Michael Jackson, Psy, Mr. Bean And Other Wax Celebrities Wear Facemasks To Support Environmental Message

Sources: Shanghaiist – Dina Li| All Things Michael

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A wax museum in Taiyuan, Shanxi province held an environmental performance art show yesterday wherein all the visitors as well as more than 10 wax statues of celebrities, including PSY, Kim Jong-un, Barack Obama, Mr. Bean and Michael Jackson, were “required” to wear anti-dust masks, NetEase News reports.

The organizer aimed to remind people to protect the environment, travel with low carbon and fight against the smoggy weather.

The Air Quality Index read 127, considered unhealthy, in some Shanxi cities today. The National Meteorological Center yesterday warned that a blanket of smog was headed towards Beijing and Tianjin as well as some parts of Hebei and Henan. Monitoring data also observed that more northeastern and northwestern regions in China, as well as areas south of the Yangtze River, were experiencing worse haze than usual.

 

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Meet Inspirational Miss World Talent Winner And MJ Fan Miss Malaysia!

Sources: International Business Times | Edited By – All Things Michael

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The Miss World Talent winner is Miss Malaysia Dewi Liana Seriestha.  She competed against Miss Scotland, Ellie Mckeating, who is also a trained singer, for the title. Here are the details about the winner and runner -up of Miss World 2014’s Talent competition:

Miss Malaysia, Liana, 25, is a student at the ASWARA School of Performing Arts. She is a passionate classical opera singer and has been taking lessons to become an accomplished opera singer. Her ambition is to become an icon so that she can be an inspiration to the younger generation.  Along with her passion for music, Liana also loves to indulge in outdoor activities such as  rekking and cycling. The music genres, which appeal to her, include RnB, soul, jazz and classical. She is a huge fan of Michael Jackson. Liana loves to eat Malaysian and Chinese food.

I always wanted to be like Michael Jackson. Ha ha! He could sing and act – to me, he was a model par excellence and an icon. He’s was a good dancer too. Well I’m working on it – to be like him, to be a good role model. I would also like to thank Dato Anna Lim (Miss Malaysia World organiser) for having faith in me and my talent. She taught me a lot during the pageant week. She is truly an icon – great personality and kind-hearted. I will make her proud – that’s my promise. Source

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“Bad drivers! I want people to be more aware of how to drive, to think about road safety, and to reduce harm due to dangerous driving. People need to be more polite drivers too,” she said when asked what she dislikes most about the World, as quoted by Miss World.

 

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Brown, Garner And Other Tragedies Under The Michael Jackson Microscope…True Story

Sources: Parents United For Public Education  | Elke Hassell | All Things Michael

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Today my ten year old son brought home a writing assignment. His instructions were to print out the lyrics of his favorite song and write about what it means to him. Sounds simple enough? My son happens to be a fan of Michael Jackson thanks to Mom and Dad’s old CDs and “The Experience” dance game for the Wii. So he tells me that he wants me to print “They Don’t Care About Us.” Knowing the lyrics myself, I felt this was a very deep song for a 4th grade assignment and was curious to know why my son selected this song for his assignment. So I asked, “Do you know what the words in this song mean?” He looks at me as if I was from Mars and says, I know some of the words but it is my favorite song to dance to on the Wii. So my husband and I go into a short lecture on how important it is to understand the words that you put your body in motion to. We pull up the lyrics to the song and my husband reads them aloud and then plays the song for my son to hear again, this time with extra attention to the lyrics. I knew in my mind where this assignment was headed as the lyrics danced around in my head.

“What recent event does this remind you of,” my husband asked. My son responds, “Michael Brown and I can’t breathe (he had watch part of ‘Black & Blue’ on CNN which highlighted the tragic death of Eric Garner).” My heart begins to sink, as I listen to him respond to my husband’s questioning. The chorus replays in my head, “All I wanna say is that They don’t really care about us.” Tears begin to roll down as I watch the look of terror on my son’s face as my husband explains who the “they” can be , how the “they” may view him as a young black boy, and how the “they” may mistreat him or try to punish him.

My tears flow even faster when my three year old gives me a raisin and says “this will make it better, Mommy.” My boys are so innocent. So intelligent. Why do I have to have this conversation with my boys? How is this going to impact their self esteem? Knowing that they are growing up in a society that devalues and marginalizes them. Why do I have to participate in planting seeds of inferiority? It’s not fair? I cry harder, as I think of all the families impacted by police brutality, racial profiling, unjustified killings that are so deep rooted in that fabric of our country. Damn the justice system for how it is failing our kids? Painting them to be criminals and thugs? Stripping the educational system down to nothing in attempts to destroy all hopes of the true equalizer. My tears turned to anger as the lyrics play on in my head, “You’re rapin’ me off my pride…Oh, for God’s sake.”

My son will never look at “Michael Jackson: The Experience” the same again. He will be reminded every time he hears the song about our conversation in the kitchen. He will be reminded of his fear of the “they.” He will be reminded of the images that he continues to see play on the television screen. He will come to understand that the lyrics were written to be heard not just danced to.

“Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of bein’ the victim of shame
They’re throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can’t believe this is the land from which I came
You know I really do hate to say it
The government don’t wanna see
But if Roosevelt was livin’
He wouldn’t let this be, no, no

Some things in life they just don’t wanna see
But if Martin Luther was livin’
He wouldn’t let this be, no, no”

I realize that so many families around the nation are forced to have this type of conversation with their brown and black boys. Parents are forced to feel a sense of unrest whenever their children leave the house. But this is not right and we should not be comfortable with that.

To rebuild my son’s self esteem and my sanity we changed the tune to “Man in the Mirror.”

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

And my son decided to do his second favorite Michael Jackson song for homework…”Bad.”

Well They Say The Sky’s
The Limit
And To Me That’s Really True
But My Friend You Have
Seen Nothing
Just Wait ‘Til I Get Through . . .

Because I’m Bad, I’m Bad-
Come On

 

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The Messenger King: Michael Jackson And The Politics Of #BlackLivesMatter

Sources: Baltimore Sun – By D.B Anderson | Elke Hassell – Thank you | All Things Michael

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Where are all the celebrities?”

That’s a question many supporters of #BlackLivesMatter protests are asking. At this moment of great unrest, some are feeling a lack of leadership from those who have worldwide media platforms.

Many black actors and musicians have made public statements to express their sorrow and frustration over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions. John Legend hired food trucks to feed protesters in New York. Hip-hop celebrity J. Cole joined the marchers. Philadelphia rapper Chill Moody wrote a song, “We’re Worth More.”

But there’s a feeling that the super-famous haven’t really stepped up to the plate. Pharrell’s statement was less than satisfactory to some. Where is Oprah? Where is Tyler Perry? Where is Beyonce? These are the questions I’ve seen on my Twitter timeline these last few weeks.

I think something other than apathy is really at work here: fear and trepidation. Artists fear that taking a political stand may jeopardize their reputations and careers. Any political statement is going to have a backlash — and a price will be paid. Careers are dependent on the goodwill of corporations, from the record companies to the sponsors to the radio stations.

Questlove put it like this on his Instagram: “I urge and challenge musicians and artists alike to push themselves to be a voice of the times that we live in. I know that many see what happened to Dixie Chicks’ #NatalieMaines @mainesmusic (she bravely expressed her opinion/dismay on the Bush administration declaring war & was unjustly targeted….while in hindsight being CORRECT) suddenly there was an onslaught of radio silence from artists across the board…”

The Dixie Chicks lost their corporate sponsor following that 2003 incident and saw their songs pulled off the air and sales of their music nosedive. Imagine then, what fate could befall artists who made political statements a centerpiece of their work?

Michael Jackson was never afraid to put himself out there for the truth as he saw it. We could always count on Jackson to be the global leader of the band, to give voice to everything we were feeling. His adult catalog is a trove of social activism. Starvation. AIDS. War. Gang violence. Race relations. The environment. It was Jackson who put on concerts for war-torn Sarajevo. It was Jackson who put together a group charity song and concert after 9/11. It was Jackson who used every ounce of his global celebrity to make a difference. He was there.

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D.B. Anderson is writer and content strategist based in the Washington DC metro area. His email is dbanderson.writes@gmail.com.

Gif source: elembajadordelamagia.blogspot.com

Designer Olivier Rousteing Fuses The Musical Themes Of Michael, Janet And Balmain Fashion Together

Sources: Dazed – By Susanne Madison | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Fashion is no stranger to harnessing a bit of celebrity fairy dust, but Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain kingdom is a star-charged superpower, fuelled by a giddy love of pop culture. “I’m just following my heart and my soul,” he says of Kendall walking in his shows and RiRi in the frow. “I was born like that. I mean, when I was growing up, Michael Jackson was the king of the world. Today, pop holds power over the world. It’s not that I want power, but I want to communicate my vision to people. And nothing better than pop to communicate with, you know?”

