Shield Group and Topsgrup Chairman Dr. Richie Nanda Talks About Guarding Michael Jackson In India

Sources: Management Today | Director | Edited By – All Things Michael


Richie Nanda is the chairman of India’s largest security company Topsgrup, employing 93,000 people. Following the completion of a takeover in 2012, he’s now also boss of The Shield Group, one of the top 10 security companies in the UK.

Michael Jackson was always my hero. He was a very vulnerable, innocent person and very gullible. I was guarding him for four days. I didn’t sleep at all.


The major breakthrough for Tops came in 1996, when the company won the contract to provide security for Michael Jackson’s visit to Mumbai: “We secured the whole event, and made sure it was done seamlessly,” he says. “But people saw me next to Michael Jackson in the press, and said ‘wow, you can handle his security’ – and then they started believing in us. This is how you get references. In 23 years, my advertising has all been through word of mouth.”


See 1:54 – 2:51 on video below.


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They May Not Have Made $72 Million, But They Were at No. 1 Before High School: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and More

Sources: Music Times | All Things Michael

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Today’s hot story: A student at the esteemed Stuyvesant High School has reportedly made more than $72 million while playing the stock market during his lunch break. The Queens resident, who is being referred to as the “Teen Wolf (of Wall Street)” is also rumored to have already bought a BMW with the payouts, although he doesn’t have a license to drive it. It’s tough to compare big time investors such as this prodigy will probably become with musicians, because investors just make more money. Period. We can compare this young man to those in the music industry who got their starts at an incredibly young age.

Check out this group of performers and when they hit no. 1 for the first time.

Michael Jackson and “I Want You Back” (Age: 11)

Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 make up the aforementioned Motown you-know-who and the aforementioned brothers pop group bigger than The Osmonds. The group was especially interesting that the headliner was youngest brother Michael from the get-go. Another thing this group has on the other acts on this list: They didn’t peak with a no. 1 and then wait for a decade for another. The vocal group’s first four singles all went to no. 1, beginning with “I Want You Back” and continuing with “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There.” It would;t be too long before they were the main draw over Diana Ross, who’s listed as “presenting” the band on its first album for commercial purposes.

Donny Osmond and “Go Away Little Girl” (Age: 13)

Donny Osmond was the most famous member (perhaps with competition from his sister Marie) of the second most popular act in the oddly large “brother pop group” subcategory. The Osmonds group, featuring all (then) seven siblings, hit the big time after appearing on The Andy Williams Show during the ’60s, which opened up the way for the individual members to create solo careers for themselves as well. “Go Away Little Girl” was also Osmond’s second single (and it would be his only one to peak at no. 1). Perhaps he was trying to show some early teenage spunk by labeling others as “little” despite his own age.

Michael Jackson and “I Want You Back” (Age: 11)

Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 make up the aforementioned Motown you-know-who and the aforementioned brothers pop group bigger than The Osmonds. The group was especially interesting that the headliner was youngest brother Michael from the get-go. Another thing this group has on the other acts on this list: They didn’t peak with a no. 1 and then wait for a decade for another. The vocal group’s first four singles all went to no. 1, beginning with “I Want You Back” and continuing with “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There.” It would;t be too long before they were the main draw over Diana Ross, who’s listed as “presenting” the band on its first album for commercial purposes.

Stevie Wonder and “Fingertips – Part 1 & 2″ (Age: 12)

If you thought you-know-who was the only boy wonder working under the Motown label, you’d be incorrect. Stevie (then under his legal surname “Morris”) Wonder was signed by Berry Gordy to the label at the age of 11, where producer Clarence Paul dubbed him “Little Stevie Wonder” for his prodigious skills. His unusually young age led to Motown setting up a system where he and his mother would be paid a weekly stipend and his royalties would feed into a trust fund that he could access when he turned 21. In short, he had a massive amount of money to pay for the bar tab at his 21st birthday. His first single to crack the Hot 100 was “Fingertips – Part 1 & 2,” which went to the top. It wouldn’t be until the classic ’72 single “Superstition” that he would hit the top spot again (admittedly a lot would follow after that). The best part about this single? Wonder still looks about as cool as a cat can get on the album art at age 12, wearing his trademark shades.

Helen Shapiro and “You Don’t Know” (Age: 14)

Pop and jazz vocalist Helen Shapiro was 14 when her second single, “You Don’t Know,” topped the British charts and made her the youngest female in the country’s history to do so. She narrowly missed with her first single, the appropriately titled “Don’t Treat Me Like A Child.” Her advanced chart topping might have been due to her deep timbre, an unusual voice quality for someone so young (which reportedly led to her being nicknamed “Foghorn” at school). She had some big-name (literal) support: Her first band featured Marc Bolan on guitar before he found fame with T-Rex and The Beatles first British tour was as her supporting act.

