“Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian”
“A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art and music of the moment. He is more important than ever.”
~ The Michael Jackson Estate pic.twitter.com/GqtxxhmE9n
— Ms Mo (@MJJRealRealm) June 25, 2019
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.
Joe Vogel’s “‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets: Rescreening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black Or White”
In recent weeks, Joe Vogel, noted author on works about Michael Jackson, has been cyber stalked and bullied in a blatant effort to censor his work. Dr. Vogel is an Assistant Professor at Merrimack College whose Doctoral thesis was on the work of Michael Jackson. His works in include Man In the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus” and numerous articles on Michael Jackson and other popular music and literary figures. Dr. Vogel contributed an essay on “Thriller” for the the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. “Thiller” is the only music short film to be added to the National Registry of the Library of Congress.
Dr. Voge’s essay for the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress on Michael Jackson’s Thriller can be found here:
An individual falsely accused Dr. Vogel of plagiarism for his article “‘I…
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— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) April 7, 2015
Just when you thought Michael Jackson has run out of records to break, the King of Pop made history again!
“Love Never Felt So Good” climbed into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The much-missed music legend became the first artist to land top 10 hits in five different decades.
— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) April 10, 2014
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” / “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round (demo)” CD Single Debuts at #1 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales Chart
New York, NY – On June 5, the original first single from Michael Jackson’s landmark album BAD, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” was re-released as a CD Single with a never-before released bonus track called “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round (demo).” In its first week this Wal-Mart exclusive CD single was scooped up by fans, giving Michael a #1 debut on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart in a top five that includes Carly Rae Jepsen, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber and Coldplay/Rihanna.
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was written and composed by Michael Jackson and performed as a duet with Siedah Garrett. The song became the first of five consecutive number-one Billboard Hot 100 hits from Jackson’s BAD album. It also reached number one on the Billboard R&B and adult contemporary charts. “Don’t Be Messin’ Around” is a previously unreleased demo from the singer’s vaults which was recorded during the BADsessions.
On September 18th, the Estate of Michael Jackson along with Epic/Legacy Recordings will release BAD 25, which includes three CDs, two collectible booklets, and features the first-ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD tour, the concert at Wembley Stadium on July 16, 1988 attended by Princess Diana, Prince Charles and a sold-out crowd of 72,000 fans.
More details on this and other exciting projects relating to BAD‘s 25th anniversary will be announced soon.
March 12, 1988 – CBS aired a special “Michael Jackson…the Legend Continues”
Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues is a great documentary that will remind You of what a brilliant, great entertainer Michael Jackson was considered by many people the world over in 1988. The music will make one go searching for his music both when he was with the Jackson 5 and when he went solo. Lots of behind the scenes & rare home movies, as only Motown could have done.
Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour is the #1 tour in America and has been since the show’s US premiere in Las Vegas last December, according to Pollstar magazine, the concert tour industry’s leading trade publication.
The show is breaking box office records: Over the weekend in Miami, IMMORTAL was sold out three nights in a row and set a new record as the top grossing 3-day run in the history of the American Airlines Arena. Fans around the country have been tremendously supportive, and what’s more, the show’s incredible musical performances, choreography and visuals have drawn new fans to Michael’s music and legacy. It’s the biggest, most successful tour in the country!
This is just what Michael would have wanted and deserves. Michael has always been and will always be the Biggest Star in the World thanks to his fans!
Pollstar ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week’s ranking is in parentheses. The rank is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
Today in Black History:
The original album, holds the Guinness World Records title for best-selling album of all time. It has been certified 29x Multi-platinum by the RIAA, featured seven top 10 hits, spent 37 weeks at the top of the charts and sold more than 104 million copies worldwide and counting…
Besides all that, Thriller had significant cultural influence. Michael broke unspoken racial barriers between pop, rock and dance music. He made music almost everyone could love.
It’s not often that the whole world listens to the same music, and there’s great power in that. You can’t have it unless just about every constituency is represented. That feat is probably one Michael’s greatest triumphs.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
His influence today proves him to be one of the greatest creators of all time, but Jackson’s art—like that of many black artists—still doesn’t get the full respect it deserves.
The point of his ambition wasn’t money and fame; it was respect…
The elementary school where Michael Jackson once roamed the halls could be the alma mater of the next king or queen of pop.
Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood, where Michael Jackson attended sixth grade, will kick off its Michael Jackson Music Education Lab with an open house Monday for students and parents.
The lab will feature a new curriculum and interactive music education program created to teach students how to read music, play piano and compose and arrange music.
The MusIQ program and its lab will incorporate personal computers and M-Audio MIDI keyboards into its curriculum.
