Second Annual King of Pop Birthday Party in Las Vegas Set for Today

Sources: Broadway World | All Things Michael

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For the second consecutive year, Cirque du Soleil and the Estate of Michael Jackson are inviting fans to the King of Pop’s official birthday party today, Aug. 29 at an exclusive all-day celebration at the Michael Jackson ONE Theatre at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

This year, the daylong birthday celebration is truly fit for a king culminating with the added birthday performances of Michael Jackson ONE at 7:00p.m. and 9:30p.m. Guests who book their tickets to one of the birthday performances with the special offer code at www.cirquedusoleil.com/mjbdaywill be invited to attend a private “meet & greet” with representatives of the Estate, members of the show’s creative team and other special guests from the day’s activities as well as receive access to an exclusive room offer from Mandalay Bay which includes a commemorative birthday ticket and gift bag. Guests also will be able to enjoy other special events throughout the day including: a book-signing with Forbes senior editor and “Michael Jackson, Inc.” author Zack O’Malley Greenburg, a screening of the behind-the-scenes documentary from Michael’s latest album XSCAPE, and a Q&A with record producer Rodney Jerkins and “Man In The Music” author Joe Vogel who also contributed the liner notes to the album package.

The album, which contains all new material, took over the top spots on the global charts in May, hitting No. 1 in 52 countries and Top 5in 87 others. It debuted at No. 1 on the Hits Magazine chart and No. 2 on the Billboard chart. The first single from the album, “Love Never Felt So Good,” lit up the charts around the world, giving Jackson his highest Billboard chart bow since 1995 and fourth-highest debut ever at No. 20. It is now the last song played as the audience leaves the Michael Jackson ONE Theatre.

Michael Jackson ONE is a sonic, tonic fusion of acrobatics, dance and visuals that takes the audience on an immersive journey through the music and spirit of Michael Jackson.

Driven by Michael’s powerful, multi-layered music – heard like never before in a riveting, state-of-the-art surround-sound environment – ONE takes the audience through a series of seamless visual and musical tableaux, at the heart of a world that is in turn majestic, playful, magical and heart-warming.

In Michael Jackson ONE, Michael’s artistry and spirit are expressed through the vibrant energy of the cast of 63 dancers and performers, underscored by aerial performance, driving acrobatics, and vivid choreographies that use the urban/hip hop idiom as a springboard for exploration.

ONE is a heartfelt tribute to the work, innovative spirit, and legacy of Michael Jackson – the King of Pop, the genius, the visionary, the One.

Michael Jackson ONE is Cirque du Soleil‘s8thproduction in Las Vegas since Mystère in 1993. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil who celebrates its 30th anniversary this year has brought wonder and delight to close to 150 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over 40countries on six continents.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

 

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Legends in Concert: Michael Jackson’s Birthday Incentive To Celebrate In Myrtle Beach

Source: Myrtle Beach Online – By BY Steve Palisin | All Things Michael

Jimmy Lucas, an Aiken native, is finishing his second summer in a row of paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson at Legends in Concert in Myrtle Beach. Show continue at 8 p.m. daily through Sunday.

Jimmy Lucas, an Aiken native, is finishing his second summer in a row of paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson at Legends in Concert in Myrtle Beach. Show continue at 8 p.m. daily through Sunday.

Michael Jackson would have turned 56 years old on Friday, but his music remains alive in a new, posthumous single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” and on Legends in Concert’s stage in Myrtle Beach for a last hurrah this weekend.

Jimmy Lucas, an Aiken native, has performed as the Gloved One for two summers locally at Legends, at U.S. 17 Bypass and 29th Avenue North, catty corner from Broadway at the Beach. This year, he has been joined by tribute artitsts to The Blues Brothers (Jake and Elwood Blues, portrayed by Dan Meisner and Russ Peterson, respectively), Madonna (Kimberly Goltry), Elvis Presley (Leo Days), and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler (Chris Van Dahl). Their shows continue at 8 p.m. daily through Sunday.