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On This Day In History: Michael And Janet Jackson Attend The Music Concert For ‘Elvis – The Tribute’ In 1994

Sources: Media Sights – Marc Bergman | All Things Michael


The two-hour musical concert “Elvis – The Tribute” aired on ABC on this day in 1994 with host John Stamos and performances including Bryan Adams, Tony Bennett, Michael Bolton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Chris Isaak, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and U2. Lisa Marie Presley (who was then married to Michael Jackson) and Priscilla Presley were also featured.



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“Wetten, dass..?” Germany’s Most Successful TV Show Comes To An End

Sources: Yahoo News | Edited By – All Things Michael


BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s most successful TV show is ending after a 33-year-run.

“Wetten, dass..?” — or “Wanna bet?” — combined celebrity chat and everyday people performing improbable feats, from opening beer bottles with steamrollers to identifying animal dung by its smell.

Seen roughly six times a year and always on a Saturday night, the show aired more than 200 times, and attracted over 20 million viewers in the 1980s.

But audiences grew tired of the formula, and viewership dropped as criticism grew.

Foreign guests expressed bewilderment at the antics of the contestants and host, and a horrific on-air accident in 2010 that left a man paralyzed helped hasten its demise.

Public broadcaster ZDF says guests on Saturday’s final show will include American actor Ben Stiller and former figure skating champion Katarina Witt.








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Jackson 5 Christmas Album Is The Antidote To Holiday Cynicism And Fatigue

Sources: AV | Edited By – All Things Michael


For the past three years, The A.V. Club has devoted the month of December to reflecting on our favorite holiday entertainments, and this year is no different. It’s a feature so nice, it’s never had the same name twice, and this year it’s the 12 Days Of Non-Denominational Winter Holidays. Kicking things off: the Jackson 5’s 1970 Christmas record.

It’s such an awful feeling, walking into a shopping mall and being reminded via in-store music that there is no such thing as autumn. According to the retail industry, there are no more than a dozen days separating the summer wind-down from the onslaught of the holiday season, which is a pretty awful time of year relative to its reputation. The sober truth is that Christmas isn’t all that fun for adults because it’s just an annual influx of responsibilities. Granted, they’re holly-jolly, pumpkin-spiced responsibilities, but those are no less taxing. And the harbinger of all the parking, shopping, wrapping, exchanging, pot-lucking, and general to-do is the sound of Lady Antebellum’s “The First Noel” wafting from Yankee Candle.

It’s a shame more shops don’t play Jackson 5 Christmas Album as part of their annual conditioning ritual, since it’s the only Christmas pop album that doesn’t blanket me with dread. Sure, there are other worthy Christmas albums produced both before and after The Jackson 5 released its sole Christmas release in October 1970. But Jackson 5 Christmas is tough to compete with because it isn’t—as Christmas records so often are—an inessential brand extension or bait for discography completists. It’s a potent distillation of the spirit of Christmas, an album joyful enough to make me feel like it’s the most wonderful time of the year rather than merely telling me so.

J5’s not-so-secret weapon is Michael Jackson, who in the summer of 1970 recorded the album—their third that year—as he was on the cusp of his 12th birthday. The timing is key: Michael was at the height of his talent as a child prodigy, and Jackson 5 Christmas was one of the final albums the band recorded before Michael’s voice yielded to puberty. The serendipitous timing is what elevates the album above its holiday-pop peers; Michael was still young enough to sing about Christmas with the voice of a child. To enjoy Christmas—like, actually enjoy it—you either have to be a kid or be near a kid, a kid who wants to bake cookies and will believe Santa Claus ate them even if the gingerbread crumbs lodged in Daddy’s beard tell a different story. Playing Jackson 5 Christmas introduces an irrepressibly happy kid into any space.

There’s a sad irony in the youthful jubilation Michael conveys in J5 Christmas because in all likelihood, Michael never had the Christmas the boy on the record is having. The adult Michael was forthcoming about his arduous childhood and how he often felt crushed by the tyranny of his taskmaster father and the pressure of worldwide fame attained before his self-identity had solidified. And he had little time to adapt. One moment, Michael was the eighth of 10 children living in a tiny house in Gary, Indiana with two working-class parents, one of whom was verbally and physically abusive by many accounts. Then, suddenly, he was the nucleus of a massive business concern entwined with the livelihoods of people as much as five times his age.