“This is only the second school in California to have this program; it’s the first one in the LA Unified District,” said Lesley Holmes, the founder and chairwoman for the Friends of Gardnerville, the non-profit organization that supports the elementary school and children by creating funding opportunities for educational programs.
The lab will have pictures of Jackson and a signed chalkboard.
“This was a room that Michael Jackson used when he attended the school in the sixth grade. His presence was made in musical contributions,” said Holmes.
The lab was built with donations from various sponsors and The Friends of Gardnerville hope to fully fund the program on their own next year, said Holmes.
This is the second time Jackson has been recognized at the elementary school. The auditorium is also named after the late superstar.
♬ Today’s date in music HIStory 2002 ♬ #MichaelJackson
♬ ARTIST OF THE CENTURY AMA Award ♬ #KingOfPop ♬
#MJ ♡ #MJForever ♡ ♬ #LongLivetheKing ♬
10 year Anniversary!
Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff
Sammy Davis, Jr. once said that “everything Michael Jackson does on stage is exactly right.” The King of Pop indeed left some big leather loafers to fill, but judging by the crowd’s reaction at MGM’s Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is doing an admirable job.
Among those in attendance for Saturday night’s performance: Cee Lo Green, as well as Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles. Seated within view of the reporters assembled to chronicle the show, the couple laughed and smiled as acrobats and dancers swirled across the stage–zombies popping out of coffins, contortionists emerging from giant books, even a performer dressed as a giant white glove–all while a live band blasted out the soundtrack beneath Jackson’s soaring vocals.
“We have all done our best to make this a celebration of his essence in his absence,” musical director Greg Phillinganes told me shortly after the show’s debut. “His passion for humanity … his commitment to excellence, his flair for the big show, we’ve tried to incorporate all those factors.”
Immortal is the highest-grossing live show in the country for the second week in a row, bringing in just shy of $2 million per night in Vegas. That’s over half a million dollars more than the next-highest earner, Taylor Swift, according to concert data provider Pollstar.
It’s all the more impressive given that the Jackson show has been parked at the 8,500-seat Mandalay Bay Theatre for much of December; Swift has been playing arenas more than twice that size, as Immortal will soon be doing when resumes its trek across the North America. An international leg is set to follow in late 2012.
A joint venture between the Michael Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil, Immortal opened in October and is already approaching $100 million in ticket sales. That should come as no surprise, given the extraordinary spectacle that audiences witness with each performance.
The show begins with a spotlight illuminating a mime clad in all white; his shell-toed sneakers and backwards hat make him look more b-boy than sad clown. As he cozies up to an image of Michael Jackson that fills a giant video screen at the back of the stage, the pictures melts away to reveal the band, and a troupe of dancers streams onto the stage.
The mime serves as a guide throughout the performance, starting with Jackson’s early years and the song “Have You Seen My Childhood.” There’s a miniature hot air balloon and a Jackson Five montage complete with dancers dressed as Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Michael–oversized afros included. As the show continues, a replica of the Neverland gates rolls out, followed by performers dressed as Bubbles the Chimp and some of the other animals that once resided in Jackson’s private zoo.
Next comes the “Smooth Criminal” segment. The screens behind the stage turn black-and-white, revealing a video of Jackson outsmarting a series of detectives as they try to track him down. All the while, tommy gun-toting dancers decked out in fedoras and pinstriped suits mimic and elaborate upon Jackson’s moves, culminating in a flurry of pyrotechnics and mock gunfire that leaves only one dancer standing.
Perhaps the most impressive is the scene that comes next. The surviving gangster rips off her white suit to reveal nothing more than a shimmering bikini–and proceeds to ascend a slim tube that extends 30 feet or so into the air. Upon reaching the top she launches into an aerial pole-dance, contorting herself into positions that would seem impossible even on solid ground. At some point, she manages to hold herself perpendicular to the structure, supported by nothing besides her own strength.
Pushing the boundaries of the human body are trademarks of Cirque du Soleil, and that’s one of the many examples in which Immortal lives up to its lofty expectations (There’s also a scene where one acrobat lifts a partner into the air using only a strap hanging from his mouth; in another, a green dancer folds herself into a pretzel-shape and walks on her hands).
There’s a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor, too: at one point, Michael Jackson’s trademark black loafers appear as Mini Cooper-sized characters, each manned by a single dancer.
Though Immortal pays homage to Jackson’s biggest hits–”Thriller,” “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror,” to name a few–it also showcases some of Jackson’s later work, including the environmental anthem “Earth Song” and the oddly prescient “They Don’t Care About Us.” The latter of features scores of stomping robots with dollar signs emblazoned on their metallic chests, an idea dreamed up years before the birth of Occupy Wall Street.
