New Book Provides Backstage Pass To Rock History

Source: The Daily Star

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Lisa with Michael Jackson

“There Goes Gravity” (Riverhead), by Lisa Robinson

In the new book, “There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll,” there’s a telling photograph of Mick Jagger whispering into the ear of journalist Lisa Robinson as she smiles mischievously. The 1975 shot perfectly illustrates why Robinson’s so good at what she does: her access to big talent, the trust she gains with her subjects and her love of music.

A lifetime New Yorker and now Vanity Fair music editor, Robinson fell into writing in 1969 when her future husband – rock writer and producer Richard Robinson – got her a gig writing for a music magazine, tapping into her passion and setting her on a path as one of the first female rock journalists.

The book focuses on the music, offering few personal details, but an intimate, familiar tone. After 45 years in the business, Robinson is still excited by live performances, and eagerly anticipates the next moment of greatness.

“It never felt like a job; it was fun, it was new, it felt like a ‘calling.’ Whether I was in a private plane with Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones … or standing in two inches of beer on the floor of CBGB’s – it was exactly where I wanted to be,” Robinson writes.

Robinson had the good luck and timing to witness the beginnings of many bands. Armed with a coveted backstage pass and multiple old-school cassette recorders (which she still uses), she was part of hundreds of entourages. The book highlights about a dozen acts she suggests have been the most influential. She returned to interview favorites – including David Bowie, The Clash, Patti Smith, Eminem, Jay Z and Lady Gaga - several times, delving deeper into the souls behind the talent.

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Although she admits to trading gossip as one way of endearing herself to her subjects, Robinson is protective, avoiding sordid details of the groupie sex, violence and excessive drugs that occur on tours. “I was with them to get a story, not to judge,” she writes.

Even the most media-wary artists come to trust Robinson because she’s more fan than a critic, able to keep secrets and industry savvy. One of the few journalists to sit down with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, she offers fascinating quotes, but her rose-colored glasses are off when describing their reclusive, self-centered life in New York.

Robinson has a knack for getting subjects to share revealing personality traits that speak volumes. After interviewing Michael Jackson several times in his rise to stardom, she notices he has two voices: one high and soft for the public, another normal and commanding for his inner circle.

When she asks U2′s Bono how he handles home life after being on tour, he answers candidly. “In a very, very, very deep place I’m secure. And on the surface, secure. But somewhere in there, I need 20,000 screaming people a night to feel normal.” Tracing the evolution of U2, Robinson shows how, despite talent and good intentions, a band can lose its way in the tornado of success. In the group’s ’90s “Popmart” phase, they let celebrity and philanthropy get in the way of the music.

Always looking for edgy, surprising talent, Robinson started to pay more attention to rap and hip-hop, recognizing the same anger and lyrical skills as punk rock. She hails Eminem (whose lyric is the book’s title) and Kanye West as often underappreciated artists who say what others are too afraid to say.

Robinson writes affectionately about most rockers but does get in a few jabs. She describes Lady Gaga as a gifted singer and musician who’s connected to her audience, unlike Madonna, whom Robinson calls driven, humorless and lacking passion.

Her strength is putting music into historical context. She makes connections between bands, suggesting blues greats influenced the Stones, punk bands like The Clash led to U2 and the Jackson Five inspired Jay-Z. The book serves as a history lesson on how music has impacted American culture, touching on racism, drugs, AIDS, feminism, homosexuality, art, media and fashion.

Rock fans will likely be holding a proverbial lighter up after reading “There Goes Gravity.” Robinson must have many more stories to share. If we’re lucky, we’ll get an encore. Read more: http://www.dailystar.com

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Lisa’s interviews with Michael: 

 

Michael Jackson Lives Via “The Immortal Tour” – Coming To Huntington Center

Source: Toledo Blade – By Kirk Baird

MJ Fanatics in Sydney

MJ Fanatics in Sydney

The brilliant pop craftsmanship and unrivaled showmanship of Michael Jackson paired with the big-tent spectacle of Cirque Du Soleil is so obviously meant for each other, the biggest question for Cameron McKinlay is what took the union so long to happen?

“I’m surprised they didn’t do this earlier with Michael, it was such a perfect combination and with Michael loving Cirque Du Soleil so much,” he said. “It is the ideal marriage of artists. It’s a fantastic show.”

And yes, McKinlay is biased. He’s one of the dozens of colorful and electric stage performers — a mixture of classically trained dancers with self-taught b-boys (hip hop, breakdance) — in Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, the massive and massively successful Cirque Du Soleil touring production that’s playing Toledo for two shows, 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Huntington Center. Tickets, priced from $45 to $150, are available at all TicketMaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, the Huntington Center box office, and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

McKinlay appears as one of five “fanatics” — excitable representations of overzealous Michael Jackson fans who dress like and emulate their idol — who interact with the audience and get the people to their feet. The 28-year-old classically trained dancer also performs in some of the show’s bigger choreographed routines, which affords him the opportunity to work with performers of different backgrounds, namely the b-boys.

The combination of the schooled and street styles in a single production, he said, “created a unique look in the show, which is what Michael would have wanted.”

As The Immortal World Tour’s artistic director, Michael Smith, said, Jackson, for all his grace and style as a performer, wasn’t a trained dancer but “an incredibly naturally gifted dancer” who imported the street style to the masses.

“He affected the entire industry in the ’80s and early ’90s [by] bringing street dance into a much more commercially accessible field,” Smith said.

“So if we’re going to do an homage to him and his work, applying the same rules is bringing in street dancers.”

More than a dance spectacular along with Cirque Du Soleil’s hallmarks of high-wire acrobatics and feats of strength and skill, The Immortal World Tour was conceived as a true concert experience; more than 35 Jackson songs are performed over two sets by a band — including several musicians who performed with Jackson — and backing vocalists as live accompaniments to the singer’s isolated vocal tracks from studio recordings.