But it isn’t just Michael’s age that makes J5 Christmas succeed, it’s his passion. The kid loved to sing and perform as much as most boys his age love pretending to shoot each other or laying waste to ant colonies. So while the vitality in Michael’s performances on the album might not be an outgrowth of legitimate Christmas cheer, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Michael sounds like a kid on Christmas morning on all of J5’s records, and that vigor, combined with his angelic voice, made Michael the ideal vessel for J5 Christmas, a collection of traditional selections and new songs written by Berry Gordy and a murderers’ row of Motown session musicians. Motown released several classic Christmas albums, including The Temptations’ Christmas Card, but when it comes to selling the spirit of the season, there’s no competing with an 11-year-old Michael Jackson.

One notable difference between J5 Christmas and other albums of its kind is that its original songs are among its finest moments. It’s also in the originals where the Jackson boys assert their dominance over The Temptations, whose Christmas Card was released just weeks after J5 Christmas. The Jacksons were the first to record Gordy’s “Give Love On Christmas Day,” but The Temptations went on to record it for a reconstituted version of their Christmas album a decade later. The debate over the best Motown Christmas album is a two-horse race between J5 and The Temps, but “Give Love” is where the Jackson boys pull ahead. The Temps’ version is perfectly fine, featuring Glenn Leonard on lead, but compared to J5’s take, it’s non-alcoholic eggnog at the office holiday party.

Michael was cut from the same cloth as soul prodigies like Stevie Wonder and Billy Preston, and he carried their “mannish boy” mien. He could sound as insouciant as a child and as world-weary as an adult in the same phrase, a talent that neither made “Who’s Loving You” seem above his station, nor “ABC” beneath it. Michael hits the sweet spot between those qualities on “Give Love,” eliminating any mystery behind why Gordy gave J5 the first crack at the song. “Give Love” has a lovely melody, but its lyrics are a clunky indictment of Christmas commercialism that only Michael can properly sell. “No greater gift is there than love” is a wise, precocious sentiment when delivered by a honey-voiced preteen, but it’s a preachy bromide coming from a grown man.

The band’s success hinged on Michael’s ability to harness his youth when a song calls for it, and diminish it when it doesn’t, but to the J5 Christmas’ credit, he spends the majority of the album in kid mode on such classics as “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” Michael also leads on “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” a wise choice since he was still boyish enough for the song to sound adorable as opposed to an awkward confession of Freudian trauma. At the risk of paying the other Jackson boys short shrift, their harmonies are stunning throughout, and Jermaine takes lead almost as often as his little brother. Jermaine sings “Christmas Won’t Be The Same This Year,” a J5 Christmas original about holiday heartbreak as funky and impeccably arranged as Motown’s most memorable hits, and one of the songs I most look forward to this time of year.

But the lasting gift of J5 Christmas is young Michael’s performance, a rendering of a child’s view of Christmas so beautiful it mows down any cynicism in its path. With any luck, the stores will start playing it more often, which I suspect would be as much of a boon to my sanity as it would to their bottom lines. Hearing a cash-grab Christmas record while working through a shopping list amplifies the commercialism and financial drain that make the holidays exhausting enough to warrant a nap, while J5 Christmas conjures memories of being a giddy kid on Christmas Eve, when sleep was the ultimate imposition.


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David Crumpler’s Review Of The Jacksons Victory Tour Show At The Gator Bowl – Final Part

Sources: | Edited By – All Things Michael

This is a review of the Jacksons’ Victory Tour show at the Gator Bowl that ran in the Times-Union.


Michael Jackson live and in person. Is it possible for this performer to live up to the hype he’s been given in the past year?

The answer is a larger-than-life “Yes,” and the crowd at the Gator Bowl last night for the final of three Jacksons concerts was awed by every move he made.

No matter that Jackson has been the subject of newspaper, magazine and music trade-industry stories since we can remember, nor that his videos have dominated Music Television, nor that his songs dominate the airwaves. And let’s not even talk about his commercials and clothes.

The crowd greeted him as if he had just popped into its consciousness, and whether it was the old Jackson Five songs, such as “I Want You Back,” or the recent songs from his album “Thriller,” this 25-year-old performer could do no wrong.

It’s billed as the Jacksons’ Victory Tour, and the show featured brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Randy and Tito. Still, it was Michael’s night, and the show does very little to encourage interest in the new “Victory” album. It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like without him, even though the others, especially Jermaine in his two solo numbers, showed they are exciting, capable performers.

The audience itself was electric with anticipation at the show’s opening. They seemed so worked up at the prospect of seeing Michael on stage that they didn’t appear to mind the stupid Kreeton scenario that opens the concert.

Other reviews have tried and failed to make much sense of this, and understandably so. I still don’t know what the opening is supposed to mean, or why it’s included.

These rock ‘n’ roll blobs, which are probably what Muppets would look like on the Day After, come prancing on stage, and this voice comes booming over the sound system telling us that whoever can pull a sword from a stone is the one who can conquer the Kreetons.

So a few people try, but it takes Randy Jackson before we find a victor. With every lighting trick and poof of smoke, the crowd obviously expected Michael to appear, but they had to wait until the Kreetons get zapped before he began his first number, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”

Michael’s domination of the concert showed why he’s the brother the crowd really came to see. He’s a performer with a real sense of showmanship. Though most every move and spin could be anticipated (unless you’ve never seen one of his music videos, nor the army of imitators), spectators seemed all the more thrilled that they were seeing all this in person.

As a performer, Michael certainly has to be one of the most dynamic in recent history. Even with slower songs, such as “She’s Out of My Life,” he gives the impression that his body can’t quite hold all the energy inside him. By the time he gets around to “Billie Jean” near the concert’s end, he seemingly has every adult, teenager and child in the palm of his hand.

The set, lighting and laser show are overwhelming, and some might say suffer from overproduction. It’s part Broadway, part science fiction and part Disney World, designed to dazzle. And it does — even in a structure as large as the Gator Bowl.

The large video screen atop the set allowed the audience to see the magic moves of Michael Jackson and his brothers close up — you could, at times, almost count the beads of sweat on foreheads — and the camera allowed for a few very intimate shots of the lean, boyish-girlish Michael that sent the crowd into hysterical approval.

Was it worth the $30 price of admission? All things are relative. Let’s leave it at that. The Jacksons worked hard for your money.


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Phil Kloer’s Review Of The Jacksons Victory Tour Show At The Gator Bowl – Part 3

Sources: | All Things Michael

This is the review of one of the Jacksons’ Victory Tour shows that ran in the Jacksonville Journal:

The Jacksons_Victory_Tour_04

You could call him the Prince of Prance.

You could call him the Earl of Twirl.

Or you could simple echo what Terbonda Coleman, 11, said last night, her face split with a smile: “I just feel like kissin’ him.”

By any description, he’s Michael Jackson, and he and his brother put on a little shindig last night in the Gator Bowl for a sellout crowd of 45,334 frenzied fans.

If any of the many skeptics who have been wondering over the last few weeks what all the fuss is about could have seen the show last night, they would have been enlightened.

They would have seen Michael and four of his brothers put on a show that was breathlessly exciting — choreographed with the precision of a Broadway musical, but with plenty of opportunities for Michael to bring the adoring audinece almost to tears with spontaneous spins and yelps of excitement.

Despite two solo numbers for brother Jermaine, and some slick moves from brothers Marlon, Tito and Randy, it was Michael’s show, as it has been throughout the tour. He strutted on “Billie Jean,” threatened to punch through the muggy night air on “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and gave the ballad “She’s Out of My Life” his best ham-on-writhes performance.

On the Jacksons’ Victory Tour, everything is larger than life. The brothers don’t just make an entrance, they rise up from below the stage, then walk down some steps while sound effects create massive booms synchronized to each footfall.

They don’t just go in for the traditioanl concert trapping such as fake fog and colored lights. They incorporate an entire magic trick — Michael is levitated into the air by brother Randy, then disappears — and cap off each evening with fireworks. If none of that is big enough, there’s the video screen atop the stage that amplifies the visual presence the way the sound system amplifies the sound.

The importance of that screen was underscored last night when it did not appear until the second song and did not show the stage until the third. When the huge image of Michael’s face finally appeared atop the stage, the roar from the crowd was almost as great as when the Jacksons appeared in person at the beginning.

Sometimes the trimmings seem to get in the way of the music. The main problem — really, the only problem — with the show is that there is no coherence or unity to the non-musical gimmickry.

As it has in earlier shows, and as it will in the next 12 cities after Jacksonville, the show opened last night wih the appearance of the Kreetons, huge monsters that look like camels designed by the Muppets creators.

A narrator explained that whoever can pull a sword from a stone will be the one to conquer the Kreetons. Several people tried, then along came Randy (sorry, fans, it really was Randy, not Michael), who pulled out the sword and chased the Kreetons offstage.