Immortal features quite a few mashups of Jackson’s music, so it’s only fitting that the show ends with a parade of dancers hoisting flags that bear the combined symbols of various nations.
The production’s narrative arc does jump around a bit, as one might expect given the diverse nature of Jackson’s oeuvre. But Immortal’s architects managed to connect everything in a generally coherent manner–quite an achievement, given the staggering array of individual songs and mashups that made the final cut.
At any rate, the show has clearly passed the necessary tests in Vegas. Plans are already in the works to renovate the Mandalay Bay Theatre, which currently houses the Lion King, to accommodate a modified version of Immortal in time for a 2013 opening. If this month’s run is any indication, it should be a bonanza for MGM, Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate.
Though Jay-Z and Beyonce ducked out as the performers were taking their final bows on Saturday night, it’s clear that another superstar–Michael Jackson–will be staying in Las Vegas for quite some time.
On this day in 2001, the Michael Jackson Invincible album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart
Michael Jackson‘s long awaited Epic album “Invincible” debuted at Number 1 on The Billboard 200 on November 17, 2001 with sales of 366,300 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The set had already bowed at the top of the charts in the U.K., Australia, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, and six other countries, according to Sony Music. “Invincible” also charted at Number 1 on The Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums the same week.
“Invincible” was Jackson’s first album of new material since 1995’s “HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1,” which opened at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 after selling 391,000 copies, Jackson’s high water mark for first week sales since Billboard began using SoundScan data in 1991. Overall, it’s his fifth No. 1 album as a solo artist.
The 16-track set features guest spots from guitarist Carlos Santana and the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., plus production work from Rodney Jerkins, Teddy Riley, and Babyface.
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.
INVESTOR GROUP INCLUDING SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA ENTERS INTO DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING FROM CITI
Published: 9/29/11 11:31 AM ET
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since the world first mourned the loss of the King of Pop. While some of his fans expressed remorse on June 25, 2009, many knew that the cost of Michael Jackson’s death went far beyond his impeccable music. Although entertainment remains severely devoid of Michael’s unmatched talent, perhaps even more profoundly, many charities and innocents around the planet no longer have the ability to benefit from his overwhelming generosity. And for his children and family, Michael’s departure was and is felt on the deepest level as the daily battle to carry on without him continues. This week, as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr. Conrad Murray (his doctor at the time) gets underway, it’s important to keep in mind precisely who the accused criminal is — and who the victim was.
During my teenage years, I had the pleasure of first being introduced to Michael. Both blessed to have received mentorship and guidance from the late great Godfather of soul, James Brown, we quickly formed a kinship and bond that was virtually like family. Even though I focused on advocacy/activism and he on creating incredible music, we were on the same social and political page and worked through our respective fields to bring light to inequality wherever and whenever we viewed it. Our friendship lasted through the decades, through all of the ridiculous false accusations and through a media frenzy that tried its hardest to paint him as somehow odd or peculiar when he was only highlighting our own abnormality as a society.
In 1984, during Michael’s Victory Tour, I took on the role of his community relations director. Working in such a capacity, I again witnessed the unprecedented reaction people from all walks of life had towards this man, his music and impact in the world. And whether it was openly reminding all of us to ‘heal the world’ or quietly giving away hundreds of millions of his own wealth to the impoverished, Michael’s imprint everywhere was remarkable. And yet, many still attempted to portray him as somehow peculiar.
Dr. Conrad Murray is on trial this week. Accused of violating standards of medical care by leaving Michael unattended and failing to call 911, his defense will do whatever they can to keep him from serving jail time. They’ll argue his innocence, his years of service and most importantly, they will attempt to put Michael on trial yet again. Already this week, we heard the defense argue that Michael died from a combination of tranquilizers and a surgical anesthetic he took without Murray’s knowledge. Defense attorney Ed Chernoff even stated that Michael took enough prescription drugs to ‘put six of you to sleep’ and then somehow he self-administered Propofol (anesthetic usually used in hospitals). It is an outrageous statement compounded by the fact that it is Dr. Murray himself that stands accused of administering Propofol in excessive quantities and then leaving Michael unattended.
Great talent comes with great consequences. As an artist, when you are so intricately in touch with emotions, and think and feel on a deeper level than most, you are often viewed as an outsider when you don’t conform to conventional norms. That is the double-edged sword Michael dealt with throughout his lifetime. I had the unique pleasure of getting to know him for years and working with him on a host of issues. In 2002, Michael came to our National Action Network headquarters in Harlem as we marched together to Sony Music along with hundreds of supporters to demand his right to ownership of the very masterpieces he created. And I watched as many often tried — and of course failed — to vilify him over and over again. As I told Michael’s children during his funeral in ’09, there was nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with.