“It’s much more like you’re going to a concert than you’re going to a typical Cirque Du Soleil show, where you sit passively and see these incredible images that we create acrobatically,” Smith said. “This is much more about the music, the dance, the energy that [Jackson] created when he performed.

“Cirque Du Soleil, we have our core audience. This was trying to access a different kind of audience. … His appeal goes across all generations; it’s everything, which I love.”

Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, stunned the world. More than two years later, in October, 2011, The Immortal World Tour, written and directed by leading choreographer Jamie King, launched in Montreal, before touring North America and Europe. The Immortal World Tour consists of 30 trucks, with the performers, artists, management, and creative team loaded on four buses, typically playing two cities a week with an average of two to three shows at each stop.

As proof of the performer’s lasting appeal, the Cirque Du Soleil show has gone on to become the ninth highest-grossing tour of all time, according to Billboard.

And last year, King created a second Jackson-themed Cirque production, Michael Jackson ONE, at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

But that’s where the similarities end, Smith said.

“It was always established that the touring show was about Michael’s music whereas the resident show in Vegas is much more about a typical Cirque Du Soleil show, a Cirque Du Soleil show with a soundtrack of Michael Jackson’s music. This is much more a tribute to the man and his music.”


Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Peach-Weekender/2014/04/24/With-Cirque-Du-Soleil-Michael-Jackson-lives-on-Copy.html#5VSUfXdjmUusEk3F.99

 

 

Fundraiser For Thrill The World NYC Annual Dance Parade

Source: Thrill The World NYC

The Dance Parade is going to cost almost $4000.00! To help aid with costs we have initiated our very own fundraiser below. There will be around 10 classes held and we are only asking $20.00 per dancer to join us. But we can use all the help we can get! If you are interested in helping fund our campaign CLICK HERE

AWESOME NEWS! We are happy to announce that DJ KASPER is back as our official DJ for our group in the dance parade! He will be mixing MJ music while we dance down Broadway, giving shout outs about our group, and representing with us! For more info visit his website: http://djkasper.com

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Rehearsal Schedule: (Recommended to attend each one to ensure your spot in the parade!)

April 23, Wednesday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 1205 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

April 24, Thursday 8 PM to 9:30 PM  

Studio 3A – 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette Street 3rd Floor

 

April 26, Saturday 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

Studio 1205 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

April 30, Wednesday 8 PM to 9:30 PM 

Studio 1210 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

May 01, Thursday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 3A – 440 Studios- 440 Lafayette Street 3rd Floor

 

May 03, Saturday 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Studio 1210 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

May 07, Wednesday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 1205 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

May 08, Thursday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 3A – 440 Studios- 440 Lafayette Street 3rd Floor

 

May 10, Saturday 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Studio 1205 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

May 14, Wednesday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 1205 – Pearl Studio -500 Eighth Avenue – 12 Floor

 

May 15, Thursday 8 PM to 9:30 PM

Studio 3A – 440 Studios- 440 Lafayette Street 3rd Floor

2013 Parade/Marriage Proposal

 

2012 Parade and Rehearsal Videos

May 8 Parade Fundraiser At Rockbar NYC

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Click here for more details: http://thrilltheworldnyc.com/event-registration/?ee=33

 

Michael Jackson’s Doctor Denied Latest Appeal

Source: Billboard – By Linda Deutsch Associated Press

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The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michael Jackson’s doctor, rejecting his lawyer’s petition without comment.

The decision by the state’s highest court was the latest stop on Conrad Murray’s legal odyssey. A state appeals court upheld his conviction earlier this year and then refused to reconsider its decision.

Attorney Valerie Wass said Murray will take his fight to federal court. “We’re greatly disappointed, but we intend to pursue this in federal court,” Wass said.

She said she telephoned Murray with the news and, “He said, `The fight is not over.’ “

Authorities said Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009 while the singer prepared for a series of comeback concerts.

Murray was convicted in 2011 and served two years in jail. He was released in October because of a change in California law requiring nonviolent offenders to serve their sentences in county jail’s and as a result of credits for good behavior.

The six-week trial focused on Murray’s care of Jackson, including nightly doses of propofol to help the entertainer sleep.

The earlier appellate court decision said, “The evidence demonstrated that Mr. Jackson was a vulnerable victim and that (Murray) was in a position of trust, and that (Murray) violated the trust relationship by breaching standards of professional conduct in numerous respects.”

Since his release, Murray has been traveling and spending time with family, “trying to get his life back together.” Wass said.

The federal appeal she plans to file will focus on media coverage of the trial and exposure of the unsequestered jury to the Internet, Wass said. Murray has maintained throughout his appeals that the jury should have been sequestered because of the flood of publicity surrounding the case.

Read more: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6062940/michael-jacksons-doctor-denied-latest-appeal

NBC To Premiere New Michael Jackson Song During iHeartRadio Music Awards Broadcast

Source: Damien Shields

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A new Michael Jackson song will premiere during NBC’s broadcast of the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1, 2014 according to a commercial that aired during The Voice last night.

The inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards will stream live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on NBC at 8pm PST (May 1), featuring performances by Drake, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Pitbull, Shakira, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Ariana Grande, Arcade Fire and Ed Sheeran.

For many Michael Jackson fans, however, the reason for tuning in will be the unveiling of a new song from the King of Pop’s upcoming ‘XSCAPE’ album.

If available information regarding the album’s lead single is anything to go by, the track being unveiled would seem to be “Love Never Felt So Good” – which is schedule to begin worldwide radio rotation from May 5. The iHeartRadio Music Awards would provide the perfect platform to introduce the song to the American public, and in turn, the world.

