Lee Thomas Foundation To Host Fundraiser For Vitiligo Support Programs

Sources: Fox 2 | All Things Michael


– FOX 2’s Lee Thomas and more than a dozen of his television colleagues will take the stage to showcase their singing, dancing, comedic and other hidden talents as part of the inaugural “Tribute to Detroit” fundraising event to benefit ClairtyLTF, Lee Thomas Foundation, on November 28, 2015. The fun-filled evening kicks off at 7 p.m. at The City Theatre inside Hocketytown Café, and proceeds will support the nonprofit’s programs, including its VStrong vitiligo support group.

Guests will enjoy a fun-filled night of music, laughter and surprises as many of Detroit’s favorite television personalities shed their more serious news personas to entertain the audience. FOX 2 anchors and reporters scheduled to perform include Amy Andrews, Deena Centofanti, Jason Carr, Monica Gayle, Charlie Langton, Charlie LeDuff, Sherry Margolis, Jay Towers, and others. Thomas and his famous friends will perform comedy skits, including a parody of the station’s “Let It Rip” program called “Let It Rap.”

Other special guest include former FOX 2 reporter Alexis Wiley (Mayor Mike Duggan’s press secretary), Samuel Pickens, the young Detroiter who portrayed Michael Jackson on Broadway in “Motown: The Musical,” and Tyuawn Brown, Motown Museum’s official Michael Jackson impersonator.


ClarityLTF is a 501c3 organization started by broadcaster Thomas, who has suffered from the skin disorder vitiligo for over 20 years. Vitiligo is a condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches. There is often no clear cause for vitiligo.

“There are people who don’t leave their homes because they have this disease,” said Thomas. “My story has resonated with Detroiters so I have continued to try and help others in any way I can. This benefit and the foundation are for those in our community living with vitiligo. The emotional support we provide is much needed, and I truly believe one day soon there will be a cure.”

The Vstrong vitiligo support group is the primary program of ClarityLTF. In 2007, Thomas and Henry W. Lim, M.D., department chair of Henry Ford Health System’s Multicultural Dermatology department, started the group which offers information, professional workshops and emotional support with physicians from Henry Ford Health System free of charge at every event. Vstrong is one of the first and most respected vitiligo support groups in the world, and has hosted many visiting doctors and experts from around the globe, including Russia, India, Italy and the United States.

Reserved seating tickets are $50 per person, VIP tickets are $100 per person which includes access to an afterglow with the performers, and a $1,000 Platinum package includes ten premium seats, after-glow and 10 VIP gift bags.

To order a Platinum package contact ClarityLTF at 313.757.6851. All other tickets can be ordered through Ticketmaster by clicking here


Read more here

Olivier Rousteing Talks About New Balmain Ad Campaign, Michael Jackson And More

Sources: Yahoo Style – By Sarah Cristobal | All Things Michael

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The Balmain x H&M collection is launching on November 5, but first there will be an epic party and shopping event taking place in New York City tomorrow, October 20. (Those who are unable to attend can watch it live via H&M’s Periscope.) To commemorate the occasion, we’ve got an exclusive behind-the-scenes preview of the new campaign, directed by Johan Sandberg & Henrik Timonen, and starring Kendall Jenner and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing. “It started from a place of friendship and love,” says the French luxury brand’s 30-year-old creative director about the video which he informs us was also inspired by international dance, haute couture, and Michael Jackson (naturally).

Yahoo Style: What was the concept for this collection?

Olivier Rousteing: I think the concept for H&M x Balmian is putting the couture in the stores. It’s a really rich and strong collection that is infused with the Balmain DNA. It’s richness and French, and it’s inspired by pop culture and the glamour that Balmain is known for…while keeping the quality of course!

What about the shoot?

The metro has a sci-fi feeling to bring forward this idea of techno couture. It’s really modern and young. When I see this collection, I think you can party, you can go to a gala, you’re going out and taking a sci-fi metro. It’s like a dream. Everything comes from a dream and a ride. Pop culture and Michael Jackson was also on my mind. Like the idea of the metro in the Michael Jackson ‘Bad’ video

Your SS16 show featured Michael Jackson as a soundtrack and we couldn’t help but think that this video reminded us a bit of the ‘Scream’ video as well…

Yes, definitely. It’s the feeling of ‘Scream.’ I love all the minimal and maximal and the richness of their clothes in the video. The strength of everything. This metro-silverish modern techno vibe. It’s also about having all of the girls and boys together. The Balmain x H&M army. They are the squad and the new generation of top models.

Who were the dancers in this video?

The dancers are friends, Americans, a great mix of different people from all over the world. The Voguers, breakdancers. All from different worlds of dance. Diversity is so important to Balmain and now the H&M x Balmain story is joining that club.

Did you learn any new moves during filming?

I love dancing. I love music. Music is a big part of my life. My vision is mixing music with fashion. The show has all of the music that I love. I learned twerking and vogueing, it was such fun.

Read more here


MLJ Needs You! October Back-To-School Challenge!

Source: Michael Jackson Legacy | All Things Michael


In August, MJL teamed up with the Foundation of Goodness, a Sri Lankan organisation that works with villagers and donors to uplift the lives of rural communities in Sri Lanka. Our ‘Back-to-School’ campaign sought initially to raise enough money to provide school packs for at least 100 children ahead of the start of their new school year in January 2016. The big news is that at the time of writing, dear friends, you have done it again and our current figure stands at 115 bags and counting! We have decided to extend the campaign into October and have a new challenge – can you help us double the figure to at least 200 bags by the end of the month?


Most of us will remember the joy of starting a new school term with brand new supplies, uniforms and school bags. These simple things that so many of us took for granted make a huge difference for children in poverty-stricken areas of Sri Lanka (particularly those orphaned and otherwise affected by the civil war and the devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami, which so touched Michael’s heart). They can mean the difference between a child starting school with all he or she needs for a successful school year and being denied an opportunity to attend classes due to lack of what many might consider basic provisions. Not only have you made that chance of success a reality for over a hundred children so far, but you have given the children the added gift of a few MJ-themed, personalised keepsakes such as postcards, bookmarks and key rings, created by our very own Mimi and assembled by long-term supporter Cindy K., with some of Michael’s most popular quotes (as voted for by you!) printed on the back.


We’d be thrilled if you would join us on our October challenge – it costs just $30 USD (£20) to sponsor a school bag packed full of school provisions such as books, stationery, a pencil box, a lunch box, crayons, a water bottle, fabric for school uniforms and a voucher for shoes.  You can donate by clicking on the ‘donate’ button at the top of this newsletter or on our website, or simply send your gift via Paypal to hello@michaeljacksonslegacy.org.

‘You can change the world…’   

Let’s Start Giving

‘It’s us. Or else it’ll never be done …’

Every month we receive many kind messages from a number of you who love what we do, have ‘liked’ our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and want to help in some way, but feel that you don’t have much to contribute financially to the work of MJL. Whilst it’s true that the regular donors who give again and again to every project we launch (you know who you are – we love and appreciate you very much!) and the surprise, one-off larger donations we receive from time to time are the crucial to the survival of our small charity, the truth is we need an increase in regular donations if we are to continue this amazing work in Michael’s memory. We all know that Michael was larger than life and continues to be so, and although we are a small charity, we all share Michael’s big dream of helping as many children, animals and environmental projects as time and money will allow.

We want to encourage every single one of you who reads these words and has thought about giving but hesitated because you’ve thought that one dollar, euro, yen or pound is not enough to make a difference – please give anyway. If each of us who has a little, gives a little, you’d be surprised at how quickly that adds up to a lot! We’ve often imagined how much more we could do if each of the 15,000-plus ‘Likes’ we have on our Facebook page could spare just a pound a month to support MJL …

So, our second challenge to you is … could YOU be one of those ‘pound-a-month’ regular givers? As a 100 per cent volunteer-led charity, we are all committed to keeping our overheads low so that you can be confident that your money will go to the places it’s most needed. Can you help make a difference? Yes, absolutely, and MJL needs you. Will you be there?

Make His Message Your Mission

Please consider making a donation today and thus keeping Michael’s legacy of love alive. You can donate via the orange Paypal button on our homepage, or by logging into your own Paypal account and sending your gift to the Paypal-linked email address: hello@michaeljacksonslegacy.org.

If you haven’t yet ‘liked’ our Facebook Page, please consider doing so, since up-to-the-minute news is posted there. If you HAVE like the page, please be sure to click on the ‘down’ arrow on the ‘liked’ button and choose ‘get notifications’ – that way you will get all the news as it happens and you will see frequent pictures and details showing where and how your money is being spent.


We couldn’t agree more! Michael’s Army of L.O.V.E – THANK YOU!

Until next time,

Vimbai, Anusha, Sam,
Dee, Sue and Mimi (MJL)

Michael Jackson’s Legacy – building a better future for our children, and our children’s children

Pop Songs With Social Messages

Sources: Popcrush – By Erica Russell | All Things Michael


Pop music has long been stigmatized for being, well, empty.

Some unfairly view pop merely as fluff music, something light and irreverent and fun to dance to. And while there’s plenty of pop music that’s been perfectly primed for the dance floor (which, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with!), countless pop artists have concerned themselves with creating music with a message.

As widely listened to as it is, pop music can be used as vessel for change, a tool for discourse on social issues. There are numerous pop songs — including more than a handful of well-known singles — that tackle social, political, and cultural issues as diverse as racism, feminism, police brutality, LGBT representation, and much more.

In 1987, the reigning King of Pop, Michael Jackson, released his classic record, Bad. One of the singles from the hit album included “Man In The Mirror,” an uplifting and critically acclaimed pop ballad about society’s tendency to turn away from difficult social issues. The song, and its politically-charged video, acted as a literal call for change, touting the message that change begins from within.

Almost 25 years later, Lady Gaga released the lead single and titular track off her highly anticipated sophomore album, Born This Way, in 2011. With its thumping bass, infectious hook, and slamming club beats, “Born This Way” sounded like any sexy dance-pop song should, but its progressive lyrics transformed the contagious track into the powerful anti-prejudice, pro-LGBT, pro-self-acceptance anthem Gaga intended it to be.

But these two aren’t the only pop songs that tackle issues more pressing than getting lit in the club. From Gwen Stefani advocating for interracial relationships alongside André 3000, to Madonna taking down the patriarchy with trip-hop, check out ten pop songs packed with powerful social messages in our gallery above.

Oh, and if you wanna make a change, don’t forget to start with the man in the mirror.


Michael’s social message songs 

Read more here

DJ Expo On The Impact Of Michael Jackson

Sources:  SF Weekly – By Christina Li | All Things Michael


When did you start Down with the King?
Down With The King started last year. I decided to start doing this event in SF after seeing the amazing response received from the Michael Jackson birthday tributes we’ve done at Motown On Mondays in L.A. every year. The first year of Down With The King received a lot of love so we’ve made it an annual event now.

What MJ song has had the biggest impact on your life?
“Bad.” Not my favorite song of his but it defines my generation. I was born just a year before the Bad album was released and the title cut is the earliest memory I have of MJ’s music. I was of course familiar with theThriller album too, but Bad had a much larger impact on me growing up. I partially blame that on watching Moonwalker all the time at my babysitter’s house when I was a little kid. Something about the energy and groove of “Bad” always makes you want to sing and dance along to it.

 DJ Expo

DJ Expo

Why do you think his songs have a timeless quality?
Michael created original music and his unique sound can never be replaced. His music saw no boundaries of age, race, gender, religion, etc. Michael has inspired and influenced a huge amount of the music released over the past few decades including music today from Justin Timberlake and Pharrell to Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. Children that have never experienced MJs music love it when they hear it. We still hear much of his music played on radio, TV, movies and more today. He is the first artist to have a hit record in five different decades. Michael spent his entire life devoted to music and he is loved across the globe for the beautiful music he brought to the world.

Lastly, what’s your favorite rework/remix of an MJ song?
I’d have to say that J Dilla’s beat for Q-Tip’s “Move, which sampled from Jackson 5 “Dancing Machine.” is one of my favorite reworks of an MJ song. Can’t even explain why except for the way Dilla chopped up that song. I also really enjoy the re-edit that Reflex did of Jackson 5 “ABC”, which is a lot more DJ friendly version of the song.


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Sigala’s EMD Remake Of “ABC” Becomes Number One On UK Charts

Sources: Official Charts | Xpose |All Things Michael

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British DJ Sigala scores his first chart-topper this week with Easy Love. The track, which samples Michael Jackson vocal’s of the 1970 Top 10 hit ABC, has racked up a combined chart sales figure of over 82,000 this week, rocketing 71 places to secure the Number 1 position following its full sales release.

Sigala insists the feedback he’s had on his song has been universally positive and he hasn’t had any hardcore Jackson fans complaining about his re-working of the tune.

The video of the song features the talents of two 12-year-old dancers, Lucky and AC, known as Lucky Aces.


Oklahoma Commissioner Recreates Michael Jackson’s BAD For Pediatric Cancer Awareness #JustKeepDancing

Sources: Tulsa World – By Ginnie Graham | All Things Michael


No one can claim that Oklahoma’s leader in the state mental health and substance abuse agency isn’t game for a challenge.

Terri White summoned the spirit of Michael Jackson to recreate the “Bad” video. She’s the leader of the pack with some impressive hair leading the way.

I would like to know where her staff located all the leather gear.


The video is part of a #JustKeepDancing challenge to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority called out the mental health and substance abuse agency. Now, the gauntlet has been thrown to the child welfare division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

This is the most fabulous idea coming out of state government. And, it’s for a good cause.

It would answer the long-burning question: Who is the best dancer in state government?

Right now, Terri White is ahead.

Read more here

Also see Ellen Degeneres and Ellen Nation for more details.

When Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ Became an English Lesson

Sources: Haaretz – By Allison Kaplan Summer | All Things Michael

“Creativity is a must when your high school students are Somalis who have never read or written in any language,” says Shanna Peeples, who is giving lessons in innovation and collaboration to Mideast educators and policymakers this week.


For Shanna Peeples, the 2015 United States National Teacher of the Year, the exhausted yet hopeful faces of refugees fleeing conflict and war in Asia and Africa aren’t just images on her television screen — they are the real-life students in her high school classroom.

The 50-year-old Texas native dreamed of travelling the world as a child. That never worked out — she has lived in her home state all her life and never took a trip abroad until now. “But as it turned out, the world came to me.”

It was a decade ago that refugee students from far-flung lands in Asia began arriving at schools like Peeples’ Palo Duro High School in the city of Amarillo. Their families had been relocated there by charities and refugee rescue organization because the huge cattle-raising and slaughterhouse industries offered up an ample supply of low-paying jobs for which little knowledge of English is necessary.

Teachers like Peeples and her colleagues were suddenly faced with the task of educating newly-arrived children from countries like Somalia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Iraq and Myanmar, many of whom knew no English and were often deep in culture shock. “One day a 12-year-old girl disappeared from my classroom. I found her in the bathroom, repeatedly flushing the toilet — she was fascinated by indoor plumbing because she’d never seen it,” Peeples recounts.

U.S. National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples meets with students of education at Beit Berl College in Kfar Sava.U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv read more: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/routine-emergencies/.premium-1.674407

U.S. National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples meets with students of education at Beit Berl College in Kfar Sava.U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

She compares teaching groups of teenagers who have never stepped foot in a school in their lives to being a doctor in an emergency room: “It’s straight-up triage.”

Some of her students have been members of Somalia’s Bantu, an oppressed minority in their native land for whom learning to read and write was forbidden. They came into her classroom with no concept of written language.

Stumped at first as to how to begin teaching them, Peeples decided to seize on their “amazing talent for mimicry — they could repeat pop and hip hop lyrics for me in perfect unaccented English. That’s when we decided we were going to get a karaoke machine and that is how we are going to teach them — through Michael Jackson lyrics.”

She has deep appreciation for the late pop star, who somehow managed to  “penetrate the jungles of Myanmar and refugee camps in Kenya. When these kids sang ‘Billie Jean,’ it blew my mind — and really showed us that there were things we could do with them.” From that starting point, she said, the students were able to take their first steps towards fluency and, hopefully, literacy.


Read the rest of this inspiring story here