That’s fine, if a bit hokey, except that we never heard about the Kreetons or the sword or the stone again. Instead, about an hour into the evening, the concert stops again so Michael could be attacked by some giant spiderlike mechanical thingies that descended from the scaffolding above the stage. One of them apparently killed Michael (it’s pretty hard to figure), and then Randy, wearing a large silver mask and a cape, levitated Michael and made him disappear.

Are the mechanical spiders cousins to the Kreetons? Is Randy playing the same character in both vignettes? Is all this being staged for any reason other than to give the musicians a little rest? There were no answers last night, nor have there been in previous shows.

Of course, when Michael immediately reappeared, any thirst for answers quickly vanished. There he was, atop the grand piano, while the pounding opening notes of “Beat It” echoed thorugh the Gator Bowl and the crowd went berserk. It was probably the most galvanizing moment of the concert.



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30 Years Later: The Inside Story Of How Jacksonville Landed The Michael Jackson Victory Tour – Part 2

Sources: New4Jax – By Jennifer Waugh| Edited By – All Things Michael


Jacksonville, Fla – This year marked the 30th year anniversary of what some consider one of the greatest concerts in Jacksonville of all time.

Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour traveled to 10 cities across America from July to December 1984.

Typically Jacksonville would not have stood a chance to land one of the 10 spots, but it did. In fact, not only did the tour come to Jacksonville, the Jackson brothers performed three nights straight at the Gator Bowl, the city’s football stadium at the time.

If you are wondering how Jacksonville managed to pull it off, football was the catalyst. The mayor at the time, Jake Godbold, used to convince the king of pop to come to our city.

Jacksonville was even thinking about a Michael Jackson concert. In 1979 what the city really wanted in their stadium was for Bob Ursay, owner of the then Baltimore Colts, to bring his team to Jacksonville.

The plans were set and Ursay was on his way to Jacksonville.

Godbold had an idea to woo Ursay into bringing his team to the Florida city. The mayor surprised Ursay with a helicopter arrival to a stadium full of Jacksonvillians cheering, “We want Colts, we want Colts.”

“We’ll bring him down in a helicopter and tell everyone he’s going to be there and say we want the colts,” Godbold said. “It ended up 50,000 people showed up and 25,000 people standing outside trying to get in.”

Two weeks later, Godbold had an appointment with the president to talk about Jacksonville transportation.

“So his top aids come in and he says, listen I don’t want to talk about transportation and bridges, I want to know how in the hell you got 50,000 people into that stadium with cold drinks and popcorn… it went all the way around the country,” one of President Ronald Reagan’s aides said.

Although Ursay ended up taking the team to Indianapolis, Godbold said that the exposure is what led to another meeting with all the NFL team owners in Washington D.C. for a pitch to host the Super Bowl in Jacksonville.

Godbold had just finished his presentation with Patriots’ owner Sullivan and thought this just might be Jacksonville’s chance at a team.

WJXT’s Sam Kouvaris happened to be sitting with  Godbold during the meeting.

“I didn’t introduce Sam as a reporter… I thought he might throw both of us out of the room.” said Godbold.

Instead of thinking football team, Sullivan had a different idea.

“He (Sullivan) said, ‘Mayor, I can’t give you a Super Bowl or an NFL team, but I can give you something that’s equivalent to three Super Bowl games… I have the contractual rights to a Victory Tour for Michael Jackson,'” Godbold recalled.


“It’s going to be the greatest show and the biggest concert that’s ever been and we’ll put one on in 10 cities, only 10, and you’re (Jacksonville) one of them,” Sullivan said to Godbold.

“And I said, oh yeah?… Hell yeah we want it!” Godbold said.

Kouvaris remembered the day he learned Jackson was heading to north Florida.

“The funny thing is, I went to a pay phone and called Tom,” Kouvaris said. “I said, ‘Listen, we’re not getting the Super Bowl, but Michael Jackson is going to open his tour next year in Jacksonville with three stops.’ Tom was virtually speechless on the phone.”

When the news hit Jacksonville, the excitement was contagious. WJXT’s Tom Wills traveled to Kansas, Jackson’s first stop on the tour, to show News4Jax viewers what a concert like this was all about.

This was the chance Godbold had wanted. An opportunity to bring the city together.

“One of the things we needed in Jacksonville was to have more pride in our self, to build our esteem… we needed something to spark us — black and white, young and old — bring us together,” Godbold expressed.

See uncut video: Mayor Jake Godbold recalls getting Jackson to Jacksonville, his fond memories of Michael and the excitement the tour generated for the city


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