It is unclear exactly how the iHeartRadio Music Awards will incorporate the Jackson premiere into their event’s schedule, but there are seemingly only two realistic options; a) streaming the track’s yet-to-be-announced music video during a break in the broadcast, or b) a live choreographed dance performance on the night.

In other news, five days ago, on April 17, Rich and Tone Talauega, otherwise known as ‘The Talauega Brothers’, tweeted that they were: “On a secret mission for the King of Pop in the Bay Area,” before advising that more details would be revealed soon.

The Talauega Brothers choreographed a number of Jackson’s short films and live performances throughout his career, and have most recently worked on posthumous Jackson projects including Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Immortal’ and ‘ONE’ productions, as well as the music video for “Hollywood Tonight”.

The brothers have not followed up with any further tweets since April 17. It’ll be interesting to find out whether their secret mission for the King of Pop is connected to the iHeartRadio Music Awards, or another Jackson-related project.

More information to follow as it becomes available. (Video added by All Things Michael)

Read more: http://www.damienshields.com/nbc-to-premier-new-michael-jackson-song-during-iheartradio-music-awards-broadcast/

Cirque du Soleil Brings Michael Jackson To The KFC Yum Center

Source: Louisville.com – By Michaelle Rynbrandt

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Best known for their jaw-dropping acrobatics, budget-blowing productions, original music and truly death-defying stunts (all of which are done without safety nets or harnesses), Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based company, has broadened their creative canvas to include the music and history of one of the most influential artists of all time.

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour puts a spotlight on the King of Pop in the way only they can.

While the production maintains the creativity and acrobatics one has come to expect from Cirque du Soleil, the format of this production is unique; its rock concert style combines the music of Michael Jackson with 49 artists and musicians, including former members of Jackson’s band.

THE IMMORTAL World Tour features over 35 of Michael Jackson’s songs in a variety of mash-ups, remixes and new arrangements.  “In some of his songs,” Musical Designer Kevin Antunes says, “Michael would let the grooves breathe and he would tuck his voice underneath the music. In this show, the world is going to hear Michael’s voice like they’ve never heard it before.”

While Jackson’s music is the driving force behind the production, the technical aspects present quite a spectacle as well. With over 5,300 square feet, the total surface area of projection space is larger than a basketball court.

Cirque is a company known for their innovative design concepts, and the costuming for this production is no exception.  “In particular, we explored techniques such as 3D printing and LED, pushing the limits just as Michael would,” says Costume Designer Zaldy Goco. Those costume pieces number over 1,200, and require three 45-foot trucks to transport.

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour performs at the KFC Yum! Center this Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at 8pm.

Tickets range in price from $50-$150 and are still available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Living Social is running a special for discount tickets.

 

Read more: http://www.louisville.com/content/cirque-du-soleil-brings-michael-jackson-kfc-yum-center

 

MICHAEL JACKSON: HE IS BACK!

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If you want to find a mission impossible, try to find someone on the planet who has never heard of Michael Joseph Jackson, the greatest black icon of all time, with great importance for breaking racial barriers.

No doubt Michael Jackson was a pop music icon who dragged generations, and continues shining even after his death.

For the crazed fans of the pop star, a novelty will agitate the music world and cause a stir in the eternal worshipers of Jackson.

According to the BBC website a new album titled “Xscape” with eight previously unreleased tracks will be released on the 13th of May.

Produced by the most competent guys when it comes to music (Timbaland, Stargate, Rodney Jerkins, John McClain and Jerome Harmon), the release aims to merge the progressive sounds of modern pop production with classic vocal abilities of Jackson.

Certainly this album has already saved the first place as the best selling of all time, now we can only wait!

Read more: http://amsterdam-ftv-blog.com/archives/23942

First Listen: Michael Jackson’s Posthumous ‘Xscape’ – Review

Source: USA Today – By Elysa Gardner

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It’s easy, and probably healthy, to approach any new release of Michael Jackson music with some skepticism. Nearly five years after his death, the King of Pop remains both an indelible influence on contemporary artists and a source of the kind of prurient and morose fascination that is always as marketable, if not as memorable, as a great tune.

Luckily, the posthumous Xscape, out May 13, offers some reminders of why Jackson entered our collective consciousness to begin with. The eight tracks here showcase songs, culled from the late superstar’s vault, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, after Jackson’s early creative peak as a recording artist (with his 1979 solo breakthrough Off the Wall and 1982′s Thriller).

Still, executive producer L.A Reid and lead producer Timbaland — with support at the boards from other noted hitmakers such as Stargate, J-Roc and Rodney Jerkins — ensure that Jackson’s enduring strengths as a singer are represented, layering in modern electronic textures without overwhelming the distinctly slinky, shivery vocals or overall structure of the tunes.

Love Never Felt So Good — written and initially produced by Jackson and Paul Anka, and co-produced here by John McClain, a co-executor of Jackson’s estate, andGiorgio Tuinfort — has an old-school snap and tingle, with warm, leaping strings that recall the melodic and rhythmic punch of Jackson’s work with Quincy Jones.

Loving You, crafted by Jackson during sessions for 1987′s Bad and revisited here by Timbaland, is similarly blithe and nostalgic, with tinkling piano chords and tickling percussion set against the latter artist’s trademark syncopation.

Other tracks are edgier and more aggressive, sonically and in their lyrics. For Jackson, love and anxiety were often inextricably entwined; Do You Know Where Your Children Are (also from the Bad era) documents a parent’s nightmare with a thumping groove, while the chilly, Cory Rooney-penned Chicago finds its narrator vexed by a duplicitous woman.

On Slave to the Rhythm, an intriguing 1989 Reid/Babyface creation brought back by Timbaland and Jerome Harmon, it’s the girl who suffers, as Jackson croons over a frantically chugging, swirling arrangement about a woman who tries to break the chains that bind her at home and work.

