From The Estate: Upgrades To MichaelJackson.com

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We are happy to share with you that there are upgrades to the MichaelJackson.com site coming soon that we think will make for an even better and smoother experience. The Estate and Sony Music have taken fan feedback into consideration and are excited to announce the following changes will occur in the next few weeks:

A faster-loading site across all devices
The developers have been working to ensure that the site remains robust while also allowing for the best experience for all visitors, regardless of whether they are using a computer or mobile device.

New, sleeker design
The new site will feature brighter accent and background colors to improve the graphic display as well as to make the text easier to read.

Facebook comments integration
Fans have previously been able to log into the website using their Facebook account, but now that functionality will be expanded to make integration throughout the site more seamless and allow easier participation in fan-to-fan communication, comments, and discussion threads. It will also integrate discussions with the rest of the content on the site more organically, rather than pushing them off to a separate forum section. As a result, the separate forum section will be eliminated from the website, so it is important that if you communicate with anyone solely through the website forums, you should reach out and exchange other contact information with them in order to stay in touch.

Fan art that has been previously submitted will still be available in the fan galleries, and users will no longer have to create an account to participate in discussions or submit original fan art.

The new site will be a significant improvement to the user experience on MichaelJackson.com, and we look forward to seeing you on the site!

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™ | All Things Michael

From The Estate: Michael Jackson Nominated For Three Soul Train Awards

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We are thrilled to share that Xscape has been nominated for three Soul Train Awards: Album of the Year for Xscape, Song of the Year for “Love Never Felt So Good,” and Best Collaboration for “Love Never Felt So Good.” These nominations further highlight the enduring appeal of Michael’s music and the undiminishing appreciation of his art. For US fans, you can watch the Soul Train Awards on November 30 on CENTRIC and BET.

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™  | All Things Michael

From The Estate: Submit Your Entry For The “A Place With No Name” Contest

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Great news! There is still time for you or your American friends to participate in the contest for “A Place With No Name!” We are particularly excited about this because these tablets will give a leg up to students in lower-income neighborhoods in their education. Tablets have proved to be extremely effective tools in engaging students in learning material, encouraging further discovery, and helping students at different levels learn at their own pace. The distribution of the tablets also carries on Michael’s legacy of charitable giving and community engagement. It’s easy to participate!

If you live in the United States, visit http://aplacewithnoname.michaeljackson.com, upload a video of why YOUR community deserves to win, and encourage your friends and neighbors to vote!

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™ | All Things Michael

Forbes Article Regarding Neverland Sale

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Last night, we sent you a message from the Estate regarding Colony Capital’s decision to sell Neverland. Many of you have inquired about the Estate purchasing Neverland. As you know, the Estate does not disclose the details of its business dealings but last night’s statement to the fans (not included in the comment to press) states “the Estate did explore a number of potential options for Neverland with Colony” but for the reasons stated none of those options were feasible.  This sentence was included specifically for your benefit to let you know that the Estate tried to find a way to keep the sale from happening but for a variety of reasons, it was not possible.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg broke the news in Forbes shortly after we sent you the Estate’s statement: http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2014/07/31/michael-jacksons-neverland-is-about-to-be-sold/. He offers some further insight you might find helpful in understanding the situation.

Like you, the Estate is sad and disappointed by Colony’s decision. Michael’s legacy is in his music, in his humanitarian efforts, and in his spirit. The Estate hopes that whomever the new owners may turn out to be, that they will continue to appreciate the property not only for its beauty but for its historical and cultural legacy as well.

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™

Message From The Estate Of Michael Jackson: Sale Of Neverland Ranch

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You will soon be reading news reports stating that Colony Capital has decided to sell Neverland. As the property manager, they have the right to do this.  The Estate has issued the following statement in response to a media request for comment:

We are saddened at the prospect of the sale of Neverland which, under the agreement negotiated during Michael’s lifetime, Colony has the right to sell. The Estate will maintain Michael’s family home in Encino, including its iconic recording studio there. We continue to build upon Michael’s legacy as an artistic genius and humanitarian through his music and new projects such as the Michael Jackson ONE show in Las Vegas.  We hope and trust that any new owners of Neverland will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property.  Michael’s memory lives on in the hearts of his fans worldwide.

It is also important to the Estate that Michael’s fans understand that although the Estate has no right to stop or obstruct the sale, The Estate did explore a number of potential options for Neverland with Colony but zoning, financial and land use restrictions limited the alternatives and ultimately Colony made the decision to sell.

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Is About To Be Sold

Source: Forbes – By Zack O’Malley Greenburg

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Though Michael Jackson moved out of Neverland years before his untimely passing, the 2,700-acre property remains indelibly associated with the King of Pop to this day. Soon, however, the connection will be only in thought, not deed: Neverland is set to be sold.

