesting News

Michael Jackson: Ebony Magazine 2017

Who’s BAD???

Bittersweetness: Michael Jackson’s ATV Music Publishing

Initially, the news broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

He worked so hard and suffered so much for it.

What a great investment it was.
He said he would never sell it…and HE never did. But he is no longer here.

So perhaps cashing out is for the best now, nearly seven years after his passing. His children will all be grownups soon and I can’t help but to think that he would not want them to have to carry the burden that goes along with being co-owners of the largest music publishing catalogue in the world; though it was one he proudly and bravely carried himself for various reasons, including as a business example to other artists.

Music History will forever have to acknowledge the fact that Sony/ATV came to be because of Michael Jackson, the investment and deal he was wise enough to make.

Rest easy Michael.

Michael Jackson’s ATV Catalogue: One of the Smartest Investments in Music HIStory






Michael Jackson’s LIFE one of 80 most important cultural moments of the 20th century

Guinness World Records 60th Anniversary – Thriller

Michael Jackson’s #TheyDontCareAboutUs

Michael Jackson’s ONE Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas

Michael Jackson's ONE Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas

Pepsi Announces Global Partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson

Pepsi today announced an exclusive global partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson as part of its new “Live for Now” campaign, which Pepsi fans around the world will experience in a variety of ways including an engaging retail campaign featuring one billion special edition Michael Jackson Bad 25 Pepsi cans, iconic music, epic live events and opportunities for fans to access special edition merchandise.

The partnership coincides with the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s multi-platinum BAD album and record-breaking tour, around which the Michael Jackson Estate and Sony Music have celebratory projects underway.

To celebrate Jackson’s incredible contribution to pop music, Pepsi, Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson have teamed up to share new mixes of legendary Michael Jackson music from the BAD album with fans around the world, proving that the King of Pop is not only the world’s most iconic artist from the 20th century but also influencing music in the 21st century as well.

Brad Jakeman, president, Global Enjoyment Brands, and chief creative officer, PepsiCo Global Beverages Group, said, “Pepsi has always been at the forefront of pop culture, helping to shape the music landscape. This unique global partnership, around such a legendary music milestone, invites Pepsi fans from around the world to experience Michael Jackson’s music in an engaging and very NOW kind of way – it’s a model example of how Pepsi’s ‘Live for Now’ campaign can manifest itself in a way that resonates the world over.”

Pepsi will feature iconic silhouette imagery of the King of Pop on cans with the launch of collectible limited edition can designs. Pepsi will also run contests in markets around the world giving fans the opportunity to win merchandise including, a limited number of jackets inspired by the original staff BAD tour jackets and tickets to Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, the #1 touring show in North America.

“We are thrilled to bring Michael and Pepsi back together, as they were in 1988, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BAD album and tour and to put Michael on one billion Pepsi cans – perhaps a Guinness record,” commented John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson. Branca and McClain added, “We’re excited to see it all come to life.”

China and the United States will be among the first Pepsi markets to launch the exclusive Michael Jackson King of Pop activity in 2012, with approximately 20 additional markets in Asia, South America and Europe continuing the international roll-out throughout the rest of the year.

On May 5 in China, a 330ml limited edition can will be available at retail locations nationwide. In addition, from May 15 – June 14, 2012, fans will be encouraged to share photos of their valuable Jackson collections or original artwork celebrating him, for a chance to win tickets to Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, as part of China’s “In Honor of King of Pop MJ” promotion.

Later in May, the U.S. will launch a nationwide retail campaign including a limited edition 16oz. King of Pop Pepsi can, as well as initiate a retail, music-themed promotion.

Frank Cooper, chief marketing officer, Global Consumer Engagement, PepsiCo added, “Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop, and his music has always inspired fans and artists alike. But, this partnership goes beyond nostalgia and will engage with consumers all around the world with iconic imagery on more than one billion Pepsi cans, digital content and epic, live events, so that they can continue to connect with Jackson’s music and honor his legendary impact on entertainment.”

Michael Jackson has a long standing relationship with Pepsi spanning more than 25 years. The legendary King of Pop starred in his first Pepsi campaign alongside his brothers in 1983, as part of the Pepsi ‘New Generation’ campaign followed by Pepsi’s sponsorship of the epic BAD Tour and the iconic “Chase” commercials which served as the impetus for the current reunion. Pepsi also featured Jackson in the ‘Music Icons’ commercial that premiered during The X Factor in 2011.

Pepsi’s new “Live for Now” campaign is a culmination of extensive global research demonstrating Pepsi fans’ desire to capture the excitement of now and live each moment to the fullest. First launched in the U.S. last month, “Live for Now” will come to life through a breadth of global, pop-culture platforms, events and unique partnerships and will begin to roll out globally throughout 2012.



Spike Lee Interviews Siedah Garrett For 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson “Bad” Documentary

Michael Jackson is an ALL-TIME 100 FASHION ICON

From models and muses to designers and photographers, the world of style has no shortage of superstars. We picked the 100 most influential fashion icons since 1923, the beginning of TIME … magazine

The glittering glove. The Thriller-era leather jacket. Those spit-shined penny loafers that gave him the otherworldly ability to glide across the stage.

Yes, it’s no coincidence that we associate the different chapters of the King of Pop’s career with the clothes he wore. But what’s perhaps most impressive of all when it comes to Jackson’s aesthetic is that it never once felt contrived. His wardrobe — though flamboyant — was never some grandiose political statement or performance-art afterthought. Like his music, his style reflected the inverse of an introverted artist wrought with complexity: flashy, singularly talented and larger than life.

It was a wardrobe, for lack of better words, fit for a king.

View the full list for “All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons”

Spike Lee Making Doc For 25th Anniversary Of Michael Jackson’s “Bad”

Spike divulged how he’s had some of the greatest times of his life in Brazil like when he shot They Don’t Really Care About Us with Michael Jackson there. He provided a couple of MJ anecdotes and a short impersonation of MJ’s “falsetto” voice and his “serious/angry” voice. It was funny. I don’t know if he actually hedged on this answer because the film will be a touristy piece showcasing Brazil or if it will actually broach the subject of inequality, but he got distracted by his MJ anecdote.

On A New MJ Tribute Film

– Spike announced that he recently began filming a piece for the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Bad album.





Sony-EMI Deal Reunites Jackson 5 Songs With Michael Jackson

In the years after Michael Jackson became an international superstar, the song “I Want You Back” took on a new, reflexive sort of meaning for him.

Flush with cash from the stratospheric success of his solo career, Jackson thought seriously about buying the publishing rights to some of the songs he’d recorded years earlier as a member of the Jackson 5–including “I Want You Back,” one of hundreds in Motown’s Jobete catalog, then owned by the legendary Berry Gordy and his sister. Despite serious interest from Jackson, who was “like a son” to Gordy, the music mogul sold a 50% stake in the catalog to EMI for $132 million in 1997.

But dreams often take a lifetime to achieve, and the King of Pop seems to have realized this one posthumously. On Friday, a Sony-led team of investors purchased EMI’s entire publishing catalog for $2.2 billion. The group includes billionaire David Geffen, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners LP, and none other than the estate of Michael Jackson (its stake is nested within Sony’s 38% share of EMI, according to sources close to the negotiations).

The move makes sense for reasons beyond just the sentimental. Michael Jackson’s estate still co-owns the separate Sony/ATV publishing catalog in a joint venture with Sony; that company, headed by former EMI chief Marty Bandier, will administer the newly-acquired EMI assets on behalf of the investors.

Still, the reunion is little more than a drop in the financial bucket. Because Sony/ATV (The Michael Jackson Estate)  will soon begin receiving administrative fees from the EMI catalog’s new owners, its own value is likely north of $2 billion as well.

As for Jackson, his estate has raked in half a billion dollars since his death two and a half years ago. And though the King of Pop’s posthumous concert flick was called This Is It, he’s just getting started from a posthumous earnings perspective. Jackson’s Immortal World Tour, a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, is grossing $2.4 million a night; plans call for over 100 shows a year for each of the next three years.


Sony/ATV News



Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil – Show Preview & Review

Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil and the Michael Jackson Estate

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

An electrifying production that unfolds inside the creative mind of Michael Jackson.
A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.

NOW ON TOUR! Tickets & Info:

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION
‘A gift from beyond’: Cirque du Soleil’s Jackson show debuts in Montreal

By: Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Michael Jackson had always hoped to do a show with Cirque de Soleil, and on Sunday that dream came true.

The “Immortal World Tour” debuted at the Bell Centre in Montreal, combining acrobatics and dance with the King of Pop’s massive catalogue of hits spanning more than four decades.

From “ABC” to “Thriller,” the high-octane performance did not disappoint.

It was also a tribute to Jackson’s lasting impact on dance and fashion _ from his patented moonwalk to his iconic white glove.

At one point, a pair of giant dancing black dress shoes with white socks graced the stage, and at another, a pack of acrobatic werewolves.

But Michael Jackson and the circus? It’s a perfect fit, according to his brother, Jackie.
“First of all, Michael is a great fan of Cirque (du Soleil). He’s seen all the shows,” Jackie, who arrived with his brothers Tito and Marlon, told reporters just before the show. “And to have Cirque and Michael together, you expect to see something fantastic.”

Jackson’s mother Katherine and his three children were also at the show, making a brief appearance beforehand for a photo-op.

The family made the trip to the premiere from Los Angeles, where the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor is underway.

The show packed 60 hits into about an hour and a half, starting with the Jackson 5 and ending with Jackson’s last studio album.

It did not, however, dare imitate the man himself — no single performer plays the role of Jackson.

“We were very clear on this, and I think the family was too,” said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil.

Lamarre said he had the blessing of Jackson’s mother to go ahead with the show.

“Many people were interested in doing shows to pay tribute to Michael Jackson,” Lamarre said.

“His mother said Michael has always wanted to do a show with the circus, so if there is a show about Michael, it will be Cirque du Soleil.”

While a wholehearted tribute, the performance didn’t glaze over Jackson’s eccentricities, with Bubbles the chimpanzee making more than one appearance.

It also alluded to a darker side. To the tune of Jackson’s song “Childhood,” where he laments never having had one, dancers swayed above the entry sign to the now infamous Neverland Ranch while a child looked longingly through a window.

In another tune, Jackson is heard pleading “I need my privacy, get away” as clips of the TV news media play in the background.

The $60-million tour has stops in cities across Canada and the United States, beginning with Ottawa on Oct. 7.

The Jackson estate authorized and took part in the project.

Before the show, more than a hundred fans waited in the rain for a glimpse of the Jackson family on the red carpet.

One group of women wore single white gloves and black leather jackets in homage to Jackson.

“I’ve been a fan since I first saw him on TV in 1969 when I was nine,” said Montrealer Shirley Elvis.

“When I first heard this show was coming, I think everyone was in a really dark place and when we heard that they were going to do this it was like another gift from Michael from beyond.”

Winnipeg Free Press

Video: Dance & Acrobatics Elements in Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour

Chantal Tremblay, Director of Creation for Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, speaks about the dance and acrobatic elements that are part of the show.

Cirque du Soleil

MJ Wins Billboard’s MTV VMAs’ Best Performance of ALL time, MTV VMAs’ Best Pop Performance + Most Iconic VMA Moment Polls

Michael Jackson won both Billboard & MTV Live performance polls

Michael Jackson proved, yet again, just why he’s the King of Pop at the ’95 show.

Not only did he give MTV viewers a 10-minute medley of many of his biggest hits; he did it with on-stage costume changes, Moonwalking, Slash shredding on guitar, dance-fighting, enough crotch-grabbing for the whole of the ’90s, and a speech in the middle to boot.

Such was the awesome power of the memory of this spectacular MJ performance that was inundated with thousands and thousands and thousands of fans voting for this 16 year old moment.

By the way,  Michael’s 1988 performance of “Bad” and his brief appearance with ‘N Sync in 2001 were the choices listed on the Billboard poll.  However, his 1995 performance is an obvious fan favorite, winning as a ‘write-in’ option.

BT Digital Music Awards – VOTE for MJJRealRealm Best (Michael Jackson) Fansite


Michael Jackson’s Art and Studio, Revealed for the First Time

By Sophie Duvernoy Wed., Aug. 17 2011 at 11:00 AM

MJ's Art StudioShannon Cottrell
The interior of Michael Jackson’s art studio, which he shared with friend and artist Brett-Livingstone Strong

Until now, Michael Jackson’s art collection was shrouded in mystery. It was said to be stuck in a legal dispute over possession. Then, people speculated that buyers such as Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté were interested. It’s been valued at the staggering (and slightly unbelievable) sum of $900 million.

One crucial fact: Jackson’s art collection isn’t art by other people — it’s mainly drawings and paintings that he created himself. So what does that art look like?

Yesterday, LA Weekly was the first to visit the (until now) top-secret Santa Monica Airport hangar that Jackson used as his studio and art storehouse. The collection is currently owned by Brett-Livingstone Strong, the Australian monument builder and Jackson’s art mentor through the years, in conjunction with the Jackson estate.

Though the entire art collection has been mired in disputes and battles for rights, Strong claims that he is working with everybody — the family, the estate, as well as others — to exhibit and publish as much of Jackson’s work as possible.

According to Strong, he and Jackson formed an incorporated business partnership in 1989, known as the Jackson-Strong alliance. This gave each partner a fifty-percent stake in the other’s art. In 2008, Strong says, Jackson requested that his attorney sign the rights to Jackson’s portion of the art over to Strong. Now, Strong is beginning to reveal more and more of the art as he goes ahead with Jackson’s dream of organizing a museum exhibit.

Shannon Cottrell
Some of Jackson’s original drawings hanging on the wall. Prints of these were donated to the L.A. Children’s Hospital.​

Strong gave us a tour of the hangar, beginning with the Michael Jackson monument that Strong and Jackson co-designed several years ago. It’s perhaps bombastic, but designed with good intentions and the rabid Jackson fan in mind. Strong explains, “He wanted his fans to be able to get married at a monument that would have all of his music [in an archive, and playing on speakers], to inspire some of his fans.”

The current design is still in the works, but it’s conceived as an interactive monument — fans who buy a print by Jackson will receive a card in the mail. They can scan this card at the monument, and then have a computer organize a personal greeting for them, or allow them to book it for weddings. Jackson initially thought it would be perfect for Las Vegas, but Strong says that Los Angeles might have the honor of hosting it — apparently, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently paid a visit and made a few oblique promises.

Shannon Cottrell
The Michael Jackson monument mock-up, featuring miniature pilgrims and a bridal couple​

As for Jackson’s art, the contents of the hangar barely scratched the surface of the collection, as Strong estimates Jackson’s total output at 150 to 160 pieces. A few large pieces hanging on the walls had been donated as reproductions to the L.A. Children’s Hospital last Monday, along with other sketches and poems.

Shannon Cottrell
Portrait of Bubbles, Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee​

In all of his art, certain motifs kept cropping up: chairs (usually quite baroque), gates, keys and the number 7. His portrait of Bubbles, his pet chimpanzee, shows a monkey-like face vanishing into a cushy, ornate lounge chair. “He loved chairs,” says Strong. “He thought chairs were the thrones of most men, women and children, where they made their decisions for their daily activity. He was inspired by chairs. Rather than just do a portrait of the monkey, he put it in the chair. And you see, there are a few sevens — because he’s the seventh child.”

Jackson, who was a technically talented artist — and completely self-taught — fixated on these motifs, elevating everyday objects into cult symbols. Strong added that Jackson’s sketchbooks are completely filled with studies of his favorite objects, in endless permutations.

Shannon Cottrell
MJ’s portrait of George Washington — he initially planned to do a series of all of the presidents, but never continued it.​

But Jackson also created portraits: a small sketch of Paul McCartney, and a large drawing of George Washington, created as Strong was working with the White House to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution back in 1987. He also sketched self-portraits — one as a humorous four-panel drawing charting his growing-up process, and a darker one that depicts him as a child cowering in a corner, inscribed with a sentence reflecting on his fragility.

Shannon Cottrell Strong, holding up a four-panel sketch that Jackson drew of himself.

As an artist, Jackson preferred using wax pencils, though Strong adds, “He did do a lot of watercolors but he gave them away. He was a little intimidated by mixing colors.” Some surviving pencils are archived in the hangar; Strong moves over to a cabinet on the far wall of the hangar and pulls out a ziploc bag containing a blue wax pencil, a white feathered quill and a white glove that Jackson used for drawing.

Jackson turned to art as times got hard for him. “His interest in art, in drawing it, was just another level of his creativity that went on over a long period of time,” Strong says. “It was quite private to him. I think he retreated into it when he was being attacked by those accusations against him.” The sketches and drawings certainly reveal an extremely sensitive creator, though it’s clear that Jackson also had a sense of humor.

Jackson’s art was kept under wraps for such a long time simply because of the pedophilia scandal, which erupted right around the time that he was looking for a way to publicize the works. “A lot of his art was going to be exhibited 18 years ago. Here’s one of his tour books, where he talks about exhibiting art. He didn’t want it to be a secret,” Strong says, pointing at a leaflet from the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Shannon Cottrell
Strong and Jackson wearing matching leather and velvet jackets, celebrating their artistic alliance.​

Prior to that period, Jackson and Strong had met and become fast friends. This marked the beginning of Strong’s mentorship, in which he encouraged Jackson to create bigger paintings and drawings, and exhibit his work. The idea behind their Jackson-Strong Alliance was that Strong would help Jackson manage and exhibit his art. Notably, the alliance birthed Strong’s infamous $2 million portrait of Michael Jackson entitled The Book, the only known portrait Jackson ever sat for.

In 1993, everything blew up. At the time, Jackson and Strong were both on the board of Big Brothers of Los Angeles (now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters), a chapter of the national youth mentoring organization established in L.A. by Walt Disney and Meredith Willson. They had planned out a fundraising campaign involving Jackson’s art. Strong explains, “We thought that if we would market [his art] in limited edition prints to his fans, he could support the charities that he wanted to, rather than have everybody think that he was so wealthy he could afford to finance everybody.” When the pedophilia scandal erupted, Disney put a freeze on the project. The artwork stayed put, packed away from public eyes in storage crates.

Shannon Cottrell
Jackson’s sketch of an airplane at the Santa Monica airport​

As for the spectacular appraisal of $900 million for Jackson’s art collection, Strong says that it derives from the idea of reproducing prints as well. The figure was originally quoted by Eric Finzi, of Belgo Fine Art Appraisers. “The reason somebody came out with that was because there was an appraisal on if all of his originals were reproduced — he wanted to do limited editions of 777 — and he would sell them to his fan base in order to build his monument, support kids and do other things. You multiply that by 150 originals, and if they sold for a few thousand dollars each, then you would end up with 900 million dollars.” Fair enough, though now Strong says he has gone to an appraiser in Chicago to get that value double-checked, and they arrived at an even higher estimate.

The story of Jackson’s art ends up being quite a simple one, though confused by so much hearsay and rumor. Strong and the Jackson estate will slowly reveal more works as time passes, and an exhibit is tentatively planned for L.A.’s City Hall. Negotiations with museums for a posthumous Jackson retrospective are still underway, but Strong has high hopes. He’s even talking of building a Michael Jackson museum that would house all of Jackson’s artwork.

Shannon Cottrell
Jackson’s sketch of the White House doors, to which he added the following quote from John Adams: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men [MJ’s addition:] or women rule under this roof.”​

We’ll leave you with Strong’s own description of Jackson at work, during the time where they shared a studio in a house in Pacific Palisades:

He was in a very light and happy mood most of the time. He would have the oldies on, and sometimes he’d hear some of his Jackson Five songs. He’d kind of move along to that, but most of the time he would change it and listen to a variety of songs. He liked classical music. His inspiration to create was that he loved life, and wanted to express his love of life in some of these simple compositions.

I came to the studio one day, and we had a Malamute. I came into the house, and I heard this dog barking and thought, Wow, I wonder what that is. I go into the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I see Michael up in the pots and pans in the middle of the center island. He’s holding a pen and paper and the dog is running around the island and barking at him, and he says, “He wants to play! He wants to play!” He’s laughing, and I’m laughing about it as I’m thinking to myself, “I’m wondering how long he’s been up there.”

Michael Jackson’s dedication to art: so strong that he’ll end up perched on a kitchen island.

Follow @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

MTV’s 30th Anniversary: Michael Jackson’s impact

Fact: Michael Jackson had a video in the top 5 of each of MTV’s 3 decades;

#1 Thriller – 1980’s, #2 Scream – 1990’s, and #5 You Rock My World – 2000’s.

The 30 Best Music Videos Ever: Billboard Poll Results

By Alan Sepinwall/The Star-Ledger

How big an impact did Michael Jackson have on MTV? Put it this way: it took Jackson’s death to get the channel to start playing music videos again.

For the first day and a half after the death of the King of Pop, MTV largely abandoned its usual lineup of reality shows in favor of a marathon of Jackson videos, from the classics like “Beat It” to more obscure ones like 2001’s “You Rock My World” (with a Marlon Brando cameo!).

It’s been often said that Jackson brought about two fundamental changes to the world of music video: he desegregated MTV, and the cost and scope of his videos marked a paradigm shift away from the cheap, unambitious schlock MTV had been showing to that point.

There’s more evidence supporting the former theory than the latter, but Jackson inarguably made as big a mark in the world of video as he did in the world of music itself.

Great as his songs were, many of our strongest memories of him come from television: The early Jackson 5 appearances with Diana Ross. The Rankin/Bass-produced Saturday morning cartoon. Jackson moonwalking to “Billie Jean” on the Motown 25th anniversary special on CBS in 1983, which has to rank alongside the “Ed Sullivan Show” debuts of Elvis Presley and The Beatles among the most iconic moments in the crossover between music and TV.

Most of all, we think of the videos: of Michael as a dancing zombie in “Thriller,” Michael as a tough gang kid in “Beat It,” Michael evading the paparazzi in “Billie Jean,” etc. As he grew from boy to man, it was his dancing as much as his singing that made him the King of Pop, and nowhere was his otherworldly footwork on better display than in his videos.

MTV executives have always denied that there was any kind of prohibition against African American artists in the channel’s early days, while Walter Yetnikoff, who was the head of Jackson’s record label at the time, has always insisted there was.

Yetnikoff wrote in his autobiography, “Howling at the Moon,” that “I screamed bloody murder when MTV refused to air his videos. They argued that their format, white rock, excluded Michael’s music. I argued they were racist (jerks) — and I’d trumpet it to the world if they didn’t relent… With added pressure from Quincy Jones, they caved in, and in doing so the MTV color line came crashing down.”

Whether MTV’s resistance to Jackson had to do with color or genre, there was no question that his videos quickly became the channel’s biggest draw.

The launch of the video for “Thriller” — a 13-minute pastiche of ’50s horror movies, directed by John Landis and featuring horror legend Vincent Price in a cameo — was presented with all the pomp and circumstance of a movie premiere. Later Jackson videos, notably “Bad” and “Black or White,” got similar treatment.

Whether there had previously been resistance to artists of color on the channel or not, there’s no question that they became more prevalent after Jackson’s ascension.

As for changing the content of the videos themselves, what Jackson and his collaborators accomplished wasn’t so much a matter of kind as of degree. While the reputation of early ’80s MTV was of low-budget videos that were little more than glorified concert footage, many videos of the pre-“Thriller” period were ambitious and/or expensive, like Duran Duran’s “Rio,” or Blondie’s “Rapture.”

But the “Beat It” video cost a reported $150,000, a huge figure at the time. “Thriller” was an epic. Many of Jackson’s videos in later years would debut at an extreme length, then be cut down for regular airplay.

In addition to Landis, Jackson would work with directors like Martin Scorsese (“Bad”), John Singleton (“Remember the Time,” which featured cameos by Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson), Spike Lee (“They Don’t Care About Us”) and David Fincher (“Who Is It”). (Jackson also got Francis Ford Coppola to direct “Captain EO,” the 3-D movie musical that used to play at Disney’s theme parks.)

And as Jackson put more time, money and artistry into his videos, other singers followed suit.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at, or at 1 Star-Ledger Plaza, Newark, N.J. 07102-1200. Please include your full name and hometown.

Judge dismisses promoters’ lawsuit against Jackson

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a
multimillion-dollar lawsuit by a concert promoter against the late
Michael Jackson over a failed reunion concert.

U.S. District
Judge Harold Baer Jr. granted a motion by lawyers for Jackson’s estate
to dismiss the case, citing a lack of evidence that the late King of
Pop or his family were under a binding agreement to perform at a
reunion concert.