Slave is playful at first, opening with Jackson’s trademark yelps and hiccups, but there is clear empathy in his portrait of a trapped person desperate to find “a beat of her own.” It seems especially poignant here that for this star, escape, like Xscape, only came posthumously.

 

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/04/21/first-listen-michael-jackson-posthumous-xscape

Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet Owners Can Claim Free Movies And Games

Source: Xperia Blog.net

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If you have recently bought a new Xperia Z2 or Xperia Z2 Tablet, then make sure you claim your free movies and games from Sony. Currently, owners of the above devices and the Xperia Z1s in the United States can claim six free movies and eight free PlayStation Mobile games. As with similar promotions in the past, it is only applicable to a number of countries as outlined below and the movies differ slightly by region.

You can claim your free content via the Xperia Lounge app, but you will also need to download a companion app called Pass before you can redeem your content. Some users are experiencing problems in downloading content and are met with the following message: “The voucher is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” We expect these teething issues will be rectified shortly. See full details below.

 Open the Xperia Lounge app and tap on the relevant promotion

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 The Pass application needs to be downloaded to redeem content

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Pass is not a standalone app; it is used in conjunction with Xperia Lounge

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Movies promotion

Promotion: Claim six free movies
Devices: Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet and Xperia Z1s
Promotion finishes: 31 July 2014
Redeem vouchers by: 31 October 2014
Applicable countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, US (Xperia Z1s owners)

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Movie promotion in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK:
Captain Philips
Elysium
Django Unchained
This is the End
21 Jump Street
Michael Jackson’s This is it

Movie promotion in Canada:
Captain Philips
Elysium
Total Recall
This is the End
21 Jump Street
Michael Jackson’s This is it

Movie promotion in Japan:
Captain Philips
Elysium
Total Recall
Moneyball
Resident Evil: Retribution
Michael Jackson’s This is it

Movie promotion in United States (Xperia Z1s owners):
Captain Philips
Elysium
American Hustle
This is the End
21 Jump Street
Michael Jackson’s This is it

 

Click here to read about more promotions: http://www.xperiablog.net/2014/04/20/xperia-z2-and-z2-tablet-owners-claim-your-free-movies-and-games/

Michael’s Image In Toast

Source: MJWN

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Gabriel Aguilar, a big Michael Jackson fan from Mexico, has decided to re-create Michael’s image in an unusual, but tasty way.

After recently reporting on the fan who created Michael’s image by painting it in Nutella, Aguilar has re-created a picture of Michael from 1992 out of toast! The way it’s done is by toasting/burning sections of bread, but covering certain areas in aluminum foil and toasting piece by piece. Every slice of bread needs to be toasted twice in a small oven and the whole process takes three days in total.

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Read more: http://www.mjworld.net/news/2014/04/19/michaels-image-in-toast/

Michael And Janet Jackson Rank Among “Top 100 Americans Of All Time” Poll

Source: Digital Hub

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Seth MacFarlane, Cher – and Miley Cyrus – have appeared alongside the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Neil Armstrong on a list of the greatest ever Americans.

The 100-strong list, compiled by 1000 Americans from all 50 states, featured famous faces from past and present, with the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Will Smith, Judy Garland and Eminem featuring alongside ex-presidents, inventors and authors.

The King even toppled the President – Elvis Presley featured higher than Barack Obama in the poll.

Other great Americans to feature on the list, comprised following a poll of 1,000 Americans from across all 50 states, include the first President of the United States George Washington, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and animation pioneer Walt Disney.

The youngest star to make the top 100 was controversial singer Miley Cyrus, 21.

A spokesman for global market researcher www.OnePoll.com, which commissioned the research, said:

“Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be one of the greatest American presidents, and it also seems most see him as the greatest American as well.

“His two terms in office had a huge effect on America as we know it today, and his actions changed the country in so many ways.

“In fact, a large number of those to feature in the top twenty are politicians, either from the past or recent times.

“In comparison, most of today’s ‘celebrities’ could only make it into the second half of the list, with just a handful of recent singers, actors and TV personalities in the top 50.”

The list includes a string of politicians, sports stars, actors, singers and television personalities, while businessmen and inventors also featured.

But by far and away the most votes went to ex-presidents.

Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman were voted in at 16 and 19 respectively with current President Barack Obama coming in at number 32.

Several first ladies are also among the list with Eleanor Roosevelt, who was also a United Nations delegate who oversaw the drafting of the Declaration of Human Rights activist, at 21.

Kennedy’s wife Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Hillary Clinton, who went on to become a senator and Secretary of State, also made the top 100.

Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, was in sixth place while Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, came twelfth.

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Microsoft boss Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie, who led the American steel industry expansion, are also in the top thirty.

TV star Oprah Winfrey was close behind with Bill Cosby, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston also making an appearance.

The top 100 also includes Hollywood greats such as Marilyn Monroe, Steven Spielberg, Katherine Hepburn, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks and even Will Smith.

Singers featured in the list included Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Stevie Wonder.

Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga were also named among the greatest Americans.

Even singers Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears, along with reality TV star Kim Kardashian, managed to scrape into the top 100.

The research was derived from a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by global market researcher OnePoll.