The fall lineup, reflecting some of the most requested acts in Myrtle Beach, kicks in Tuesday, going through Oct. 30, with The Blues Brothers (Meisner and Peterson) carrying on, along with Adele (J.C. Brando), Johnny Cash (Paul Eve), Elvis Presley (Dean Z, the overall 2013 Ultimate Elvis Competition winner, sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc.), and Barry White (Jourdan Carroll). Brando’s Adele set also might endear James Bond fans, for it includes the tingling theme to the latest 007 film, “Skyfall,” from 2012.

Speaking two weeks before the current Legends roster bids farewell to summer, ushers in a new lineup of artists for fall, Lucas said he always likes to celebrate the anniversary of Jackson’s birthday. Portraying the late King of Pop, whom he admired as a childhood fan, Lucas sees his professional role as adding “more light to his legacy.”

“I always wanted to do something to keep his legacy alive,” said Lucas about Jackson, who died in June 2009.

He remembered studying footage closely of Jackson on and off stage, “his whole style in how he carried himself, and his mannerisms.”

Lucas figured that he watched videos “every single day for four to six hours a day for five to six months,” and the studies continue. Joining Legends in 2009, starting with its Las Vegas site, and later spending two summers in Myrtle Beach, Lucas called his employer and musical colleagues “like a family to me.”

Jason Aiesi, Legends’ general manager in Myrtle Beach, having the same Jackson tribute artist the last two summers set a new precedent locally, because usually any one person – outside of the people who take turns as The Blues Brothers and Elvis, respectively – does not play “the same season two years in a row.”

“I think Michael Jackson has worked his way into that echelon,” Aiesi said.

When Legends reopened in March 2011 at its new Myrtle Beach site at Broadway at the Beach, after relocating from Surfside Beach, William Hall portrayed Jackson in that grand opening lineup for two months. Hall has since gone on to other endeavors, but he still pays tribute to Jackson, Aiesi said.

‘A part of me’

Lucas said performing as Jackson – and triggering memories for fans – “has become a part of me, but I’m not Michael Jackson, and I’m not trying to be Michael Jackson.”

“I am Michael Jackson on stage,” he said, “and that’s as far as it goes.”

Lucas said with Jackson’s extensive musical catalog, going back to his roots with the Jackson 5 on Motown Records, then through his work with the Jacksons, and ultimately, all the record-breaking solo albums, he has had so much material to enjoy and appreciate.

From the “Off the Wall” album in 1979, Lucas said he would love to do “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” in a show and conquer that “vocal range.” He called the song that closes the first side of the vinyl LP, “Get on the Floor,” an “amazing” piece as well.

With Legends, two singles from Jackson’s album three years later, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” the title track, remain mainstays “without question” in his set, Lucas said, because they’re among Jackson’s most recognizable recordings and music video hits from MTV’s heyday in the 1980s.

Lucas sees “Thriller” as “by far, the most iconic and most unbelievable album,” and he never can forget the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” concert and TV special in 1983 where Jackson performed “Billie Jean” with his trademark “moonwalk,” sliding his feet backward in one fluid dance motion.

Noting he had read that hundreds of songs were considered for the “Thriller” CD, Lucas said three of its hits – “Beat It,” “Human Nature” and “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – were not part of original plans for the album.

Jackson’s next CD, “Bad,” from 1987, with singles such as “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Dirty Diana” and “Smooth Criminal,” captivated Lucas for the style and outfits, as he has exhibited here with Legends with a four-piece band and four dancers.

Dressing the part a few years ago – including fitting the wig, lipstick, arched eyebrows, and makeup and lipstick just right – Lucas said at first, the process took about one hour and 20 minutes, but he has streamlined the routine to about “35 to 40 minutes.”

“Everything about the ‘Bad’ era was it for me,” said Lucas, a golfer who would love to return to Legends for a third straight summer in Myrtle Beach.

“I’m always on the course, playing,” he said.

Information | 238-7827, 800-960-7469 orwww.legendsinconcert.com

Did you know? | Michael Jackson had three recordings that crossed paths with Paul McCartney:

• For “Off the Wall,” released in 1979, Jackson covered “Girlfriend,” which the former Beatle wrote and originally recorded with Wings on the group’s “London Town” album in 1978.

• “The Girl Is Mine,” which Jackson wrote, singing in a duet with McCartney, led the seven singles Jackson’s “Thriller” album, released in 1982.

• Jackson and McCartney composed and recorded “Say Say Say,” the debut single from Sir Paul’s “Pipes of Peace” CD in 1983.

Fans Urged To Use Bus Route For Michael Jackson Tribute Festival

Sources: Post-Tribune | All Things Michael

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GARY – Michael Jackson fans wanting to take the bus to the celebration site this weekend are being advised to hop on to the Gary Public Transportation Corp.’s Route 22.

The route runs hourly in the Midtown area and includes a stop at 25th Avenue and Jackson Street, which is two blocks from the Jackson family residence at 2300 Jackson St., said GPTC Planning Manager David Wright. The route picks up at the Village via Taft Street.

Broadway Routes 17 and 18, which travel every half hour on Broadway during the week and hourly on Saturday, also stop a few blocks east of the Jackson House. The routes handle transport to Midtown from Downtown Gary to the north end, and Merrillville and Crown Point on the south end.

GPTC route maps are available at www.gptcbus.com/routes.htm. Anyone with questions about the Michael Jackson Line to the Tribute Festival may contact GPTC at (219) 884-6100 ext. 0, or send them directly via Twitter to @GaryTransit, or Facebook GPTC or email PlanningManager@gptcbus.com.

Read more at Post Tribune

Tonight On The Summer Mini Concert Series At 8 – Michael Jackson (Majic 102.3) DC

Sources: Majic 102.3 – By John Monds| All Things Michael

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We’ve covered the music prior to Michael becoming a solo artist for the last two nights.  Get ready for  more Michael tonight as our celebration of his upcoming birthday continues.  Here’s one from his debut solo album “Off The Wall” to get you in the Michael mood. Starts at 8PM eastern time.

Listen Live here

Gary To Celebrate Michael Jackson’s Birthday With His Family

Sources: Post – Tribune -By Teresa Auch Schultz  | All Things Michael

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Celebrations for Michael Jackson’s birthday have grown from a block party around his boyhood home to a three-day festival set to start Thursday in what local officials and event promoters hope will become an annual affair.

The Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts will focus not only on the the famous musician, however, but also on encouraging new artists.

“[We want to] let them know it’s a good thing to develop the arts,” event promoter Karvin Johnson said. “Develop your creativity.”

Previous events celebrating Jackson’s birthday Aug. 29 have centered around the former family home at 2300 Jackson St. This year’s event — the fifth since he died in 2009 — has grown to encompass the nearby Roosevelt High School campus and will feature local and new artists.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, spearheaded the event, Johnson said, and she and other family members, including Michael Jackson’s children, will attend.

“She wants to set something in place that will be something to commemorate and celebrate Michael’s legacy,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he expects about 5,000 people a day at the festival, including people from Brazil, Canada and China.

The festival will kick off Thursday with an orchestra and choir made up of Gary students singing and playing a medley of Michael Jackson songs. The Gary Community School Corp. conducted an audition last week for the lead singer.

“Michael Jackson has always been one of the most beloved if not most beloved artists in R&B history,” school district spokeswoman Charmella Greer said. “Students, whether young or older, it doesn’t matter, they’re excited about [the festival].”

The musical performance will be followed by a ceremony at Roosevelt High School on Thursday afternoon, which will include remarks by local officials.

Other highlights include a stage next to the former Jackson home for new and emerging artists, a chance to scratch records and play drums, and a trivia competition that will, of course, focus on the Jackson family. Saturday will include a car show and a dance competition judged by Michael Jackson’s children, Johnson said.

The festival will conclude Saturday night with a live performance by Mindless Behavior and fireworks.

“The main thing is to encourage kids that you can express yourself through art,” Johnson said.

The event will have 24-hour private security to help Gary police officers, he said.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said she sees the festival as a key piece to a week of events in Gary, including the Fuller Center Build, a service project that will build four homes in the area of the Jackson family’s former home.

“It provides a new look, a positive look [for Gary],” Freeman-Wilson said.

Both Freeman-Wilson and Johnson said they would like to see this event continue and grow each year. Johnson said the event promoters hope to add even more events in coming years, including possibly a circus.

Another event promoter, Sharon Chamber, a Gary businesswoman who became involved after the Jackson family contacted her about home insurance for the house at 2300 Jackson St., said she would love to see the event become a regular tourist attraction like Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home.

“I was just kind of hoping this becomes an annual thing — a national tribute to Michael,” she said.

Freeman-Wilson said she would like to work with the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority to find a way to quantify what the festival brings to the city, including in money spent.

“We know it’s going to be a positive thing,” she said. “The question then becomes what does it look like and how much.”

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:

THURSDAY

Noon: Gary School Marching Band enters Jackson Street toward 2300 Jackson. Dance troupe performs tribute to Michael Jackson. Opening ceremony with opening remarks from Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and city officials. Festival Village opens at Roosevelt High School Football Field.

1 p.m.: Dedication of homes by Fuller Center for Housing of Gary, CEO remarks; Introduction of the family and presentation of key. Closing remarks by Phyllis Barlow.

1:30 p.m.: Artist performances on all stages. DJs play Michael Jackson mix in the Festival Village and at 2300 Jackson St.

3:30 p.m.: Special ceremony in the Roosevelt High School Auditorium, hosted by Deborah Chang.

Ceremony will play on the big screen in the Festival Village.

5:30 p.m.: Special ceremony ends. Artist performances on all stages.

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open from noon-7 p.m.

FRIDAY

Noon: Festival Village opens at Roosevelt High School Football Field. Artist performances on the small stage and in Festival Village. DJs play Michael Jackson mix in the Festival Village and at 2300 Jackson St.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open from noon-7:30 p.m.; petting zoo open from 2-6 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.

7 p.m.: Dancing on the lawn with music provided by a DJ followed by a live band.

8:30 p.m.: Live band performs.

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.

SATURDAY

9 a.m.: Car show starts.

Noon: Artist performances on the small stage and in Festival Village.

3 p.m.: Car show winner announced on main stage.

6 p.m.: Winners of all competitions and headliners start performing.

8 p.m.: OMG Girlz

8:30 p.m.: Mindless Behavior

8:55 p.m.: Fireworks

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open noon- 7 p.m.; petting zoo open noon-4 p.m.

Michael Jackson ‘King of Pop’ Tribute Festival of the Arts

For more information, visit officialmichaeljacksontribute.com. Admission is free.

 Read more at Post-Tribune

Dance Like Michael Jackson In Honor of His Birthday

Sources: CBS8 – By Alicia Summers | All Things Michael

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – The King of Pop transformed the face of pop music and popular culture and now this “woman in the mirror” is going to try and transform your dance moves and make you move like Michael.

No one will ever dance quite like Michael Jackson did, but Devra Gregory makes a solid attempt and she’s teaching those that want to learn in honor of MJ’s birthday.

Michael Jackson died five years ago and Friday, August 29 would have been the King of Pop’s birthday. So to pay homage, Devra – a Michael Jackson impersonator – will be teaching you how to move like him at Culture Shock Dance center in Old Town this Friday…on what would’ve been MJ’s 56th birthday.

She will teach some choreography from Jackson’s iconic music videos, like “Beat It” and other iconic moves like the moon walk, spins and kicks and fancy footwork.

Read more / see video here

Spike Lee Honors Michael Jackson at Annual Summer Party in Brooklyn

Sources: The Wall Street Journal – By David Shapiro | All Things Michael

Director Spike Lee at his annual summer get-together in Brooklyn. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Director Spike Lee at his annual summer get-together in Brooklyn. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Spike Lee rarely cracked a smile as he walked around his annual party in Brooklyn signing autographs, fist-bumping fans and throwing T-shirts into the dancing-and-singing crowd.

Mr. Lee’s stone-faced hosting style appeared out of sync with the jubilant atmosphere at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, where thousands of revelers gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson‘s 56th birthday.

At the party, titled “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” Jackson’s iconic music boomed for blocks around. In the neighborhood, passersby danced while carrying groceries. Residents of the apartments overlooking the plaza nodded their heads to the beat as they surveyed the scene from their balconies.

Mr. Lee strode through the crowd wearing an orange velveteen fedora (provided by Party City, which outfitted hundreds in free fedoras) and Nike Air Force One sneakers emblazoned with images of Jackson from the “Thriller” era. The sneakers said “Thriller” on the back.

In the early afternoon, Lionel Powell, a 54-year-old man dressed as a tree, caught the attention of many as he danced through the crowd on 10-foot-tall stilts that looked like tree trunks. He crouched on his stilts to speak and to be photographed, and once, when he stood back up, he stretched his arms out, blocking the sun for a moment.

“I’m givin’ you a little shade,” Mr. Powell said with a laugh.

Gritty James shows off his Michael Jackson moves at Mr. Lee's party, which honored the late pop icon. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Gritty James shows off his Michael Jackson moves at Mr. Lee’s party, which honored the late pop icon. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Powell didn’t charge passersby for taking photos with him, but plenty of others at the event were interested in making money. People sold Michael Jackson T-shirts, holistic health and beauty products, jerk chicken and fruity beverages.

In the crowd, Mr. Lee may have been the only person without a smile. Police officers bobbed their heads as they patrolled. Maintenance workers sang as they picked up litter. Two emergency medical technicians attempted to learn Jackson’s moonwalk.

“We’re on duty,” said one of the medical technicians, “but when ‘Thriller’ comes on, you can’t just stand there.”

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Spike Lee Hosts a Party for King of Pop in Brooklyn

Sources: New York Philharmonic – By Sandra Lopez – Monsalve | All Things Michael

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On the streets of Salvador, Bahia, in Brazil, hundreds of Olodum drummers play with Michael Jackson in his 1996 music video “They Don’t Care About Us.” Directed by Spike Lee, the video features late Jackson dancing on the streets, and in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.

Lee also directed a posthumous music video for Jackson’s “This Is It,” and directed the 2012 documentary “Bad 25” about the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s 1987 album.

This weekend, the Brooklynite filmmaker is celebrating Michael Jackson’s birthday by throwing a free outdoor dance party known as “Brooklyn Loves MJ.” The party will kick off at noon on Sunday at the Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza.

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In anticipation of his birthday, Michael Jackson-inspired street art appears in SoHo. (Kathleen Horan)

Lee organized the event for the first time in 2009 at Prospect Park, where thousands of fans gathered to celebrate the artist who had passed away just over two months before.

Aisha Smith, founder of Legacy of Love — one of the biggest Michael Jackson fan clubs in New York City — still remembers that party.

“I was touched by all of the people that would come together for one day just to be in the park and stand around and listen to Michael Jackson’s music,” she said.

The event was replicated the following year, but it was canceled in 2011 due to Hurricane Irene. This year the party is back with DJ Spinna playing Jackson’s songs.

Among those attending the party will be Moses Harper, a Michael Jackson tribute artist.

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Moses Harper at the Apollo Theater.

Harper has been dancing like Michael Jackson all over the country, as a lead choreographer at Thrill the World NYC  — the annual worldwide simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

“I’ve met so many artists who’ve been inspired by Michael, just because his approach to artistry is very profound. He put his soul into what he was doing,” she said.

“Brooklyn Loves MJ” will run through 6 p.m. At any time, Thrill the World NYC members will break out into a quick flash mob to dance.

 

Read more at NY Philharmonic