Home Alone’s Devin Ratray Talks About When He Met Michael Jackson

Sources: Complex – By Khal | All Things Michael


What’s your favorite story from the Home Alone era?
Michael Jackson came to visit the set of Home Alone 2. That was a pretty memorable day.

Please go on.
It was a Saturday rehearsal, we were just rehearsing a small scene. It was us running out of the house getting into our vans. When I got out of the transport van, Macaulay came up to me and said, “Come here, I want you to meet somebody.” He wouldn’t tell me who, but he was very excited. I followed him into the back of one of the prop airport vans that was there, and in the backseat of the van was Michael Jackson—long gray overcoat and gray fedora and sunglasses. This is seven o’clock in the morning on a Saturday, in February, in the middle of Illinois. I didn’t know what to do or say. But suddenly I’m shaking Michael Jackson’s hand without the glove on. What do I say? I said “Hi, I’m Devin and I play Buzz.” He said, “I know, it’s a real pleasure to meet you!” And I just stood there and I said “Yes, Michael Jackson, it is a real pleasure to meet me.” That kind of made him smile. I was able to make him laugh and that brought his guard down a little.


The only thing I thought to say, I had brought my video camera with me—I was making my own sort of documentary behind the scenes and had this big VHS 1992 video camera and I just said out loud, “Hey, do you think I could interview you later on camera?” He said as long as Macaulay was there. So later, while we were waiting to do another rehearsal running out of the house, Michael comes into the house to use the bathroom. Macaulay said it would be a good time to ask him some questions, so I asked him some questions on camera. I’ve had that tape for like twenty years.

Yeah I never showed it to anybody.

I was going to say, have there been plans to try and turn that into something for the public or are you just trying to keep it for yourself?
I was keeping it mostly for myself. It wasn’t until Michael passed away that Entertainment Tonightcontacted me. They’d heard rumors of me having this tape. I thought now would be a good time to pay tribute to the man. I didn’t want to profit from it, you know? I didn’t accept money or anything. I just thought it would be a good time for a tribute because nobody had ever seen it before—it was just sort of my little piece of history and my connection with Michael.


Read the full article here

Nick Jonas Names His Picks for 5 Best Male Pop Singers of All Time: MJ Is His #1 Choice

Sources: Billboard – By Keith Caulfield | All Things Michael

Nick Jonas blossomed as a solo pop star in 2015 with top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits like “Jealous” and “Chains,” and is currently riding the charts with his latest single “Levels.” Jonas of course rose to fame as one-third of the family band Jonas Brothers, but broke out as a popster in his own right, and sold more than 2.5 million song downloads in the U.S. in 2015 (according to Nielsen Music).

When it comes to his picks for the best male pop singers of all time, there’s no question that Michael Jackson is leading the pack. “I think Michael Jackson is probably my favorite. So many amazing songs and such a humongous pop culture influence for so many years,” says Jonas. “A legend.”

Who else made his list (in no particular order except for the King of Pop)?

1. Michael Jackson

2. Elvis Presley

3. Justin Timberlake

4. Bruno Mars 

5. George Michael 

“What a voice!” Lewis Hamilton Admits He Wouldn’t Mind Swapping Lives With Michael Jackson

Sources: Express – By BECCA LONGMIRE| All Things Michael


The 30-year-old – who came second in yesterday’s Mexico Grand Prix – gushed over the Man In The Mirror hitmaker’s career in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4.

When asked who he would like to swap lives with, the Formula One pro said: “If it was a sportsman Mohammed Ali, because he was my favourite.”

He added: “But if it was music, Michael Jackson. What a life and journey he had, what a voice and talent.”

He may be known for his racing career, but Lewis is also a keen musician.

Lewis's MJ racing helmet

Lewis’s MJ racing helmet

Speaking of his passion for music, Lewis recently gushed: “Music is one of the most important things in my life. Music is my escape.

“Musically I’ve been trying lots of different things so it’s experimental. Sometimes it’s pop some stuff is kind of R&B and a mixture of hip-hop.”


Back in September, the Stevenage-born star showed off his singing voice when he performed an impromptu gig at a New York nightclub.

One eyewitness at the 1 Oak club said: “He was singing an RnB, hip-hop song. He sang ‘Look it at you, look it at me’. It wasn’t any famous song. It was his private song.”

The sportsman continued: “His singing was pretty good. And he sang the whole song from beginning to end. It was like a karaoke singing.”