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TOP 100 AMERICANS OF ALL TIME

1.            Abraham Lincoln
2.            Thomas Jefferson
3.            John F Kennedy
4.            Neil Armstrong
5.            Martin Luther King
6.            Thomas Edison
7.            George Washington
8.            Benjamin Franklin
9.            Orville and Wilbur Wright
10.          Rosa Parks
11.          Franklin Roosevelt
12.          Henry Ford
13.          Steve Jobs
14.          Walt Disney
15.          Bill Gates
16.          Dwight Eisenhower
17.          Alexander Hamilton
18.          Amelia Earhart
19.          Harry Truman
20.          Eleanor Roosevelt
21.          Andrew Carnegie
22.          Elvis Presley
23.          Jackie Kennedy Onassis
24.          Oprah Winfrey
25.          Andrew Jackson
26.          Muhammad Ali
27.          Ernest Hemmingway
28.          Steven Spielberg
29.          Bill Cosby
30.          Bill Clinton
31.          Chuck Yeager
32.          Barack Obama
33.          Michael Jordan
34.          Morgan Freeman
35.          George Bush Snr
36.          Tom Hanks
37.          Michael Jackson
38.          Clint Eastwood
39.          Hilary Clinton
40.          Larry Page
41.          George Bush Jnr
42.          Katherine Hepburn
43.          Marilyn Monroe
44.          Frank Sinatra
45.          Ellen DeGeneres
46.          J.P Morgan
47.          Will Smith
48.          Nat King Cole
49.          Judy Garland
50.          Stevie Wonder
51.          Dolly Parton
52.          Alfred Hitchcock
53.          George Lucas
54.          Donald Trump
55.          Paul Walker
56.          Whitney Houston
57.          Samuel L Jackson
58.          Christopher Reeve
59.          Angelina Jolie
60.          Dick Van Dyke
61.          Brad Pitt
62.          Jennifer Lopez
63.          Martin Scorsese
64.          George Clooney
65.          Leonardo DiCaprio
66.          Arnold Schwarzenegger
67.          Matthew McConaughey
68.          Ella Fitzgerald
69.          Jennifer Aniston
70.          Taylor Swift
71.          Cher
72.          Eminem
73.          Jimmy Wales
74.          Tiger Woods
75.          Justin Timberlake
76.          Tom Cruise
77.          Halle Berry
78.          Janet Jackson
79.          Mariah Carey
80.          Beyonce
81.          Alicia Keys
82.          Quentin Tarantino
83.          Will Ferrell
84.          Jennifer Lawrence
85.          Katy Perry
86.          Madonna
87.          Robert Downey Jr
88.          Christina Aguilera
89.          Seth MacFarlane
90.          Lady Gaga
91.          Billie Holiday
92.          Selena Gomez
93.          Tina Fey
94.          Jennifer Garner
95.          Steve Carell
96.          Miley Cyrus
97.          Kim Kardashian
98.          Paul Rudd
99.          Britney Spears
100.       Robert Rodriguez

Thriller Dance Used At School Rally To Encourage Students For Testing

Source: Tally News - By Paulette Lash Ritchie

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SPRING HILL — To help students mentally prepare for last week’s and this week’s testing, the reading leadership team at Westside Elementary School, coordinated by first-grade teacher Diane Welch, had an FCAT pep rally on April 11.

It began with about 11 or 12 teachers doing a choreographed dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. ” ‘We’re thrilled to conquer the FCAT’ was our theme,” said fourth-grade teacher Melissa Tomlinson.

Next, principal Gina Michalicka gave students an inspirational talk, followed by more dancing, this time by teachers on the stage and students in the audience. The big finale was a return of the Thriller dance with the addition of Tiny, elementary assistant Pam Kasten dressed in a school mascot tiger costume.

After the pep rally, children in kindergarten through second grade and their teachers went outside to wait for the third- through fifth-graders to be dismissed. Some of the younger children had bubbles, some had noisemakers and others had pompoms.

When the older students were dismissed, they went to their buses and rides, ready to give it their best on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

“I think it was encouraging for the older students,” said Tomlinson. “It made them feel special. The whole idea was to take the stress off and encourage them to do their best, (knowing that) the whole school is behind them.”

 

Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/rally-at-westside-encourages-students-for-the-fcat/2175575

 

Kate McCafferty High Kicks The Web With Michael Jackson Routine

Source: BBC News – By Teresa Craig

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A local dancer is becoming a sensation on the internet and has been watched by tens of thousands of people.

Eight-year-old Kate McCafferty was filmed at a shopping centre in Londonderry dancing her way through a string of Michael Jackson hits.

Within a day her tribute to the King of Pop had gone viral.

The young Derry girl is now a rising star on the internet.

Tens of thousands of people have already tuned in to see her jig her way through hits like Thriller.

However, she is taking it all in her stride.

So far there have been well over 100,000 hits, and counting, on Youtube.

Kate was filmed last week as part of a Pineapple Dance Studio showcase after being chosen to take part in workshops.

She now wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol Michael Jackson with a career in music.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-17672018

Today Is National Record Store Day!

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Do you remember getting your first vinyl album? Whether it was Michael Jackson’s Thriller or the Beatles Abby Road, there was nothing like the excitement of holding that long-awaited prize in your hand.  We loved the awesome covers, reading the liner notes and savoring extra goodies that may be included.  

Today is National Record Store Day. Record Store Day was first conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1000 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. There are Record Store Day stores on every continent except Antarctica.

Vinyl records have made a tremendous comeback over the past few years. This interest is not necessarily based on those who love nostalgia. According to article posted in the June 2013, New York Times,  Music Direct sales and marketing director Josh Bizar was quoted as saying:

“When you look at the sales for a group like Daft Punk,” he said, “you’re seeing young kids collecting records like we did when we were young.”

“We never expected the vinyl resurgence to become as crazy as it is,” he said. “But it’s come full circle. We get kids calling us up and telling us why they listen to vinyl, and when we ask them why they don’t listen to CDs, they say, ‘CDs? My dad listens to CDs — why would I do that?’ ”

This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances and festivities.

Relive the magic of vinyl. Take your family to your local record store and make it day of exploring, learning and rediscovering classic hits as well as the new. 

Sources: All Things Michael/ NY Times/ Record Store Day

 

Here’s a few shots of some the albums in my collection.  

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Michael Jackson Estate Wins ‘This Is It’ Lawsuit

Source: Radar Online

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It’s a good day for Michael Jackson, even though he’s still dead. Radar Online has learned that the music legend just scored a massive legal victory from beyond the grave, as a federal court judge has dismissed a $24million lawsuit brought against Jackson by music producer Michael Jonzun.

Jonzun filed the lawsuit in Massachusetts in 2012, claiming he was owed $24million for helping draft “This Is It,” a song Jackson did with Paul Anka in 2009.

At the time, Anka said he’d never heard of Jonzun, and that his claims were “BS.” Apparently, the judge agreed.

Read The Documents

According to court documents obtained by Radar, a judge found “The Estate of Michael Jackson cannot be sued” because it “is not a legal entity capable of being sued, and therefore the complaint must be dismissed.”

The judge also dismissed Jonzun’s claims against Anka and AEG Live because he filed in Massachusetts and has “not demonstrated that the Defendants purposely availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in Massachusetts,” according to the judgment, noting that “This Is It” was likely sold in several other states as well.

Finally, the judge called Jonzun to task for a “repeated failure to comply with the service rules,” according to the documents, including filing his motion for extension late, not filing a supporting affidavit with his motion, and failing to serve all the defendants.

As such, the judge dismissed the entire case on March 24.

 

Read more: http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/04/michael-jackson-wins-lawsuit-beyond-the-grave/

Ten Things You May Not Know About Sonic The Hedgehog (Two MJ Related) – Video

Source: Kotako.com – By Patricia Hernandez

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Trivia time! How much do you know about gaming’s speedy little hedgehog?

Perhaps you already know, for example, that his shoes are partially based on Michael Jackson’s boots in the song Bad, and you might even know that Michael Jackson worked on music for Sonic 3. Oh, but these facts by Alltime10s also get a tad esoteric, touching on curious stuff like:

·What inspiration the Sonic took from Bill Clinton

·How he was originally named Mr. Needlemouse and was also the lead singer of a band who had a HUMAN GIRLFRIEND

·How the first time he appeared in a game was as an air freshener in a racing game, In what way Super Mario influenced Sonic

·How there’s a gene named after Sonic the Hedgehog

·Why Knuckles is special

·How there was almost a Sonic RPG that followed his sister

·How Eggman was almost Sega’s mascot

·The reason Sonic drowns easily is because one of the developers didn’t know that hedgehogs can swim

The video, naturally, goes in a bit more detail about these things—so it’s worth a watch, as you might learn a thing or two.

Read more: http://kotaku.com/ten-things-you-might-not-know-about-sonic-the-hedgehog-1564452964

 

Interview With Navi

Source: cairoscene.com

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We caught up with Navi to talk being chosen by MJ, seeing Egypt and gives us the exclusive scoop on the real Michael Jackson’s upcoming post-humous album, Xscape.

Where are you from/where did you grow up?
I was born in the Caribbean but grew up in London. I have been in the UK for the past 34 years now.

How did you get into Michael Jackson impersonation?
When I arrived in the UK in 1979 , MJ dominated the 80s and 90s and therefore I wanted to be like him. He was like a real like super-hero and all his music and videos were everywhere. I remember standing outside the hotel in London as a kid looking up at the hotel window with hundreds of other MJ fans on the street. A few years later, I was in the hotel with him looking down at the MJ fans, was surreal to have my life turned around like that.

I grew up learning to dance in my parent’s kitchen and I had my first break opening for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group The Drifters at the age of 15. I went on from opportunity to opportunity evening opening the Virgin Megastores across 9 European cities.

Then working for MJ in promotion of albums and concerts and also as a decoy (being used as a double so he could leave a certain place easier).

Have you ever met Michael Jackson in real life, if so what was the meeting like?
I have met Michael several times, evening being chosen to perform at his birthday parties in London, New York and Los Angeles. I also had the honour of being invited to Neverland which was amazing.

Michael was always humble and supportive, always the kind of person you never expected to be so kind. He loved people and admired everyone by just watching and trying to learn. He said to me once “you’re an amazing dancer, do you practice everyday?”… to hear MJ ask you that was unbelievable.

What was your favourite MJ album?
It’s difficult to choose but I guess Bad. It’s the album around the time I was in my teens and filled with so many classic Pop hits.

There are a lot of MJ impersonators out there. What makes you number one?

I have been branded number one for several years now, so I suppose it’s being ‘Chosen By Michael’ and working for him. Even last week, I was invited to Los Angeles to hear the brand new MJ Album Xscape then meet with the Epic Record executives. The album I have to say is truly amazing and a tribute to the legendary dance beats Michael always likes to have associated with his catchy tunes.

I am also the only impersonator to have been invited to Neverland, and guess having performed in over 300 international shows on 58 different countries covers most of the world. But to be honest, I believe we all are top impersonators – we all fly the flag for MJ in our own way and none is more important than the other.

Have you been to or performed in Egypt before?
Egypt is one of my favourite places in the world. The history and culture is amazing. This year alone I have been to Thailand, Malaysia, Los Angeles twice and now to Egypt. So I see many amazing places, but I’m not sure many people can say they would rather visit another country than Egypt.

I have been here twice before: once for a wedding and once for a small private show. This time I am looking forward to performing at this event at Club 88. I have always heard of the Red Sea region and now I get a chance to finally see it. I wish I could have stayed a few more days, but also hope this is the first of many trips back to this beautiful place.

Michael Jackson is huge in Egypt, what do you have planned for the crowd?
I plan to celebrate the music and legacy of MJ with the Egyptians. I know they love music and dance and I also know I could learn quite a lot from them, so I look forward to dropping some of the classic MJ hits we all know.

For more information on the ‘Moonwalker Party’ click here. Check out Navi on Facebook here.