As the strangeness unfortunately plays out yet again in another court drama over two years after Michael’s passing, let’s be sure to remember precisely who is on trial here.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Not Michael Jackson is on Trial
Published by Earl Ofari Hutchinson on September 28, 2011 at 3:23pm
Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense, his only real defense against the charge of involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, is a simple one. He says that Jackson in effect killed himself. That he was so hopelessly drug addicted that he pumped himself up with the fatal drug or combination of drugs that killed him. The unstated is that given Jackson’s world renowned aloofness and eccentricities his self-destruction was all but foreordained. With anyone else and in any other circumstances, this would be a laughable defense.
The indisputable fact is that Murray is a trained physician. He was hired by Jackson specifically to administer and supervise his medications and medical care. He did not say no to Jackson’s continual use of the potentially lethal drug. He did not summon medics immediately when Jackson went into his fatal coma. No matter how self-destructive and on the edge one may want to believe that Jackson was, and that he did have a long history of drug use, it’s the wildest stretch to hold a patient responsible for his own death with his doctor literally in the next room. But Jackson is not just any patient. Since the day he was hauled into court in 2005 on child molestation charges and the day months later he was acquitted on all counts in the case, Jackson’s name has been synonymous with controversy.
The acquittal in the child molestation charge meant nothing to millions. Many still quietly whispered and many others openly slurred him as a child molester. His deep withdrawal from public view after the trial did not stop the endless swirl of malicious questions about his actions, motives, and alleged perversion. His death didn’t change things either.
Millions of Jackson fans mourned, agonized, and were infuriated by his death. Countless others dredged up, and hurled the same old, vicious accusations at Jackson as a freak, kook, and, of course, child molester. President Obama walked a fine and circumspect line in reacting to Jackson’s death. He sent the ritual condolences to Jackson’s family. But he also made veiled references to Jackson as a controversial figure when he noted that there were aspects of his life that were sad and tragic. The White House did not issue any formal statement on his death and when then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs asked if one would be forthcoming he testily replied “Because I just said it.” That officially ended the Jackson matter for the White House. Other politicians had no such reservations. They openly pilloried Jackson even slandering him as a “pervert” who did not deserve any public acclamation, but disgust. Jackson’s name, fame, and controversy are plastered all over what goes on in and outside the courtroom in the Murray trial.
There are the tearful and heartfelt reminiscences and reminders from fans and court observers about Jackson’s towering importance to the music and creative artistry world, and his continuing rapturous influence on millions. The legal experts meanwhile endlessly speculate on the evidence in the case and whether it measures up to the high bar of criminal culpability. Ultimately, Murray’s legal fate and Jackson’s celebrity name will rest in the hands of the jurors. Both are connected because not one of the jurors selected dared plead ignorance of not having heard of Jackson. The prosecutors and defense attorneys didn’t go there and try to determine the depth of the juror’s pro or anti Jackson bias. Some of the jurors made it clear that they were Jackson fans, or that they thought he was a great entertainer.
None expressed any misgivings about Jackson. The only misgivings were whether the criminal justice treated the rich and famous with kid gloves. More than one thought this is the case. Whether this means that the jury is so pro Jackson that Murray doesn’t stand much chance of acquittal is another matter. Indeed it should not matter. The jurors are charged with one thing, and one thing only, and that’s to strictly weigh the physical evidence and testimony and determine whether Murray did what the prosecution says that he did and that’s cause Jackson’s death. That’s the sole standard that any jury should be charged with in determining guilt or innocence in any criminal case. However, it would be the pinnacle of naivety to think that facts alone determine trial outcomes in celebrated trials. Countless studies and surveys of criminal cases involving celebrities show that money and fame do play huge role in these cases.
Money allows celebrities not only to hire the best and brightest of attorneys, but to tweak and massage the message of innocence of their celebrity client outside the courtroom. Murray used his celebrity name by dint of his association with Jackson’s death to get a crack legal team, and insure that they spin away his innocence outside the courtroom. A big part of that is their hit on Jackson that he killed himself. By any standard this shouldn’t fly. But given the always lurking undercurrent of controversy and doubt about Jackson from so many, they’re banking that they can put Jackson not Murray on trial. And this definitely shouldn’t fly.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM Radio Los Angeles streamed on ktym.com podcast on blogtalkradio.com and internet TV broadcast on thehutchinsonreportnews.com Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson