Source: Youtube – By batgirl73
Source: Youtube – By batgirl73
Source: New Review – By Jason Cassidy
For many of us who came of age during the early-to-mid 1980s (ahem), Michael Jackson’s Thriller is sacred music. However, despite its nearly untouchable dance-pop songcraft, and the fact that it came to define an era as much as any Beatles or Elvis album ever did, the work—like all popular classics—is not untouchable and should be assessed and reinterpreted.
But, if you are going to touch it, you better either totally rock it, or do something completely different with it. The Uncle Dad’s Art Collective is going to try to do both. Tonight (Dec. 5), the newly formed cooperative of local musicians, actors, writers, visual artists and production people will kick off a three-night stand at the 1078 Gallery of This is Thriller! A Musical Tribute to Michael Jackson, an original musical-theater production that combines a live track-to-track recreation of the nine-song album with the story arc of an original play, plus some dancing, special effects and a dash of puppetry.
“You don’t just want to see the music videos, and you’re not going to get just the music videos,” said playwright/director Joey Moshiri during a recent pre-rehearsal interview.
The play will bring together most of the powers of the Uncle Dad’s collective—which, in addition to 30-year-old Moshiri, a local-theater regular, includes the band members and performance artists shared between local jazz experimenters Bogg and theatrical-rockers the Pageant Dads, plus new experimental dance troupe Everybody in Outer Space, among others. All told, 10 musicians, 10 actors, and five or six behind-the-scene folks are involved in the production.
Originally, the musical’s producer, Josh Hegg (keyboardist for Bogg, Clouds on Strings), wanted to do a cover night, with his band and local musicians playing the songs from Thriller in the order they appear. But when Hegg mentioned that they might think about doing something more “special,” the gears started turning in Moshiri’s head.
“By the end of the day … I had the whole idea outlined on scraps of paper,” he said, and three days later, the script was finished.
“I let the album kind of speak to me,” Moshiri said of the process. “The Girl is Mine,” with Michael Jackson (played by David Kamrar) and Paul McCartney (played by Bogg/Pageant Dads bassist Gavin Fitzgerald) vying for the same woman became the love triangle at the heart of the play, and the “doggone girl” in question is now the character of “Billie Jean” (played by Chico songstress Aubrey Debauchery). “[I] let the context of the album itself kind of tell the story,” Moshiri explained.
The content of the album’s videos also played a part in the inspiration, including the zombies and werewolf from “Thriller,” one of which will be responsible for the death of a character. Shocking as that may be, Moshiri teased that “there’s a much better twist” than that in store.
This is Thriller! marks the first time Moshiri has written or directed a full-length play, and his work on the production and with the Uncle Dad’s crew are the result of two of his artistic outlets—community theater and photographing live music—crossing paths … and one of those paths hitting a roadblock.
Moshiri developed his acting chops during sketch-comedy shows at the Blue Room Theatre and in the musicals of the now-defunct Chico Cabaret (the pinnacle for him was being cast as Eddie in the Cabaret’s The Rocky Horror Show—“It was like a dream come true.”) After the Cabaret closed, and the sketch shows fell off during one of the Blue Room’s recent reorganizations, Moshiri started looking for other outlets for getting on stage and found one in the like-minded members of Bogg, whom he’d met after taking photos at one of their shows.
The busy Bogg players started branching out into theater with special holiday shows at the Blue Room and 1078 Gallery, and by way of the offshoot band/theater troupe, the Pageant Dads, with whom Moshiri collaborated for their recent Pageant Dads Experience show at the Blue Room.
“There’s a lot of fingers in the same pie,” Moshiri said of their common interests.
And, he added that, even though they are just pulling everything together in the few days before opening night, he’s confident that this energized group can pull it off.
“We want to make a beautiful art project,” he said.
Preview: This is Thriller! shows Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 5-7, 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.), at 1078 Gallery.
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil claims he gets “Inspiration” from these two MJs: former pop-superstar Michael Jackson, and NBA great Michael Jordan!
Source: Black Enterprise – Carolyn Brown
Actors Conroe Brooks and Staci Lawrence were so moved by the memorial service held for Michael Jackson that they wanted to do something special to celebrate his music and legacy. So in August 2009 the duo staged a flash mob in Los Angeles on what would have been the King of Pop’s 51st birthday. More than 100 people gathered to dance to “Beat It.”
A month later, after being sought out on Facebook, Brooks and Lawrence were contacted by Universal Music Group, the record label for Janet Jackson. They were hired to produce a flash mob to celebrate the release of her Number Ones album. They ended up having 300 people perform their dance routine three times to a medley of Jackson’s greatest hits.
Janet showed up and was blown away by the fact that “we took choreography from her videos, put them together, and simplified it so everybody could do it,” recalls Brooks. “It became huge. It was covered in the international press. We haven’t stopped working since.”
Brooks and Lawrence officially set up their business as a limited liability company in November 2009. A pop culture phenomenon, Flash Mob America has enjoyed a quick rise thanks to social media as its main source of promotion and recruitment. Clients include ABC’s Modern Family, Rachael Ray, Dell, Oscar Mayer, Oreo, GLAAD, and the American Red Cross.
Each year since its inception, Flash Mob America has generated annual gross revenues of around $600,000. The company has grown into a full-service, national production company that handles all aspects of a flash mob, including casting, choreography, music clearance and original composition, photography, filming, editing, and social networking.
Brooks handles the creative aspects while Lawrence oversees operations. Flash Mob America employs a pre-production staff of five but works with production crews all over the country including DJs, photographers, choreographers, and camera people who are on-call on a per-project basis.
Companies are starting to capitalize on the commercial appeal of flash mobs. Originally flash mobs—staged but seemingly impromptu dance routines performed by a mass of people in public places such as shopping malls—were done purely for the fun of it. But now corporations are increasingly using flash mobs at promotional and marketing events.
“Most of the time corporations hire us to get good press,” Brooks says. For instance, when it announced in January 2010 that 1 million pounds of food was being donated to Feeding America, Oscar Mayer hired Flash Mob America to create a flash mob celebration of its Good Mood Charity Campaign America.
The average cost to stage a flash mob is $2,000 to $5,000 per event for an individual—for a marriage proposal, for example. For corporate events, which tend to be more involved, the cost ranges from $10,000 to $100,000. “Sometimes we create original music because licensing songs can be so expensive,” notes Brooks, whose firm gets paid a fee out of the event’s budget.
The way it works: Flash Mob America posts a notice to recruit people to be involved in a flash mob. An instructional video is created so that people can watch it at home and practice the choreographed routine with their friends. A rehearsal is normally held the night before the actual flash mob; on the day of there is a three-hour rehearsal.
“That is really when everybody gets checked in. It usually takes an hour and a half for people to pick it up,” adds the 37-year-old Brooks.
To date, “we have 225 flash mobs under our belt,” he says. “Our largest ever was 1,000 people for a pilot for the Oprah Winfrey Network. Our second largest was 440 people.”
Business comes from former clients, flash mobbers, TV appearances, and the company’s website. Flash Mob America does not advertise but constantly gets calls from new and repeat customers interested in sponsoring a flash mob. While its client base is made up of individuals and companies, 50% are small businesses or corporations.
“One huge challenge is traveling to a new city and finding people there to come out to do a flash mob, especially during the workweek,” Brooks says. Also, “having a flash mob video go viral; there is no formula for that. Our videos get a lot of hits, but we’ve only had a couple of our videos go viral.”
Brooks says he and Lawrence can now focus on growth. “We constantly have people e-mailing us about wanting a flash mob. We hired someone specifically for the task of responding to requests.”
Source: YouTube – BlaqueT1000
Complete with MJ lookalike! He’s really good!
Source: The New Indian Express – By V Sudarshan
Had Michael Jackson been alive today, he’d have been only 55 years old. It is difficult to believe that he has not been around with us for four years, making his music that moved millions. Yet, in the almost four years since he has been gone, we have been constantly reminded of him via various tribute albums that are coming our way, rock tributes, reggae tribute and even a bluegrass tribute. The latest is a metal tribute, featuring musicians from groups like Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, which is logical considering Axl Rose’s collaboration with him in songs like “Black or White” (Dangerous). This follows a Latin/salsa tribute that emerged last year. Even before Michael Jackson passed away, there were tribute albums that were regularly making their appearances (swing tribute, dance tribute…). Most of the tributes are reworkings of songs Michael Jackson made famous. Even though he died young, he left a large body of work, consistently good quality memorable work, considering that he began really, really early. And some songs Michael Jackson sang had been written and performed by others, notably “I Can’t Help It” (Stevie Wonder). “I Wanna Be Where You Are” was a hit when Michael Jackson was 14 and “Never Can Say Goodbye” a year earlier, way back in 1971. Even our Bollywood-type music directors have paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Sonu Nigam (The Beat of Our Heart) and Bappi Lahiri, for instance, not covers or interpretations but their own songs. How uneven these might be is a matter best left for the listener to decide.
There have been jazz interpretations as well. I heard Stanley Jordan play the haunting “Lady In My Life” (from Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album, 1979), in his Magic Touch album, 1985; the same year I heard Miles Davis do “Human Nature” (You’re Under Arrest album). The pianist Vijay Iyer has also done a memorable version of this song, was it this year? Can Bad Plus be far behind? Who can forget Isaac Hayes rendition of “Never Can Say Goodbye” or Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s (Blacknuss, 1971), or The Doky Brothers’ wonderful take of “The Man in the Mirror” (Doky Brothers 2, 1997). Two wonderful gifted musicians Gretchen Parlato (In A Dream, 2009) and Esperanza Spalding, bassist and singer, (Radio Music Society, 2012) have sung “I Can’t Help It.” Joe Lovano’s tenor solo in Esperanza’s version is uplifting. It is not as if jazz and Michael Jackson were total strangers, especially with Quincy Jones holding his hand musically in the early solo years. That wonderful organ grinder Jimmy Smith has played with Michael Jackson (Bad) and so have George Duke, Larry Carlton and Phil Upchurch in that defining Off the Wall. There have been at least two full length muscular tribute albums by jazz musicians (Never Can Say Goodbye— Joey de Francesco, which is very accessible to listeners, trumpeter Enrico Rava’s Rava on the Dance Floor (ECM, 2012), and at least two smooth jazz covers, The Michael in Jazz (John Dimatteo) and Human Nature, BWB (Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun).
I am waiting for more, hoping now that ECM has delved into popular music, Keith Jarrett will explore Michael Jackson as only he can, backed by Gary Peacock and Jack deJohnette. Jarrett has played songs of Bob Dylan, hasn’t he? Michael Jackson will be a delight to listen to, flowing from his fingers. Or surely, Herbie Hancock?
Source: MJWN / Yahoo Movies
Angelica Huston has written her autobiography, “A Story Lately Told” and in it speaks of her dream about Michael Jackson and starring with him in the Disney film ‘Captain EO’ where she stars as a witch from a faraway planet.
Angelica writes about a dream she had before the film about being in the desert with Michael, being in love with him and an elephant stampede. She was then offered the role in ‘Captain EO.’
This is what she writes about working alongside Michael in this famous 3-D short directed by Francis Ford Coppola, produced by George Lucas, and shown at Disneyland:
“Maybe a couple of months before, I had a dream about being in the desert with Michael Jackson, madly in love, and an elephant stampede came up behind us and they put their trunks around us as we were sort of floating in midair— this very beautiful dream. So when ‘Captain EO’ came about, I suddenly realized that it was prescient.
“It was surprising because it seemed that anger was very difficult for him. He had a high voice and he was very tentative, very nervous about how he would come across. And I remember his reluctance to show anger or anything violent.
“I think the whole thing took about three weeks to shoot. It was a short film about Michael Jackson coming to my ugly hideous planet. I play, of course, a grand high witch. … This was solidly in my witch period where I seemed to play every witch on the planet. But he comes to my planet and I’m cruel and evil, he sings to me and transforms my world. As it happened, [Michael] had a little retinue of space creatures, and one happened to be a green elephant, which only confirmed the prescience of my dream.
“I had extensive makeup, a lot of prosthetics, it took about seven hours to put on all my prosthetics every morning. … When the camera turned around on Michael, he asked that I still be in makeup even though I was off camera. I was initially a bit irritated by that because it took so long and I knew that I wouldn’t be on camera. But I did it and I remember from the moment he started to sing, I was sort of overwhelmed, I’d never seen a transformation like that. The power of his voice, the incredible sort of electricity that surrounded him when he began to sing was astonishing. And all of the inhibitions that he seemed to have as a person disappeared and he became this dynamic and extraordinary force.
Michael was a genius at what he did and capable of practically anything on stage. I think he was extraordinary.”
You can read the more of her story here.
Sources: Yahoo/ Cover Media/ The Citizen
Mary J. Blige was so in love with Michael Jackson growing up she thought they’d marry.
The R&B star had a major crush on the late King of Pop when she was a teenager. Even at 42 the singer can instantly remember the depth of her feelings, admitting she believed they were destined to be together.
“As a kid, I was in love with Michael Jackson, and I just knew I was going to marry him someday,” she told Us Weekly.
Mary has been discussing her festive record A Mary Christmas a lot of late and is proud to have shown she can be a big band singer with the release.
She stopped short of saying whether her family will listen to the album over the holidays, although Mary did open up about their rituals.
“I don’t stuff the turkey!” she laughed to British newspaper The Guardian. “I have a chef, and my mom and sister help. I wrap presents, but I leave the cooking to everyone else. We get a Christmas tree in, and on the night the tree goes up, we all relax and look at the lights. On Christmas Day itself it’s food, friends, presents, lights.”
One thing that’s certain is that Mary won’t be indulging in a Christmas tipple this year. She quit drinking following the death of her friend Whitney Houston last year. The singer struggled with addiction during her life and cocaine use played a part in her death, with Mary deeply affected by her funeral.
“Being that close to someone you loved so dearly, in a coffin – it freaked me out. It made me realise the importance of my own life,” she explained. “I didn’t stop [drinking] overnight; it was a process, and then it was a dead stop. I feel great right now. I feel wonderful. I have more clarity, more focus, more patience. And I lost weight – it flies off. It’s all water weight, all the sugar in the alcohol, and when you stop, it flies off.”
The star and her husband Martin Kendu Isaacs will celebrate their tenth anniversary next month and even that won’t tempt the star to raise a glass. She plans to sip ginger ale to mark the occasion, insisting that’s all she needs.
Mary nearly didn’t become a singer as she was so good at doing people’s hair and thought she would end up doing that full time.
She added to Us Weekly magazine: ”Growing up, I was the preferred hairstylist for all of my friends.
The star also talked about her backstage rituals and how she always has a soothing drink to help loosen and warm up her vocal cords before giving a concert.
She said: ”I still get nervous about singing. I drink tea with honey and lemon before every concert. And I need to have scented candles in all of my hotel rooms.”
Source: 411 Mania
While at the Staples Center, he played several of his own hits including “My Love,” “Holy Grail” and “Sexy Back.” Those in attendance including Matt Damon, Amy Adams and Timberlake’s fellow ‘N Sync member Lance Bass (who had a “friends and family” VIP pass). It’s unknown if any other ‘N Sync members were present.
Source: TV Watch – By Dahvi Shira
Not only were the judges in awe of Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff’s Michael Jackson-centric freestyle routine on Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars – but it sounds like the King of Pop himself would have enjoyed the number if he were still alive.
“He came to the High School Musical concert in Vegas,” Bleu told reporters backstage after learning he’d successfully made it through Monday night. “When I went and did my bit in the concert, Kenny [Oretga, the choreographer] leaned over and said, ‘Michael leaned over to [me] and said, who is that? And I said, ‘That’s Corbin Bleu.’ And Michael said, ‘He’s good.’ I still get goose bumps thinking about it. It was one of the coolest things for me.”
Calling his encounter with the icon “the highlight of my life,” Bleu describes Jackson as having “such a presence,” explaining, “He’s extremely tall [and] he’s got big ol’ hands when you shake them.”
Now that the tough MJ number is out of the way, Bleu tells PEOPLE that going into Tuesday’s season finale “I feel the major storm has passed. We still have something to go do before tomorrow, but that freestyle has been the bane of our existence this week.”
And with Thanksgiving just a few days away, Bleu says regardless of the finale’s outcome, he looks forward to going “out with my family and we’ll all have a celebratory [glass of] Champagne and that will be that … Either way, at the end of the day, I’m one of the top three. I’m celebrating.”
Source: Record.net – Barbara Williams
Last month, 29 students from Martin Luther King Jr. school in Stockton performed Thriller for three assemblies in honor of the 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. The students were taught by LaShonda Roberts and Beverly Larkins and worked for weeks after school to prepare their performance.
Source: Celebrity Dirty Laundry
Tonight on Dancing With The Stars Finale Week begins and the couples competed in three rounds of dance. For the last round Corbin Bleu danced a Supersized Freestyle. Historically the freestyle is one of the most entertaining dances of the season. Check out Corbin’s DWTS bio right here. If you missed tonight’s show you can read a full and detailed recap, right here.
On tonight’s show the four remaining couples competed in three rounds of dance. In the first round, each couple will take on the “Judges Pick” and repeat a selected routine from earlier in the season. In round two, the couples will be challenged to a Samba relay, where each pair dances to a different section of the same song. The Samba relay will be accompanied by 90’s hip hop group TLC who will perform their classic hit “No Scrubs.”
On last week’s show Corbin was given a 40/40 for his Rumba. Carrie Anne said about his performance, “Corbin, your body is a wonderland. I am so glad you took your shirt off. Fantastic rumba!” If you missed any of last week’s performances, you can check out all the videos, right HERE.
Judges Scores: Bruno “You killed it, you combined some iconic Michael Jackson moves that made it magic.” Carrie Ann “This was a big bite to chew, you nailed it.” Len simply gives a standing ovation.
SCORES: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, Bruno 10 = 30 for a total of 62. – Vote for Corbin Bleu and professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.
They killed it!
Source: People – By Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star, now competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. This season, the Disney alum has been blogging for PEOPLE about his experience on ABC’s hit show.
At the beginning of rehearsing for this week, I was about to pull my hair out. I had no idea how we were going to get through it. We have five dances to do. So there’s so much press and everything, and the amount of interviews that I’m doing is cutting into rehearsal time. It’s craziness. It’s like finals in school. It’s hell week.
I expected the season to be a lot of hard work. Everyone warned me that it’s one of the most time consuming and physically and mentally draining processes to go through. But what you don’t realize is how much goes into it with production. You’re constantly debating back and forth with what song you’re going to dance to. Sometimes you’ll submit a song and they won’t necessarily let you choose that song. Then you have to rework the entire dance concept. Then you have to figure out lighting and costumes.
I think there’s a very diverse group of finalists. Bill [Engvall]‘s definitely the heart. Everybody loves him because he works his butt off. He’s never danced before, so this is really incredible for him to be able to be here. And then you have Jack [Osbourne], who has gone from where he was at the beginning of the season to where he is now. It’s a complete 180. Amber [Riley] is a showman. When she gets out there, she’s got the facial expressions and the energy. It’s definitely a diverse group.
I’m just focusing on not messing up my own dances. I am not in control when it comes to what the final result is. All I can control is myself. We are working really hard to have an awesome freestyle. We have a samba, and I’ve never done samba. We have a repeat dance, which is our quickstep. That was one of the hardest dances for me. And we have an opening number and redoing another dance.
For our freestyle, production flew us out to Vegas so we could work with the Michael Jackson ONE Show Cirque performers. Our freestyle is Michael Jackson. We’re doing it to a very iconic Michael Jackson song. We have everything in there. We have some cool aerial stuff, little nods of the hat to other dance style performances and a bunch of signature Michael Jackson moves. It’s the year-end recital.
Once this is all over, regardless of the outcome, I now have a new skill under my belt. I can walk away from this saying I know all these ballroom styles. I’ve taken away a whole new group of friends. Everybody here has been a joy to work with. And I have Karina, who is definitely one of my new best friends. She’s been incredible. I’ve learned a lot about myself throughout this whole process. You go through moments where you feel like you have nothing left to give, and your energy is depleted.
This experience made me realize how much I’m an actor first. I love dancing. I will always love dancing, but throughout this entire process, the best way for me to get on the dance floor was to have a character and a storyline. For me, it’s all about the intention and motivation behind the dance.
Source: People Magazine / MJ-Upbeat.com / Special Thanks to Lynne M.
A fellow MJ Fan & Friend Lynne M. has sent us a page from this December’s People Magazine. It has a small mention of Michael by Photographer Lynn Goldsmith.
Corbin Bleu and his dancing partner Karina Smirnoff explain to Access why they don’t feel like the frontrunners in the “Dancing With the Stars” finals. Also, the duo chats about why their doing a Michael Jackson themed freestyle. Plus, how much it would mean to them to win the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Administrator’s Note: Corbin is a major MJ fan and great dancer so please vote for them tonight and tomorrow on the two night finale event on ABC at 8:00pm eastern.
Source: MJ-Upbeat – By Hannah Kozak
A Review Of Michael Jackson ONE by Photographer Hannah Kozak
A holographic image of Michael Jackson’s white, sparkling glove, black fedora, white sequined socks and black loafers slowly orbits a chair. His voice fills the theater every thirty seconds or so with dramatic pauses inserted between snippets of interviews. The theater has been built especially for the Michael Jackson ONE show – a way to pay respects to the man and his music, to honor what he achieved in his short life.
The guitar and melody from Michael Jackson’s “Privacy” starts to play and I already know the ONE show is going to be special. Was this the estate’s way of saying Michael was hunted his entire life? Men dressed in red suits as tabloid photographers walk around the theatre firing their cameras at the various audience members in the sold out show.
A twelve-year old Jackson sings his soulful “I’ll Be There” on the screen. Pages from a video photo book show Michael in early 1970 with his deep brown eyes looking at his future while another photo shows him smiling, from deep in his heart.
I found myself wondering what could have been, what if this boy who grew up right before our collective eyes was still alive? What else would he have had up his creative sleeve to share with us? But, we would never know. Despite his renewed sense of determination to create a spectacular show, his life was cut short on June 25, 2009.
Thinking about this moved me to tears. I could see a little black boy living in Gary, Indiana, who wiggled and moved his diaper bottom to the rhythm of the rickety washing machine and dreamed of creating the greatest show on earth. A boy whose professional education was talent shows with his brothers, where he learned to grab the audience and keep hold of each fan with no detail being missed from The Jackson Five clothes, shoes, hair, every detail. In ONE, no detail is overlooked from the costumes to the lights, acrobats, screens, sounds, sets. The only set that didn’t work for me was the “Working Day and Night” segment.
The screen flashes photos of women who Michael loved. Against a half moon in the sky, we see images of his mother Katherine Jackson, Diana Ross and Elizabeth Taylor. We hear Michael’s voice singing “Stranger in Moscow”, a testament to the loneliness he felt in a world that let him down when false accusations provided an excuse to try to destroy his career. When Jackson screams “I’m living lonely, baby” we know he is.
Michael Jackson’s admiration for P.T. Barnum was a well-known fact. Michael was known to have handed out copies of P.T. Barnum’s The Greatest Show on Earth to his staff. His goal, for all his shows, was to provide people escapism. Creating magic with his song and dance was part of his myriad of passions. Michael Jackson’s new residency show, ONE, in Las Vegas is a testament to the spirit of his genius. I was impressed with the physical challenges the performers executed with their falls and leaps into the air.
Michael asked us to look at social issues. He asked us to stop fighting, to end war in “Heal the World” and to stop racism in “Black or White.” He danced about ending gang violence in “Beat It”, healing our planet in “Earth Song”. In “Scream”, he was incensed at how the tabloids and media lied to sell their papers. Even though he endured years of torture on a global scale, he continued to create. Even though the media always had the direction of the compass needle pointed to negative, he forgave. Even Michaels’ ability to forgive was one of his greatest character traits and accomplishments.
Michael Jackson created art of his pain, loneliness and turmoil. G-d gave Michael his talent but I think one of his greatest strengths his entire life was to cultivate his gifts, something he learned not only from his father but from Berry Gordy, Michael’s father at Motown.
Michael always spoke of wanting to bind his soul to his work. His perfection insisted that his art would make a difference and live on. In ONE, we can feel, hear and taste that his soul and his art are indeed ONE.
An artist creates something new yet the brain abhors the new. The purpose of the artist is to challenge the brain. The brain is the enemy of the artist. Michael Jackson never stopped challenging himself. He worked the stage as if he lived there his entire life. He often said he felt the happiest when he was on stage. Tonight, at the ONE show, I feel the magic that Cirque Du Soleil has created with Michael’s music and I could feel the essence of Michael, back on stage.
We are taken on a journey of the interplay between light and dark. Even though the media tried to destroy Michael, his consciousness was elevated. He had an ability to feel, to become the music, the physical incarnation of the beat. He understood the vibrational energy that yogis understand with mantra. That is not something everyone is tuned into. Michael was.
Do we remember Michael Jackson for his heart, his art, his soul? Is any of it separate? This shy, dynamo child prodigy grew up into a confident man full of swag who was in complete control of his artistry. Michael Jackson pushed the envelope on dance, music, & this show does as well. Maverick is a word I use to describe very few. M.J. was a maverick not only with music but his iconic fashion statements. The ONE costumes are reinvented by the show’s costume designer, Zaldy Goco, while keeping the classic M.J. look, he updates them to a modern era.
From the opening sequence of “Beat It” to the bass pumping through 5,500 speakers – which sound designer Jonathan Deans evenly placed on the backs of the seats – I know ONE is about to take us on a wild, musical journey. Can you feel it?
I loved the tribute show “Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour” and treated my two dear friends and myself by going twice. This is not a tribute like Immortal, but rather a musical journey of the King of Pop’s music that is reinterpreted to show us agility, playfulness, courage, love: themes that represent Michael and each one is represented in ONE. Like Immortal, this show is written and directed by Jamie King. For this show, King collaborates with Montreal native Welby Altidor.
When I hear “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, and I look at the white sky filled with stars from the Milky Way, I feel grateful to have grown up in the era of Michael Jackson, who believed his gift came from G-d, that the music came to him from the source. Michael was a spiritual man, deeply connected to the universe, who was known for feeling guilty for taking credit for writing his songs because he believed they were created from above. When Michael was creating or performing his music, we were witness to an artist in a state of grace.
ONE gives us a taste of Michael Jackson’s soul; a magical, mystical, spiritual symphony of sound and passion. We are given the experience of Michael’s moral conscious, his work ethic and his musical genius. Michael Jackson had the voice of an angel, an angel who could sing bass, baritone and tenor. Angels aren’t supposed to live on earth but God knows he tried.
I just heard Beyonce new song, “God Made You Beautiful,” which is about her precious daughter Blue Ivy. But it also made me think about Michael Jackson and I hope that she won’t mind me using it as a dedication to him. Michael was beautiful in so many ways: his love and kindness, his unselfish heart and charitable giving, his immense talent for music, art, dance, writing and film. He has captured our hearts for a life time and he will never be forgotten. As long as I have breath in my body, I will remember and honor him for the beautiful soul the Lord made him to be. Michael was truly one of God’s earth angels.
I hope that someone will take this song and make a video dedicated exclusively to him. Listen careful to the words as you view the pictures. His love glow is shining brightly in each one!
God Made You Beautiful – By Beyonce
When you were born
The angels sighed in delight
They never thought they’d see such a beautiful sight
You took the breath
And the world was right again
Tears were shed
How we have been blessed
And your love, it shines so bright
You bring me back to life, back to life
You make everything right
And your love, it shines so bright
You bring me back to life, back to life
You got a light inside, light inside
God made you beautiful
God made you beautiful
Beautiful, you’re beautiful
Well look at me
You were brought into my life
I kiss those little feet
And watch for your perfect smile
And when it comes
The world stops in your eyes
I found love
I found peace of the purest kind
And your love, it shines so bright
You bring me back to life, back to life
You make everything right
And your love, it shines so bright
You bring me back to life, back to life
You got that light inside, light inside
God made you beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
God made you beautiful
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
(I get on my knees and pray)
Thank God for giving me a life
God made you beautiful
God made you beautiful
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
God made you beautiful
Beautiful, you’re beautiful
Cutie Pie ♥
Sources: Nigerian Tribune – By Rotimi Ige / MJWN
Obianuju Catherine Udeh, better known as DJ Switch, won the first Glo X factor reality TV competition recently and asides winning the N24 million prize money, got an international contract with Sony Music thus making her one of the biggest artistes on the Nigerian entertainment scene presently. ROTIMI IGE caught up with her and presents her up, close and personal.
My name is Obianuju Catherine Udeh and I am from Enugu State. My parents had eight children, five boys and three girls and I am the last born. My father is late and my mother has been the backbone for our family.
I studied Geology and graduated from the University of Port Harcourt. I lived in Abuja and now Lagos. I am a musician and I chose the term musician because it expresses more my love for music and its various genres. I love to write music, DJ, ride power bikes, play pool and ultimately be around children.
I was very stubborn sha! I was a cry champion which is the reason for my husky voice. I used to frustrate my brother, who now happens to be my manager and in some ways, I still frustrate him.
My dad spoilt me a lot and my mother was always around to remind me not to get sour. My childhood was fun as I grew up around five boys and I am grateful to God for that because it has influenced me greatly because I am stronger than most women. I am a hustler and I am unique.
When and how I discovered my musical ability
It happened when I first saw Michael Jackson. The truth is that watching him made me realise the gift God gave to me. I loved his energy, swag, stage command and just everything about him. Though he wasn’t the typical drop dead singer with a killer voice, he was real. So, if memory serves me right, I think I was about 12 then.
Whether I had my parents support
I have always had my family’s support. As any parent would, they just wanted me to go to school first, finish and be educated.
My musical journey has been a testimony all round, because getting to my destination has not been an easy task and my parents worried for me. When my father passed, I sang at his burial. I felt so bad that I was away chasing music and he never got to see me fulfill that. As it is, I believe he supports and watches me from heaven.
How I started grooming my talent
I got a guitar and started teaching myself, got good at it, listened to works from my favourite artistes too. Then acquired a mixer and taught myself how to dee jay. I got really good at that too. I was awarded best female dj in Nigeria by Cruise in 2011.
When and why I started doing music professionally
Professionally, I would say it was during the Star Quest era. I knew I had a gift, I was happy with what God gave me and I dived right in. Music makes me happy and when I realised it made other people happy, I knew it was definitely for me.
Earliest musical influences
Michael Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Erikah Badu, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill.
My experience at Star Quest
It was a beautiful experience, but ultimately it was a lesson. God works in mysterious ways. Doing a song with Busta Rhymes was an insight to what my future would be like. He is a great guy, very friendly and supportive. Star did wonderfully on that one.
Click here to read full article: http://tribune.com.ng/news2013/index.php/en/component/k2/item/26864-micheal-jackson-made-me-realise-my-musical-gifts-dj-switch.html
Source: Frank Yan of Sacramento
Frank never thought he would be remembering about this news, at least not for a long time. For any of us that grew up in the 80′s and 90′s, Michael Jackson meant a lot us. He was the man that, every boy wanted to be like and all the girls loved him. When Frank Yan thinks back of his childhood days, before Frank moved from London to Sacramento some of his fondest memories was watching his music videos on BBC, MTV and VH1, which were so groundbreaking and innovative. It was like watching true art in motion.
Frank remembers when Thriller when it first came out, the whole neighborhood was watching it and talking about it. It was an event. Same with Smooth Criminal, when Michael did the Moonwalk. At school the next day all the kids were talking about how it was a trick done with mirrors and such. Everything Michael Jackson did was pure finesse. That’s the Michael Jackson Frank Yan remembers today.
We are all aware of Michael Jackson’s troubles over his past years, but Frank hopes that people will see his legacy by his work and not his antics off the stage. Michael Jackson touched the entire world. Frank recalls a few years ago being at a talent show at his church in Sacramento, the kids were dancing to Billie Jean, and Frank was thinking, “Wow there is truly no other person that is so universally recognized as Michael Jackson.” Frank thinks that’s the legacy that Michael Jackson should be remembered for, all the lives that he touched and all the kids that he made believe in magic.
Frank doesn’t have many heroes, or people that I look up to, besides his mother. It’s difficult to find heroes in today’s world. Frank idolized Michael Jackson because he strived to be the absolute best at what he did. He utilized his God given gifts to the best of his abilities to bring music and the entertainment of his dancing. For that, Frank has so much respect for what Michael brought into this world. A bonafide musical genius. A global icon of the world. Whatever you want to call him, he is undoubtedly a legend that people will speak of for years. Frank undoubtedly knows that Michael was ahead of his time in many ways and probably highly misunderstood.
Frank chooses to celebrate Michael’s greatness. The negative aspects have been focused on too much over the past years. No need for that now. No more. When Frank heard about Michael’s passing, Frank was driving from Reno on Interstate 80 back to his home in Sacramento. Frank shed a tear as soon as he found out as Frank grew up listening to one to the worlds best Pop singer. It’s strange because along with the sadness of knowing that Frank’s childhood idol is dead, Frank sort of feels like celebrating his music and feeling a sense of relief. He can rest in peace now.
Source: Rocket News 24 – By Master Blaster
Every once in a while at a fair or all-you-can-eat buffet I come across a make-your-own cotton candy (or candy floss) machine. Let me tell you, the excitement of pouring some sugar in the bucket and putting the card paper stick in is… is just about five seconds long for me. It’s cool and all, but yields about as much a “huh-look-at-that” reaction as noticing a 90-year-old using a smartphone.
At least, that’s what I used to think before witnessing David Shtorm work his magic with the wispy confectionery. By combining music, lighting, sculpting and dance he transforms cotton candy-making into something that you can’t take your eyes off.
The following video was posted on YouTube as part of a promotion for the upcoming Sochi Olympics and features Shtorm, also known as the Candy King, simultaneously doing a dance routine to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” while serving up several cotton candies to the crowd.
Watching the video makes me wonder if the late King of Pop wouldn’t have been happier had he taken an early retirement. Bailing out before the insanity that was to be, he could have spent his days dancing on a Russian beach flinging strands of candy floss through the air to the children in attendance.
David Shtorm is available for hire at resorts (as seen in the video above), parties or events like weddings. In addition to the dancing he can form the cotton candy into a variety of shapes such as animals and hearts. Pretty impressive stuff!
The video generated a lot of positive reviews from viewers saying “Michael Jackson incarnate, awesome presentation and doing it for the kids,” and “I should be this enthusiastic about my job.”
In conclusion, we’d like to congratulate David “Candy King” Shtorm and crown him as RocketNews24’s newest King of Cotton Candy. He will be displacing our previous king, my uncle Joey who used to make dirty shapes out of his.
Some other performances by the Candy King
Source: Daily Mail / MTV
The contestants on NBC’s hit singing competition show The Voice faced a major milestone on Tuesday as the field was narrowed from 10 to only eight singers.
But – once again – it was 32-year-old coach Christina Aguilera who clearly stole the show.
On the night glam rocker Kat Robichaud and bearded Austin Jenckes saw their dreams end, Christina once again gave all the hopefuls a masterclass as she joined her team for an amazing medley of Jackson songs.
And her skimpy outfit showing off her amazing new shape was also a lesson in grabbing viewers’ attention.
While fellow coach Adam Levine was officially named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive during the show, it was Christina’s daringly low-cut top that stole his thunder.
There was no doubting the impression Christina wanted to make as she wiggled her hips wildly as she strutted out on stage purposefully to the intro of Janet Jackson’s Black Cat.
Once out of the shadows, she was seen in a tight black coat that split to show she was wearing just disco ball-patterned underwear over a see-through bodysuit and knee-high black boots.
She was joined by her remaining team, Matthew Schuler and 16-year-old Jacquie Lee – who proved just why they are favourites as they joined Christina first with Scream by Janet and her brother Michael, then moving onto Michael Jackson’s mega hit Bad.
After a standing ovation from the other judges, host Carson Daly later told her that it was ‘the best team performance we’ve ever had on this show.’
‘Agreed,’ Adam said loudly.
Carson continued: ‘Without question. That was unbelievable. That was like a Grammy moment, it was awesome.’
Adam also stole much of the hopefuls’ limelight as Carson confirmed on the live show that the Maroon 5 frontman was People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, showing the mag’s cover.
‘Look at that hunk, sexiest man alive,’ Carson said, joking to Adam’s main rival Blake Shelton: ‘I’m sorry Blake, guess it just didn’t work out for you.’
‘This is why I drink so much,’ Blake quipped back. ‘He stole all my thunder.’
He later told Adam that ‘I want you to know that I think you’re beautiful for what’s on the inside’ – getting a hug and kiss from his rival, and leading to a group hug with all four judges.
‘Sexiest coaches alive,’ Carson joked.
Adam remained coy about the honor, joking: ‘Carson you just had that made, it’s not real.’
But asked how he felt, he said: ‘I feel sexy.’
‘It’s cool man, congratulations,’ Carson told him. ‘Give Clooney a year off for once.’
Source: MJWN / ireporterstv.co
We have a short video which you may find amusing. It is a traffic policeman in Nigeria who draws a crowd when he dances Michael Jackson style, in the street, whilst directing the traffic!!!
Source: Yahoo Voices – By Tara Lynn Gansrich (Published July 19, 2009)
It Can’t Be Real
When I feel the need to express myself, sometimes I do it best in writing. So, here I go. This is dedicated to the number one person I never met – but felt like I knew forever, Michael Jackson.
The name – wait, it’s not a name, I consider it a brand. Michael Jackson. My hair stands up on the back of my neck every time I hear someone talking about his recent passing. I’m so crushed, and can’t except the fact he is really gone, forever. I can barely write this without a lump in my throat, ready to just release my tears. