Thriller Dance Performed At The American Red Cross of Scotland’s 18th Annual Celebrity Dinner and Game Night

Source: – By Mary Katherine Murphy


4651321 9887987984 77416116321 LAURINBURG — With the Golden Girls, John Belushi, professional golfers, and two Michael Jacksons milling around the St. Andrews University Belk Center on Saturday, the American Red Cross of Scotland and Robeson Counties welcomed the most diverse list of attendees yet to its 18th annual Celebrity Dinner and Game Night.

Before a meal catered by Chartwells, the evening’s waitstaff paraded in character before the 300 guests at the Red Cross chapter’s largest annual fundraiser. FCC North Carolina’s beach bums earned the judges’ nod for the most original theme, with King Arthur and his court, sponsored by Domino’s Pizza, giving the funniest performance.

“We had a whole thing going,” said Allen Wood, who as the Knight of the Cross of Crimson mistakenly thought the event was given in his honor. “We actually had a little bit more to go — we were going to do a sword fight — but we were going a little long.”

The night included a team performance by representatives from Scottish Pines Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Bob’s Jewel Shop and John’s Fuel Service as the Golden Girls. Representatives from Railroad Friction Products were dressed as professional golfers and from Murphy-Brown LLC, leprechauns. WLNC Radio and Reaves Engraving representatives dressed as the cast of Downton Abbey — and Campbell’s Soup workers came as zombies from Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video.

“When I was in high school it was a really big deal when the Thriller video came out,” said Merrideth Hale, who with the other members of the Campbell’s Soup team has participated in the Red Cross event for more than a decade. “We’ve been thinking about doing the Thriller theme for three or four years now and we finally did it, so we’re pretty excited.”

The whole ensemble, including costumes, table decorations, and a dance number that was named the evening’s best parade performance, was the result of eight weeks of work.

“The dance routine we put together in my garage on Monday night. We popped the music in there, looked at a couple of videos, and started practicing,” Hale said. “We just have so much fun.”

Returning to the grave with the best in show title were the Scotland Health Care System waitstaff, all in attendance as dead celebrities — among them James Brown, Sally Ride, Shirley Temple, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and system CEO Greg Wood as Liberace.

“My son’s a big reptile fan so I saw some snakes and alligators in his room and borrowed them for tonight,” said cardiovascular center director Greg Stanley, who as Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, opted out of taping a stingray to his back. “This is his hat, too. It’s been great, having fun with a lot of folks that you know and raising money for a good cause.”

Following dinner, the event transformed into a combination casino night and dance party, with guests given the option to try their hand at the poker or craps tables or to dance the night away. All money won and lost during the game night had value only in Monopoly and the live auction held at the end of the evening.

“I try to do everything I can to help because they help us quite a bit too,” said Laurel Hill volunteer firefighter Tommy Zydor as he manned the roulette wheel on Saturday. “It’s just a lot of fun. Everybody has a good time.”

Named the Red Cross chapter’s executive director late last year, Cynthia Bradley praised the efforts of prior director and current disaster program manager Carol Ann Lentz as well as the event’s sizable volunteer force in orchestrating the dinner and game night. Bradley estimated that between “tips” left for the waitstaff, several 50/50 drawings, and the silent auction, the event would surpass its $33,000 fundraising goal.

“I cannot tell you how in awe I am of all of the people and how much work goes into it and how they all smile doing it,” she said. “It’s such a cohesive group it’s just amazing. I walk around with my mouth open because of the community spirit. For a small county, it’s amazing how many people come out and participate.”

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Throwback Article March 21, 1991: Sony Had To Keep Michael Jackson Happy

Source: New York Times/ Baltimore Sun


IN WHAT MAY BE the most lucrative arrangement ever for a recording artist, Sony Corp. announced yesterday that Michael Jackson, the pop-music icon of the 1980s, had agreed to create feature films, theatrical shorts, television programming and a new record label for the Japanese conglomerate’s American entertainment subsidiaries.

Jackson, whose albums “Thriller” and “Bad” were the two biggest-selling records of the past decade, also agreed to extend by six albums his existing contract with Epic Records, a Sony subsidiary.

Neither Sony executives nor representatives of Jackson would say how much the singer will receive under the agreement, which had been in negotiations for six months.

However, Sony officials said the company could realize $1 billion from retail sales of the various Jackson products.

The deal could be a prototype of the multi-media arrangements star performers can now demand and receive from the giant information-and-entertainment conglomerates that have been created through mergers and acquisitions in recent years.

Entertainment industry executives and analyst said, in fact, that to keep the 32-year-old Jackson, who had reportedly made rumblings about leaving for another label, Sony had no choice but to allow him to produce his own records and films.

“He doesn’t need the money; this is the guy who owns the Beatles’ music catalog,” said Emanuel Gerard, a communications analyst with Gerard Klauer Mattison in New York.

“What we’re dealing with largely is his ego. And from Sony’s standpoint, no matter what, they could not afford to have Michael Jackson signed away from them.”

A senior executive of a rival entertainment company, who spoke only on condition that he not be identified, said:

“My reading is that they were close to losing Michael Jackson. So you start by saying, ‘What do you have to do to keep him?’ He doesn’t need the money. So you say we have this fantastic company that has all these avenues for you. Give us your albums and you can do movies, TV shows.”

Neither Sony executives nor representatives of Jackson would comment on the negotiations, and a spokesman for Jackson said the singer would not talk.

But Michael P. Schulhof, the president of Sony Software, the Sony division that includes its entertainment subsidiaries, said the deal was viable simply because of Jackson’s varied talents.

“This is the first example where we have been able to combine interests in both film and records,” said Schulhof, 48, who is directing Sony’s efforts in multi-media packaging. “Because Michael Jackson is a multi-faceted entertainer, we felt this was the first time we could attempt it. If this transaction works as we anticipate, it might very well be the forerunner of a new kind of entertainment deal.”

Industry executives who have followed the negotiations said the contract called for Jackson, who is already the highest-paid performer in the record business, to receive an advance higher than the $18 million he was reported to have received for the final record of his current contract.

That would mean that Jackson would be paid more than $108 million for the six new albums alone, on top of whatever he might receive for the movies, television shows and records he might produce, write or star in.

Tommy Mottola, the president of Sony Music Entertainment, said the company based the estimate of $1 billion in retail revenues on the 40 million copies of “Thriller” and 25 million copies of “Bad” that have been sold, at an average of $10 per record, or $650 million.

Jackson’s entire family seems to have a strong hold on the public imagination and the entertainment industry’s wallets. Just last week, his 24-year-old sister Janet signed a contract with Virgin Records that the entertainment trade press said would pay her between $30 million and $50 million for three to five records.

Under the terms of his deal with Sony Software, Jackson will star in his first full-length feature film, which will be produced by Columbia Pictures Entertainment. The company described the film as a “musical action adventure” based on an idea of Jackson’s.

Jackson is currently negotiating with Sir Richard Attenborough, who made “Gandhi,” and Chris Columbus, the director of “Home Alone,” to direct two of the short films, Mottola said. He said other potential directors include David Lynch, the creator of “Twin Peaks,” and Tim Burton, the director of “Batman.”

Jackson is also creating a new record label, called Nation Records, under the auspices of the Jackson Entertainment Complex. With it, “he will be developing new, young and budding talent, and he will be the magnet to attract superstars to leave their current recording company to come to Sony,” Mottola said.

Some analysts suggested that Sony might be taking a large risk in assuming that Jackson’s popularity will extend from records to other media.

“Michael Jackson is yesterday’s news,” said Stanley Lanzet, an analyst with Arnhold & S. Bleichroder in New York who tracked sales of the Jackson shoe line. “He’s not magic anymore.”

But Sony’s competitors in the entertainment industry were not so quick to criticize the deal. “I don’t think you’d ever bet against Michael Jackson,” said Joe Galante, the president of RCA Records.

Flooded Argentinian Road Gets The Michael Jackson Treatment

Source: Metro


A group of friends made light of recent flooding by filming one of them moonwalking through the high waters.

The interesting footage, filmed in the Argentinian city of Neuquen, was uploaded to YouTube last month.

Clad all in black with a red-trimmed fedora – Jackson’s signature millinery – the joker doing the stunt navigates water that’s up to his knees.

He smoothly moonwalks through it to applause from his friends.

Recent heavy rain has swept across areas of South America, mirroring the wet weather experienced by the UK and northern Europe.


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Choreographer Inspired By Michael Jackson And Sony Xperia Z2

Source: Marketing Magazine – By Ben


A choreographer uses his Sony Xperia Z2 to find inspiration for a dance sequence, in an ad featuring a remix of Michael Jackson track ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’

The 90-second spot opens with the choreographer – in fact world-renowned French dancer Jeremie Belingard - using his handset to film a street dancer performing in a subway, whose performance he shows his dancers in the studio. “We’re gonna have to find this sense of freedom,” he tells them.They dance. “Yes, yes,” he says, before the ad switches to him getting the train home and reviewing the footage. He is even seen viewing his screen in the bath, where he plunges the handset into the water, presumably to demonstrate its waterproofing to anyone watching from beyond the fourth wall.

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A Look Back At 2013

Source: The Michael Jackson World Network


The MJWN has done a fabulous recap of this years’ news in the world of Michael Jackson.  I would also like to congratulate to Jayne Ross and her staff for celebrating their 15th year in the fan community and all the other sucesses that they have had this year, which include: 600 articles posted, a brand new website launced in March and joining Twitter.  MJWN experienced a massive surge on their Facebook page, starting out the year with 10,480 followers and ending the year with 160,000! See more below:

“But we’re not here to gush over our year. Instead we’re here to look back at 2013 and what happened in the world of Michael Jackson. Whilst he may not be with us anymore; and not a day goes by where we don’t stop to pause and think of him; much still happens that’s news and noteworthy. From a well publicised trial, to tributes, celebrity interviews, releases, leaked footage, tours, books, exhibitions, breaking new records and more. In case you missed any of it, here are the highlights of the past 12 months!”













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Throwback Article: Michael Jackson A Reluctant Spokesman, Ducks All Questions At Press Conference Held By L.A. Gear

Source: LA Times – By Bruce Horovitz (Published September 14, 1989)


Michael Jackson is the $20-million corporate spokesman who won’t speak.

“Protect me. . . . Don’t let them ask me any questions,” Jackson whispered Wednesday morning to a top executive from L.A. Gear, moments after the enigmatic pop star told a Hollywood Palladium full of reporters that he was “very happy” to be a part of the L.A. Gear team.

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By next spring, Jackson will be starring in L.A. Gear commercials. In the meantime he will help design and market a new line of L.A. Gear shoes. In return, Jackson not only has signed a multimillion-dollar contract, but he has also received options to purchase a “sizable amount” of L.A. Gear stock over the coming years, Chairman Robert Y. Greenberg told The Times in an interview after the press conference.

“If he wants to buy into the company, that’s up to him,” said Greenberg, who attended the press conference but did not speak to the gathering. Greenberg would not reveal details of the agreement, but he did say that the longer Jackson remains with L.A. Gear, the larger his ownership stake might grow.

‘Could Buy the Place’

“He has no ownership in the company right now,” said Sandy Saemann, executive vice president of L.A. Gear, who negotiated the deal and will direct the upcoming Jackson commercials. “But I suppose if he wanted to, he could probably buy the place.”

MJ gif

Saemann called the agreement with Jackson “the largest corporate association ever reached between a company and a celebrity.” One source close to L.A. Gear, who insisted on anonymity, said the contract with Jackson will exceed $20 million over two years.

Jackson has hooked up with one of the fastest-growing companies in America. L.A. Gear expects sales to exceed $1 billion this year, a huge leap from sales of $4.5 million posted in its first year, 1983. On Wednesday, L.A. Gear stock rose $1.25 a share to $65.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. Clearly, “Captain EO” has replaced “Captain” Kareem in the L.A. Gear advertising line-up. Jackson, who plays the film role of “Captain EO” in attractions at Disneyland and Disney World, is replacing former Los Angeles Laker basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as L.A. Gear’s corporate spokesman.

Decked in black sunglasses, black slacks, a black jacket and a pair of black, $69 “Sportster” shoes made by L.A. Gear, Jackson read a 10-second prepared statement to reporters and then scurried from the stage.

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When Jackson was first led on stage, a dozen flood lights filled the room and fog began to spew from giant machines. The stage from which Jackson spoke was dotted with dozens of giant fake palm trees and live fern plants that the company rented for the occasion.

Looming behind Jackson was a giant new logo for “Unstoppable,” the line of footwear that the company says the fashion-conscious pop singer will help design and market. “This word epitomizes what L.A. Gear and Michael Jackson represent,” said Saemann. “Together we’re an unstoppable team.”


In an interview, Saemann said L.A. Gear spent more than $50,000 on the press conference, which was broadcast live via satellite to a sportswear show in Munich, West Germany.

Administrator’s Note: The reason Michael was in a hurry to leave was because of the questions being thrown at him from the press about his sister LaToya’s claims that they were trying to kidnap her. When asked about it after the press conference, he simply said, “I love her.” See below.

I’m not trying to bring up the past and old hurts, just letting you know why he was anxious to leave. At least the LA Times didn’t mention it in the article. CP♥

Celebrities Named ‘Michael’: How Many Do You Know?

Source: Examiner – By Margaret Minnicks

Michael is a very popular name. Perhaps in most families, there is someone named Michael. This writer’s only son is named Michael, so she knows her Michaels. Sometimes the name is shortened to Mike, Mikey, Mickey, or Mick. 

Michael is a popular given name in the United States, and has been in the top three most popular name given to male babies in the U.S. for each year since 1953, only falling out of the top 5 in 2011 for the first time since 1949. It is in the top 50 most popular boys’ names in other countries.

The name Michael means “Who is like God?” The name Michael is mentioned three times in the Bible: as one of the twelve spies in Numbers 13:13, and as an archangel in Daniel and Revelation.

Michael is a popular name among celebrities and famous people. Below is a list of famous people named Michael. The list even includes one female whose name is Michael. The list is in the order of how many views their names have gotten on the internet.

Michael Jackson, singer (deceased)
Michael Jordan, basketball player
Michael Bublé, singer and actor
Michael Bolton, singer
Michael Phelps, Olympic gold medalist for swimming
Michael J. Fox, actor
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Strahan retired football player; co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” talk show
Michael Landon, actor (deceased)
Michael Vicks, football player
Michael Learned, actress; mother on “The Waltons”
Michael Kors, fashion designer

Did you know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was originally named Michael. His father changed his name to be like the German reformer, Martin Luther.


Michael Jackson Lends Name to Prehistoric Hermit Crab, Mesoparapylocheles Michaeljacksoni

Source: Huffington Post Science 

athrillerofa (1)

Crab walk, meet moon walk. In a new paper, an international team of scientists announced the discovery of a new family of prehistoric hermit crabs and made a novel tribute to Michael Jackson at the same time. The paper, published this month in German journal Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, details the discovery of the first known species in the family. Its name? Mesoparapylocheles michaeljacksoni.

No, the crab doesn’t dance or change color over time; the name was the result of a coincidence. The specimen was identified June 25, 2009, and the researchers were in a restaurant later that day when they saw on TV that the King of Pop had died.

“Michael Jackson’s music will no doubt live a very long time and influence many people so I think the name is appropriate,” said co-author Adiël Klompmaker, a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Geology at Kent State.

The crab, which lived in Northern Spain around 100 million years ago, was a surprising find. According to a statement released by Kent State, hermit crab fossils like the one the team found are “much rarer than those of true crabs…Today, less than a dozen of these [fossils] are known and a great deal of information concerning the evolution of this group remains undiscovered.”

We might never have heard of the discovery if not for the MJ reference. Naming new species after celebrities isn’t uncommon; keep clicking for 8 more examples:

Thanks Kimber for reminding me about this! :)

60 Minutes Special: A Look In Michael Jackson’s Closet – Airs Sunday, May 19, 2013 7pm Eastern Time

Source: 60 Minutes


In life, Michael Jackson earned hundreds of millions and spent even more, accumulating an estimated half-billion dollars in debt towards the end of his life, when a tarnished image curtailed his earning power. In death, the King of Pop is doing just fine, however. He’s never been more popular, with almost 60 million Facebook “friends,” and music sales and business deals made by his estate have earned more than enough to repay his debt. Lara Logan reports on this unprecedented turnaround and gets a private tour of some of the personal items that meant the most to the late star for a 60 Minutes story to be broadcast Sunday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

While the Jackson Estate amasses millions through The Michael Jackson Immortal Tour, an acrobatic performance to his music by Cirque Du Soleil, iTunes and album sales, his possessions sit in storage. Nobody knows what they are worth. It’s anybody’s guess at what they could bring at auction with the right people biding.

Karen Langford, a friend of Jackson’s who worked with him since 1981, is the archivist for the Jackson estate. She takes Logan for a tour of a warehouse full of Jackson’s memorabilia.


The tour begins, appropriately, with the Neverland sign sitting on the floor of the 20,000-foot warehouse. It once sat atop the gates to his famous compound that included an amusement park, zoo and his mansion.

Inside, Logan sees Grammy awards, a fleet of cars, antiques, video games, and some of the clothing he wore on stage. The sequined glove he wore on the Billie Jean Victory Tour, worth an estimated $80,000, is kept in a safe on premises.

Other things may not have obviously high value but were priceless to the star, including the wooden rocking horse given to Jackson by one of his closest friends, Elizabeth Taylor. “To MJ, Love ET,” reads the inscription.

The items will be stored until Jackson’s children come of age and decide what they want to do with them. Meanwhile, the revenue machine that has taken in over $600 million since the entertainer’s death in 2009 — more than any other single living artist has earned over the period — is predicted to hum along for many years to come.

Sunday evening after the program,, the 60 Minutes web show, will present an even deeper look into the memorabilia few have ever seen since Jackson’s death.

Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston Inducted Into R&B Hall Of Fame

Source: Digital Spy

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston are amongst the first group of inductees to the R&B Hall Of Fame.

The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum was announced earlier this week, with plans to honor artists who have made significant contributions to the genre.

Michael Jackson

© PA Images

Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson in 2000

© Startraks Photo/Rex Features

Alongside the late Jackson and Houston are 23 other inductees, as announced on the R&B Hall of Fame’s website on Thursday (October 18).

Other members of the ‘Hall of Fame Class of 2013′ include James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin.

Reverend Al Sharpton will also be honored with the Ron Banks Humanitarian Award for his support of soul and R&B artists, including his mentor James Brown.

An induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on May 5, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Plans for an American Pop Music Hall of Fame are currently in the works.


Roger Waters, Michael Jackson ‘Immortal’ Tour Top Mid-Year Concert Sales

“More people are touring and the shows are doing better than last year,” say exec.

Source: Rolling Stone – By Steve Knopper

Photo owned by Cirque du Soleil

Two years after the most disastrous summer touring season in decades, the concert business has crept back to almost full health, according to mid-year sales numbers released Thursday by industry magazine Pollstar.

Led by Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal,” as well as Roger Waters, Van Halen, Drake, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, sales for the Top 100 jumped 11.3 percent, total tickets increased 1.2 percent and average prices dropped from $67 to $61.

“More people are touring, and the shows are doing better than last year,” says Mark Campana, co-president of North American concerts for Live Nation, the world’s biggest promoter. “And in terms of the economy, I don’t want anybody to think we’re out of the woods, but we’re definitely seeing more people spend more money beyond the tickets when they’re out there.”

After artists and promoters jacked up 2010 prices for even B-level stars (such as a pre-Voice Christina Aguilera and the Lilith Fair tour), fans stayed away, forcing last-minute deals. Van Halen managed to gross $44.9 million in early 2012 even after abruptly canceling most of its late-summer shows, while the Cirque tour took in $78.5 million, Waters grossed $62 million and Drake and Springsteen scored $30 million apiece. Campana argues artists and promoters have collaborated since then to lower salaries and costs in order to keep prices reasonable: “The industry is working together more effectively.”

But not everybody is convinced the trend of decreasing face-value prices and higher sales reflects a healthy business. The problem, says Seth Hurwitz, co-owner of I.M.P., the Washington, D.C., promoter that runs the 930 Club and the Merriweather Post Pavilion, is still that scalpers jack up prices for the best seats beyond typical fans’ means. “It pisses people off. It makes it feel like an elitist experience,” he says. “And, yes, they will pay it … and then they don’t have money for other shows. Until the hijacking of the best seats stops, this business will continue to have problems.”

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Administrator:  As usual Michael has led the way,  bringing concert goers back, even in this economy.   People will always love his music.

Jackson Brothers Unveil Michael Jackson Slot Machine At The Borgata, NJ


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Photos By: Marc Bergman


Michael Jackson Glee Tribute Sells 500,000 Copies

Source: Music News

The music from Glee’s much-anticipated Michael Jackson tribute episode dominated the digital sales chart with all 10 tracks in the top 100 this week.

The Glee cast’s versions of the “King of Pop’s” greatest hits, including “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Black or White,” and “Bad”, set a new milestone for the third season with nearly half a million songs downloaded this week alone.

The cast’s electrifying version of “Smooth Criminal” featuring 2CELLOS is the third highest debut song of this season with 108,000 downloads, following the widely praised mash-up of Adele’s “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” (160,000 downloads first week) and their version of Fun.’s “We Are Young” (137,000 downloads first week). The ‘Michael’ episode became the most-watched episode of Glee’s third season with an astounding 9.1 million total viewers tuning in and was the #1 program on Tuesday night among Adults 18-49.

Glee triumphantly returned on January 17th with the cast’s version of “Without You” by David Guetta featuring Usher shooting to #1 on the digital chart. This is the third single to achieve this feat along with the mash-up of Adele’s “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” and their version of Fun.’s “We Are Young.” this season. On a high note, 28 tracks from season three have charted on the Billboard Hot 100, bringing the Glee cast total entries to 183 and blowing away records previously held by The Beatles and Elvis Presley. From the anthem hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” to the iconic rendition of “Vogue” to the pop phenomenon “Teenage Dream,” Glee has sold more than 40 million songs and over 12.3 million albums worldwide.

Glee scored three consecutive #1 releases with Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers, Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna and Glee: The Music, Journey To Regionals. The RIAA has certified Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Platinum (sales in excess of 1 million units) as well as Glee: The Music, Volume 2, Glee: The Music, Volume 3 and Glee: The Music, Volume 4 Gold (sales in excess of 500,000 units). Glee: The Music, Volume 4 received a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

Michael Jackson And Elvis: In Vegas, Two Kings Rise And Fall

Source: – By Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Michael vs. Elvis: The gloves are coming off in the fight for posthumous supremacy over Las Vegas.

On the surface, MGM’s Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas seems fit for a king. Designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli, the gleaming, glassy complex is one of the newest on the strip, boasting 4,000 guest rooms, 16 restaurants, 10 bars, a full-service salon, barbershop, fitness center and spa, as well as a specially-designed 1,800-seat theater devoted to Cirque du Soleil’s show, Viva Elvis.

The show was meant to be a major anchor for the Aria. But on a recent visit to Vegas, the grand halls hosted only a trickle of tourists, its floors populated by a patchwork of gamblers. Days later, MGM officially asked Cirque to shutter sparsely-attended Viva Elvis by the end of 2012.

“The Elvis show never seemed to resonate here,” says Jonathan Shecter, a Las Vegas music and talent programmer. “[And] because this property was a bust, Elvis … couldn’t sustain itself. There wasn’t enough business here to support it.”

Meanwhile, the fortunes of another king are on the rise in Sin City. The Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour parked itself at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the bulk of December. The show, a joint venture between Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate, was accompanied by the Michael Jackson Fan Fest—an exhibition featuring the some of the superstar’s most notable accoutrements, including his sequined white glove, his military-inspired jackets and a “Smooth Criminal”-inspired saloon.

From taxi-tops sporting Immortal’s logo to hotel keycards emblazoned with Jackson’s image, the show was both unavoidable and massively successful, bringing in an average of about $2 million per night in Vegas. During the second week of December, that sum was half a million dollars more than the next highest-earning live show, Taylor Swift’s tour, according to concert data provider Pollstar.

The fact that Immortal managed to either sell out or nearly fill the 8,500-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center every night—while Viva Elvis struggled to attract crowds a quarter that size—speaks volumes to the shifting fortunes of The King of Rock and Roll and The King of Pop. Michael Jackson’s estate has raked in over $400 million over the past two years; Elvis’s has taken in just over $100 million by FORBES’ count.

To be sure, there have been a few factors working against Elvis and his Cirque show. The Aria and its theater were built as centerpieces of a development called CityCenter, a 76-acre project created as a joint venture between MGM and Dubai World that opened during the worst days of the recession in 2009 and never emerged as the high-end destination it was supposed to be.

“It was one of the last high rise projects built,” says Las Vegas real estate broker Bruce Hiatt. “Prices were high when CityCenter began sales while the real estate bubble burst. That put CityCenter in a tough position to be successful with buyers running for the exits across the USA.”

Full Coverage: The Top-Earning Dead Celebrities

Location of Viva Elvis aside, one reason The King’s star seems to be fading in comparison to Jackson’s is, quite simply, that he’s been gone much longer. There just aren’t that many people left who can associate youthful moments and experiences with Elvis and his music.

The same can’t be said for Jackson’s songs, which remain very popular with those in their twenties, thirties and beyond. One need only look at the influential entertainers who attended “Immortal” (the night I was there, the list included Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Cee-Lo Green) for confirmation.

“The face of Vegas is now twenty-something and thirty-something people who want something hip and fun, something they can relate to,” says Shecter. “I think Michael connects more with that audience than Elvis does.”

Even as “Viva Elvis” prepares to take its final bow, plans are already in the works to renovate MGM’s Mandalay Bay Theatre, which currently houses the Lion King, to accommodate a modified version of Immortal in time for a 2013 opening.

If the show’s December run is any indication, it should be a bonanza for MGM, Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate—and another sign that Elvis’s star may have already been eclipsed by Michael Jackson’s, in Las Vegas and beyond.


Why Michael Jackson Is The Top Touring Act In America, Again

Source: Forbes – By Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Michael Jackson's Financial Life After Death

Sammy Davis, Jr. once said that “everything Michael Jackson does on stage is exactly right.” The King of Pop indeed left some big leather loafers to fill, but judging by the crowd’s reaction at MGM’s Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is doing an admirable job.

Among those in attendance for Saturday night’s performance: Cee Lo Green, as well as Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles. Seated within view of the reporters assembled to chronicle the show, the couple laughed and smiled as acrobats and dancers swirled across the stage–zombies popping out of coffins, contortionists emerging from giant books, even a performer dressed as a giant white glove–all while a live band blasted out the soundtrack beneath Jackson’s soaring vocals.

“We have all done our best to make this a celebration of his essence in his absence,” musical director Greg Phillinganes told me shortly after the show’s debut. “His passion for humanity … his commitment to excellence, his flair for the big show, we’ve tried to incorporate all those factors.”

Immortal is the highest-grossing live show in the country for the second week in a row, bringing in just shy of $2 million per night in Vegas. That’s over half a million dollars more than the next-highest earner, Taylor Swift, according to concert data provider Pollstar.

It’s all the more impressive given that the Jackson show has been parked at the 8,500-seat Mandalay Bay Theatre for much of December; Swift has been playing arenas more than twice that size, as Immortal will soon be doing when resumes its trek across the North America. An international leg is set to follow in late 2012.

A joint venture between the Michael Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil, Immortal opened in October and is already approaching $100 million in ticket sales. That should come as no surprise, given the extraordinary spectacle that audiences witness with each performance.

The show begins with a spotlight illuminating a mime clad in all white; his shell-toed sneakers and backwards hat make him look more b-boy than sad clown. As he cozies up to an image of Michael Jackson that fills a giant video screen at the back of the stage, the pictures melts away to reveal the band, and a troupe of dancers streams onto the stage.

The mime serves as a guide throughout the performance, starting with Jackson’s early years and the song “Have You Seen My Childhood.” There’s a miniature hot air balloon and a Jackson Five montage complete with dancers dressed as Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Michael–oversized afros included. As the show continues, a replica of the Neverland gates rolls out, followed by performers dressed as Bubbles the Chimp and some of the other animals that once resided in Jackson’s private zoo.

Next comes the “Smooth Criminal” segment. The screens behind the stage turn black-and-white, revealing a video of Jackson outsmarting a series of detectives as they try to track him down. All the while, tommy gun-toting dancers decked out in fedoras and pinstriped suits mimic and elaborate upon Jackson’s moves, culminating in a flurry of pyrotechnics and mock gunfire that leaves only one dancer standing.

Perhaps the most impressive is the scene that comes next. The surviving gangster rips off her white suit to reveal nothing more than a shimmering bikini–and proceeds to ascend a slim tube that extends 30 feet or so into the air. Upon reaching the top she launches into an aerial pole-dance, contorting herself into positions that would seem impossible even on solid ground. At some point, she manages to hold herself perpendicular to the structure, supported by nothing besides her own strength.

Pushing the boundaries of the human body are trademarks of Cirque du Soleil, and that’s one of the many examples in which Immortal lives up to its lofty expectations (There’s also a scene where one acrobat lifts a partner into the air using only a strap hanging from his mouth; in another, a green dancer folds herself into a pretzel-shape and walks on her hands).

There’s a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor, too: at one point, Michael Jackson’s trademark black loafers appear as Mini Cooper-sized characters, each manned by a single dancer.

Though Immortal pays homage to Jackson’s biggest hits–”Thriller,” “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror,” to name a few–it also showcases some of Jackson’s later work, including the environmental anthem “Earth Song” and the oddly prescient “They Don’t Care About Us.” The latter of features scores of stomping robots with dollar signs emblazoned on their metallic chests, an idea dreamed up years before the birth of Occupy Wall Street.

Immortal features quite a few mashups of Jackson’s music, so it’s only fitting that the show ends with a parade of dancers hoisting flags that bear the combined symbols of various nations.

The production’s narrative arc does jump around a bit, as one might expect given the diverse nature of Jackson’s oeuvre. But Immortal’s architects managed to connect everything in a generally coherent manner–quite an achievement, given the staggering array of individual songs and mashups that made the final cut.

At any rate, the show has clearly passed the necessary tests in Vegas. Plans are already in the works to renovate the Mandalay Bay Theatre, which currently houses the Lion King, to accommodate a modified version of Immortal in time for a 2013 opening. If this month’s run is any indication, it should be a bonanza for MGM, Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate.

Though Jay-Z and Beyonce ducked out as the performers were taking their final bows on Saturday night, it’s clear that another superstar–Michael Jackson–will be staying in Las Vegas for quite some time.



Michael Jackson’s Art and Studio, Revealed for the First Time

By Sophie Duvernoy Wed., Aug. 17 2011 at 11:00 AM


All pictures by Shannon Cottrell

The interior of Michael Jackson’s art studio, which he shared with friend and artist Brett-Livingstone Strong

See more photos in “Michael Jackson Art: An Exclusive Look at the Musician’s Drawings and Paintings.”

Until now, Michael Jackson‘s art collection was shrouded in mystery. It was said to be stuck in a legal dispute over possession. Then, people speculated that buyers such as Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté were interested. It’s been valued at the staggering (and slightly unbelievable) sum of $900 million.

One crucial fact: Jackson’s art collection isn’t art by other people — it’s mainly drawings and paintings that he created himself. So what does that art look like?

Yesterday, LA Weekly was the first to visit the (until now) top-secret Santa Monica Airport hangar that Jackson used as his studio and art storehouse. The collection is currently owned by Brett-Livingstone Strong, the Australian monument builder and Jackson’s art mentor through the years, in conjunction with the Jackson estate.

Though the entire art collection has been mired in disputes and battles for rights, Strong claims that he is working with everybody — the family, the estate, as well as others — to exhibit and publish as much of Jackson’s work as possible.

According to Strong, he and Jackson formed an incorporated business partnership in 1989, known as the Jackson-Strong alliance. This gave each partner a fifty-percent stake in the other’s art. In 2008, Strong says, Jackson requested that his attorney sign the rights to Jackson’s portion of the art over to Strong. Now, Strong is beginning to reveal more and more of the art as he goes ahead with Jackson’s dream of organizing a museum exhibit.

Some of Jackson’s original drawings hanging on the wall. Prints of these were donated to the L.A. Children’s Hospital.

Strong gave us a tour of the hangar, beginning with the Michael Jackson monument that Strong and Jackson co-designed several years ago. It’s perhaps bombastic, but designed with good intentions and the rabid Jackson fan in mind. Strong explains, “He wanted his fans to be able to get married at a monument that would have all of his music [in an archive, and playing on speakers], to inspire some of his fans.”

The current design is still in the works, but it’s conceived as an interactive monument — fans who buy a print by Jackson will receive a card in the mail. They can scan this card at the monument, and then have a computer organize a personal greeting for them, or allow them to book it for weddings. Jackson initially thought it would be perfect for Las Vegas, but Strong says that Los Angeles might have the honor of hosting it — apparently, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently paid a visit and made a few oblique promises.

The Michael Jackson monument mock-up, featuring miniature pilgrims and a bridal couple
As for Jackson’s art, the contents of the hangar barely scratched the surface of the collection, as Strong estimates Jackson’s total output at 150 to 160 pieces. A few large pieces hanging on the walls had been donated as reproductions to the L.A. Children’s Hospital last Monday, along with other sketches and poems.

Portrait of Bubbles, Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee
In all of his art, certain motifs kept cropping up: chairs (usually quite baroque), gates, keys and the number 7. His portrait of Bubbles, his pet chimpanzee, shows a monkey-like face vanishing into a cushy, ornate lounge chair. “He loved chairs,” says Strong. “He thought chairs were the thrones of most men, women and children, where they made their decisions for their daily activity. He was inspired by chairs. Rather than just do a portrait of the monkey, he put it in the chair. And you see, there are a few sevens — because he’s the seventh child.”Jackson, who was a technically talented artist — and completely self-taught — fixated on these motifs, elevating everyday objects into cult symbols. Strong added that Jackson’s sketchbooks are completely filled with studies of his favorite objects, in endless permutations.

MJ’s portrait of George Washington — he initially planned to do a series of all of the presidents, but never continued it.
But Jackson also created portraits: a small sketch of Paul McCartney, and a large drawing of George Washington, created as Strong was working with the White House to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution back in 1987. He also sketched self-portraits — one as a humorous four-panel drawing charting his growing-up process, and a darker one that depicts him as a child cowering in a corner, inscribed with a sentence reflecting on his fragility.

Strong, holding up a four-panel sketch that Jackson drew of himself.
As an artist, Jackson preferred using wax pencils, though Strong adds, “He did do a lot of watercolors but he gave them away. He was a little intimidated by mixing colors.” Some surviving pencils are archived in the hangar; Strong moves over to a cabinet on the far wall of the hangar and pulls out a ziploc bag containing a blue wax pencil, a white feathered quill and a white glove that Jackson used for drawing.Jackson turned to art as times got hard for him. “His interest in art, in drawing it, was just another level of his creativity that went on over a long period of time,” Strong says. “It was quite private to him. I think he retreated into it when he was being attacked by those accusations against him.” The sketches and drawings certainly reveal an extremely sensitive creator, though it’s clear that Jackson also had a sense of humor.Jackson’s art was kept under wraps for such a long time simply because of the pedophilia scandal, which erupted right around the time that he was looking for a way to publicize the works. “A lot of his art was going to be exhibited 18 years ago. Here’s one of his tour books, where he talks about exhibiting art. He didn’t want it to be a secret,” Strong says, pointing at a leaflet from the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Strong and Jackson wearing matching leather and velvet jackets, celebrating their artistic alliance.

Prior to that period, Jackson and Strong had met and become fast friends. This marked the beginning of Strong’s mentorship, in which he encouraged Jackson to create bigger paintings and drawings, and exhibit his work. The idea behind their Jackson-Strong Alliance was that Strong would help Jackson manage and exhibit his art. Notably, the alliance birthed Strong’s infamous $2 million portrait of Michael Jackson entitled The Book, the only known portrait Jackson ever sat for.

In 1993, everything blew up. At the time, Jackson and Strong were both on the board of Big Brothers of Los Angeles (now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters), a chapter of the national youth mentoring organization established in L.A. by Walt Disney and Meredith Willson. They had planned out a fundraising campaign involving Jackson’s art. Strong explains, “We thought that if we would market [his art] in limited edition prints to his fans, he could support the charities that he wanted to, rather than have everybody think that he was so wealthy he could afford to finance everybody.” When the pedophilia scandal erupted, Disney put a freeze on the project. The artwork stayed put, packed away from public eyes in storage crates.

Jackson’s sketch of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, which he hoped to donate to the Santa Monica airport.

As for the spectacular appraisal of $900 million for Jackson’s art collection, Strong says that it derives from the idea of reproducing prints as well. The figure was originally quoted by Eric Finzi, of Belgo Fine Art Appraisers. “The reason somebody came out with that was because there was an appraisal on if all of his originals were reproduced — he wanted to do limited editions of 777 — and he would sell them to his fan base in order to build his monument, support kids and do other things. You multiply that by 150 originals, and if they sold for a few thousand dollars each, then you would end up with 900 million dollars.” Fair enough, though now Strong says he has gone to an appraiser in Chicago to get that value double-checked, and they arrived at an even higher estimate.

The story of Jackson’s art ends up being quite a simple one, though confused by so much hearsay and rumor. Strong and the Jackson estate will slowly reveal more works as time passes, and an exhibit is tentatively planned for L.A.’s City Hall. Negotiations with museums for a posthumous Jackson retrospective are still underway, but Strong has high hopes. He’s even talking of building a Michael Jackson museum that would house all of Jackson’s artwork.

Jackson’s sketch of the White House doors, to which he added the following quote from John Adams: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men [MJ's addition:] or women rule under this roof.”

We’ll leave you with Strong’s own description of Jackson at work, during the time where they shared a studio in a house in Pacific Palisades:

He was in a very light and happy mood most of the time. He would have the oldies on, and sometimes he’d hear some of his Jackson Five songs. He’d kind of move along to that, but most of the time he would change it and listen to a variety of songs. He liked classical music. His inspiration to create was that he loved life, and wanted to express his love of life in some of these simple compositions.I came to the studio one day, and we had a Malamute. I came into the house, and I heard this dog barking and thought, Wow, I wonder what that is. I go into the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I see Michael up in the pots and pans in the middle of the center island. He’s holding a pen and paper and the dog is running around the island and barking at him, and he says, “He wants to play! He wants to play!” He’s laughing, and I’m laughing about it as I’m thinking to myself, “I’m wondering how long he’s been up there.”

Michael Jackson’s dedication to art: so strong that he’ll end up perched on a kitchen island

Interview With Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions Discusses Michael Jackson

, Jackson Family Examiner

Picture not included in the original article

Michael Jackson is the legendary King of Pop, and remains such in a world filled with artists. Despite his untimely and devastating passing on June 25, 2009, his spirit is very much alive. The fans continue to celebrate and honor the star that has left such an indelible mark on the world. June 25 of this year marked the two-year anniversary of the star’s passing, and an auction took place which was highly-anticipated by many. Michael Jackson’s iconic jacket worn in his timeless “Thriller” video was sold at Julien’s Auctions for a record $1.8 million dollars.

In an exclusive new interview with Darren Julien, (the President and CEO of Julien’s Auctions), the spirit of the auction event is discussed, and Julien reveals what it was like to know Michael Jackson, and why the star is an important part of the history of the auction house.

Katrina-Kasey Wheeler: It is obvious that Michael Jackson is one of the most-loved entertainers in the world. What amount did you expect the “Thriller” jacket to be sold for? Previous reports indicated around $400,000. Are you at all surprised by the amount that the jacket sold for?

Darren Julien: We had no idea what it would sell for, but we anticipated it would be around $600,000-$800,000, since we sold one of his iconic gloves for $420,000. We figured the jacket was much more significant and should bring a higher price. As the auction drew closer, we started to have interest around the million dollar mark but we had no idea it would ever bring the staggering $1.8 million that it did. So yes, we were very pleasantly surprised that is achieved this price.

KKW: What other items in the Michael Jackson auction sold for high amounts? Are there any other items that sold for anywhere near the neighborhood of the “Thriller” jacket?

DJ: Julien’s Auctions holds all the world records for selling Michael Jackson items at the highest prices. The highest price paid for one of his items previously was his white glove from the Motown 25 Special. We sold it for $420,000. The next highest item was his “Bad” jacket that we sold for $271,000.

KKW: Apart from the “Thriller” jacket, are there any other items that generated a high amount of interest in the auction on June 26, 2011?

DJ: Yes there were many items that generated interest like the cape Ringo Star wore in “Help” and Frank Sinatra’s Jaguar.

KKW: Was there a high number of bidders for the “Thriller” jacket, or was the auction for the jacket mainly between two or three people?

DJ: We had over 12 people register to bid on the “Thriller” jacket, but only four people were bidding over the $500,000 point. Once it reached over $1 million, the bidding was down to two people, and both were in the room.

KKW: Are you pleased that the jacket was purchased by Milton Verret and that it will be displayed at Dell’s Children’s Hospital?

DJ: Yes, I am very pleased. I have known Milton for years and he has a heart of gold. He is very genuine and sincere that this jacket be used for benefiting and raising money for children’s charities. I am especially happy because this is what Michael would have wanted as well.

KKW: Did you ever have the opportunity to meet Mr. Michael Jackson, and if so, can you share the experience with our readers?

DJ: Yes, I met Michael on several occasions, but mostly talked with him on the phone. I first met Michael at an event with Quincy Jones. All my dealings with Michael were always very positive, and he had a sweet and gentle spirit about him. We are very grateful for all that he did for us, and will always be an important part of Julien’s history.

KKW: June 25, 2011 marked the two-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing. Fans celebrated his life in various ways. The entertainer has greatly influenced artists of every genre, and fans that aspire to greatness — even those outside of the music industry. How has Michael Jackson affected your life?

DJ: I grew up listening to his music, and like many others was drawn to the sincerity in his music and his voice. There has always been something special that set Michael apart from all other musicians. When Martin and I were contacted about clearing Neverland — and that Michael trusted us to handle this project — we were deeply honored. It was a surreal experience. We are not easily star-stuck as we deal with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, but Michael giving us the opportunity to work with him was a life-changing experience. We will always be deeply grateful and indebted to him for what he has done for us. Now, when I listen to his music, I feel an even deeper connection than before because of our personal experiences with him.

KKW: Was there any particular feeling/air at the auction on June 26? Were bidders excited about the items that were up for auction?

DJ: Yes, there was such high energy and excitement in the room. It was like the moment everyone had been waiting for, and we all knew something special was going to happen. I knew that there would be press, but I had no idea of the amount of camera crews that would show up for this event. The cameras, fans, and spectators all together made it one of the most historic auctions in history.

KKW: Is there anything that you would like to add, or make known to our readers, the fans of Michael Jackson in regard to the auction?

DJ: Just that we are very grateful to the fans for keeping Michael’s spirit and music alive. They are a very passionate and loving group, and they help us make our events 10 times more exciting because of their presence and support.

KKW: Will there be a future Michael Jackson auction and if so, when do you anticipate that it will take place?

DJ: Yes, we will have other auctions that will include items from Michael Jackson. We are planning some major projects in the future. Whatever we do in the future, we will always make sure that Michael’s legacy is preserved and that we never do anything against the wishes of the estate, Katherine or the children as they are the ultimate protectors of Michael Jackson.

For more information on Julien’s Auctions, please visit the official website:

Julien’s Auctions can be followed via Twitter at

Dancing Kid Is A “Thriller” At The Ball Park

CBS New July 8, 2011

Michael would definitely love this!! :)  This kid is awesome!!

(CBS) – The passing of Michael Jackson has left a void in the dance world, begging to be filled by someone capable of  carrying his torch.

Enter this kid with All-Star moves discovered dancing to Thriller at a Seattle Mariners game in between innings. His mastery of the signature MJ moves makes this video such a fitting tribute to the King of Pop. Hee-Hee!

Okay, so he’s not quite at the level of the master yet, but he’s still young and that doesn’t take anything away from the execution and enjoyment from watching the boy go.  This kid can flat out dance, Shamone!

Michael in the News – Throwback Newspaper Clippings

Administrator’s Note: If you were too young to remember or if you were not born during the earlier years of Michael this is for you.  If you have forgotten what it was like,  then this is for you too!  There are a lot of things that have been said about him, mostly untrue.  I will not post any degrading articles here, but I thought it would be nice to see what it was like to live during this period in Michael’s life.  You will see the famous oxygen chamber article but none of the worst ones.  I will add more articles later on.  Much love, Val ♥ 


Vincent Minnelli Funeral

Martin Scorsese – Talks about BAD and future projects with Michael

See how they lie…………..and lie and lie and lie!!!

The Pepsi Deal………….Bad Era


BAD Album Announcement


More to come……………………….stay posted!

Completion Date Announced for MJ Tribute Portrait – Are You A Dot? If Not, Sign Up Today!

(24-5-2011) The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait announced today that a date has been chosen for the completion of the project. This amazing and unique portrait will be finished in time for Michael’s birthday on August 29, 2011.

The date will be exactly two years to the day from when the tribute was first opened to the public for fans around the world to become part of this historical museum-quality piece of art. The first four dots of the portrait were drawn for Michael and his three children on August 28, 2009.

It’s still not to late! If you have not gotten your dot yet, there is still time. The Portrait will take at least one million dots to complete but, in an effort to get the project completed in time for Michael’s birthday, MJTP Artist David Ilan will be drawing dots ahead of some people signing up.

Fans will still be able to join for a long time to come. Once the Portrait is complete, whenever someone joins they will be assigned one of those pre-drawn dots.

Everyone who signs up for their free dot before August 29th will have their dot placed in Michael’s image. But after August 29th the dots will be drawn somewhere within the Portrait itself, not necessarily in the areas making up Michael’s image.

For more information, please visit the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait website here.

Administrator’s Note:  This is great news!!  I am very proud to say that I am a dot on Michael’s top lip!! Hee, Hee! Please help support this work of L.O.V.E. ♥ ♥