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

Source: Xperia

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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


 The Pass application needs to be downloaded to redeem content


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


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)


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

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

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

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


Click here to read about more promotions:

Michael’s Image In Toast

Source: MJWN


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.

17 24mjimage


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

Source: Digital Hub


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, 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.



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


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.”


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Kate McCafferty High Kicks The Web With Michael Jackson Routine

Source: BBC News – By Teresa Craig


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:

Today Is National Record Store Day!


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


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.


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Interview With Navi



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:

Locals Bring Back King of Pop From Behind Scenes

Source: This Week News


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.


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.


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.


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



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 /


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,

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 /


Click here to read and see more:

Global Release Dates For ‘Xscape’

Source: MJWN / Amazon


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:

May 9, 2014

France, Spain and UK
May 12, 2014

US, Canada and Italy
May 13, 2014

May 14, 2014

US (Vinyl LP)
May 27, 2014

May 29, 2014


Read more:

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Source: MJWN


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:



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

Source: WTVR

Fullscreen capture 4142014 63956 PM

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


Video interview

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


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 and elsewhere, and available at all retailers worldwide on May 13.

Learn More about Bernie Grundman Mastering at:

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Source: Associated Press – By Anthony McCartney


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson’s mother should pay more than $800,000 in trial costs to a concert promoter that she targeted in a failed negligent hiring lawsuit involving the death of her son, a judge said Monday.

Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued the tentative ruling calling on the Jackson family matriarch to pay AEG Live LLC after it won the case.

The five-month trial ended in October with a jury determining that AEG Live did not negligently hire the doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 as he prepared for a comeback tour.

The ruling is expected to be finalized after AEG Live submits an amended list of its costs for items such as court filing fees, court reporters and travel. Attorneys for the company and Katherine Jackson agreed not to argue Palazuelos’ tentative ruling, but it might be appealed.

Katherine Jackson’s attorney Kevin Boyle said a decision on appealing the order would be made after reviewing its final language. The verdict and rulings in the case are currently being appealed.

AEG Live initially sought more than $1.2 million to cover its costs. Katherine Jackson’s lawyers claimed only about a quarter of that amount was justified.

AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said the court did the right thing “by ordering Katherine Jackson to pay nearly $1 million spent in having to defend a matter that she should have never brought in the first place.”

A motion filed by her lawyers last week stated that the costs would be borne by her and the singer’s three children, all of whom are supported by his estate.

The estate has earned hundreds of millions of dollars since the singer’s death and paid off his debts. It also covers schooling, housing and other costs for his children and mother.

Jackson died in June 2009 after receiving an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which former cardiologist Conrad Murray was giving the superstar as a sleep aid during preparations for his planned “This Is It” shows. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

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EXCLUSIVE : LMJ Listening To XSCAPE With The MJ Estate In Los Angeles

Source: Legendary Michael Jackson – By Sjoerd Roijenga

On behalf of the Legendary Michael Jackson Fan Club (LMJ), Sjoerd Roijenga (LMJ’s USA Representative and member of the Board) attended a very special and exclusive event. We are happy to share the news with you all!

 Photo : Karen Langford, Sjoerd Roijenga (LMJ), John Branca (MJ Estate)

Photo : Karen Langford, Sjoerd Roijenga (LMJ), John Branca (MJ Estate)

Good morning,

LMJ was one of eleven invited fan clubs from all over the world: Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and us, from The Netherlands.

We were picked up from the hotel in a van and taken to the Jim Henson recording Studios. There where chairs waiting for us in Studio A, the actual studio where Miuchael recorded ‘We Are The World’ with all the starts in 1985!

Photo : Studio A of Henson Recording Studios

Photo : Studio A of Henson Recording Studios

It was announced that John Branca was going to be there and also L.A. Reid who is the CEO of Epic records and actually created this new CD, XSCAPE. Mr. Reid was actually going to be the one playing the new album for us.

Before the playing of the new album Mr. Reid told us that on this album there are only 8 songs because they ONLY wanted to use songs that where actually finished by Michael Jackson himself.

Both XSCAPE album covers. Silver for single album, gold for album + bonus CD (Jewelcase or Softpack)

The songs that where played for us were:

Love Never Felt So Good 

With this song it was mentioned that the voice, piano and finger snaps from MJ where on the same original track so they had to be put on the cd like this.


She Was Loving Me

A Place With No Name

Slave To The Rhythm

Do You Know Where Your Children Are

Blue Gangsta


In my opinion they are taking us back to what Michael used to do before History especially with the “hihi”, “hoehoe” and “ows”!! I personally like that a lot since that is really what Michael was about for me. The songs give me the feeling we are about to get a Michael Jackson album with older, very original, tracks that sound like Michael’s songs in the ‘Dangerous’ period.

They only picked songs of which Michael made more than one track. In that way it was possible to determine which songs Michael really liked because he worked on them more than once.

They all sound very suitable for this time. Michael’s songs were always very timeless. Many of his old hits are still perfect for airplay today.

The sounds and beats of the songs are very powerful and I think this album will do great!

John Branca also mentioned there will be videos (or as MJ liked to call them ‘Short Films’) with this new album.

We thank the Michael Jackson Estate and Epic Records for inviting us and enable us to share this with our fellow fans!

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Xscape – An Album Listening Like No Other

Source: MJWN – By Matt Blank


MJWN’s Matt Blank has listened to the ‘Xscape’ album, and there’s a lot of excitement he wants to share with you:

I’ve been fortunate to go to Michael Jackson listening previews in the past. I’ve had the honour of visiting Sony Music HQ in London and sitting eagerly around a table whilst music is blasted.

The experience I had though on Thursday, was not like one of those times. Myself, along with around 10 other fans who represent fantastic Fan Clubs all over the world, were invited to LA in California by the Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic Records. We all attended somewhat blindly, without any knowledge of what we were going for. However, with the new album ‘Xscape’ already announced, it was a fairly safe bet that we were going to get a chance to listen to the album. Excitement was running through all of us as we met that morning, though it reached a new level when our car arrived at the Jim Henson Recording Studios.

This studio used to be known as the A&M Studios and it was where Michael co-wrote ‘We Are The World’ and recorded it with many other high profile artists. There wasn’t a more fitting location to listen to Michael’s voice again than in that room. Little has changed to the studio in nearly 30 years. With the wooden floor and ceiling, it was instantly recognisable from what we’ve seen in the video of the hit charity single of 1985.

As I looked around, reflecting on the history that was made in the room, we sat down in a semi-circle and John Branca, co-executor of Michael’s Estate, greeted us all and explained why we were there. Then L.A. Reid, Chairman of Epic Records and Executive Producer of the ‘Xscape’ album walked in. He was ready to personally play us the eight new tracks on the album. He explained that in line with his style of production work, the eight tracks selected are the best tracks he could have found in the vault of Michael’s archives. He said he disregarded any recordings that didn’t have full vocals, noting that if Michael recorded a whole song (compared to just a chorus for example) then it meant that Michael liked it. And true to form this is something we can see as we look back on Michael’s career. John Branca pointed out that ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” was originally recorded for ‘Off The Wall’ but used three years later on ‘Thriller’. ‘Earth Song’ and ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ was originally recorded for ‘Dangerous’, but eventually used four years later on ‘HIStory’. The songs left over, recorded in full, aren’t finished articles. But nor are they necessarily songs Michael had disregarded and thrown into the trash. Also interestingly, Reid told us later on that he was unaware that six out of the eight tracks had previously been leaked, and that the song list had already been chosen when this information was brought to his attention.

Before hitting play, Reid delighted us with stories from his past; the moment he met Michael, the moment he had an official meeting with Michael, and other stories including touching moments he witnessed between Michael and his children. The stories spanned two decades, as Michael and Reid grew close and desired to work together. Unfortunately this was never meant to be during Michael’s lifetime, nevertheless Reid’s appreciation, love and respect for Michael is evident.