Singing aside, Lewis lost out to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the F1 road show in Mexico over the weekend.

He may have come second, but ever the professional, the sportsman made sure to congratulate his fellow driver.

He said: “Nico drove a fantastic race. Just fantastic to be here in Mexico.

“This crowd is like a football crowd. The fans have been amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.”


Read more here


Sources: Westchester | All Things Michael


Bassist and composer Iris Ornig is one of the most original female voices on today’s New York jazz scene. Since her arrival in New York City in 2003 from Germany, she has played with an impressive roster of some of the most influential contemporary jazz musicians in New York including Gretchen Parlato, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Frahm, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michael Rodriguez, Rebecca Martin, Allison Miller, Sachal Vasandani, Helen Sung, Marcus Gilmore, Dan Tepfer, among others.

Iris Ornig was a huge fan of Michael—and she still is! He was truly a master of his style of music, as well as a supremely creative dance innovator.

Beginning of 2015 Iris decided to work on arrangements of Michael’s hit songs to honor his creative spirit through jazz.  She began to twist tunes, shift rhythms, explode arrangements and explore new harmonies. It was a real challenge for her as a musician, composer and arranger. Her goal was to interpret Michael’s music in brand new ways to honor the “King of Pop”, as a jazz artist.

Iris’s intent is to interpret the music in new ways to honor “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, as only a jazz artist can.  She twists tunes, shifts rhythms, explodes arrangements and explores new harmonies. The band consist of Jeremy Powell on tenor, David Smith on trumpet, Billy Test on piano and Ronen Itzik on drums.


‘Iris Ornig is able to accurately capture Jackson’s ingenuity in crafting infectious melodies that also are deceptively simple.   Iris Ornig has infused Michael’s hit songs with a solid jazz sensibility and improvisational rigor.  Doing so she has not fallen in the trap many do when they reinterpret pop music, namely creating insipid and safe atmospheric instrumentals.  This is a superb effort that fuses her respect for Jackson’s artistry and her own creative energy without making compromises.    (Hrayr Attrarian – Jazz Journalist)

Website: http://www.irisornig.com

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 8:15 PM

Tickets: $10 & $15

Location: Winery at St. George, 1715 East Main Street, Mohegan Lake, NY

Watch This Professional Japanese Flutist Cover Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”

Sources: MJBeats | Hyperbeast | All Things Michael


Classical music covers of popular songs are a wonderful thing. The latest video to surface shows a traditional Japanese rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal, performed by professional shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute) player Yuko Watanabe along with two backup performers on a koto (a stringed instrument, also the national instrument of Japan).

Read more here

Michael Jackson Heaven In Macau

Sources: Inquirer – By Dolly Carvajal | All Things Michael


It was a dream come true for me, a diehard Michael Jackson fan, to visit the MJ Café at Sofitel Macau. I went gaga over the MJ souvenirs. I wanted to buy every item in sight so I could add them to my MJ collection. The gift shop is MJ heaven. They sell every MJ-related merchandise you can think of.

But what I found most unique are the MJ poker chips, which cost about P6,000. Since Macau is considered the Las Vegas of Asia, it’s no surprise that it’s selling that gamblers’ must-have collectible.


The first floor of the MJ Café is adorned with the King of Pop’s photos. Videos of Michael play over and over on two screens near the exit. The shop offers coffee with an “I love MJ” latte design. It’s very apt for “His Royal Hotness!”


The second floor has been converted to a 3D museum with an entrance fee of approximately P1,000. At the first section is a massive display of MJ murals.

There are MJ costumes that you can wear when you pose in the MJ 3D painting. It also has a showcase of memorabilia, which include loafers (with the late pop idol’s autograph at the sole), socks and a fedora hat which MJ himself used. There is even an authentication certificate for Michael’s priceless belongings.


I could not stop gasping, “OMJ!” Let the pictures on this page and Tuesday’s column say the rest.


Newfound ‘family’ 

Thanks from the bottom of my heart to my newfound “family” in Macau, John and Rose Aquino, their kids Stef and Jeb, Lola Virginia Generao, the Chinoy Express staff and my Macau BFF, Jezel Matias, for their kindness and hospitality. Meeting them all was the best part of my Macau holiday.


(To be concluded Tuesday)

See more pictures here

Former Child Star Jimmy Osmond Talks Finances And Working With Michael Jackson

Sources: This Is Money – By Donna Ferguson | All Things Michael


Former child pop star Jimmy Osmond lost £1.3million in the US property crash in 2008 but he still believes investing in bricks and mortar is more likely to pay off than investing in shares.