According to sources familiar with the matter, billionaire Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital is preparing to put the Los Olivos, Calif. property on the market. The firm became Neverland’s managing partner after Barrack struck a deal with Jackson in late 2007 to take over the $23 million note held by private equity fund Fortress.

“We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed and saddened that it has come to this,” said a representative for Jackson’s estate in an electronic message to FORBES. “Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager.”

Representatives for Colony Capital could not immediately be reached for comment.

As I reported in Michael Jackson, Inc: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire , the agreement between Jackson and Colony was a complex one. Barrack himself said he only took on the note as a favor to Jackson (in an interview for the book, he recalled his words to the singer: “Don’t have me do this … unless you’re really interested in building a program going forward to create some revenue for yourself.”)

The agreement, which took effect in early 2008, called for Colony to manage Neverland as a sort of joint venture with Jackson. For every dollar the company invested in the property, its equity would increase. This meant that while Jackson—and, later, his estate—retained a stake in the property, it decreased on paper as time went on.

Over the past six years, Colony has continued to fund the upkeep of Neverland. That cost, if it’s anything like it was in Jackson’s day, is likely in the neighborhood of $5 million per year. Add in the $23 million note, and back-of-the-envelope math suggests the firm may have invested more than $50 million in the property to date. It also retains the right to sell the property at will.

Still, many options were explored over the years. Toward the end of his life, Jackson himself is said to have been intrigued by the idea of turning Neverland into a school for the performing arts; after his death, many have suggested that the property be turned into an attraction like Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

But as anyone who’s been to Neverland (this writer included) can tell you, Los Olivos isn’t exactly Memphis. The area is nowhere near an interstate, and its narrow mountain roads aren’t conducive to accommodating hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

“The Estate explored numerous options, including a purchase,” continued the aforementioned representative’s statement. “But financial, land use and zoning restrictions have made all of the proposed options prohibitive given our duty as Executors to be fiscally responsible in protecting and growing the assets of the Estate for Michael’s children.”

Indeed, Jackson’s estate has pulled in more than three quarters of a billion dollars in a little over five years since his death. But that’s before taxes and expenses, not to mention the specter of a $702 million IRS bill that the estate is currently appealing.

Buying back Colony’s share of Neverland—not to mention footing a multimillion-dollar annual upkeep bill for a property that does not generate income—would seem to be an imprudent financial choice.

And so, Neverland may soon have a new owner on paper. But any buyer will have to understand the property will always be the King of Pop’s realm in the minds of millions.

 

Read more at Forbes / All Things Michael

From The Estate: REMEMBERING THE KING OF POP

Source: Michael Jackson.com | All Things Michael

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Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need. Time has shown that with each passing year the world’s appreciation deepens not just for Michael’s talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael’s friendship, kindness, humor and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him.

John Branca & John McClain, Co-Executors of the Michael Jackson Estate

Message From The Estate Of Michael Jackson

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It has been a whirlwind few weeks and we wanted to share some more good news with you. In the six days since the video of the virtual MJ dancing to “Slave To The Rhythm” was uploaded to VEVO, it has been viewed more than 10 million times and that number is continuing to grow steadily. The performance gave the Billboard Music Awards its highest ratings in 13 years, and the response in the general public has been overwhelmingly positive – if you look at the VEVO post, you can see that the likes outweigh the dislikes 10 to 1!!!! This tells us it is a major success w/the general public which, after all, is what we all want – for the rest of the world to see and love Michael the way that we all do.  The efforts of the last few weeks, and especially, the performance on the Billboard Awards is working!

While expectations might have been built up due to Alki David’s frivolous lawsuit and inaccurate comments (he was not involved with the production at all), and ABC’s efforts to promote the show, the Estate has tried hard to keep expectations in check. The Estate is proud of what has been achieved with the promotional activations over the last few weeks but recognizes, along with all of you, that no one/nothing can replace Michael. Fans all over the world are speaking out with their positive comments online and with their support for Xscape and now the general public is taking notice and joining in.

The general public, and more importantly the media, often takes cues from the fan community. The support of the fan community publicly will only augment the support of the general public for Michael Jackson.

The MJ fans have much to be proud of – HITS Magazine put Xscape in its number one spot based on it’s tallies for US sales, the record is the #1 selling album worldwide for its first week and the #1 streamed record on Spotify for the first week of release! The illusion has put Michael back in the forefront of the entertainment world and helped promote Xscape.

The Estate hopes that the fans are as thrilled as they are to see so much positive press about Michael from every corner of the globe. It is heartwarming to see that the overwhelming reaction from the general public to the new music and to Michael. As we mentioned in one of our emails last week – we’re just getting started. Keep watching for what’s next.

MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™