 

Read more here: http://www.cairoscene.com/ViewArticle.aspx?AId=2895

Locals Bring Back King of Pop From Behind Scenes

Source: This Week News

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A Cirque du Soleil tour is a massive undertaking, and its partnership with the estate of Michael Jackson on Michael Jackson: The Immortal is no exception. It takes a small city of people to put on a show, many of those people doing their work before the show even begins or behind the scenes.

Yet, whenever people find out that Ricky Morant and Brittany Kiefer aren’t performers, their interest begins to wane.

“They usually ask me if I can get them tickets,” Morant said, only half-joking.

Morant, a Whitehall-Yearling High School and Ohio State University graduate, works in the training and medical department for the tour. Kiefer, also an OSU alum, is an acrobatic rigger on the tour. Both said their work gets plenty of appreciation and offers them plenty of professional satisfaction.

“We make a lot happen in a short amount of time,” Kiefer said of her team, whose job begins when a show loads into a facility, continues through the entire set-up, works the riggings during the shows and into tear-down.

“I manage the grid. My team is responsible for flying the performers and the general safety of all the acrobats. On a production level, we move the show, building the rigging, getting everything hung.”

The dedication to safety requires “a very high attention to detail,” she said.

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As a medical trainer (his title is “physio”), Morant also is tasked with performer safety. He runs classes and workout sessions designed to maximize fitness and minimize the risk of injury, treating both the physical and psychological effects on injuries when they do happen.

“You work so many hours every day, then you can take a deep breath and take in the show, knowing you had a small or sometimes not-so-small part in putting it on,” he said.

Morant studies athletic training at OSU, and his work with the football, track and field, swimming, wrestling and, most importantly, men’s gymnastics teams serves him well. Additionally, he minored in dance and worked for a time with BalletMet Columbus as a trainer – also a benefit in this dance-heavy Cirque show.

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Kiefer got her start working with arena shows as a student production coordinator at the Schottenstein Center, where she also worked after graduation. From there, she connected with the Walking With Dinosaurs tour and more recently worked on the set crew for Shakira before joining Cirque.

“It’s great to come back to Columbus and it’s always great to play the Schott. It’s where I came from, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do what I do now without those experiences and those people,” Kiefer said.

Morant, whose family still lives in central Ohio, takes pride in bringing his work “home” as well.

“My parents have never seen a show that I’ve worked, so I’m hoping maybe now they’ll understand why I don’t call home every night,” he joked.

 

Read more: http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/2014/04/17/Locals-bring-back-King-of-Pop-from-behind-scenes.html

Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour Stops in Richmond (Video)

Source: wric.com

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour is described as Cirque du Soleil meets rock concert, and today 8News got a special behind the scenes look at all the work it takes to put on the show.

Today our photographer was there as crew members unloaded equipment from thirty trucks and started building the set. It takes about ten hours to get everything in place. About 130 people travel with the tour from city to city.

This show has all the acrobatics you see with other Cirque shows, but it has the feel of a Michael Jackson concert. “We invite people to get up out of their seats and dance and sing along and really embrace and be a part of the music,” says publicist Laura Silverman. “He changed the entertainment industry, he changed pop culture and so we’re putting all of that on display.”

Four members of the eleven-piece live band actually played with the King of Pop. The costume designer from his This Is It documentary heads the wardrobe department. Silverman points out LED bulbs built in jackets for the Billie Jean number and says each detail has been planned carefully. Backstage she shows us. “Fedora hats, very Michael Jackson. We also have on this side the gangster coats for smooth criminal.”

Hit songs from Jackson’s solo career are a part of the show, along with some favorites from the Jackson Five days. His choreography is also included.

Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour is at the Richmond Coliseum Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Click here for ticket information.

Click here for video.

Xscape With The King of Pop! New Album Review!

By April Lamrock / MJ-Upbeat.com

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I was lucky enough to be chosen along with a select few fan representatives from around the world to experience the new album, “Xscape” in advance of its release. It would be my first time traveling to represent my family web site of 11 years, MJ-Upbeat.com.

On the morning of the event we all met in the lobby of the hotel. Everyone took a few moments to introduce themselves and then we were off. We loaded up into the van and headed off not knowing where we were going. Even the driver wasn’t talking, as he knew it was a surprise. Everyone was excited and chatting it up as we anxiously anticipated our destination. I remember the driver making a comment about us all knowing each other. When in fact it was our love of MJ that I think made it so easy for all of us to mesh so quickly.  Most of us had only just met that very day.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Hanson Recording Studios. We were brought into a large room and sat down into a semi-circle.  It was a familiar looking place to us all, (as well it should), because it was the very room where “We are the World” was recorded. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, we were then told we would be listening to the new Michael Jackson album ‘Xscape’ and L.A. Reid himself would be the one playing it for us!

It wasn’t long before L.A. entered the room and introduced himself. He went on to talk about his experiences with Michael and how much this project meant to him and everyone else involved. L.A. said he would only work on the songs that Michael had completed from top to bottom. He said that was the way to know for sure that Michael really liked a song, and that he was committed to completing it all the way through.

MJ Quote: “I’m really very self-confident when it comes to my work. When I take on a project, I believe in it 100%. I really put my soul into it. I’d die for it. that’s how I am.”

As L.A. played each song through, It took everything in me to not jump out of my seat and dance! You could tell I wasn’t the only one, as everyone was bobbing their heads to the beat. We were all still seated while we looked up into the reflective glass in front of us and saw members of the estate and Sony teams along with L.A. Reid dancing like no one was watching. It was like the tables were turned and ‘they’ were the fans. Love filled the room, just as Michael’s music always does. It wasn’t long before we were all up on our feet dancing together

One song after the other introduced to us for the first time, in the very place Michael had worked before. I scribbled down little notes about specific things I liked about each track. I put a star and wrote “FAVORITE” beside the songs that I loved. After about the fourth song I noticed that I had been marking EVERY one! It wasn’t long before we had gone through all 8 songs and basically all of them were starred!

I was in heaven. I closed my eyes and took it all in. It gave me goosebumps as it made me feel like Michael was back doing his thing. Back doing what he loved, and sharing it with us once again.

MJ Quote: “And my goal in life is to give to the world, what I was lucky to receive…the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance.”

Michael worked tirelessly at his career. He put so much love into his music. He wanted nothing more than to share his art with the world, as this was his goal in life. I am so excited for everyone to hear this new album.

The album was created from raw music by Michael spanning from 1983-2001 (almost a 20 year span), yet it so effortlessly fits together. I know we’ve all heard the leaked versions of some of these tracks but let me tell you, you’ve heard nothing. These leaked versions are only a stage in the productions. What I heard that day in the studio were finished products that I know Michael would stand behind.

The album as a whole is going to bring you back; make you feel, as I did that day, a prescious part of Michael is emerging back to rock us off our seats like only HE knows how to do.

There are so many times where I sit and listen to Michaels music since he passed and think to myself, “we’re never going to see an artist like this again”. His talent and drive for perfection are unmatched. To know now that even five years after his passing he can still live on and spread his legacy for generations to come with new music brings a sense of content to my heart.

This album is highly recomended for the music lovers and Michael fans across the globe! You won’t regret it. Let’s make Xscape #1 across the world!

- April Lamrock / MJ-Upbeat.com

 

Click here to read and see more: http://home.mj-upbeat.com/2014/04/15/xscape-with-the-king-of-pop-new-album-review/

Global Release Dates For ‘Xscape’

Source: MJWN / Amazon

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Many fans have been asking us if ‘Xscape’ will be released on 13th May globally, as outlined in the initial press release. The answer is no and some may even get it earlier!

Below is a list of the release dates that are available so far. We will continue to add to them as we find out more information:

Germany 
May 9, 2014

France, Spain and UK
May 12, 2014

US, Canada and Italy
May 13, 2014

Japan
May 14, 2014

US (Vinyl LP)
May 27, 2014

India
May 29, 2014

 

Read more: http://www.mjworld.net/news/2014/04/15/global-release-dates-for-xscape/

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Source: MJWN

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There seems to be a lot of mis-information about track six on the forthcoming ‘Xscape’ album, with many believing the track originates from the early 1990s, when Michael was embroiled in allegations.

This was not the case.

The inner sleeves of the ‘Xscape’ album will contain information about each track, including when they were recorded and the lyrics. At the LA playback, co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, John Branca, said that actually this track was written by Michael in the mid 1980s and based on the American public service announcement that was played on television.

The question was asked around 10pm or 11pm (Michael’s song uses 12 o’clock) and asks “Do you know where your children are?”.

The phrase was regularly broadcast from the 1960s – 1980s, however has been sporadically used since, and was brought back into circulation in 2008. Often celebrities made cameos saying the famous line on camera just before the news, predominately in New York City.

The song is a definite dance floor filler with a stomping beat. We can’t wait for you to hear it! Similar to ‘Abortion Papers’, which was released on ‘Bad 25′ in 2012, the song has a serious meaning, though Michael makes it into a song you can’t help but sing along to with a catchy melody.

As well as Michael’s track, there have been many other cultural references to the announcement, including this humorous one from The Simpsons:

 

 

Read more: http://www.mjworld.net/news/2014/04/14/do-you-know-where-your-children-are/

Cirque Du Soleil Captures The Creative Genius of Michael Jackson – Video

Source: WTVR

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RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour’ is a stunning show full of dance and music that embraces the heart and soul of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy. Publicist Laura Silverman and Giulia Piolanti, one of the featured performers talked about this show that has received rave reviews all over the world.   You have the chance to see this spectacular show Tuesday April 15th and Wednesday, April 16th at 8pm at the Richmond Coliseum. For more information visit http://richmondcoliseum.net/

 

Video interviewhttp://cf.c.ooyala.com/50MDIzbTrFMcAEU8Ob5Ffwpr2PDViS-6/DOcJ-FxaFrRg4gtDEwOnI5OjBrO-sXix

L.A. Reid Masters Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” At Bernie Grundman’s

Source: EMusician.com

Pictured (L-R) in session at Bernie Grundman Mastering are executive producer L.A. Reid and mastering engineer Bernie Grundman.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured (L-R) in session at Bernie Grundman Mastering are executive producer L.A. Reid and mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. Photo by David Goggin.

Epic Records Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid was in session recently at Bernie Grundman’s for the mastering of Michael Jackson’s “Xscape.”  The collection of eight previously unreleased Jackson songs was curated by Reid, who also decided on the final tracklist. 

“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world,” Reid said. 

Grundman mastered most of Michael Jackson’s albums, many times with recording engineer Bruce Swedien, including “Thriller,” the most successful album of all time with more than 100 million in sales.  L.A. Reid recalled that his very first mastering session was with Bernie Grundman in 1983.

Reid curated the final list of recordings to deliver to the producers, who retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson’s essence and integrity.  It’s a process Reid calls “contemporizing.” The album’s lead producer, Timbaland was one of a handful of producers Reid believed had the gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work. Additional producers include global hitmakers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.

For the ultimate fan experience, “Xscape” will also be available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form. The “Xscape” standard and Deluxe Edition’s are available for pre-order iTunes.com/MichaelJackson and elsewhere, and available at all retailers worldwide on May 13.

Learn More about Bernie Grundman Mastering at: http://berniegrundmanmastering.com
 

Read more: http://www.emusician.com/thewire.aspx?entryid=1413&add=view