Osmond, who made around $5million in a single year in his mid-20s and now fritters away a five-figure sum playing golf each year, earned his first pay cheque as an artist at the age of three.

But he says everything he has today is thanks to his own hard work. He was never given any money by his family, American pop group The Osmonds. He rose to fame as the youngest member of the sibling band.


In 1972, at the age of eight, he had a British number one solo hit with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool and went on to record six solo albums and produce live events for artists such as Michael Jackson.

Now 52, he will be touring the UK later this year with The Osmonds as part of the ‘Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular’. He and wife Michelle, 49, live in Utah and have four children: Sophia, 21, Zachary, 17, Wyatt, 15, and 13-year-old Bella.


My father taught me the value of a dollar. When I was eight, I thought I was big stuff and I remember telling him: ‘Hey Dad, my record is number one, isn’t that cool?’ He responded by giving me a stick with a poker on it to pick up litter and said: ‘Go clean the yard.’


It’s strange, I never got any. But I was well taken care of. Money was always there – I never worried about it. By the time I was 13, I always had a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket and a few thousand in the bank. When I was 14, I owned my first house. I’d live there and then I’d go home to my parents when I got scared. It was a bizarre way of growing up.


Appearing on the Andy Williams show when I was three. I was paid maybe $50 [the equivalent of £250 today].


Yes. My family made a lot of money – but we lost a lot too. When I was 16, our partnerships severed and I remember being asked not to keep touring with the band because there would be more money for everyone else if I didn’t go. My parents were on a mission for our church at the time. I didn’t have anywhere to go, really.


Although I was well known, there I was without money. So I went down to Los Angeles and read for any part, begged for anything I could do. I ended up scoring a job on TV series Famed and The Love Boat.


When I was 17, I sold my car to finance making a record in Japan, Kimi Wa Pretty [You’re So Pretty]. It went platinum and saved my life. I ended up with a TV series doing a variety show in Japan.


When I did I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005, I was shocked by how much they paid me. Because I turned it down three times, the money just kept growing. I was one of the highest paid on the show. I signed a contract so I can’t disclose how much, but it was a good six-figure sum.


It was 2008 – the year I produced the final big tour for my family, our 50th anniversary tour. We sold out concerts in minutes and toured all over the world. I made more than a million dollars.



No. It was the most fulfilling. When I was 24, I produced Michael Jackson’s tour and packaged the sponsorship. That was an amazing year financially.


I would have to kill you if I told you. You could say it was close to $5million (£3.2million).

Osmond discussed his lifelong friendship with Jackson in 2009  with the Deseret News after his death:

“Michael reached a whole different level of celebrity,” Jimmy Osmond said. “He did things that were so revolutionary and so on the edge. We’ve never gone there.”

The youngest Osmond brother recalls playing soccer with the Jackson Five “in the halls of a hotel, while 5,000 girls were outside screaming in hysteria.” He remembers going swimming at the Jackson home in California decades ago, and remembers the King of Pop as having a “huge heart.”

“The entertainment business can be such a phony, fake business, but as a human being, he was wonderful,” he said.

Jackson later accepted one of Osmond’s brokering deals when his album “Bad” was released overseas in 1987. The move bolstered the relatively young broker’s career, giving him even more opportunity than he believes he would have had without working with such a popular man or event.

“Because he took a shot with me in the past, and took a couple of my deals, he really blessed my personal life,” Osmond said. “He opened up a whole world of credibility for me, not only being a performer but brokering other high-end deals for performers.”

Read the full article at thisismoney.co.uk

WDAS 105.3 Celebrates The Music Of The Jackson’s For Labor Day Weekend (Special Tribute To Michael)

Source: WDAS FM | All Things Michael


This Labor Day weekend, WDAS is celebrating the First Family of Music, the Jacksons, with the Jackson Family Labor Day Weekend! Starting this Saturday at 10am, listen as we celebrate the sounds of Michael, Janet, Jermaine, The Jackson 5, Rebbie, and more!

DJ Doc B, Cosmic Kev, Cutmaster Butter, Don Mystic Mac, and more will keep the music flowing all weekend long!

Plus on Sunday, don’t miss us at 6pm as we close out Gone But Not Forgotten with an hour long tribute to the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson!


Read more here