AllGood Entertainment Inc., a company started in
Morristown, N.J., sued Jackson for $40 million on June 10, 2009,
roughly two weeks before the singer’s death in Los Angeles at age 50.
It claimed Jackson and his then-manager broke a contract for a Jackson
reunion show.

AllGood later filed a creditor’s claim with
Jackson’s estate, claiming the potential value of the lawsuit was at
least $300 million.

Baer determined that there was a letter of
intent between Jackson’s then-manager, Frank DiLeo, and AllGood, but
never an enforceable contract. He noted that neither Jackson nor any
other members of the family who were to be involved in the show ever
signed a contract.

Attorneys for Jackson’s estate and DiLeo
contended that if there was a breach in the contract, AllGood broke the
agreement first because it did not issue a payment to Jackson before a
required deadline. Baer wrote that there was no evidence that AllGood
suffered substantial economic damage because of the failed concert.

case never had any merit and the claim was frivolous from day one,”
Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman said in a statement. “Michael Jackson never agreed to participate in a concert promoted by AllGood as
the judge clearly found in his opinion.”

An after-hours phone message left for AllGood’s attorney, Ira Meyerowitz, was not immediately returned.


Earlier this year, a federal judge in Washington rejected a suit by former Michael Jackson publicist Raymone Bain, who claimed that she was cheated out of
$44 million in commisions on business deals she helped arranged for the
late King of Pop.


Jackson’s hometown donates land for museum / Jackson memorial moved to 2300 Jackson Street

"Goin’ Back to Indiana"

Rudy Clay, right, describes plans for the proposed Michael Jacksonmuseum during a news conference Wednesday in Gary, Ind., as Joe
Jackson, the late singer’s father, looks on.
(John Smierciak/Associated Press)

Jackson’s father joined officials in the late pop singer’s Indiana
hometown on Wednesday to announce plans for a $300 million US museum
and arts centre in his honour.

"This is a happy day for me because this is something that my family
and Michael have always wanted," Joe Jackson said. "We’re bringing
something back [to Gary, Ind.]."

Jackson said he was "just carrying out [his son’s] legacy" by getting involved.

"This project will be the magnet that will draw people from all over
the world," said Gary Mayor Rudy Clay in announcing that about 300 acres of city property would be donated for the centre.

He estimated that the project would create thousands of jobs, draw
hundreds of thousands of visitors to the financially struggling city
and generate more than $100 million US for the community.

Money for the project — which entails a Jackson family museum as
well as a performing arts centre and theatre facility named after
Michael Jackson — will come from investors and donations, Clay added.

All of Joe and Katherine Jackson’s children were born in Gary. The
family moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, spurred by the success of the
Jackson Five.

The late King of Pop last visited Gary in 2003 to discuss building a
museum and cultural centre. No progress was made before his sudden
death in June 2009.


Michael Jackson monument is now located at boyhood home

Michael Jackson monument that was unveiled last year and that was
housed at the Southshore Railcats stadium, has been moved to the
boyhood home of Michael Jackson at 2300 Jackson Street. 

>>>  MJ Fanvention / NWI

The Gospel According To Michael Jackson / Sacramento Church Service Turns To Michael Jackson’s Music

Kenny Lopez  November 29, 2009  SACRAMENTO


You’d expect to hear Michael Jackson’s hits, "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" at a night club…but not at a church.

One local pastor is using Jackson’s music to get an important message across to spread the faith.

The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson wrote songs about peace,
salvation, and hope…all themes from an International star that one
local pastor believes we can all learn from.

"He had a power that people hadn’t seen before."

Pastor Ron Vanderwell from "The Gathering" Christian Church is teaching "The Gospel According to Michael Jackson".

To get the crowd at the Natomas Marketplace Theatre going, Pastor Ron
showed off some of the Late Pop Star’s signature moves, but all jokes
aside, there was a serious message he wanted to get across using
Jackson’s tunes.

He says the hit song, "Beat It" teaches racial reconciliation.

"The combination of peace and defiance is a neat way to see combined together."

And songs like, "I’ll be there" teach inspirational lessons of love and commitment

"A desire to pour yourself out for someone else and the way he’s able
to do that. It shows a lasting connection with someone that won’t flake
out on you."

Churchgoers say "Amen" to the messages taught here today.

"I can finally relate. It’s not just some old dude talking. I can’t
relate to that, but I can relate to Michael Jackson’s music," Stuart
Canton says.

Churchgoer, Dorothy Wollan says, "We have so many pop artists. I’m sure
they have a lot to offer the public and there’s always a deeper layer
and we need to look for that."

Getting people to think about the deeper meanings through Pop music is exactly what Rev. Ron is aiming for.

He says, "The sense of redemption, the sense of love and peace are all things that Michael Jackson helped us hope for."

Next Sunday will be "The Gospel According to U2" and then the following
week, The Gathering will offer lessons from Heavy Metal Band
Metallica’s jams.



Sacramento church service turns to Michael Jackson’s music
By Jennifer Garza
Published: Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 3B

The Rev. Ron Vanderwell preaches about salvation. Michael Jackson sang about it.

This weekend, the Sacramento pastor will turn to the work of the late pop star, who once sang "we must bring salvation back," to help him
deliver his Sunday message.

Vanderwell will feature Jackson’s words, music and videos during the 90-minute worship service at his church, The Gathering.

"We’ll show how his songs have the hope the Bible offers," the pastor said.

Vanderwell believes the service, which he is calling "The Gospel
According to Michael Jackson," is a unique way to reach his

The 10 a.m. service – the church meets at the Regal Cinemas in the Natomas Marketplace in Sacramento – is open to the public.

Vanderwell enjoys all kinds of music, including Jackson’s. "One of many
styles I liked," he said. And he was moved by the outpouring of
affection for Jackson after he died June 25.

"He sang about love and justice and relationships, and this connected with people," the pastor said.

Vanderwell and other church officials later planned a four-week series
of sermons based on pop music and wanted to include Jackson.

The first in the series, "The Gospel According to the Beatles" last
week, featured a prop of a yellow submarine on stage. Following the
Jackson-themed services will be U2 on Dec. 6 and Metallica on Dec. 13.
The church held its first Metallica series about five years ago. "And
everyone loved it," Vanderwell said.

The pastor said that this nontraditional approach to worship may not
appeal to everyone. But he said that many of the 100 or so regular
attendees appreciate the church’s efforts.

"Many of our members have not had a good church experience in
established churches and are open to new ways to looking for God,"
Vanderwell said.

Sometimes that means looking in the work of artists, he said. The
pastor said church leaders picked certain songs because they had
universal themes.

Some of the Jackson songs they selected are: "Billie Jean," "Beat It"
"Man in the Mirror" and "I’ll Be There," which includes these lyrics:

"You and I must make a pact

We must bring salvation back

Where there is love, I’ll be there."

"His words reflect the ache every one of us has for something better,"
Vanderwell said. He has titled his sermon "Is This It?" a reference to
"This Is It," Jackson’s concert film. He wants to show that Jackson was
a gifted but troubled artist.

The pastor said he will not gloss over the negative aspects of Jackson’s life.

"He wrestled with a lot of demons," Vanderwell said. "I think the point
of the message is that there is more to being whole than having a
sequined glove."

The Sacramento Bee

Michael Jackson, Beatles vindicated as ‘Billboard’ changes chart rules

Billboard announced today that starting later this month, its flagship Billboard 200 chart will reflect comprehensive sales of all albums, old and new. How come?

To understand the changed rules, think back to the awkward chart
situation that followed Michael Jackson’s death this past summer. Sales
of his work immediately skyrocketed, and for six non-consecutive weeks, his greatest-hits set Number Ones was the best-selling album in the U.S. Yet since it was more than 18 months old, Number Ones‘ sales weren’t counted for the Billboard
200. It was instead relegated to lesser-seen charts like Top
Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums, while lower-selling
new releases like Sugarland’s Live on the Inside topped the the Billboard 200. A similar fate befell the Beatles’ reissued albums, several of which would have qualified for Top 10 spots on the Billboard 200 this fall if they weren’t so old.

Prior to Jackson’s death, no catalog album had outsold the Billboard 200’s
No. 1 in the publication’s history. So this is just a matter of keeping
up with the times. “What we’ve seen in the past couple years — and not
just with Michael Jackson — is a lot of albums reissued with new
content,” Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo tells the Music Mix, citing successful reissue campaigns for Pearl Jam’s Ten and Jackson’s Thriller. “I think what we’ll see in the future is more labels trying to mine their catalog in creative ways. The Billboard
200 needs to show the sales activity of those titles, and also any
older titles that receive a spike due to any other exposure, [such as]
an artist appearing on American Idol.”

The change will go into effect with the Billboard 200 dated Dec. 5 (covering the sales week from Nov. 16-22).

Entertainment Weekly

The unlikely odyssey of ‘This Is It’

By Ben Fritz

HOLLYWOOD — On June 25, just hours after Michael Jackson died, Tim
Patterson drove 40 miles from his home to downtown Los Angeles with $60
million worth of film footage in his trunk.

As he sped down
Interstate 5, Patterson carried virtually all of the 140 hours of
rehearsal footage from Jackson’s planned “This Is It” concert series
that would eventually be whittled down to the 112-minute movie now
playing in theaters around the world.

Patterson, 53, a
commercial director whose biggest regular gig is making ads for a golf
equipment company, was one of two camera operators hired by concert
promoter AEG Live to record “This Is It” rehearsals. Every night after
work, he transferred hours of video shot by himself and collaborator
Sandrine Orabona to two hard drives in his home office. The afternoon
that Jackson died, Paul Gongaware, a producer of the concert and movie,
called Patterson with an urgent request: The footage, which had
suddenly become uniquely valuable, had to be delivered to AEG’s
downtown offices immediately.

Thus began an unlikely odyssey in
which a commercial director who had never worked on a feature film
before became the only person, besides Jackson’s close artistic
collaborators, involved in “This Is It” from beginning to end.

with longtime collaborator Brandon Key, Patterson worked on every cut
of “This Is It,” from the original footage given to the media days
after Jackson’s death to DVD extras recently completed. “This will be
the most important and incredible thing I do in my career,” he said.

involvement began in May when he e-mailed Gongaware to ask whether
there might be some role for him in preparations for the “This Is It”
concert. Gongaware was looking to start compiling behind-the-scenes
footage. He hired Patterson and Orabona and put together a budget of
$80,000. Over the next six months, using two $6,000 Sony cameras
Patterson bought for the project, they worked six days a week, often
until midnight, shooting performances and candid moments and
interviewing dancers and others working on the concert.

the footage was intended only for promotional Internet videos and
Jackson’s private archives, many important moments were shot by only
one person. When performers’ body microphones were turned off, fuzzy
sound was captured with a boom mike attached to the camera. “If we had
known it was going to be a movie,” said Patterson, “we would have shot
with nine or 12 cameras and gotten coverage on everything.”

week after Jackson died, Patterson and Key were at AEG headquarters,
with equipment strewn on the floor, trying to figure out just what they
had. Within a week of the singer’s death, they cut together the initial
97-second clip from “This Is It” that became an Internet sensation. By
mid-July, top executives from studios including 20th Century Fox,
Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures came to look
at what they had come up with. Soon after, Sony agreed to pay $60
million to turn the footage into a movie.

Patterson and Key
worked with Don Brochu, who edited director Kenny Ortega’s “High School
Musical 3: Senior Year,” to assemble a first cut. Patterson and Key
then worked seven- day weeks for about a month, tweaking the first cut
into the finished movie. “We could have shown more behind- the-scenes
stuff, but Kenny felt strongly that Michael would have wanted to
include more songs for the fans,” said Key.

After the movie was
done, Patterson and Key went on to edit additional content for the DVD,
due for release in January or February. “I never imagined that I’d ever
work on a project where I would break down and cry in the edit bay,”
said Patterson.

The Buffalo News

Director Kenny Ortega on Oscar Buzz for “This Is It”

"Michael Jackson‘s This Is It"
comes too late in the year to be considered for a documentary Oscar,
but the film about the late King of Pop‘s preparations for a series of
comeback concerts could qualify for other Hollywood honors, including
the Academy Award for best picture.

The film, which opened around the globe Tuesday and Wednesday has
already earned rousing praise from fans and critics, who say it
restores Jackson’s reputation as a world-class entertainer.

"What we did here was focus on telling a good story and creating a film
for the fans, really enabling them to understand what Michael Jackson
had dreamed for them," Kenny Ortega said Wednesday.

He added it was his hope "the audience for this film will grow and
that as many people come to see it as possible because I think that
it’s a wonderful story about a brilliant man… Awards, Oscars, that’s
all great wishful thinking."

It may be more than wishful, said Steven Gaydos, executive editor
of the Hollywood trade paper Variety and a self-described cynic. With
the Academy Awards best-picture slate expanded to 10 films this year
rather than the traditional five, "This Is It" could find itself among
the contenders, he said.

To qualify, the film must complete a seven-day run in Los Angeles
County and filmmakers would need to "submit the proper paperwork," said
Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, which puts on the Oscars. The movie could also be considered
in other categories such as sound, she said.

Ortega, a veteran director, producer and choreographer who counts TV’s
"High School Musical" among his credits, could find himself in
contention for a best-director nod, Gaydos said.

"He did a masterful job putting this whole thing together," he
said. "It was so powerful and interesting, so creative and well-done, I
think he should be considered… Kenny just won over all these critics
like me with Michael Jackson that anything interesting could go on with
this guy."

After completing a weeklong run, "This Is It" could also be
eligible for Golden Globe awards consideration if it’s submitted before
the Nov. 6 deadline, said Michael Russell, a spokesman for the
Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the annual ceremony.

Ortega said an Oscar nod would be a fitting recognition of Jackson’s last work.

"He deserves one," he said. "Come on people."

CBS News

TII Screened For Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

A veteran Oscar voter predicts Michael Jackson’s "This Is It" will be
nominated for best picture based upon its reception at today’s Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening.

He e-mails Gold Derby this report, "Just attended Sunday afternoon
screening of ‘This Is It’ at AMPAS in Goldwyn Theater before a capacity
audience (1,000 seats) to experience the most enthusiastic response
I’ve ever witnessed in 40 years of academy screenings. Similar to but
better than the reaction given to ‘Chicago’ a few years ago. Audience
broke into applause at least 10 times. They were ‘mesmerized’ and gave
film an enormous reception as credits rolled. The editing is brilliant.

I predict it will be the first doc to ever make the best picture
nomination list, especially now that there are 10 best pic noms. I also
consider the work ‘a gift to the world.’ "

L.A. Times

‘This Is It’ tops overseas boxoffice for 2nd weekend

Exclusive: The Makers of Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Kenny Ortega: Michael Jackson was ready to triumph in London

Reviews: Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Michael Jackson’s "This Is It" is #1 Number One @ the Box Office