Rock My Soul: A Gospel Music Celebration Honoring Andraé Crouch

Sources: Playhouse Square | All Things Michael

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the legacy of seven-time Grammy Award–winning Pastor Andraé Crouch in a tribute to rock’s gospel roots during Rock My Soul: A Gospel Music Celebration. Crouch helped usher in contemporary gospel music during a career that spanned over five decades and included many gospel hits. Crouch also served as vocal arranger for Madonna and Michael Jackson, and his choir can be heard in Michael Jackson’s number one hit “Man in the Mirror.” Tribute performers will include Marvin Winans, CeCe Winans and Donnie McClurkin. The event is free but a reserved seat admission ticket is necessary.

Children Policy:

Children under two years old are generally not permitted in the theaters. At designated performances Children of all ages are permitted. However, everyone regardless of age must have a ticket. All children must be seated with an adult. Any person disrupting a performance or inhibiting the enjoyment of an event for guests may be removed from the theater without refund.

When: April 12, 2015 at 7:30PM

Presented by Playhouse Square in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

 

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Sony Bosses Launch Legal Action Against Prince

Sources: Contact News | All Things Michael

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In a new lawsuit, the music executives allege the Purple Rain hitmaker disregarded the fact Judith Hill was signed exclusively to Sony and recorded a top secret album with her.

According to documents, obtained by TMZ.com, Hill, who appeared alongside the late King of Pop in his This Is It concert movie and then went on to appear on U.S. TV talent show The Voice, is currently working with Jolene Cherry, the producer who discovered Lady Gaga, under Sony’s supervision.

Despite warnings, Prince allegedly recorded an entire album with Hill and released the tracks as free Internet downloads at the beginning of the week (23Mar15).

Sony bosses and Cherry are demanding damages.

 

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Prince Introduces New Project With Judith Hill At Private Paisley Park Event

Sources: Star Tribune | All Things Michael

The host and a woman a head taller than he walked into a recording studio control room filled with a dozen or so invited guests.

“This is Judith Hill,” he announced just before midnight Sunday night at Paisley Park in Chanhassen.  “And I’m Prince.”

Yes, Prince is working with Hill, 31, the Los Angeles singer who caused a sensation on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2013 and also was featured in the Oscar- and Grammy-winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” about backup singers.

But Prince invited representatives from Fox 9, City Pages, 89.3 the Current and the Star Tribune to preview Hill’s album at Paisley and ask her – and him – questions. (The three members of Prince’s band, 3rdEyeGirl, were there, too, along with staffers Trevor Guy and Josh Weldon, who are married to band members.)

Six selections were played from “Back in Time,” which Hill recorded in two or three weeks at Paisley Park with Prince as producer.  “It’s the fastest album I’ve ever made,” he said.

After the first number was blasted over giant speakers in the studio control room, Prince piped up: “Ask your questions now. She’s going to be a superstar and you won’t be able to talk to her.”

Surprisingly, Prince did not discover Hill on “The Voice” or in the Michael Jackson movie “This Is It,” where she was featured as a backup singer in rehearsal for his upcoming tour. He learned about her when he saw a video clip of her being interviewed on a European TV show and she mentioned that she’d like to work with Prince.

Prince eventually tracked her down and invited her to a listening party in Los Angeles for “this album,” he said, pulling on his long-sleeve T-shirt which depicted the cover of last year’s “Art Official Age.” They talked briefly at the party and Prince asked what kind of music she wanted to make. He said she said “Sly and the Family Stone.” He said, “That’s all I needed to know.”

 

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Chris Tucker – Where Is He Now?

Sources: Wet Paint | All Things Michael

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Today we’re dishing on one of our favorite comedic actors, Chris Tucker. You probably remember him best from the popular Rush Hour film franchise, playing Detective James Carter opposite Jackie Chan. It’s crazy to think that it’s been more than 15 years since Chris first uttered the phrase, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?!”

Chris has been a staple on the big screen ever since, reprising his role as cop Carter in Rush Hour 2 in 2001 and Rush Hour 3 in 2007. Though he took a short hiatus from the biz after Rush Hour 3, he’s back on the comedy scene and making fans LOL all over again!

Nowadays, Chris is still doing what he does best: cracking jokes! The 43-year-old funnyman is currently touring the country with his stand-up show, Chris Tucker Live.

But how much do you know about this longtime comedy vet? Were you aware that Chris starred in one of Michael Jackson’s music videos? Yep, he appeared in the video for MJ’s 2001 hit “You Rock My World” from the King of Pop’s 10th studio album, Invincible. We wonder if Michael taught him how to moonwalk!

Check out the video above to see what else there is to know about our homeboy Chris Tucker.

 

 

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Former Soul Train Dancer William Byrd Talks About The Day He Met The KOP

Sources: Soul Train – By Steven McMillian | Edited By – All Things Michael

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SoulTrain.com: Did you ever dance in music videos?

William McByrd: I was paid to select dancers for Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video, which Jeffrey co-choreographed. The name of the video was originally “Chicago Nights.” While working with the video, not only did I get a chance to learn about dancing but also about the business. While Jeffrey and Casper would be working on choreography, I got to see a lot of stuff that happened before the video was shot, such as when Casper and Jeffrey went to New York to work with Michael practicing choreography for the “Bad” video. So although I was not a dancer in these videos per se, I got to see a lot of things that went on behind the scenes so when the opportunity came to actually be in a video, I’ve experienced tons of things that were helpful for me as far as being an artist in terms of how a video was shot and how the dance segments were choreographed.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever meet the King of Pop?

William McByrd: I met Michael on the last day of filming “Smooth Criminal.” Jeffrey would always tell me you can be a fan of somebody but you have to allow people to have their space. He told me that when people would rush over to get Michael’s autograph and take photos with him, not to do that but just stay in a zone. I felt so bad because I wanted to go over and meet him. So I got up to go outside off the soundstage trying to gather myself. When I was getting ready to come back inside somebody said, “Hey!,” and I looked up and it was Michael! He asked me my name and if I was enjoying myself and I told him my name and that I was having a great time and I told him I appreciated being able to watch the filming of the video. So instead of me going up to meet him, he actually came to meet me….

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Audio Interview With Michael Jackson’s Drummer Jonathan Moffett

Sources: WS Radio | All Things Michael

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Jonathan Moffett was Michael Jackson’s touring drummer going all the way back to the Jackson 5 days and has also played for Madonna, George Michael, Elton John, Saturday Night Live and The Arsenio Hall Show. He talks about developing his drumming talent at a very young age, having grown up in a musical family where he and his brothers were encouraged by their father to pick up instruments and start playing together, and how ironically, the drums were not his first choice. Jonathan talks about the importance of recognizing what your natural talent is and nurturing that gift. (Segment 1)

Jonathan talks about learning how to play drums from listening to vinyl records and learning to pick out all the details. He started playing clubs with his brothers when he was only 10, but it made it hard for the band do get into most clubs and bars and his older brothers ended up firing him. Jonathan spent his time practicing and developing a powerful technique of mimicking bass lines on the kick drum, which earned him some notoriety and the nickname “Sugarfoot”.  Jonathan goes on to talk about auditioning for the Jackson 5 in 1979, learning the whole stage show in 3 days and blowing Michael and the Jacksons away with his ability to hear and anticipate where they are going and what to play to complement it. He was told he was the best drummer they ever had and became Michael’s go-to drummer for decades to come. (Segment 2)

Jonathan talks about his faith, the feeling that his whole life God has been watching over him and making things happen. We talk about what he is doing currently – touring with the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Experience, playing with the band Cameo, and writing music for his own solo project. (Segment 3)

 

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Motown Songwriting Team Holland-Dozier-Holland Receives Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Sources: West Side Today | All Things Michael

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Pictured at a BMI luncheon held in Michael Jackson’s honor in 1990 are Berry Gordy, Edward Holland, Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier.

The Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team received the 2,543rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday for composing more than 50 of Motown Records’ most memorable songs.

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and singer Ne-Yo were among those joining Lemont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland at the ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Live Nation Building. The ceremony coincided with Black History Month.

The team wrote and produced such songs as “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” for the Supremes; “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack” for Martha and the Vandellas; “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and “Baby I Need Your Loving,” for the Four Tops; and “Can I Get a Witness” and “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You” for Marvin Gaye.

Holland, Dozier and Holland began their collaboration in 1962 with the single “Dearest One,” released under Dozier’s name on the Mel-O-Dy label, a Motown subsidiary.

In 1963, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced Martha and the Vandellas’ “Come and Get These Memories,” which went to No. 3 on the rhythm and blues chart; Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get a Witness,” the Marvelettes’ “Locking Up My Heart” and “Forever”; the Miracles’ “I Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying” and “Mickey’s Monkey,” and Martha and the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave” and “Quicksand.”

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In June 1964, “Where Did Our Love Go” became the first of six consecutive No. 1 singles for the Supremes and Holland, Dozier and Holland.

The trio left Motown in 1968 to found their own Invictus/Hot Wax label, where they continued their hit-making ways with Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold,” Chairmen of the Board’s “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” and the Honey Cones’ “Want Ads.”

When Invictus/Hot Wax folded in 1973, Dozier returned to his performing career, resulting in a string of solo records that continues to be sampled by artists ranging from Lil Wayne to Linkin Park.

In the 1970s, the Hollands wrote and produced for such artists as the Supremes and Michael Jackson. They formed the Holland Group production company in 1988 and revived their label Music Merchant and continue to release material from their classic catalog and new material.

Holland, Dozier and Holland were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988.

Holland-Dozier-Holland have reunited for the first time in more than 30 years to write the score for the new musical version of “The First Wives Club,” based on the best-selling novel and the hit 1996 film. It begins its pre-Broadway world premiere run Tuesday at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre.

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Interview With Tommy ‘O’ Organ

Source: MJWN – By Callum Ross| All Things Michael

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Tommy ‘O,’ one of Michael’s guitarists from ‘This Is It’ has been kind enough to talk to Callum Ross of MJWN about his guitars, his music, and of course Michael!

I have been a keen guitarist now for many years and have worked as a lead guitarist for a few bands, so can you imagine the delight when the team suggested to me that I would get a chance to interview guitar legend Tommy ‘O’ Organ, one of Michael’s guitarists from ‘This Is It.’

Tommy ‘O’ first picked up a guitar at the age of five and plays by ear, not by reading music, which is the way I like to play. He was a guitarist on Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ tour and has worked with Usher, TLC, Bobby Brown and Slash to name but a few. He also toured as lead guitarist with the Jacksons on their ‘Unity’ tour and has completed numerous studio recordings with artists such as Lionel Ritchie, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Randy Jackson and the late great Ray Charles so there was plenty to ask about…not forgetting about Michael of course! :-)

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Hi Tommy ‘O’! It’s great to have such an accomplished musician willing to speak to us here at MJWN. Thank you!

Tommy ‘O': I’m honoured!

What was your very first guitar and what was the first song you ever learnt to play?

Tommy ‘O': My very first guitar was a Gibson Les Paul deluxe and the first song I ever played was ‘Batman!’

I hear that you were inspired by many artists, but I’m curious to know what it was about Angus Young (of AC/DC) that inspired you?

Tommy ‘O': I like Angus Young’s simplicity in the way he plays and his feel is excellent and his stage presence and performance is very exciting.

What is your favourite song (whether Michael related or not) to play and to listen to?

Tommy ‘O': ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”

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How did you get the chance to work with Michael on ‘This Is It?’

Tommy ‘O': Through Michael Bearden. He auditioned me, then he liked my style, the way I played and my stage presence – so I got the gig!

What guitar did you predominantly use for ‘This Is It’ and why?

Tommy ‘O': I use a specially made guitar by Akai. I used it because it was versatile to all styles of music.

How many guitars were you going to bring over to London for the ‘This Is It’ shows?

Tommy ‘O': I was going to bring twelve guitars!

Did Michael have control over which guitars you used for the set and did he have control over the amplification?

Tommy ‘O': No because if you sounded great he wouldn’t mind whatever you used. I never heard Michael once inquire about any guitars or amps because he had hired the best!

What amplification would you normally use, if you were in the studio for example, and why?

Tommy ‘O': I use my own personal amps because I like to keep my sound consistent to whatever songs I play on in the studio or live, for that matter.

Did you use any effects for the ‘This Is It’ tour? And if so, which ones?

Tommy ‘O': Yes I used a lot of Boss pedals, Hughes and Kettner effects, Akai effects pedals, several delay compression distortion pedals etc.

Did Michael give you plenty of flexibility over the way you played his songs and solo’s or did he ask you to play a certain way?

Tommy ‘O': Michael was pretty flexible on the way everybody played their parts. He just required that we listen to the CDs of the songs and the parts. And then I could play it my own way. All the solos were pretty free and open.

Were there any problems or funny moments you encountered whilst rehearsing with Michael that you can tell us about?

Tommy ‘O': Yes, (laughs) there was a big spider that was supposed to move across the stage on the song ‘Thriller’ and he thought he could get into it and ride in it, but it really wasn’t for that. It was a remote controlled spider just for show, so we all laughed and Michael laughed too!

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What was favourite moment of working with Michael?

Tommy ‘O': Every moment of every day was an honor to work with Michael. And fun! He made it fun! He was also loving and caring, all the time.

How many guitars do you own and which is your favourite/s?

Tommy ‘O': Too many to count, I really don’t know! I rotate giving some away to less fortunate or to my fans and then companies/productions send me more for endorsements etc: My favorite is my signature guitars because, I helped create the look, feel and sound.

What are you currently working on?

Tommy ‘O': I am currently in the studio completing my solo musical debut which I am really excited about. You can listen to portions of my songs on my website – I know you’ll enjoy them! Also, I’ve been traveling to promote the music so that fans can get to know me and what I would like to express through my music. It’s about my life experiences and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been blessed with.

If you could give any tips to guitarists who are just starting out, what would they be?

Tommy ‘O': Listen to music, all kinds of music, different styles and try to learn the notes, guitar solos from different people. Learn songs and chords the best you can.

It is now five and half years since Michael died…do you feel that he would be proud of his legacy?

Tommy ‘O': Of course!

And lastly Tommy, what do you want Michael’s fans to know about you and do you have a message for them?

Tommy ‘O': I want fans to know that I am humbled when they come to the shows, enjoy the music, tweet me, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or visit the website and show love. I’m truly honored and love meeting and talking to as many people as I can. It’s funny because after shows, security always has to kindly ask my management team to get me out of the venue so that they can close down!

My message to everyone is to keep pursuing their dreams, never give up, success could be just one try away!

For more information on Tommy ‘O’ please use the links above or visit:

http://www.tommyoorgan.com

http://www.facebook.com/TommyOrganFanPage

Follow him on Twitter: @TommyOOrgan

Instagram: @tommyoorgan

 

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