My original intention was to review each song and scribble down notes to report what each track sounded like. However, with every song that passed, my pen was used less and less. As the album continued, we were getting up, starting to dance, move, feel the music and experience Michael in a new way. I stared around the historic ‘We Are The World’ room, with L.A. Reid jumping around to the grooves, John Branca and the rest of the Estate team dancing and Michael’s vocals ringing through my ears, and writing notes on every song was not what I wanted to do. It wasn’t a place to write. It was a place to listen. The music dictated this more than being a conscious decision. I was overwhelmed by the music and soon enough you will find out why when it’s released. It’s not for me to ruin that experience and surprise for you. So instead, let me give you the quickest of overviews:


  1. Love Never Felt So Good
  2. Chicago
  3. Lovin’ You
  4. A Place With No Name
  5. Slave To The Rhythm
  6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
  7. Blue Gangsta
  8. Xscape

Each song could be a dance floor filler. They all have very strong beats that rumble through your body. The opening song put an immediate smile on my face and raised the hair on my arms. With powerful vocals delivered by Michael throughout, his passion, his anger and his love is constantly there.

The album was played twice back-to-back. Smiles all around, the excitement was so different to anything I’ve experienced before. Branca would go and talk to different people in the room. He said to me “this will fill dance floors across the world”. And it just might!

The next month will prove to have lots of surprises for the fans and public alike. I’m not going to tell you what they are, but what I will say is that as I walked out of the studio, I was left with the knowledge that Michael’s legacy is in great hands. Michael worked harder than any other artist throughout his career. He would want that legacy continued. Creating the record breaking Cirque Du Soleil tour, releasing a movie, producing a video game among other things such as anniversary albums and DVD releases, is just part of what the Estate have done to help further and retain Michael’s legacy. Bringing together producers to release unheard material; producers that knew Michael or worked with Michael or it was a known fact that Michael admired, is just right. The album feels contemporary in every way and it’s thrilling to hear Michael again. You think you’ve heard some of these songs before…but you haven’t. Not like this!

It is a delicate situation, but the Estate have continued Michael’s legacy with dignity and introduced millions of new people to Michael’s unique talents.

Long may it continue.

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Jackson Tribute Show Is A Real Thriller

Source: Fifetoday – By Fiona Dobie


The music of Michael Jackson has played a part in many people’s lives over the years.

And even now, five years after his death, his music lives on.

One way in which the music continues to be a huge hit with fans of all ages is through the hit musical production ‘Thriller Live’, which comes to Fife on its only Scottish tour dates later this summer.

The production, which has been in London’s West End since 2009, comes to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline for a three day run from Thursday, June 5 to Saturday, June 7 and is celebration of the music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

Unlike other West End productions, ‘Thriller Live’ is not a rigid book musical with set songs – it’s a constantly evolving music concert celebration.

And when the theatre production comes to the Kingdom, fans of television series ‘The Voice’ will recognise one of the cast members.

Cleo Higgins, Will.I.Am’s contestant in the 2013 series of ‘The Voice’ stars in the show.

Cleo Higgins in Thriller Live

Last week the former lead singer of the 1990s pop group Cleopatra took time out of the production’s tour in Switzerland to speak to The Press ahead of the Dunfermline date.

She said: “I’m really excited about it.

“Scotland’s one of my favourite places in the UK.

“I love it. We have one person from Glasgow in the show and she is looking forward to getting back to people that she can understand.

“I’m really looking forward to it to be honest.

“For the most part of the tour this time we’ve not touched Scotland.

“I’ve genuinely been disappointed by it.

“I think the closest we’ve been is Carlisle so far.

“So we’re excited that this time we’re actually coming to Scotland.”

Before appearing on ‘The Voice’ – where she made it through to the semi final – Cleo had previously been in the pop group with her sisters and signed to Madonna’s label Maverick when she was just 13.

Cleopatra had three Top 10 hits, supported the Spice Girls, had two TV series and even performed concerts at the Vatican.

But now that she’s part of the Thriller Live production it’s about a whole lot more than just the singing.

Cleo continued: “For me originally it was quite daunting and we learned it in different stages and the first part we learnt last.

“It’s a strange and different world for me.”

The show brings to life the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits.

Video footage and effects are blended with dazzling choreography by award-winning director Gary Lloyd and it’s regularly updated with additional songs and new visuals and choreography.

So how does it feel for Cleo to be performing in a stage production that’s a celebration of Michael Jackson’s music?

Even from the days of Cleopatra with sisters Zainam and Yonah it was apparent the girls were fans of the king of pop. They even had a Top Five hit single in the UK with their cover of the Jackson 5 track ‘I Want You Back’.

“With it being Michael Jackson I jumped at the chance to audition,” said Cleo.

“I remember someone mentioning a Michael Jackson show but didn’t realise it was an ongoing one.

“Michael Jackson is probably my biggest male influence really.

“He taught me how to vibe and really have the passion in my music and my life.

“He taught me and my sisters to perform.

“There’s no one really like him and I couldn’t think about myself or anyone else as being a female Michael Jackson.

“To do the MJ show is incredible.

“His death hurt me so much when we lost him. No one expected that to happen.

“When he died, he took a large part of me with him. It was like losing a brother.

“Now I feel I can give something back to him and his family by doing this show.”

‘Thriller Live’ is celebrating its sixth year in the West End where it has become the longest running production in the Lyric Theatre’s 125 year history.

But the show has been performed across the globe, with more than 2.5 million tickets sold.

The cast are currently on tour in Europe, visiting the likes of Germany and Switzerland, before going on to Italy later this year.

Now that she’s part of a larger cast and crew, how does it feel for Cleo to be back on tour?

“Being on the road, I was used to it from before,” she said, “but it’s the first time I have been away as a mum and it’s been up and down.

“My children are very excited about me being away.

“They are very resilient and know this is my job, but it’s hard.

“It’s not as easy being on tour, it was hard enough in the UK, but now we’re further away and you know it would take a whole day to get back home to them it’s tough.”

Thriller Live comes to the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline from Thursday, June 5 to Saturday, June 7.


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Arnie Klien’s Michael Jackson Hat, Elizabeth Taylor Cuff Links And More Up For Auction Today And Tommorrow

Source: Estate Sales/ Munyon and Sons

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We will be selling the entire contents of a modest Thousand Oaks residence on April 11-12, 2014 from 9 am – 5 pm each day. Everything in the residence, MUST BE SOLD THIS WEEKEND.

Along with the general household furniture, furnishings, artwork, silver and accessories there are many interesting items at the sale including some Dr. Arnold Klein leftovers: a signed Michael Jackson hat, a pair of 18K gold cuff links given to Dr. Klein by Elizabeth Taylor, a ship’s chandelier from a ship as fine as the “Titanic, an elegant 12’ long dining table with 12 chairs and so much more…

HOUSEHOLD CONTENTS: a designer brass chandelier, dining room table & chairs, Gorham Sterling silver flatware, tons of artwork, sofas, chairs, bedroom furniture, patio furniture, tools, dishes, crystal etc. etc.

Numbers will be given out staring at 8AM each day to the people in line. Everyone will need a number and will required to sign in and agree to enter at their own risk. We will accept cash, credit card, PayPal and some personal/business checks, which can be verified and approved. All credit card transactions require a valid photo ID. Sales tax of 7.5 % will collected on every sale unless you complete and sign a valid resale certificate. No exceptions. We look forward to doing business with you.


Address:   1555 SUFFOLK AVE, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

4/11/2014 9am to 5pm (Fri)
4/12/2014 9am to 5pm (Sat)

(805) 402-0350

(805) 444-6411

View Company Details

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Dancer Davi Lorenzo Says The Immortal Tour Is More Like A Concert


Artistic Director Tara Young and dancers Davi Lorenzo and Leo Moctezuma

Artistic Director Tara Young and dancers Davi Lorenzo and Leo Moctezuma

Heads up, Richmond. There’s a brand new Cirque du Soleil show coming to the Coliseum. And it’s all about Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour takes over the Richmond Coliseum on Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16 for a top-to-bottom transformation for the show. Tickets range from $50 to $150.

First off: this is a different kind of Cirque show.

Think more Michael, less acrobatics.

There won’t be as many high-flying acrobatics and physical stunts as other Cirque shows. But there will be more cool dance moves, moonwalks and memorable Michael Jackson songs.

(And there will be some acrobatics, just not as many as some Cirque fans are used to.)

We caught the last Cirque show in Richmond and loved the acrobatics, but not the muzac. So personally, we say, Bring it on, Billie Jean!

Dancer Davi Lorenzo says the show covers all of Michael Jackson’s hits – from Billie Jean and Human Nature to Smooth Criminal and Black and White.

“There is a lot of choreography from Michael Jackson videos,” Lorenzo says,“from Billie Jean and Thriller.” She says they also do the moonwalk, the cobra and “lots of the moves that Michael used to do.”

She says the show is more like a concert than the typical Cirque show.

“People can stand up, dance and move along with the songs. It’s more dance oriented. And it’s to celebrate Michael’s life.”

Her favorite song to perform is “Smooth Criminal.”

“All the girls – we have the dresses and the high heels – we slither around. I prefer my flat sneakers, but I love that choreography. It’s my favorite part of the show.”

A Spanish dancer originally trained in flamenco, Lovato herself has appeared in music videos with Chris Brown, as well as toured with Jennifer Lopez.

But she says she’s enjoying the Cirque show because “it’s a different type of performance. Here, we are the artists out in front. [Instead of performing back-up], it’s good to be viewed as an artist. There are 22 dancers in the show. And we just want to get people up and to dance. To treat it like a party.”

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

Tuesday, April 15 & Wednesday, April 16

Richmond Coliseum

Tickets range from $50 to $150.


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WATCH: American Idol’s Alex Preston And Sam Woolf Duet – “The Girl Is Mine”

Source: – By Lauren Weigle

Fullscreen capture 4102014 92355 AM

Alex Preston and Sam Woolf performed a beautiful duet tonight of the song “The Girl Is Mine” for American Idol’s 80′s night. The two fan favorite contestants blended perfectly together and made the girls in the audience swoon. The judges loved it … the audience loved it … And, the viewers loved it. In fact, the Twitter trend #SamandAlex sprung up and rose to the top within minutes.

Fullscreen capture 4102014 93646 AMVideo:


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Cirque du Soleil Honors Michael Jackson’s Work: Interview With Dance Master Laurie Sposit

Source: News & Record – By Leah Hughes

The woman with the notepad knows every move of this show. She predicts when that dancer will go left and the other will break right. That jump was supposed to be higher. That person in the back was late. She counts every beat.

Laurie Sposit joined “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” in July 2011 as the dance master. Her job involves overseeing the dancers and preserving the show’s original choreography.

She and her dancers and the entire 49-member cast that also includes acrobats and musicians will perform at Greensboro Coliseum on Friday and Saturday in the Cirque du Soleil production that honors the life work of Michael Jackson.

Sposit grew up listening to Jackson, watching his videos and mimicking his moves.

“I was that kid that had all the posters plastered on the wall,” she said.

For Sposit and fans around the world who grew up idolizing Jackson, “The Immortal” is for them. The show includes more than 35 of Jackson’s songs. It balances his original work and recordings with new interpretations.

Musical director Greg Phillinganes worked with Jackson for more than 25 years. The Cirque du Soleil flair enhances each song. During the “Wanna Be Starting Something” scene, the gates of Neverland open to reveal “The Immortal” band, which includes Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett, who played drums for Jackson for 30 years. The scene then brings in dancers and acrobats in tribal costumes.

“The costumes are great,” Sposit says. “A lot of them are replicating what he had in his videos and his style. … And the other side is the genius of the Cirque du Soleil wardrobe department.”

“Beat It” highlights a couple of Jackson’s famous accessories. A dancer inside a 6-foot-tall glove forms hand positions with his entire body. And a pair of 8-foot-long shoes made of orthopedic foam with a vinyl skin represent Jackson’s penny loafers.

Sposit remembers wanting a red, leather jacket when she was younger to match the one in the “Thriller” video. (Her father said no.) The music and choreography of Jackson and his sister Janet influenced her decision to become a dancer. She toured with Janet Jackson on the “All for You” tour in the early 2000s.

“Having worked with his sister, that was awesome,” Sposit said. “I never got to meet him, but working on this is a way to be part of his legacy.”

The show carries forward Jackson’s overarching themes — love, peace and unity — found throughout his work.

“I think the main kind of message of the show is Michael’s love for life and humanity,” Sposit said.

Sometimes sitting and watching the show is difficult for her. Sposit danced professionally for more than 20 years. But chronic back pain forced her to take a different role. She works with a dance captain who acts out the examples she can no longer manage.

But she likes this side, too. She occasionally tries to watch without taking notes, but she finds it hard to turn off that make-it-better mind-set.

“I never get sick of it,” she said. “I can go out there every day and go, ‘Oh wow, what a great show we have.’”


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Great Review: Xscape Listening Party ~ Top Of The Rock, NY (April 8)

Source: Complex Music – By Rob Kenner / Pictures: Epic Records


Forget what you heard; we actually heard the music.

Last night a select group of music execs, press, radio, TV, and representatives of the Michael Jackson estate gathered at the Top of the Rock in NYC for a chance to hear Xscape, the second Michael Jackson album to be released since his tragic death in June 2009. During the ride to the top of Rockefeller Center, a ghostly image of Michael Jackson peered the down through the elevator’s glass ceiling. “Michael would approve,” quipped Fab 5 Freddy, one of the invited guests on the way up.

Upstairs there were magnificent views of Manhattan, signature cocktails, and elegant hors d’oeuvres.


But first the guests were compelled to check their phones (and submit to a metal detector sweep) all in an attempt to prevent digital piracy of the precious audio assets being unveiled that evening. But despite Epic Records’ best efforts, the album’s poppin’ title track leaked this morning. Normally this would be bad news for the album roll-out, but in this case the music provides a powerful retort to all the cynical criticism that has dogged this project since it was first announced.

“Xscape” was written by MJ and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, most likely for the Invincible sessions. The track was recently “contemporized” by Jerkins—making it the only one of Xscape’s eight cuts to be reworked by its original producer. The rest of the album’s creative team includes Timbaland, Stargate, and longtime Jackson family friends Jerome “JRoc” Hamilton and John McClain—who were responsible for updating eight never-before-heard songs from the Jackson vaults, with the aim of giving them “a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson’s essence and integrity,” as the press release put it. Based on an informal poll of guests at the party, the prevailing attitude in the room was somewhere between curious and cautiously optimistic.


LA Reid and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins

Sylvia Rhone, the newly appointed President of Epic Records, kicked things off by recalling her own favorite Michael Jackson moment—when she was “the hottest chick on campus” at Penn University and got the chance to see The Jackson 5 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. She then introduced her boss, Epic Records Chairman/CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who assured her that she was still the hottest chick in the place before calling up representatives of the Jackson estate and presenting them with a plaque so enormous it required two strong men to lug it onstage, commemorating over 100 million copies (and counting) sold of Thriller, the biggest selling album of all time.

Despite the fact that it’s named after an awesome So So Def girl group, advance press on Xscape, which is due to drop May 13, had been overwhelmingly negative. Much of this negativity has to do with the never-ending media circus surrounding all things Jackson, which has sadly sullied the legacy of one of the greatest entertainers who ever walked the earth by distracting us all from what he did best.

Fab Five Freddy

Fab Five Freddy

LA Reid chopped it up with our friend Elliot Wilson from — at Top Of The Rock NYC.

LA Reid chopped it up with our friend Elliot Wilson from — at Top Of The Rock NYC.

As with the posthumous 2010 album Michael, knee-jerk news reports (written without hearing any of the music) characterized the songs as cutting-room-floor rejects polished up for purely financial motives—a notion that Antonio “L.A.” Reid wasted no time rebutting. “This is not about record company greed,” he said defiantly. “I knew Michael. I had the chance to spend time with him and I knew how he felt about his work, about breaking new ground and not repeating himself.” The estate reps pointed out that “Michael would not put a vocal down on a song if he didn’t love it,” and that the song “Wanna Be Starting Something” was originally recorded for the album Off The Wall and released later, ditto for “Earth Song,” which was originally written for Dangerous.

Then it was time to let the music play, and suddenly the only words that mattered were the ones Michael was singing. L.A. kicked things off with a sureshot dance-floor filler called “Love Never Felt Like This Before.” There were songs about cheating and double lives, and even darker cuts like “Slave To The Rhythm” a song about the trials of an unappreciated woman, and the “Do You Know Where Your Children Are?” which tells the tale of a 12-year-old runaway and features a haunting refrain of MJ singing “Save Me” over and over. Happily, the “contemporized” production on Xscape not so over-the-top that it distracts from the main attraction here, Michael’s superior songwriting and one-of-a-kind vocals.

Up high on one of the windows was a quote in bold letters that speaks to MJ’s creative process. “It’s an adventure, it’s a great adventure,” he said. “They just love wonderful experiences, they want escapism. We wanna take them places that they’ve never been before.”


How many recording artists today even aspire to do as much for their listeners? Contrary to what Kanye West said on “All of the Lights,” MJ isn’t exactly dead—not as long as he still can make your pulse race by hitting a note with just the right touch of grit in his voice. Almost five years after his outrageously untimely death, the King of Pop’s ability to move the crowd endures. He’s still a thrilla.

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Michael Jackson’s Irrevocable Trust and Estate, The IRS And Future Revenue



Major music label Epic Records has announced that May 2014 will be a good month for fans of Michael Jackson and his incredible musical legacy (1); that is when “Xscape,” one of about ten albums expected to be released by the Jackson estate over the next three years, will hit stores. This highly anticipated album is expected to add even more value to the already lucrative Jackson estate, which is undergoing probate under case number BP117321 in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. The Jackson estate is estimated to be earning about a billion dollars each year (2).

The King of Pop was 50 years old when he passed in 2009. At that time, Jackson was staging a comeback tour that eventually became a posthumous and highly successful musical show in Las Vegas. CNN has reported that the respected music impresario L.A. Reid, top executive at Epic Records, is praising the work performed by the producers working on Xscape, some of whom are executors of his will and had previously worked with Jackson.

Music and entertainment industry publication Billboard has identified several revenue streams that may keep the complicated and highly contested Michael Jackson Family Trust (3) from going into the red. Digital film, video games, the hit show “This Is It” in Las Vegas, music publishing, and recording contracts are among the activities that make the Jackson trust a posthumously profitable endeavor.

The irony of Michael Jackson’s posthumous earning power is something that Rocco Beatrice of recently commented on. He is the Managing Director of Estate Street Partners, a CPA firm that specializes on irrevocable trusts and estate planning. “That Michael Jackson is still earning from the afterlife is a veritable testament, so to speak, of his sizable contribution to the pop music canon. He is not the first music artist to find considerable posthumous success. Let’s keep in mind the estate of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, as well as other late artists such as rapper Tupac Shakur, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, reggae luminary Bob Marley, and grunge pioneer Kurt Cobain; those estates are still producing $1-5M per year.”

Mr. Beatrice has previously commented on the Jackson estate, specifically on his use of a “pour-over will” to assign any remaining assets that he may not have deposited into the Michael Jackson Family Trust. “Although trusts afford a lot more privacy than wills, we have learned quite a bit from the Jackson probate proceedings (5). That usually happens in cases involving major celebrities such as the King of Pop, and we know that he left a revocable trust.”

“Jackson’s revocable trust presented a problem insofar as estate taxation – some reports said it actually caused a deficit.” Mr, Beatrice is referring to Estate of Sanford v. Commissioner, 308 U.S. 39 (1939), a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that deems assets transferred to revocable trusts as incomplete gifts (4), and therefore subject to estate taxes. “Irrevocable trusts, which we often recommend to our clients, are much better structures in the sense that they provide tax mitigation and considerable estate protection.”

Taxes have been major issues in the protracted battle over the Jackson estate. In August 2013, Forbes reported on a $700 million deficiency determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with regard to the Jackson estate (6). “It is clear from Jackson’s will and what we know from his trust that he wanted most of his estate to go to his three children. Unfortunately, the revocable feature of his trust is causing a lot of money to be paid in taxes. Irrevocable trusts tend to be far more favorable to beneficiaries, heirs and survivors than to the IRS,” Mr. Beatrice explained.

In the past, multiple lawsuits faced by the Jackson estate. “On one hand, it is good to know that Jackson’s musical legacy continues to produce so much revenue; on the other hand, the revocable trust is not sufficient to protect his estate against the dozens of lawsuits that are piling up in Los Angeles Superior Court. It is safe to assume that quite a few of those plaintiffs seeking money from the Jackson estate would be dissuaded if he had chosen an irrevocable trust that provides true asset protection.”


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