At just 25, Rousteing took the reins at Balmain and shook up the storied house with undeniable force. Each season seems more fearless than the last, from AW14’s leather rendered as armour topped off with elegant Masai influences to SS15’s fetish-heavy bondage and flesh-revealing vertical panels. “When I got the job, I tried to please everybody,” he says. “This last show was me trying to please myself.” Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream” on the soundtrack, mixed with Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” signalled this newly personal approach.

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“Stop pressuring me, you know? It’s a celebration of my love of my culture, my age, my race, the people I love,” he continues. “I met Kanye when I was Christophe Decarnin’s right hand, before he left Balmain. Kanye made the most beautiful speech at his wedding about me and he touched me a lot.” Anyone who hates on Rousteing’s friendship with Kim Kardashian can take a big step to the left: “Haters gonna hate,” he says. “You can’t build a career without having haters. Because when everybody likes you there’s something wrong in a way.”

Fashion’s tokenistic casting also pisses him off. “What the f***, you put just one black girl in to make sure you’ve ticked a box? Like, do you go to London, to Paris, to New York? I think you see as many black and Asian people there as white people. Fashion wants to be modern and reflect the street and talk to people but at the end of the day they just talk to themselves. They don’t realise that the world is changing.”

Rousteing whole-heartedly embraces social media, documenting his glamorous life (#aboutlastnight) and snapping selfies with Balmain-loving BFFs Rihanna and Kim Kardashian. “They know how to express themselves, they’re strong and they make a point of being a woman. I want to fight for women who push boundaries,” he says of his muses. His rich, vibrant universe is an uplifting place where take-no-prisoners women thrive in hyper-worked, youthful demi-couture pieces, fronted by Rousteing himself, who brings a refreshingly light-hearted touch to the brand: “Fun is the most important thing in the world and also in life.”

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There’s an almost music video-like quality to Rousteing’s world. “You know what, everybody is telling me that I should do a music video. And I think, ‘Why not?’ When you’re a designer, you just love to express yourself.” He cites Janet Jackson’s video for “Together Again” as a major inspiration. “I’ve never met Janet Jackson. That’s one of my dreams. I love her so much.” The notion of the powerful woman pops up again and again with Rousteing. “I love women more than men. Women know how to communicate. My mum has always been an example in my life. When you’re a kid and you’re a boy, I think you’re always closer to your mum. Maybe it’s not okay to say, but it’s true.”

There is no ivory tower with Rousteing. He wants to talk to young people as well as his front row. “I think they feel they can relate to me,” he says. “My Instagram is full of young people who go, ‘I want to have your career.’ I want to spread this message of believing in yourself. I feel like I could be a guide in a way, with no pretension. I come from nowhere. I have the best family ever, but I’m black, I’m adopted and I’m in the fashion world. I don’t want to sound pathetic, but I didn’t have an easy start. I just believed in myself and worked hard. Dreams are what change the world. That’s a Michael Jackson song, too.”

Vote Olivier to a new ranking on the Readers 100 by visiting his profile here.

Model Issa Lish at Premium Models; photographic assistant Skylar Williams; casting Noah Shelley; special thanks KCD Paris

 

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Thriller Listed On Rolling Stone’s 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums Of All Time

Sources: Rolling Stone | All Things Michael

MICHAEL JACKSON

THRILLER (1982)

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It’s hard to imagine the present-day musical landscape without Thriller, which changed the game both sonically and marketwise. The album’s nervy, outsized blend of pop, rock and soul would send seismic waves throughout radio, inviting both marquee crossovers (like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo on “Beat It”) and sneakier attempts at genre-meshing. The album’s splashy, cinematic videos — from the John Landis-directed short film that promoted “Thriller” to the West Side Story homage accompanying “Beat It” — legitimized the still-nascent form and forced MTV to incorporate black artists into its playlists. Its promotional strategy, which led to seven of its nine tracks being released as singles, raised the bar for what, exactly, constituted a “hit-laden” LP. Beyond breaking ground, it broke records, showing just how far pop could reach: the biggest selling album of all time, the first album to win eight Grammy’s in a single night and the first album to stay in the Top 10 charts for a year.

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CEO Nina Lekhi Named Her Highly Successful Baggit Company After Michael Jackson’s Beat It

Source: First Biz – By Sulekha Nair| Edited By – All Things Michael

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Baggit is one of India’s most well-known women’s handbag brands; its products are available in more than 60 cities and it has just started selling in the UK.

It was started purely as a means to earn pocket money. The then 18-year-old college student turned part-time entrepreneur, Nina Lekhi put her experience of working with designers and a store to do something different in the category of handbags. She wanted it to be trendy and cost-effective and named it ‘Baggit’ — after the popular Michael Jackson number, Beat It.

“My friend and I were in a changing room after we’d gone for a swim. At that time Michael Jackson’s song Beat It was very popular.

“So we were singing it aloud and then because we were also talking about the bags, we started singing, ‘Bag it, bag it’ and that’s where the name came from.”

Seeing the young Lekhi shopping for the raw materials and then getting tailors to sew her designs, her father quipped, “Are you going to make grocery bags?” Even Lekhi could not envisage that her venture would one day be an over Rs 100 crore business.

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What made you venture into the bags business?

From a very young age I was passionate about painting which inspired me to take up a diploma foundation art course at Sophia Polytechnic. But after my failure at the art course, I decided to do two part time courses. I also took up a job in a retail store where I gained customer insights on the shop floor. After that I picked up the tools of the trade and started the Baggit journey in 1985. In the initial years it was just a source of getting pocket money and helping out at home with small expenses. By 1989, Baggit became a serious business with an annual income of Rs 30 lakh. Being a right brain person I was very much inclined towards graphics. So when I decided to make bags I was  sure that I want to make fun stuff for college kids.

Who gave you the capital to start the business?

My mother gave me Rs 7,000 to start the business. I invested that money to buy canvas and make payment to tailors for stitching the bags. The money which I got by selling bags at exhibitions and to multi-brand stores were reinvested in making new bags and the cash started flowing as these were direct sales. I did not have to repay the initial investment as it was given by my mother.

What were the challenges that you faced before launching Baggit?

I had failed at the Art course at Sophia’s. Yet I was determined to be taken seriously when it came to designing bags. I needed to prove to myself that my designs could sell. I worked like a dog and a ‘will-not-quit attitude’ along with energy, exuberance saw me through those difficult years. When I look back now, I wonder how I did it.

What encouraged you to carry on and start the business full scale?

I guess getting hard cash, people liking my bags, seeing girls carrying it and having an outlet for my creativity encouraged me. The most kickass feeling I got was to to see my bag used as an accessory. This holds true even today.

You were in your 20s when you launched Baggit. Was age a barrier while dealing with known names, meeting up with retailers, etc?

No, not at all. My bags made everything easy for me. I remember at the initial stage big brands wanted to stock it up. It has always remained that way. I think if your work is good, people will find you. Age was never a barrier for me. In-fact, in my initial days I had a desire to achieve something big in life.

When did you set up your first store?

In 1989, Baggit made its first appearance at INXS, a bag store in Mumbai. After its successful start, it spread across trade channels in Mumbai and Delhi. And in 2000, Baggit made its entry in large format retail stores. And then there was no looking back. Currently, we are present in 101 cities across India, with 36 exclusive Baggit outlets along with 300 multi-brand retail stores. Recently, Baggit made its foray into the UK and Kenya market.

What is your strategy to meet with competition?

The lifestyle industry has always been a very competitive market and especially with the entry of more and more international brands, it has become even more so. What makes us different from our competitors is that we are a completely eco-friendly brand which is well appreciated by today’s fashion and environment-conscious consumers.

What advice would you give an entrepreneur?

I have only one advise to give them: Do what you love to do. If you love doing something, then the passion will automatically come within you. You won’t feel like you are ‘working’.

What are the pitfalls, according to you, an entrepreneur should avoid?

As we age, the mind becomes more and more fixed about ideas, processes and systems. Do not get too complacent; always be with young people so that you are in that learning curve, and be ready to experiment. Don’t play safe, start taking risks. It will help you explore new dimensions. Once in a while it’s advisable to do crazy things — go cycling to Goa, for instance. It will also help you grow stronger spiritually. I would say, travel more and explore more.

 

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Famous African Music Artists Recreate “We Are The World” To Fight Ebola

Sources: Ghana MMA | Edited By – All Things Michael

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A group of some of the best African musical acts have come together to combat a disease that is currently rampaging the African continent, bit by bit.

Probably one of the biggest collaborations that Africa has ever seen with stars like Banky W, Mafikizolo, Dr. Sid, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Praiz, Di’Ja, Reekado Banks, Iceberg Slim, D’Prince, Diamond, Iyanya, Mosa, Sean Tizzle and many more.

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The stars will be releasing a new version of Quincy Jones’ ‘We Are the World’ (originally written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) for Ebola, just like Wyclef Jean did a few years ago with 25 stars for Haiti.

A video will also be released for the song.

 

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