Last Few Minutes of Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ Short Film

Source: Guyism – By Chris Illuminati
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The video release of Black or White was a huge event. Many people remember the day it hit airwaves. Few remember the controversial final minutes of the video.

First, some back story — the music video for Black or White was first broadcast on MTV, BET, VH1, and Fox on November 14, 1991. Directed by John Landis, who also directed Jackson’s hit video Thriller, Black or White featured Jackson along with then-mega kid star Macaulay Culkin, Tess Harper, and George Wendt of Cheers. The video included ground-breaking special effects for the time, including face morphing and Jackson appearing singing on Lady Liberty’s torch surrounded by other famous spots around the world such as the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower.

The video premiered simultaneously in twenty-seven countries and had an estimated audience of 500 million people watched. It’s the largest audience ever to watch a music video, or anything on TV for that matter.  To say the video was a success is a massive understatement. Massive.

But it wasn’t the music part of the video that had people talking — it was the final few moments in which Jackson went bonkers on a helpless car.

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Here’s a synopsis of the last few moments along with the backlash to the video’s ending.

Controversy was generated concerning the last four minutes of the original music video. Jackson walks out of the studio as a black panther and then morphs into himself.Then he walks outside to perform some of his most physically complicated dance techniques, in a similar way to “Billie Jean”. The scene is also very similar to that of a commercial Jackson appeared in for L.A. Gear in 1989. This part contained sexually suggestive scenes when Jackson starts to grab his crotch, and then zips his pants up. In the original version, Jackson is seen smashing windows, destroying a car and causing an inn (called the “Royal Arms”) to explode. Jackson later apologized saying that the violent and suggestive behavior was an interpretation of the animal instinct of a black panther, and MTV and other music video networks removed the last four minutes from subsequent broadcasts. To make the vandalism and violence more understandable to viewers, an altered original version, containing four racial graffiti messages were released. The version included in the box set Michael Jackson’s Vision is the aired, televised version without the digital graffiti, and does not include the “prejudice is ignorance” title card.

So, without further ado, the final few minutes of Black or White.

 

Read more: Guyism

Pop Culture Hits That Turn 30 This Year

Source: Buzzsugar – By Maggie Pehanick

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Time for some good, old-fashioned ’80s nostalgia! Thirty years ago, a crop of now-classic sitcoms were just starting up, Michael Jackson was recovering from a traumatizing Pepsi commercial, and Eddie Murphy was in the year’s highest-grossing film. It’s hard to believe it’s been three decades since Mr. Miyagi advised, “Wax on, wax off,” but it’s true. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? 

Michael Jackson’s Pepsi Commercial

This Pepsi commercial became an instant classic.  Here’s some trivia: that little kid in the red jacket is Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Footloose

Footloose

Yes, it’s been 30 years since Kevin Bacon wowed us with his moves in an abandoned barn and got an entire town to start dancing again . . . But it’s only been a week since he reenacted the scene on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The Cosby Show

Cosby-Show

Thirty years ago, the world met Dr. Cliff Huxtable and his charming family. Not only did the show become a hit, spanning eight seasons, but it also revolutionized the way African-Americans were portrayed on primetime.

“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Time-After-Time-Cyndi-Lauper

Will there ever be a time when “Time After Time” doesn’t remind you of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? Probably not.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

The comedy world was hit hard with the death of Harold Ramis, but it’s comforting to know we’ll always have Ghostbusters. Because when you think your bathtub is haunted, who you gonna call?

The Karate Kid

Karate-Kid

Is there any better mentor than Mr. Miyagi? No, and there never will be.

“I Just Called To Say, I Love You”

I-Just-Called-Say-I-Love-You-Stevie-Wonder

Stevie Wonder just called to say he loves you. My bad, that was 30 years ago. The song, featured in the movie The Woman in Red, won an Oscar and a Golden Globe and stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

Like a Virgin by Madonna

Like-Virgin-Madonna

Madonna‘s second album stayed at the top of the Billboard 200 for three weeks, which makes sense, since it includes timeless tracks like “Material Girl” and (obviously) “Like a Virgin.”

Alex Trebek Started Hosting Jeopardy

Alex-Trebek-Started-Hosting-Jeopardy

Just let that sink in. Take your time. I’ll wait.

The Original Transformers

Original-Transformers

While kids of today may think of Michael Bay’s action-packed films when someone mentionsTransformers, kids of 1984 probably remember the classic toys that debuted that year.

Purple Rain by Prince

Purple-Rain-Prince

America had Purple Rain fever in 1984. Prince’s tracks, including the titular one and “When Doves Cry,” took over the radio; his album won two Grammys and sold 13 million copies in the US alone; and the corresponding film was a box office hit.

Tetris Was Invented

Tetris-Invented

Happy 30th anniversary, Tetris! A Russian computer engineer came up with the puzzle that has since gone on to be one of the most popular games of all time.

The NeverEnding Story

NeverEnding-Story

There was no fantasy stranger or more wonderful than The NeverEnding Story. The adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story made us all want our own luck dragons.

Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly-Hills-Cop

Eddie Murphy first appeared as Detroit cop Axel Foley in 1984′s Beverly Hills Cop. The comedy became the year’s highest-grossing film, earning $235 million and inspiring three sequels.

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen-Candles

We owe so much to John Hughes, whose directorial debut remains one of the sweetest and most relatable teen films of all time. Samantha Baker and Jake Ryan forever.

Scroll down more memory lane some more here: http://www.buzzsugar.com/Biggest-Movies-1984-34450638#photo-34450656

Remembering: Free To Be You and Me – 40 Years Later

Source: CNN – By Jamie Gumbrecht

Michael Jackson on "Free to Be You and Me"

Editor’s note: “Free to Be… You and Me” was first broadcast on TV 40 years ago, on March 11, 1974. This story was first published on CNN’s Schools of Thought blog in 2013.

(CNN) — Think back to the age before GoldieBlox, before gender-neutral Easy-Bake ovens, before “My Princess Boy” or “It Gets Better” or “Lean In.” Way before apps for infants or TV networks for toddlers, in the days when “Schoolhouse Rock” was in its infancy.

That’d bring you to the early 1970s, when an album in a bright pink sleeve was passed among teachers, parents, librarians and kids. It was called “Free to Be… You and Me,” and record players around the country spun songs such as “William’s Doll,” “Parents are People” and “It’s All Right to Cry.”

When it debuted in 1972, there was nothing else like it — at least, nothing so popular. It was feminist and multicultural; an early childhood education in empathy; multimedia before anybody used the word. There was the gold record album, a best-selling book and in 1974, an Emmy- and Peabody-winning TV special that starred its creator, Marlo Thomas, “and friends” — literally, her formidable list of famous pals, including Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Carl Reiner, Rosey Grier and a young Michael Jackson.

More than 40 years later, there’s nostalgia in its opening chords and a legacy that still courses through classrooms.

“Children memorized every lyric and asked their parents and teacher to play the record over and over again,” Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a Ms. magazine co-founder, wrote in the 2012 book “When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made.”

“It challenged teachers to face up to their entrenched, often unacknowledged, gender biases and to cast a more critical eye on the books they were assigning, whom they called on most often in class, whom they allowed to dominate the block corner or the dress-up box.”

The idea began with Thomas, star of the sitcom “That Girl,” and, in 1971, a new auntie. Her young niece’s storybooks were the same ones Thomas had read as a kid, and recent entries to the bedtime canon reinforced that boys were pilots and doctors while girls were stewardesses and nurses. With the help of her friends and contacts, including poet Shel Silverstein and co-producer Carole Hart, the album and book were born.

“Honestly I was just trying to do something for one little girl,” Thomas wrote in “When We Were Free to Be.” “That it would grow to become a cultural phenomenon was never a part of the plan.”

“Free to Be” was revolutionary for its kid-savvy and reach, but it wasn’t universally beloved. For every “Free to Be” class play, another school wouldn’t acknowledge it. TV producers initially balked at a song that seemed to show Thomas and Belafonte as an interracial couple. At least one TV critic warned parents to keep kids away from the television when “Free to Be” was on. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticized it and advocated for traditional gender roles in child-rearing. Even its supporters argued that some of the skits were classist, and noted its bent toward traditional families with mommies, daddies and children.

But its overall message lined up with shifting attitudes of the time, said Lori Rotskoff, a cultural historian and co-editor of “When We Were Free to Be.” In the same year the “Free to Be” album debuted, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, Ms. magazine began regular publication and TV’s “Maude” had an abortion, just months before Roe v. Wade was decided.

“There’s something distinct about the cultural moment it was produced,” Rotskoff said. “(Free to Be) retained so much of that progressive, oppositional challenging the norm, and it did so in a way that made it palatable.”

It fit into changing classrooms, too.

Educator Barbara Sprung spent part of the 1970s creating a nonsexist, multicultural curriculum for preschoolers, she wrote in “When We Were Free to Be.” It meant posters and toys that showed women as construction workers and African-Americans as doctors — materials she sometimes had to create on her own. She instructed educators to run with girls on the playground, to play dolls with boys and to be mindful of messages in books and music.

“As happens in every movement, backsliding occurred,” Sprung wrote, noting that plenty of toys were still sexualized, violent and color-coded by gender. “Fortunately, classroom materials and children’s trade books continued to depict an increasingly nonsexist, multiracial and inclusive view of the world.”

As a kid on Long Island in the 1970s, Miriam Peskowitz was a frustrated “Free to Be” fan. She wrote in “When We Were Free to Be” about her feminist mom’s righteous letters and calls demanding her daughter be able take wood and mechanical shop, or that girls need not wait for boys to ask them to square dance. (Square dancing, of course, being one way that schools satisfied Title IX requirements.)

To Peskowitz’s dismay, she had the same arguments at her child’s school decades later. Peskowitz watched in the mornings as her daughter settled down to draw bubble letters with her gal pals while boys raced each other to the chessboards. The teacher said it wasn’t a problem; it’s just what the kids chose.

“After I nudged again and again, the teacher eventually taught all the children in the classroom how to play chess. Some girls started to choose that as their morning activity,” wrote Peskowitz, the author of “The Daring Book for Girls.”

“Very often,” Peskowitz wrote, “all it takes to outsmart gender stereotypes is a little creative thinking and a little gumption.

“When we speak about feminism to adults, we tend to talk about negatives and things gone wrong. … ‘Free to Be’s’ cheeriness still has the power to make our hearts sing. It’s a kind of feminism and a gender vision that is generous and likable and fun, all the things that feminism is usually accused of lacking.”

But it hasn’t necessarily gotten easier to talk about gender roles in school, said Laura Lovett, an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts and co-editor of “When We Were Free to Be.”

“I talk to a lot of teachers now who say they couldn’t show some of these things today,” Lovett said. “There’s an anxiety about discussing something that might be seen as homosexual; there’s anxiety about the school mentioning something that would be seen as negative or positive.”

Most educators-in-training are too young to remember the heyday of “Free to Be,” Lovett said, and they wouldn’t recognize a world where girls don’t have access to sports and bullying is encouraged. Ideas that seemed so new in “Free to Be… You and Me” now turn up every day in “Dora the Explorer,” “Brave” and long shelves of picture books.

When Lovett plays the music for college students now, she’ll sometimes see nods and smiles from those who could sing along, and raised eyebrows from first-timers.

“It was so surprising and so contemporary,” Lovett said. “They thought it was so new, and so exciting.”

In fact, Lovett said, she’s lost several copies to students who borrowed the CD and never brought it back. Instead, they pass it around to others, just the way people heard it all those years ago.

 

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/living/free-to-be-you-and-me-40-years/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign

 

Michael And Madonna At The Oscars

Source: MJWN

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Fashion & Style have uploaded a slideshow of celebrities at the Oscars.

The Oscars red carpet is the perfect moment for celebrities to premiere a gorgeous gown, a bold new hairstyle, a new figure …. or a new relationship (maybe.) Over the years, several celebrities have chosen the Oscars as the moment to show off their new boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives – or, like Michael Jackson and Madonna did, their first dates!

Michael and Madonna attended the Oscars at the Shrine Auditorium in 1991, where Michael looked very stylish in a white jacket.

Click through the slideshow here to see the top 10 Oscars couple ever.

Source: Fashion & Style 

Read more: http://www.mjworld.net/news/2014/03/01/michael-madonna-at-the-oscars/

I hope Jayne doesn’t mind, but I’ve added a few more pics and videos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just love his voice!

Lori Goldstein Talks Michael Jackson, Madonna, Demi Moore And More In New Book

Source: Chicago Tribune

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Like a creature in a director’s cut of “Where the Wild Things Are,” Daphne Guinness perches atop Alexander McQueen’s armadillo-shaped shoes, in a nude body stocking with Elizabethan ruff around her neck, a jester’s cap on her head and black silk fringe running down the back of her legs.

Shot for Italian Vogue in 2010, the image captures the brilliant “sickness” that distinguishes Lori Goldstein’s work as a fashion stylist. Over the past 20 years, Goldstein has collaborated with virtuoso photographers such as Steven Meisel and Mario Testino to unsettle fashion, stirring in fantasy and churning out a new reality.

Goldstein slashed Michael Jackson’s white shirtfront and undressed a pregnant Demi Moore for Vanity Fair covers. She made over Madonna for her “Take a Bow” video, a ladylike look that stuck for the next few years of the pop star’s career.

Here Goldstein elaborates on “the sickness,” which she defines as “the moment of individuality that transcends the pretty, the perfect.” It informs her Logo clothing line sold on QVC and describes a chapter in her new coffee-table book “Lori Goldstein: Style is Instinct” (Harper Design, $80).

Q: Your credo is “everything goes with anything.” How do you allow prints and textures to collide without creating a train wreck? Is it instinct or logic?

A: Like anything, it takes practice and confidence. I’m not just throwing anything on (the model). I have a room full of clothes and then I start seeing proportion and start layering, tweaking till the very end. It’s not like, “I’m going to get the dress with the flowers and the cape with dots and the two-tone shoes and make a look out of it.” There is logic, but it’s not a planned logic.

Q: Did you have a “big break” as a stylist?

A: There were a couple great moments. I had tried a few (design) ventures and decided, this was not for me. A friend of mine was like, “You should be a stylist,” which had been mentioned to me more than once. So I thought, OK, what do I need to do? Well, you need a prop kit. … I put together a book and started testing. I had a friend who worked at Macy’s, and she took me up to advertising, and Macy’s became my first big account. Then I met Annie Leibovitz through a friend, a downtown performance artist who was being shot by her for Vanity Fair. Annie had just left Rolling Stone. I styled my friend. That was probably a bigger break.

Q: A lot of your work is with Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue. Why?

A: Steven and I were with the same agency and we did a shoot together one day, and we just clicked. He has done the covers for Italian Vogue for almost 30 years. It’s perfect for our aesthetic together, because you definitely can push the boundaries more in Europe. Now, the great thing about being editor at large for Elle magazine is that (creative director Joe Zee) is really allowing me to play and tell those types of stories to an American audience.

Q: Steven credits you with popularizing vintage, particularly through a shoot for March 2000 Italian Vogue. Did you know you were stoking a trend?

A: I’ve always loved vintage. That shoot was a treat because you can’t use vintage very often when you’re working with magazines — you need to show clothes (that will be in stores). But the February shows hadn’t happened yet. We were doing this in L.A., and I live for the vintage in L.A., and that’s what I decided I was going to do. Did I know (it would spread a trend)? I think you kind of always know in the back of your head, but you don’t really think about it in that way. That was a moment where you realize, OK, I have done what I set out to do. You’re peaking and you just feel it, and you wake up every morning and can’t wait to go to work. I still feel that way, but that was just, wow.

Q: What are you wearing right now?

A: I have a basic uniform: a pair of Logo leggings and a Rick Owens tank top — the men’s ones. Then I layer. Right now, I have a Proenza Schouler tie-dye T-shirt on top, thin-thin, then a Lainey Keogh cashmere scarf, handmade in Ireland. I always have a scarf because it feels like a blankie, which I never had as a child so I guess I need one now. Then Celine sneakers, snakeskin. Or I’ll have on Jimmy Choo motorcycle boots. I feel like over a certain age, if you’re going to dress like you did in your 20s, then it has to be, “Oh, but it’s Jimmy Choo.” I’m also into layering all my Cartier bracelets because they’re my children.

Q: I love the quote you cite in the book, “My work comes first, reasons for it follow.” Is that sort of how all of fashion happens?

A: It’s not how all of fashion happens. But I would say, yes, that’s how the best fashion happens.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/sc-fash-0106-lori-goldstein-20140113,0,2168381.story

Lori Goldstein, stylist for the 1989 Vanity Fair shoot, excerpt from her book “Style is Instinct”
Source: lacienegasmiled-tumblr

michael jackson photoshoot vanity fair

One day my agent called and told me that I was going to be styling Michael Jackson on a shoot with Annie Leibovitz.

I was beside myself – and that was an understatement. Michael was, and will probably always be, the biggest pop star in the history of music. Just his image alone has been ingrained in the minds of people all over the globe.

Because Michael was a bigger than life talent, Annie and I thought it would be interesting to go the other way – to dress him down, to show him unadorned. Annie had seen images of him onstage in a white t shirt layered with a white shirt on top = the look was clean and simple – and we took our inspiration from that.

michael jackson photoshoot vanity fair magazine

When he arrived on the set in LA, I was completely starstruck. He came with his own crew and brought his own wardrobe. It took some time before he was able to let his guard down, particularly about wearing the clothes I had chosen for him. In the end, though, he trusted Annie, and Annie trusted me.

At one point while we were shooting, the idea to open up his t shirt came up. I remember taking a pair of scissors and cutting the t shirt directly on him, right on his chest. And it was that picture that became the magazine cover.

michael jackson vanity fair 1989

He sang for us that afternoon on a closed set for more than forty five minutes. It was one of the most memorable shoots of my life. I will never forget it, because Michael was everything.

http://lacienegasmiled.tumblr.com/post/66015631972/lori-goldstein-stylist-for-the-1989-vanity-fair

9 Tell Tale Signs You Were Addicted To Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (Photos)

moonwalker

While I can admit, clouded by tainted views of the movie industry today, that Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker is not a cinematically great film in retrospect, that isn’t going to stop me from declaring that it was one of the best movies of all damn time! I didn’t quite have the skills to pick apart the loose plot lines that tied the music video movie together as a child, but watching MJ perform on VHS loop was enough to solidify an addiction to Moonwalker.

Before the days of paparazzi, and oversaturation of celebrity through the Internet, there was something worth reveling in every single time you got to see Michael Jackson dance his way out of danger and save orphan children from a street life of doom. Sometimes getting that fix meant watching Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker every single day.

If you aren’t familiar with the movie, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker is a series of music videos (or short films) strung together with a loose plot that surrounds Michael’s quest to protect three orphans after a Frisbee throw in the park takes a dark turn. Scrutinize it and it will fall apart, but I will forever remain obsessed.

Does all of this sound familiar? If it does, here are a few signs that you, too, may be bordering on obsession when it comes to the movie.

1. The moment someone brings up the movie, you’re all like: 

omgrihannaBecause that means they are your soulmate, correct? Correct.

2. But if someone tells you they haven’t seen the film, you have to ask them to “come again.”

big angThey couldn’t possibly be serious about not ever experiencing the magical journey that we humbly callMoonwalker.

3. You could do the Kids Smooth Criminal choreography with your eyes closed.

dancingBut could never get over the guilt of doing it in front of your TV while the movie’s orphans had to polish their skills in the ally outside an underground bar.

4. The first time you saw the claymation big heads chasing Michael, you were all like:

blewmymindAnd yes, you still feel like that to this very day! Toy Story has nothing on that animation.

5. When all you need is a glimpse at this: 

mj_smoothAnd you get all like this:

amazedWe can all admit, this was MJ in his hey-day and he was quite dreamy in that suit!

6. If your reaction to Michael stepping into a spider-ridden dimension, where you just knew he was in danger, made you feel like this:

originalBecause he was going to ruin his perfectly pressed woven button down and the white V-neck under it.

7. And if your reaction was something like this when Katie goes missing, and all that is left behind is her Teddy…even though you already know she’ll be returned unscathed (because you’ve watched it 2,000 times).

cryingWe just can’t be sure what type of PTS she could experience once the gravity of the event sets in!

8. If just one look at this makes your heart flutter with anticipation for the inevitable cinematically dramatic machine gun shooting scene:

Moonwalker2Like, how did he master that lean?

9. But most definitively, you know you are a Moonwalker addict if you finished reading this post and feel like:

excitedSomebody finally gets you.

*All gifs credit of giphy.com

http://globalgrind.com/2013/08/29/signs-you-were-addicted-to-michael-jacksons-moonwalker-photos-gifs/

 

A Look Back At The Wiz

Source: The Examiner – Brandon McKnight

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The cult classic “The Wiz” has received mixed reviews since it premiered in 1978. The Motown film production was based off the Broadway musical of the same name. The Broadway musical was a success. It had a four year plus run and gave an incredible, 1,672 performances. With a triumph like this, it would make sense that someone would translate this into a feature film. At the same time it would be difficult to follow the 1939 classic, which starred, “Judy Garland“. Viewing this film, it seems to be a miscalculation in film making.

On the surface, the film seemed to be a great idea. The star studded cast immediately grabs ones attention. “Diana Ross“, “Michael Jackson“, “Richard Pryor“, and “Lena Horne” all star. Also, Mr. “Quincy Jones” conducted and arranged the music. The cast and crew all seemed to be masters and legends at their craft.

The story surrounds Dorothy (Ross) who is a young school teacher. Her Aunt Em (whom she still lives with) encourages her to move out and try to teach in another state. Dorothy has lived in Harlem New York her entire life, and is too passive to experience life outside of it. When her dog Toto runs away they both get swept away in a snowstorm. When they land they arrive in the Land of Oz. Dorothy is understandably frightened. People began moving out of the walls and dancing. They make her aware that she has killed the wicked witch Evermean. Evermean is the sister of evil witch Evillene (“Mabel King“). Although an accident; Dorothy has freed to people of Oz from Evermean’s spell. Evermean’s bright shoes have been magically put onto Dorothy’s feet.

Dorothy makes them aware that she only wants to come back home to Harlem, to be with her aunt. The people make her aware that she needs to find The Wiz (Pryor) and he will get her home. They warn her never to take off her shoes.Along the way she meets the Scarecrow (Jackson). Scarecrow is being picked on by the crows that trample his confidence. Scarecrow constantly quotes famous philosophers throughout the film. The only reason Scarecrow has not come down off the pole is the crows told him he was incapable. He explains to Dorothy he has no brain so he did not think of that idea. Dorothy invites him to visit The Wiz to give him a brain.

They both trot along and come across the Tinman, who is trapped and rusted. Although the Tinman is a good person, he’s frustrated because he has no heart. Dorothy invites him to visit The Wiz just as she did with the Scarecrow. As they move along they come across the cowardly Lion. The Lion scares them initially, but is quickly exposed as a fraud. The Lion admits he has a scared disposition and has been exiled from the jungle as a result. He has no courage. The group invite him to see The Wiz as well for courage.

They all make to the The Wiz. Evermean’s shoes that Dorothy has on are wanted by all. The Wiz initially just wants Dorothy’s shoes when they speak outside of his castle (by intercom). She makes it clear that if she cannot enter with her friends she will not move. Once they meet The Wiz each individual makes their request. Dorothy continues to remove her shoes. The Wiz then explains that he will grant their wishes if they kill Evillene the wicked witch. They are all heartbroken. In order to get what they want they put themselves in grave danger. In order for Dorothy to get home she has no other choice.

All in all, this was not a horrible film. It just seems to be mishandled. There are good aspects that can be enjoyed. The late great Michael Jackson did a great job considering it was his first film. The on screen chemistry between him and Diana Ross is evident. The music and singing are also well done. Sadly, these are about the only positives I can say about this film.

Although the singing is good at times, it seems like the songs are forced in certain areas. The dancing at times seems like it takes away from the continuity. The film by itself seems rushed even at 2 hours and 15 minutes. To play devils advocate, maybe they were not allowed the budget to make the film longer. Some musicals are 3 hours and over. The sequences with the creatures chasing the actors are strange. The idea seemed to take away from the story. With the story they left parts out that were essential to the 1939 movie. Those parts can be removed but some other scenes have to be interjected. I wish I could see the stage play to compare and contrast. Not everything can translate from the stage to the screen and vice versa.

There were so many options that could have been executed differently to make this film better. In the end it could of been screenplay writer “Joel Schumacher‘s” vision that hindered the film. For those who forgot, he is the gentleman who directed the abomination, “Batman and Robin.” The Wiz had potential and had the correct initial elements. It’s a shame. Motown Productions are capable of so much more. “Lady Sings the Blues” was a masterpiece. They unfortunately dropped the ball on this one. It is still worth viewing for the singing and dancing.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-wiz-1?cid=rss

Which Former Child Star Shared the Stage With Michael Jackson? (PHOTOS)

Source: Wetpaint – By Afiya Augustine/ MJ-Upbeat

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Guess the Child Star!

Can you believe it’s been four years since legendary entertainer Michael Jackson passed away? Thank goodness we have candid photos of the singer to remember him by — especially this one with this former child star.

This little gal made her claim to fame as the newest addition on one of TV’s top family-oriented sitcoms. The Atlanta native dabbled in the music scene for a while, then joined Disney’s Cheetah Girls in her teens and even landed her own show.

These days, she’s enjoying life with a stint on Broadway and just celebrated a 28th birthday!

Can you guess the star?

 

Neverland Was Michael Jackson’s Playground

Source: Park World / Rob Swinton (Published July 23, 2009)

rob swinson  michael jackson

Over a 15-year period from 1990 to 2005, entertainer Michael Jackson operated a personal amusement park on his California ranch with a ride arsenal that, at the time, would have been the envy of several smaller park operators. He also had a zoo, petting zoo, reptile barn and alligator pond to entertain guests. Park World takes an exclusive look at Neverland Valley.

“I was Michael Jackson’s personal ride consultant and developer for the private Neverland Valley Amusement Park at his 2,600 acre ranch near Los Olivos, California,” says Robert E (Rob) Swinson (pictured below with Jackson), who at the time was the national sales manager for Chance Rides, Wichita, Kansas. “Phase 1 of Michael’s amusement park project commenced in June 1990 when the site for the new park was ‘bare dirt’ and we worked closely together to June 1993 developing this long-time dream. Since the age of 17, Michael had dreamed of building his own private amusement park for ‘the children of the world’ – especially underprivileged, handicapped and terminally ill children – thus his wonderfully exciting and beautiful creation, Neverland Valley Park!”

“Michael wrote a personal note to me in May 1992 on an amusement ride catalogue – ‘To Rob, The Maker of Dreams. Love Thanx Michael Jackson.’ Few were so closely involved inside Mike’s trusted and personal ‘inner circle’ of close associates and friends that included, Marlon and Miko Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, David E Nordahl and Norma E Staikos, Michaels former executive administrator. I was blessed and very fortunate to have shared personal moments with all of them.”

Allan (“Big Al”) Scanlon was the director of maintenance at Neverland Ranch. He bought many of the rides at Michael’s direction and was responsible for their operation. Jackson eventually bought 18 rides between 1990 and 1997. They included six rides from Chance including a Carousel, Sea Dragon, two-mile-long CP Huntington train, Wipeout and two Zippers (in 1987 and 1990 respectively). There were also four Zamperla rides including a Turtle Train, Lolli Swing, Samba Balloon, and Dumbos/Dragons. An Eyerly Spider arrived from Roger Jourdan’s Michigan Adventure. There was a Ferris wheel from Eli Bridge, a Slide by Manco, a Zierer Wave Swinger, a Bumper Car building by Majestic Manufacturing with 20 bumper cars, Hampton/SBF Jeeps, SBF Western Train, the Dragon Wagon roller coaster from Wisdom, and a refurbished mile-long Crown steam train named Katherine after Jackson’s mother.

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“Michael Jackson’s most personal favourite was the Chance ‘Zipper’ because it was wild,” recalls Lance Brown, Jackson’s ranch manager from 1989 through to 1993. “Michael liked spinning at the top up to three times if he hit it just right. Michael’s most popular ride with the kids was the Sea Dragon because they could ride it together. He’d put his hands up in the air with all the kids as it was coming down and back up with everyone squealing!”

“Vans would bring small groups of children from Make-A-Wish up to Neverland Valley Ranch,” adds Brown. “A lot of them were handicapped. Michael liked watching as we’d put them on the carousel with an adult, riding with them and making these kids forget their disabilities – their faces would light up like Christmas trees!”

“Vans would bring small groups of children from Make-A-Wish up to Neverland Valley Ranch,” adds Brown. “A lot of them were handicapped. Michael liked watching as we’d put them on the carousel with an adult, riding with them and making these kids forget their disabilities – their faces would light up like Christmas trees!”

“Michael held an annual ‘Family Day’ for ranch employees and their families to show his appreciation,” Brown notes. “They rode rides at the amusement park, visited his zoo and petting zoo, reptile barn and alligator pond. I want people to know Michael Jackson was a very good person. Michael gave of himself in a way the general public doesn’t know about. Michael was very generous with what he had and loved sharing it with the children. He really enjoyed seeing their reactions and giving them the opportunity to see and do things not normally available to them – having a day in Neverland!”

“Michael was so excited when a new amusement ride arrived. He would give his input where the ride was to be set up and he wanted the undulating lawns around the park for the kids to roll and tumble down. Michael was definitely a kid at heart! Neverland Valley Ranch was his private escape, but I don’t think he ever came back after the second ordeal [2004-2005 lawsuit].”

“The only other time I believe Michael Jackson was happier than when we created his teenage dream, Neverland Valley,” concludes Swinson, “was having three children of his own! Michael Jackson and I shared some of his lifetime’s most enjoyable personal moments and experiences.”

The Fun Never Ends

Although rumours circulate suggesting Neverland Ranch may be turned into a visitor attraction to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life, the rides that made up Neverland Valley Park are well and truly gone. They do, however, live on at a handful parks and carnivals across the United States.

Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green, Kentucky, is now home to the Sea Dragon. Butler Amusements of San Jose, California, purchased the Samba Balloon, Bumper Cars, Lolli Swing, Jeeps and Dumbos/Dragons. The Dragon Wagon coaster, also owned by Butler Amusements, has been leased for the summer to Anthony Raffaele and is now operating at Coney Island in New York. Johnny Moore now owns the Western Train and Turtle Train. David Helm of Helm & Sons Amusements acquired the Crown steam train, CP Huntington train, Carousel, Spider, Slide and Wave Swinger. Derek Long of Pennwood Shows now operates the Wipeout. The first of Neverland’s two Zippers now resides with David Helm, the other with Doug Barton of the Pride of Texas Shows. The buyer of the Ferris wheel remains unknown.

http://www.parkworld-online.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/1356/Neverland_-_Michael_Jackson_s_playground.html

Pictures Of Nelson Mandela With Big B, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana And Others

Source: Indian Express

Nelson Mandela died peacefully at the age of 95 at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection. Following the demise of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, the world expressed grief.

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan with former South African President Nelson Mandela at his residence. (Express archive photo)B_Id_446439_Amitabh_BachchanJuly 20, 1996: South African President Nelson Mandela (L) and U.S. pop star Michael Jackson hugged each other at the president’s official home in Cape Town. (Reuters)

B_Id_446437_Michael_JacksonMarch 17, 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela, left, escorted Diana, Princess of Wales, during a courtesy visit to Mandela while visiting her brother, Earl Spencer, in Cape Town. Heroic in his deeds, graceful in his manner, sainted in his image, Nelson Mandela long served as both cause and muse in the entertainment community. From the 1960s, when he was a political prisoner and South Africa was under the laws of apartheid, right up to recent times, when the racist laws of the land had fallen and he was among the world’s most admired people, Mandela inspired concerts, songs, poems, fiction and movies.(AP)B_Id_446436_MandelaBollywood actress Manisha Koirala with former South African President Nelson Mandela. (Photo: Twitter)B_Id_446435_Manisha_KoiralaActor Rajit Kapur and Pallavi Joshi with former South African leader Nelson Mandela. (Express archive photo)

B_Id_446434_Nelson_MandelaJuly 30, 2001: Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, right, spoke during a press conference alongside British model Naomi Campbell in Barcelona, Spain, before the ‘Frock and Roll’ benefit concert to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. (AP)B_Id_446430_Nelson_MandelaNovember 29, 2003: Former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, kissed U.S. singer Beyonce Knowles, at the Nelson Mandela AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, South Africa. (AP)B_Id_446427_Beyonce_KnowlesMay 21, 2003: Former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, posed with England’s soccer captain, David Beckham, in Johannesburg. (AP)B_Id_446425_David_February 1, 2002: Britain’s Prince Charles shared a light moment with Nelson Mandela (L) during a show at the Amsterdam arena. (Reuters)B_Id_446424_Prince_CharlesJuly 9, 1996: Former South African President Nelson Mandela stood with Queen Elizabeth II on his arrival at Buckingham Palace in London for a state banquet in his honor. (AP)B_Id_446423_ElizabethAugust 22, 1996: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, left, walked hand-in-hand with former South African President Nelson Mandela prior to an official reception at the presidential office in Cape Town, South Africa. (AP)B_Id_446422_Dalai_January 25, 1995: Nelson Mandela got a standing ovation after delivering Rajiv Gandhi memorial lecture. Seen here with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and K R Narayanan. (Express archive photo)B_Id_446421_Nelson_MandelaSeptember, 1998: Former South African President Nelson Mandela with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee a the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Durban in Johannesburg. (PTI)B_Id_446420_Atal_Bihari_

September, 2004: Former South African President Nelson Mandela with the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in Johannesburg. (PTI)B_Id_446418_Abdul_Kalam

http://www.indianexpress.com/picture-gallery/rare-pics-nelson-mandela-with-big-b-michael-jackson-princess-diana-/4046-1.html#idclsr=4046-1.html

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Girlfriend Starred In Awesome Eighties Jheri Curl Commercial

Source: Huffington Post – By Dana Oliver

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Ola Ray had us shaking in our high-top sneakers with her performance as Michael Jackson’s terrified girlfriend in 1983′s Thriler.” (We’d act like a bunch of scaredy cats if that meant sharing the same air as the King of Pop.) But a few years before the doe-eyed beauty landed the highly-coveted music video role, she starred in a Jheri curl hair commercial.

In the video above, we see Ray sporting the popular ’80s hairstyle to promote an at-home kit called Classy Curl. Her S-shaped ringlets are shiny, bouncy and virtually drip-free unlike the Jheri curls in the film “Coming to America.”

While you won’t catch us wearing Jheri curls today, we’d have to agree that this retro hairdo is “in a class by itself.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/30/jheri-curl-commercial-ola-ray_n_4350069.html?

Administrator’s Note: I remember this commercial! They use to run the ad during Soul Train.

Cris Judd Describes The Enormous Pressure Of Michael Jackson’s Tour Rehearsals (VIDEO)

Source: Huffington Post

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Cris Judd may be best known for his nine-month marriage to Jennifer Lopez, but the backup dancer and choreographer made a name for himself onstage well before the ex-couple met. On “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” Judd described what it was like to dance with legendary artists like Diana Ross, Celine Dion — and the King of Pop.

“I have been and always will be a humongous Michael Jackson fan,” Judd says. “When I got the opportunity to dance for him, I was just in total disbelief. You don’t want to just stare at him, you just want to be as professional as possible — but in your mind you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Michael Jackson.’”

Judd’s first time dancing with Jackson was at the 1995 MTV Music Awards, which led to two world tours. “When we were rehearsing for his tours, when we would learn all the numbers, he would sit us down and it would be in a rehearsal hall, like a dance studio. And he would make us perform the entire show one at a time, from top to bottom,” Judd says. “While the rest of the dancers would sit beside him on the floor, he would make you go out by yourself and perform every song in succession, in a row — by yourself.”

“Talk about the most stressful situation you could ever possibly be in, because you’re totally exposed. Every flaw, everything that you would do wrong it would be exposed. You had no one to hide behind.”

“He never demanded us to be at our best,” Judd says. “He expected it.”

Also in the video, Judd talks about what it was like to dance beside Janet Jackson at the 2009 MTV Music Wards to pay tribute to Jackson, and shows off the Christian Louboutin-designed shoes the dancers wore for the historic performance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/22/cris-judd-michael-jackson_n_4318432.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Conjuring a Chorus of Boos: The Truth About Michael Jackson’s UK Comeback

Source: Charles Thomson

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I feel compelled to write this blog today because as I sit here in front of my computer, it is seven years – to the day – since I experienced an epiphany of sorts about the media’s coverage of Michael Jackson. I had followed his trial quite carefully, of course, comparing court transcripts to media coverage and being distressed by the horrendously biased reporting. But those reports were often at least rooted in fact. Journalists would misrepresent genuine testimony, in most cases simply ‘lying’ by omission.

What happened seven years ago was different.  I witnessed firsthand the construction of a purely fabricated story; one which shot around the world, once again making Michael Jackson a global figure of ridicule, and became immediately accepted as ‘fact’. To this day, I read occasional press reports which mention this fabricated event as though it were an objective truth. It has even been listed as a significant career event in Jackson biographies.

Witnessing the creation of the myth was an experience that has stayed with me ever since. For an enthusiastic journalism degree student, it was a shocking and saddening insight into the media’s more sinister machinations.

On November 15, 2006, Michael Jackson attended the World Music Awards at London’s Earls Court Arena. It was his first official appearance in the capital since his acquittal in June 2005 and I was fortunate enough to be there. Some fans queued all day to secure prime positions in front of the stage but I had to go to university and then travel into London in the evening. Nonetheless, my friends and I easily claimed a spot against the front barrier, just off to the side, immediately beside the mixing deck. We spent part of the evening chatting to the sound and security staff, who tipped us off that they’d been in rehearsals and heard Jackson rehearsing ‘that save the world song’. We even met Katie Melua.

It seemed like everybody was there for Michael Jackson. At any gap in the ceremony, chants of his name would erupt around the arena. Other performers on the bill included Enya, Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli, but they mostly received tepid responses and their performances were often book-ended by increasingly loud chants of ‘Michael! Michael! Michael!’

350mj4296The night was plagued by delays. Lindsay Lohan, on hosting duty, fluffed almost every line she spoke and had to record all of her links multiple times. The turnaround between acts was slow. At one point there was a half hour or more of just nothing at all: an empty stage.

When Michael Jackson eventually appeared, to collect a Diamond Award for album sales over 100million, the place exploded. I have seen Paul McCartney. I have seen Madonna. I have seen Prince. I have seen George Michael. I have never in my life, before or since, witnessed any artist provoke the response that Michael Jackson provoked that night. He received the most sustained, thunderous reception I’ve ever seen.

He remained on stage for several minutes to deliver two short acceptance speeches – one for his Diamond Award and one for a Guinness World Record presentation. For the duration of his speeches, I hardly heard a word he said, despite the booming sound system. Most artists receive a big cheer as they walk onstage, then the audience settles down. Michael Jackson provoked hysteria. Shrieking and crying. It didn’t lull once from the moment he appeared on that balcony until the moment he disappeared backstage again. It was an unforgettable sight.

He emerged again later for a brief performance of sorts. He walked onstage to another cacophonous reception as his record-breaking humanitarian single We Are The World played over the speaker system. He sang a few lines and seemed to look pleadingly towards the mixing desk. My suspicion is that the fans were making such a din he couldn’t hear himself. It was like one of his concerts from the 80s. I saw bodies pulled from the crowd and rushed away in wheelchairs.

A few minutes later the sound people bizarrely turned the track off just as he started singing again. No matter. The place just went even crazier. It was an emotional moment, watching him receive such a rapturous welcome after the previous summer’s events. After standing for a while on the runway that jutted out from the stage into the crowd, he began to exit, but as the cheering swelled – the audience not wanting to lose sight of him so quickly – he stopped and turned around. Playfully, he lifted a finger to his lips as if to ask the question, ‘Shall I stay or shall I go?’ The shrieking intensified.

4_Michael_Jackson_NiceFun_17_1He stood for a while, smiling, and just soaking in the adulation, then raised his fist into a triumphant black power salute. With that, he turned and coolly strolled off-stage, the applause continuing fiercely as he disappeared from view. I have never seen a human being cause such chaos. It was deafening.

You can watch a video of the performance here:

The following day I was back at university. As I walked along the corridor towards my first lecture, I met two female classmates. Looking at me pityingly, they asked: “How did it go?” I began telling them about the awe-inspiring reaction Jackson had received; how shocked I was at the scale of the outpouring. It had been one of the most incredible spectacles I’d ever witnessed.

I noticed they were now looking at me as though I were a crazy person. I asked them what was wrong and it transpired that the media was not quite reporting the night’s proceedings as they had happened. Once I gained access to the internet, I discovered multiple publications were claiming he had been booed offstage.

“Michael Jackson walked offstage to a chorus of boos last night,” the Mirror’s Tom Bryant wrote. “The crowd, expecting a proper version of his song, booed the star who then scuttled offstage.”

Scuttled offstage.

Watch the above video. Jackson not only does not ‘scuttle offstage’ to ‘a chorus of boos’ – he remains onstage long after his performance ends, absorbing the most emphatically positive reaction I’ve ever observed at an awards ceremony.

The Daily Record’s Julia Kuttner wrote an almost identical story: “Michael Jackson walked off stage to a chorus of boos last night – just four lines into his first performance in the UK for nine years. Jacko had picked up a gong at the World Music Awards in London minutes before. But after singing only the chorus to his charity single We Are The World, he stopped to repeatedly tell the audience: ‘I love you’. Jackson scuttled off the stage after he was booed by the crowd, who were expecting a proper version of the song.”

The Evening Standard also got in on the action. Reporters Chris Elwell-Sutton and Valentine Low wrote: “His much-vaunted reappearance turned into an embarrassing disaster. His entire performance consisted of one mangled line, several missed high notes and an exit to a chorus of boos from the audience. ‘I love you’, he told them – although whether the feeling was reciprocated is open to question.”

I was in complete disbelief. Had one rogue reporter claimed Michael Jackson was booed offstage, I wouldn’t have been so angry. Every profession has its bad apples. But for multiple reporters to have attended an event at which Michael Jackson demonstrably and categorically was not booed offstage, yet to all then write articles claiming he was, demonstrated a clear conspiracy between multiple parties to fabricate and perpetuate a bogus story. 

That myth went around the world. Michael Jackson getting booed offstage became the biggest source of mirth on many a topical panel show and celebrity chat programme. It prompted further stories. The Guardian’s Martin Hyde repeated the lies, declaring Jackson the ‘ex-King of Pop’ and claiming he had only managed a few lines ‘before the booing began’. The Sunday Mirror captioned a follow-up story: “Plastic freak’s comeback was truly diabolical.”

Even celebrity publicist Max Clifford was hoodwinked into commenting on the bogus story, telling the Daily Record: “The one thing that always stood him in good stead was, as a performer, he was one of the greats. This week, he destroyed that image. The reports from the awards say he sang one mangled line, several messy high notes and exited to a chorus of boos. As a performer that was incredibly damaging, and that’s all he’s got left. I think Michael is probably beyond help.”

Researching the story years later using newspaper archive service Infotrac, I discovered something very interesting; an earlier report from the Mirror which completely contradicted the fabricated version it later settled on. In at least one edition of the November 16 paper, a story by Eva Simpson and Caroline Hedley read: “He’s back! Michael Jackson was the biggest winner at the awards where he gave his first public performance for nine years. The star was honoured with a Diamond Award for selling more than 100 million albums in his career. Hosted by Lindsay Lohan, the starstudded event at London’s Earl’s Court saw Jackson give a stunning performance of We Are The World. You sure are, Jackson.”

2006-World-Music-Awards-michael-jackson-34066155-594-400 Michael+Jackson+World+Music+Awards+2006+Show+tL1n2NJWblkxSo it would appear that at some point an editorial decision was taken that instead of continuing to report what had actually happened, the newspaper was going to rewrite the night’s events to tell the exact opposite of the truth – and several other publications were going to do the same. 

It seemed to me that the media had already decided what story it wanted to tell about Michael Jackson’s appearance in London – it was just an irritation to them that he hadn’t played ball. When his appearance prompted a powerful outpouring of adulation – fans being rushed away in wheelchairs like the tours of his heyday – it didn’t suit the industry’s preconceived narrative. Certain figures were intent on Jackson being the ‘ex-King of Pop’. When Earls Court actually went just as crazy for him as it would have done 20 years prior, it didn’t fit – so they simply ignored that inconvenient turn of events and conjured a ‘chorus of boos’ from thin air. If Jackson wouldn’t play his ‘ex-King of Pop’ role like a good boy, they would attempt to manufacture it. It was classic British tabloid muscle-flexing. 

The frustration and the sadness I felt that day when I observed this lie being willfully peddled, and the powerlessness I felt just watching TV presenter after TV presenter, comedian after comedian, recycle the nonsense for the consumption of millions who were not there and would never know it was all made up, bubbles back up whenever I remember the debacle. It was a sorry day for journalism – but the profession has had many of those where Michael Jackson is concerned. 

I’m not sure why I’ve never written anything about it before, but a friend posted a video from the event on Facebook earlier today to mark the anniversary. It was the last time I saw Michael Jackson perform live, but the memory is always tinged with sadness and frustration for what happened in the following days. It’s about time somebody set the record straight on this particular fallacy.  

http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-truth-about-michael-jacksons-uk.html

Number One Hits of 1983

Source: RTV6

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Seventeen songs topped the Billboard pop charts 30 years ago in 1983. Do you remember these songs and videos?

Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater

Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater – This song topped the charts for two weeks in January.

Daryl Hall and John Oates - Maneater_1384536782423_1267917_ver1.0_640_480

Men At Work – Down Under

Men At Work – Down Under – The band from Australia took this song to No. 1 for four weeks in January and February.

Men At Work - Down Under_1384536780428_1267911_ver1.0_640_480

Toto – Africa

Toto – Africa – This song topped the chart for one week in February.

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Patti Austin and James Ingram – Baby Come To Me

Patti Austin and James Ingram – Baby, Come To Me – This song was No. 1 for two weeks in February.Patti Austin and James Ingram - Baby Come To Me_1384536795709_1267922_ver1.0_640_480

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – Michael Jackson was all over the charts in 1983. This song spent seven weeks at No. 1.

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Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen – This one-hit wonder hit the top of the charts in April.

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen_1384536793260_1267919_ver1.0_640_480

Michael Jackson – Beat It

Michael Jackson – Beat It – After a one-week break, Michael returned to the top with this hit. It stayed at No. 1 for three weeks.

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David Bowie – Let’s Dance

David Bowie – Let’s Dance – David Bowie’s resurgence culminated with this No. 1 hit that spent one week at the top in May.David Bowie - Let's Dance_1384536781341_1267912_ver1.0_640_480

Irene Cara – Flashdance … What A Feeling

Irene Cara – Flashdance … What A Feeling – The movie was a mega-hit, and the soundtrack was huge, too. This song was No. 1 for six weeks.Irene Cara - Flashdance ... What A Feeling_1384536782189_1267915_ver1.0_640_480

The Police – Every Breath You Take

The Police – Every Breath You Take – This song was unavoidable in the summer of 1983. It spent eight weeks at the top of the chart.The Police - Every Breath You Take_1384536795651_1267921_ver1.0_640_480

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams – This song hit the top spot for a week in September.Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams_1384536781671_1267913_ver1.0_640_480

Michael Sembello – Maniac

Michael Sembello – Maniac – Another song from “Flashdance” hit the top for two weeks.Michael Sembello - Maniac_1384536795638_1267920_ver1.0_640_480

Billy Joel – Tell Her About It

Billy Joel – Tell Her About It – One of Joel’s many hits made it to No. 1 for a week in September.Billy Joel - Tell Her About It_1384536782202_1267916_ver1.0_640_480

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart – This epic song spent four weeks at No. 1.Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart_1384536767673_1267910_ver1.0_640_480

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – Islands In The Stream

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – Islands In The Stream – The country combination hit No. 1 for two weeks in October and November.Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton - Islands In The Stream_1384536767314_1267908_ver1.0_640_480

Lionel Richie – All Night Long

Lionel Richie – All Night Long – This song was at the top for four weeks in November and December.

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Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson – Say Say Say

Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson – Say Say Say – This song was at the top for four weeks to end the year.

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http://www.theindychannel.com/daily-extras/gallery-no-1-hits-of-1983

The Week in Nostalgia: The Disney Renaissance Begins and Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ Shocks Everyone

Source: The Daily Beast – By Chancellor Agard

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The Week in Nostalgia: November 10-16

This week in pop culture history: the Disney Renaissance begins, Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video shocks America’s sensibilities, and the highest grossing comedy of all time invades theatres.

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November 10, 1969: Sesame Street debuts on television.

The idea for Sesame Street was conceived by creator Joan-Ganz Cooney after she found that children in poor neighbourhoods were at disadvantage because of the lack of resources to prepare them for school. Since it first aired in 1969, it has been an important education tool in teaching children basic vocabulary, mathematics, and social skills. And it has all those cool characters.

November 14, 1989 and November 13, 1991: The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Premiere.

The Little Mermaid was the first film in the period of history commonly referred to as the Disney Renaissance. Disney produced multiple highly successful and critically acclaimed animated films. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Sadly, it lost to The Silence of the Lambs. Prior to their release in 1989 and 1991, respectively, Disney had tried to adapt them multiple times throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s. Additionally, both films have been adapted into Broadway musicals, Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and The Little Mermaid in 2008.

November 14, 1991: Michael Jackson ‘Black Or White’ premieres on FOX.

The “Black and White” music video caused quite a stir when it premiered on FOX in 22 years ago. People were offended by the last four minutes of the video, which featured Michael Jackson dancing in a very violent and sexually suggestive manner while smashing car windows. In a statement released after it aired, Jackson claimed that the dance sequence was supposed to represent the black panther’s animalistic behaviour. Subsequent airings shortened the video from its original 11 minutes length to 6 minutes, editing out the dance sequence at the end. The music video also starred Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin.

November 16, 1990: Home Alone invades theatres

Home Alone made Macaulay Culkin a household name and spawned four sequels. Unfortunately, only one of the sequels, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, starred Culkin. The fifth and most recent film was Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, an ABC Family original movie that was released in 2012. We all remember that one (not a true statement).  As of 2012, Home Alone is the highest grossing comedy of all time.

November 16, 2004: House premieres on FOX

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/10/the-week-in-nostalgia-the-disney-renaissance-begins-and-michael-jackson-s-black-or-white-shocks-everyone.html

“Michael Jackson Is Watching My Show From Heaven” Says Arsenio Hall

Source: The Wrap

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The talk-show host tells Winfrey it took five years to make his deal to revive “The Arsenio Hall Show”

Arsenio Hall is a ’90s late night icon, but it took five years for him to close his deal to return to the airwaves with his new talk show.

“I went everywhere with this,” he told Oprah Winfrey of trying to get back on television during his appearance on Sunday’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter” 

To illustrate the passing of time, “The Arsenio Hall Show” host remembered discussing the comeback while attending a party along with rapper, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Michael Jackson.

“One of those parties,” he explained. “Diddy said, ‘You’ve got to come back.’ And I’m like, ‘I want to. But it ain’t that easy.’ And the reason I bring up Michael’s name [is] because Michael’s gone now and that’s how long it’s been.”

Of course, Winfrey had to ask whether the late King of Pop believed Hall should return to TV.

“Michael was like, ‘You should have never left,” Hall recalled. “And I know he’s watching.”

“The Arsenio Hall Show” launched in September. In its first week, it averaged a 0.7/3 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — a virtual tie for the top late-night talk-show spot with “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” which averaged a 0.7/4. It also had the best first week among syndicated talk shows in the 18-49 demo in seven years — since the September 2006 premiere of “Rachael Ray.”

http://www.thewrap.com/arsenio-hall-to-oprah-michael-jackson-watching-show-heaven

Chauffeur Tells Story Of Michael Jackson’s Six Month Hideout In Rural Irish Village

Source: Irish Central

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The new RTE radio documentary ‘Michael Jackson’s Irish Driver’ reveals how the entire village of Moate, Co. Westmeath helped to hide the world’s famous pop superstar for six months.

Jackson escaped to the midlands in 2006, where he was put up by Grouse Lodge owner Paddy Dunning and had a personal chauffeur, Dubliner Ray O’Hara.

“I was told two days before hand and thought ‘no way’, there’s no one more famous, I couldn’t take it in,” O’Hara says on the documentary.

“When it came to the first day you wouldn’t believe how nervous I was. I was shaking.

“He put out his hand to say hello and then after we shook, he was the same as you and me.”

No matter where the King of Pop went in the village, his whereabouts were kept secret by the townspeople.

And even when it was finally revealed he was in Moate, locals purposely gave reporters wrong directions to keep him safe.

Said Paul Lawless, owner of Egan’s pub: “What we did was we had a pre opening and Ray pulled up with the van and he came straight in.

“I showed him what we had and he had a glass of wine.

“I never asked for an autograph. My thing is they’re the same as you. People don’t hound you or don’t go after the artist. They give them their own space, it’s unusual.”

Although Jackson arrived after the child molestation charges, Paddy Dunning said he had no problem with him staying with his family.

“He came down on a bus with his family, the kids and a nanny.

“His kids were playing with my kids within hours. It was all happy families.

“He had received death threats but I think he found solace and comfort, he was living with an ordinary family.

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“The whole paedophile thing but I don’t think he was one of those predators.

“I wouldn’t let him down to my house if I had any inclination that was the case.

“When I met him I got the impression this guy has been made into a monster – that’s my opinion.”

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Jackson also went to a kids’ center called Jumping Jacks in Tullamore, Co Offaly. The locals there didn’t believe it was really the pop star.

“I was a bit surprised to think he would come here to pay, delighted to have him, of course,” said owner Brenda Carroll.

“The first night they came, it closed so they had it to themselves but when they came bowling others were there.

“They let him bowl him away and no one looked at him, they left him be.”

The shoes Jackson played in have pride of place in the center.

Ms Carroll said: “Straight away we brought them into the office, we put them into the glass case. They’ve been there ever since.”

Michael: The Last Photo Shoot Documentary (Snippet)

Source: Vimeo – By / The Jackson News

“Michael: The Last Photo Shoots” is a fascinating behind the scenes look at Michael Jackson’s last magazine cover photo shoots and the struggle to make them happen. It is a unique story told through the eyes of several of Michael’s closest friends, photographers and stylists that had helped Michael prepare for his planned comeback in 2007.

In 2007, after several years of living over-seas in seclusion, Michael returned to the United States wanting to make a comeback onto the music scene. Taking the cover of L’UOMO Vogue for its October 2007 issue was Michael’s first step. On September 14, 2007 in New York, Photographer Bruce Weber and Vogue Fashion Editor / Michael Jackson’s personal stylist Rushka Bergman captured the magic of the King of Pop for the 25th Anniversary of the release of Thriller.

On September 24, 2007 in Brooklyn, NY, Michael Jackson did an interview and another photo shoot for Ebony Magazine for its December 2007 issue. This was Michael’s first United States interview and magazine story in a decade.

Michael had a love for art and being an artist himself, Michael had said that he had wanted to be photographed in a space “where art lives on forever.” Ebony selected the Brooklyn Museum of Art as the location. While many magazine covers were done throughout Michael’s career, the Vogue and Ebony shoots were very important to Michael as these were for his comeback. Through these photos, Michael’s image as art lives on forever.

Along with never before seen footage of Michael, “Michael: The Last Photo Shoots” contains engaging interviews with Rushka Bergman (Contributing Fashion Editor of L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia and Michael Jackson’s personal stylist), Phillip Bloch (widely considered to be one of Hollywood’s premier fashion stylists), Bruce Weber (famed photographer and filmmaker) and Kabuki (legendary make-up artist from Northern England known for his unique flair and artistry with make-up and imagery and one of the most exciting talents in fashion today).

There are captivating interviews with Bryan Monroe (an award winning journalist, CNN Politics editor, team leader of the winner of the Pulitzer Price Gold Medal, former Vice President and Editorial Director of Ebony and Jet Magazines and the journalist who conducted the last major interview with the King of Pop – Michael Jackson), Harriett Cole (Life stylist author, nationally syndicated advice columnist, former Editor in Chief of Ebony Magazine and Creative director for Michael Jackson’s last cover photo shoot) and Michael Amir (Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff for Michael Jackson).

For further information, please contact Ray Markovich (M: +1-323-401-8032; rjmarkovich@icloud.com).
Raymond J. Markovich
Attorney At Law*

Music: From Michael Jackson To Pay And Enter Gigs

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 1996: MJ comes to town; MTV India is launched

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Raj Thackeray welcomes Michael Jackson at the Mumbai International Airport in 1996. File Pic

MTV India is launched and the country’s taste for music undergoes a rapid transformation. The 24-hour music channel makes new releases in the West more accessible to Indian listeners. This is also the year when Michael Jackson visits the city. Organised by the Shiv Sena Udyog, the King of Pop performs at an event at the packed Andheri Sports Complex and woos everyone with his evergreen numbers such as Thriller, Bad and The way you make me feel.

1994: All about morality and censor code 

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The 1993 song Choli ke peeche from Khalnayak, followed by Dalaal’s Chad gaya upar re, spark heated debates across the country about morality. But it’s a year later that Karisma Kapoor and Govinda’s Sarkailo khatiya jaada lage, from the film Raja Babu, leads to the announcement of amendments in the Censor Code.

1980: Police cometh
Rang Bhavan in Dhobi Talao is abuzz with women jumping in their saris, while men do the pogo dance to The Police’s Roxanne. The British band, fronted by Sting, is the first major Western band to perform in the city and belt out several other hits, including Can’t stand losing you, Walking on the moon and Message in a bottle. Needless to say, the gig is completely sold out.

1986: IRock makes its debut
Independence Rock Festival is introduced. It quickly becomes a rite of passage of sorts for the county’s rockers. Until 2003, Rang Bhavan (which then gets listed under the Silence Zone), is the venue for the festival. Now, the two-day fest is held annually, usually mid-August, at the Chitrakoot Grounds in Andheri.

2011: Pay-what-you-want-to-enter gigs
While the entry fee at music venues in the city tend to burn a hole in your pocket, Control ALT Delete’s pay-what-you-want-to-enter gigs herald a ‘come one come all’ attitude. Their first gig at B69, which features bands such as Blakc and Split, introduce new bands to the city’s alternative rock scene. 

Then & Now: Venues have opened avenues
Uday Benegal, singer

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One of the most significant changes that I have witnessed as a performer in the city is the closure of Rang Bhavan. The open-air amphitheatre near St Xavier’s College in Dhobi Talao was a hub for rock music. Every year, the Independence Rock (IRock) concert was held there. Our band, launched in 1984 as Rock Machine, played there frequently. In fact, I recall performing at the first ever IRock concert at Rang Bhavan. But although we’ve had to mourn the loss of that unrivalled outdoor amphitheatre, several other avenues have opened up for musicians in the city. Places such as Blue Frog, with its unmatched acoustics, Hard Rock Café, Cheval, Bandra Base and even the tiny Little Door in Andheri offer a platform that didn’t exist in the ’80s and ’90s. As musicians, we’re thankful for these venues, which help make up for the loss of Rang Bhavan. Looking at another bright side, the 1 am deadline for clubs means that we no longer have cops chasing us off the stage at 11 pm. This actually happened to us at our open air concerts!

When we first started off, we also had to fight to play our own songs and prove that we’re capable songwriters. Back then, there was no audience for originality and creativity. We were forced to play cover versions of popular songs. Over time, this has changed. In 1995, when we launched an album as Indus Creed, we had far more original stuff. And now, performing and recording new, original material is an accepted norm, if not a demand. This return to the self is the biggest leap forward for Indian music. There is an emphasis on expression rather than assimilation.

Sepia memory: Saira Menezes
Three landmark moments stand out during my years at SUNDAY MiD DAY.

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1) 9/11, the day the twin towers were brought down in the United States of America. This happened 10 days after I joined SMD and for months afterward, Mumbai took a backseat as coverage of the US, the al-Qaeda and Afghanistan took over the front page of the paper.

2) The cloudburst of July 26, 2005. SMD ran an insightful cover on the composition of the cloudburst and why it was a rare natural phenomenon for Mumbai to have witnessed.

3) The 24th and 25th anniversary issues of SUNDAY MiD DAY. In the former, we covered 24 hours in the life of Mumbai with one unique city story being done every hour on the same day. For the latter, we went back to 25-year-old archives, unearthed the big city stories back then and tried to see where those narratives stood 25 years later.

Saira Menezes was Editor, SUNDAY MiD DAY from 2001 to 2005 

http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2013/sep/150913-sunday-mid-day-32nd-anniversary-my-life-music.htm

PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS IN NEVERLAND WITH MICHAEL JACKSON (Pre-Recorded)

Source: A Place In Your Heart – Blog Talk Radio – By Rev Catherine Gross

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On August 31, 2013, Rev Gross inteviewed Dr. William Barney Van Valin, II, MD, the author of Private Conversations In Neveland and personal friend to Michael Jackson. The most important thing about Dr. Barney is that he loved Michael so much. Dr. Barney shares his memories and conversation with Michael and he how misses him. 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart/2013/08/31/private-conversations-in-neverland-with-michael-jackson

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DAVID ROTHENBERG – Excerpt From Book

One day Michael phoned and said, “I want to know if you’d like to bring your family up for dinner. I have a friend here that I’d like you all to meet.” I always knew when he said that sort of thing that it was bound to be something interesting and that I would be glad I’d done it afterward. I told him that we’d be happy to come. He said, “First I need to ask you something. Do you think your children would be upset by meeting someone who has some deformities from an accident?”

I told him, “Michael I can assure you, my children will treat this person as if they had no deformities. I’ve taught them from a very early age that you never say anything to anyone that would hurt them. Especially about things they can’t help. But I will tell them about this before we get there.”

Michael said, “Good. Then I’d like you to come out for dinner to meet David Rothenberg.”

By this time, having been to the Ranch so frequently, we were usually waved on through rather than stopping to sing in. This visit was no exception and upon arrival we parked out in front of the house. Although I had told Michael many times that he didn’t need to, he always had the maids and cooks lined up outside the front door to greet us as we entered the house. Michael insisted that this was protocol and they were always to follow it.

I told him, “Really, I already know everyone by name since I’m out here so often. I feel kind of guilty for making them drop what they’re doing and stand out here and greet us.”

Michael replied, “You mustn’t feel bad. It’s one of the things that I pay them to do.”

Anyway, going to the house was always a treat. It was a lovely assault on all senses. Through the front door we turned to the left through the dining room. Two steps down the opposite end was a large fireplace that faced a bar making up the south side of the kitchen. On this night, Michael’s guest was sitting to the right of the fireplace. Michael looked at as and said “You guys, this is David Rothenberg,” and he introduced us one by one. Greetings went around my family. The kids ran off to do their own thing around the house leaving Criss, Michael, and me to talk with David. I imagine there are pictures out there of David for those who want to see him but suffice to say he had been ravaged by flames at some point in his life. What I remember clearly now was that there was a long tuft of hair on the back of his head and there was a young girl, apparently a cousin of Michael’s, who was meticulously braiding the tuft while David told us about his day at the Ranch.

When we all sat down to dinner, Michael turned to him and asked, “So, David did you paint today?”

David replied, “Yes, I did. I think I did some of my best work ever.”

Michael said, “Good. I need you out there painting every day that you’re here. I want you to express yourself.”

David assured him he was.

Later in the evening Michael and I went by the lake where he had an easel and paints set up and he showed me some of David’s paintings. They consisted of stick figures and V’s for birds. Michael told me, “I don’t care if he doesn’t become a great painter. I just think it’s important for him to do this while he’s here. I always want to keep him occupied.”

I asked Michael, “So, how did you and David meet?” Michael said, “Well, when he was quite young, his father spread gasoline on him and set him on fire. The reasons don’t matter. And actually there are none. Anyway, he ended up living through it and I’ve kind of watched through the years. Not long ago, I read in the paper an article saying that David Rothenberg tried to commit suicide. He was despondent over not being able to get a job. So I sent for him. One of my drivers went and got him and brought him back to the Ranch. When he got here, I told him that I heard what had happened. David told me that it was true and he was just depressed because, ‘who would hire something that looks like me?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I would. I want you to work for me. Would you do that?’ David said, ‘Yes. I would like that.’ So I put him to work.”

I asked Michael, “Did you really have a job for him?”

He said, “Not really. I kind of made one up.”

I asked, “What was it? What did you have him do?”

He said, “I give him letters and packages and I have him take them to other cities telling him that it’s important that they be mailed there. So for example, I send him to Los Angeles or San Diego and tell him to mail something when he gets there. I gave him a car to take him everywhere he wants to go and he has a place to call home. He’d lost his sense of purpose and I wanted him to know he had one.”

I never saw David again after that and I never asked Michael what happened to him. I now know, from old news stories, that when David was six back in 1983 his father, Charles, who was in a custody fight with David’s mom, Marie, set him on fire and burned him over 90% of his body.

Michael Jackson American Icon – Happy Birthday MJ

Source: Las Vegas Guardian Express – By Michael Smith

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On this day in 1958 a baby named Michael Joseph Jackson was born. He was the eighth child of the family and just six short years later, he would debut as the youngest member of The Jackson 5. The fact that Michael Jackson and I shared the same first name combined with the fact that we were, near enough, the same age made him an object of special interest as we both grew up. He developed into an American icon and were he still alive, I would have sent a card: “Happy Birthday MJ,” like many of his fans.

Michael Jackson became a man of many hats. Businessman, singer, dancer, writer, philanthropist. Before he died from the heart attack that killed him in June 2009, he was called other things. Things that were never proven and his death at age 50 left the issues still unanswered and appear as a stain on the life of an amazingly talented and giving man.

Like millions of his fans, I grew up watching Michael on the television. I can still remember seeing him on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, five years after Paul McCartney and the Beatles made their first appearance on the show. Later Sir Paul and Michael would work together and still later, Michael would buy out the Beatles catalogue from under McCartney causing a rift between the two.

Michael Jackson had a host of legendary performers who influenced his younger Jackson 5 years. Sammy Davis Jr, Gene Kelly, and of course the phenomenal James Brown were just a few who he learned from. It was fitting that the stars who influenced the young Michael were legends in their fields. He himself became a legend as his popularity grew.

Michael Jackson lived one of the most public lives in history. He was the focus of paparazzi and the press from the first time he stepped foot on stage to front The Jackson 5. Growing up “alongside” MJ, I was able to see the changes he made in his career as well as his more personal changes. One thing never seemed to change though, and that was his speaking voice.

When he put out the historic music video Thriller, the first music video to use a big Hollywood director, before it was aired a “making of” featurette was produced and shown on television. It showed director John Landis, actress Ola Ray and Michael going through their paces as they rehearsed for the video shoot. Michael was 25 years-old when he worked on Thriller and his voice and actions, were of someone much younger. Apart from his actions, his “youth” was apparent in his speaking voice right up until his death.

Michael had a firm grasp on his inner child and he exhibited it without hesitation. I had to constantly remind myself that we were the same age. He always seemed much younger. It was this youthful side to MJ that would later cause him so much grief. Accusations of inappropriate behaviour followed him to the grave. 

During his time as a performer he gave selflessly to charities around the world and used his own personal playground, Neverland, to entertain children, a lot of whom were from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These acts of generosity and kindness were questioned after the abuse allegations were made. But by that time, Michael had closed Neverland because of financial problems.

Michael Jackson fans are some of the most loyal in the world. They are almost excessively devout. Heaven help you if you ever choose to denigrate their idol. He inspired that sort of devotion the world over and the one thing you could say about his fans, no matter where they came from or lived, they all had the same fierce protectiveness of their hero. Were he alive today, they would have celebrated his birthday with him via Twitter or Facebook and posted many “Happy Birthday MJ” messages. They still observe their idol’s day of birth, but it is tinged with sadness.

If ever there was a performer who really seemed ageless, who could be called the real Peter Pan, it was Michael Jackson. Even MJ having children did not change his inner child. Even when things were not going well, Jackson paid his own homage to his fans and let them know that he loved them.

In 2009 when he began preparations for his “comeback” tour, he was starting to feel his age. On stage, he worked to maintain that youthful illusion. But what the body can absorb when younger, starts to hurt once you have reached a certain age. 

The world went into shock when “Peter Pan” died at the relatively young age of 50. I was also shocked. I had grown up with MJ. I had a lifetime of a love/hate relationship with the performer. When I was a kid, the same age as Michael, I was envious of his lifestyle and his enormous popularity. As I got older, I admired his talent and the range that he had as a performer. I felt sympathy for the man who had never really had a childhood or a real private life.

But take away all those allegations and problems and you had a man who had more than his fair share of talent and who knew what his fans wanted and needed from him. So I take my metaphorical hat off to my Christian namesake who would have been 55 on this day. An American icon who changed the face of entertainment just as surely as he changed the way music videos were perceived. Happy birthday MJ.

(Op-Ed)
By Michael Smith
United Kingdom

 

Happy 55th Birthday Tribute To Michael Jackson – 20 Hilarious Moonwalking Fan Photos

Source: Heavy

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Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/entertainment/2013/08/happy-birthday-michael-jackson-55th-funniest-moonwalking-fan-photos/2/

Also see: Michael Jackson Tribute: Top 10 Moonwalk YouTube Videos

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Michael Jackson was many things, but above all, he was the Moonwalk King. In memory of the King of Pop, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Moonwalk videos that make us laugh, smile, and gave us some entertainment.

I’m With Michael! Excerpt From “Before He Was KIng”

Source: Vanity Fair – By Todd Gray 

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After landing an assignment shooting the Jackson 5, the author was told that Michael Jackson wanted him to be his personal photographer. The result: a trove of images, taken between 1974 and 1984, that reveal the future King of Pop’s quiet, soulful side.

In January 1980, I received a call saying that Michael Jackson had specifically requested me to photograph him at Disneyland, where he was taping a television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom. When Michael was not on the set performing, he took every opportunity to explore the park. The moment the director would release him from the set in order to prepare the next shot, Michael would grab my arm and say, “Come on, let’s hit some rides.” Off we went, the two of us accompanied by a Disney security person, who ushered us through secret passageways, making certain we never waited in line. Michael, who was 21 at the time, loved Disneyland, and while sitting next to him on the rides—the Matterhorn, the Pirates of the Caribbean—I joined right in with his screams and laughter. We really had fun.

Not long after this job, I got another call from the Jacksons’ manager, Ron Weisner, asking me to shoot Michael at a charity event. He said that Michael had instructed him to hire only me when he needed a photographer. Then Ron asked me, “What’s up with you and Michael?” I answered, “We just get along, I guess.” (I had first met Michael in 1974 while photographing the Jackson 5 for Soul Newspaper.) I asked Ron if Michael had given him any indication as to why he wanted only me to photograph him. He said Michael told him, “I like Todd because he doesn’t talk much.” And that’s how it began. I was Michael’s photographer and friend for the next four years. It was the ride of my life.

From early on, I saw how dedicated Michael was to work. He worked nearly all the time and rarely seemed to relax. A great deal of time was spent in the recording studio—the Jacksons’ intense focus on creating a flawless product helped make them the success that they became, and Michael was clearly the most focused, hardest-working member of the group. While in the mixing booth, making technical adjustments and working the board with the engineers, he would whisper instructions to his brothers about a vocal arrangement, whispering not because the instructions were secret, but because he was shy and didn’t like to yell out his ideas.

In the spring of 1981, Michael and his brothers began rehearsals for the Triumph Tour, which would travel to 35 cities in North America. When Michael found time to relax, he loved to leaf through photographic books. He especially loved books about 1930s Hollywood glamour, richly illustrated children’s books, and coffee-table books on photography. Michael would usually hole up in the rear of the bus, while the others spent their time together in front. I also preferred the quiet at the back, and I would sit down with him while he was engrossed in reading.

My photographs of Michael, from 1974 to 1984, show him as the engaging, charming, youthful person he was before the insatiable demands of his extraordinary celebrity bore so heavily on him. As I reflect, I realize now that this was the time before he was King.

During the taping of a 1980 TV special featuring Michael and Danny Kaye at Disneyland, I photographed Michael in a variety of ways. Either management or the record company (or both, I no longer remember) asked me to portray him as a masculine adult whenever possible.

During the taping of a 1980 TV special featuring Michael and Danny Kaye at Disneyland, I photographed Michael in a variety of ways. Either management or the record company (or both, I no longer remember) asked me to portray him as a masculine adult whenever possible.

Michael waits in the executive lounge for a flight on Delta Airlines. An airline rep had given Michael captain’s wings and he’d pinned them to his hat.

Michael waits in the executive lounge for a flight on Delta Airlines. An airline rep had given Michael captain’s wings and he’d pinned them to his hat.

At the Record Plant studio in Hollywood in 1974, the Jacksons joined Stevie Wonder to record his song “You Haven’t Done Nothin’.” Michael seemed oblivious to everything that was not connected to the recording process, or the genius of Stevie Wonder.

At the Record Plant studio in Hollywood in 1974, the Jacksons joined Stevie Wonder to record his song “You Haven’t Done Nothin’.” Michael seemed oblivious to everything that was not connected to the recording process, or the genius of Stevie Wonder.

Michael showed me his newly finished private theater, complete with plush red velvet seats. I thought his blue sweater would complement the deep red, and I asked him to take a seat and pretend as if he were watching a movie. “Which movie?” he asked. I said, “It doesn’t matter. Any movie will do.” But Michael insisted: “Todd, you’ve got to tell me which movie I’m supposed to be watching if you want a reaction from me.” O.K., what about a Charlie Chaplin comedy, I suggested. “Which one?” Michael asked. “He’s made so many, you know.” My mind went blank; luckily, my assistant shouted out, “Modern Times.” Michael responded, “O.K., which part?” Exasperated, I said, “Michael, it’s a comedy, just laugh!” It was getting late and we were all tired and a little punchy, but Michael was having fun with all of this. “Well,” he began, “if you want me to laugh, then you have to tell me a joke. But you said you wanted me to act like I’m watching a movie. Which is it you want?” Finally I gave up and made a ridiculous clown face, which made him laugh.

Michael showed me his newly finished private theater, complete with plush red velvet seats. I thought his blue sweater would complement the deep red, and I asked him to take a seat and pretend as if he were watching a movie. “Which movie?” he asked. I said, “It doesn’t matter. Any movie will do.” But Michael insisted: “Todd, you’ve got to tell me which movie I’m supposed to be watching if you want a reaction from me.” O.K., what about a Charlie Chaplin comedy, I suggested. “Which one?” Michael asked. “He’s made so many, you know.” My mind went blank; luckily, my assistant shouted out, “Modern Times.” Michael responded, “O.K., which part?” Exasperated, I said, “Michael, it’s a comedy, just laugh!” It was getting late and we were all tired and a little punchy, but Michael was having fun with all of this. “Well,” he began, “if you want me to laugh, then you have to tell me a joke. But you said you wanted me to act like I’m watching a movie. Which is it you want?” Finally I gave up and made a ridiculous clown face, which made him laugh.

Before almost every concert, there would be a meeting in the dressing room to go over any particularities of the venue that might affect the performance. Each venue differed in sound, mixing-booth location, and seating arrangement, and each had its own set of legal codes and rules. Slight adjustments were made at every show to conform to the requirements of the hall. Michael also took this opportunity to make improvements to the show or point out weaknesses in the previous concert.

Before almost every concert, there would be a meeting in the dressing room to go over any particularities of the venue that might affect the performance. Each venue differed in sound, mixing-booth location, and seating arrangement, and each had its own set of legal codes and rules. Slight adjustments were made at every show to conform to the requirements of the hall. Michael also took this opportunity to make improvements to the show or point out weaknesses in the previous concert.

In 1983, I was on a cover assignment to photograph Michael at his home in Encino, California. He had recently finished a complete remodel and transformed it into his dream home, complete with movie theater, zoo, and Disney-inspired attractions in the backyard. This was to be Michael’s testing ground, a mini-version of Neverland, which he built in Santa Barbara County years later.

In 1983, I was on a cover assignment to photograph Michael at his home in Encino, California. He had recently finished a complete remodel and transformed it into his dream home, complete with movie theater, zoo, and Disney-inspired attractions in the backyard. This was to be Michael’s testing ground, a mini-version of Neverland, which he built in Santa Barbara County years later.

Michael waits backstage at one of the many Los Angeles charity events he donated his time and talent to support, 1980.

Michael waits backstage at one of the many Los Angeles charity events he donated his time and talent to support, 1980.

Fans gather to greet the Jacksons as they arrive to play the Omni in Atlanta, July 1981.

Fans gather to greet the Jacksons as they arrive to play the Omni in Atlanta, July 1981.

Michael enjoys a little downtime.

Michael enjoys a little downtime.

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/2009/10/michael-jackson-excerpt-200910

 

Revisiting Neverland

Michael Jackson's infamous estate Neverland Ranch, located 8 miles from Santa Ynez, includes two railroads, a state-of-the-art theater and an amusement park. Photo: Steve Granitz, WireImage

Michael Jackson’s famous estate Neverland Ranch, located 8 miles from Santa Ynez, includes two railroads, a state-of-the-art theater and an amusement park. Photo: Steve Granitz, WireImage

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The master bedroom in the main house that was once used by Michael Jackson is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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The faucet on the jacuzzi tub is seen in the master bathroom in the main house that was once used by Michael Jackson is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS

The wine cellar under the pool house is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: A

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Across the foyer of the main house, doors are open leading to the back grounds at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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A bronze statue overlooks the road to the main house at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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The master bathroom in the main house that was once used by Michael Jackson is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

The master bedroom in the main house that was once used by Michael Jackson is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

The master bedroom in the main house that was once used by Michael Jackson is seen at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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A bronze statue overlooks the road to the main house at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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Window light is reflected on the polished wooden counter of the kitchen in the main house at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A tennis court is seen behind the pool house at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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A long banquet table stretches out under a tree in the grounds behind the main house at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

Neverland Ranch employee Erma Baron dries dishes in the kitchen of the main house in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

Neverland Ranch employee Erma Baron dries dishes in the kitchen of the main house in Los Olivos, Calif., Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Photo: AP

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Michael Jackson, 1991

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Video: Remember Phoenix’s Michael Jackson Dance Party In Denver?

Source: Reverb – By Matt Miller

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Given the legal battle that still rages four years later, it’s hard to believe how much time has passed since the death of Michael Jackson. For Phoenix, four years ago must feel like a different lifetime. The day Jackson died, June 25, 2009, the relatively little-known French synth-pop band played a sold out show at Denver’s Bluebird Theater. Phoenix was fresh off the release of the excellent “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” and — as the small, capacity show can attest — hadn’t yet gained traction in the U.S. Knowing a legend had died that day, the band ended the set with a dance party tribute to MJ, joining the crowd while the DJ played some of the pop star’s many hits.

Here’s how our writer, Crawford Philleo, put it at the time:

“It would have been a mistake for Phoenix not to remind the audience of (Jackson’s) influence on them and the countless others like them. So they did, just before closing with a two-part rendition of “1901.” (Thomas) Mars climbed into the audience to finish the song with the crowd in true pop fashion, and as the band bid their final farewell, the Bluebird’s DJ smartly kicked in with MJ’s classic “Rock With You,” which continued the dance party for that and a few more songs before the crowd noticeably thinned.”

On Wednesday, Phoenix returns to Colorado having headlined the 2013 Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals and boasting a headlining spot at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (though the show has been moved to the smaller confines of the 1stBank Center).

Watch video of Phoenix’s dance party below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg43mxlUPNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApUh1CGrzNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IkDu9EYfMc

http://www.heyreverb.com/blog/2013/08/07/video-remember-phoenix-denver-michael-jackson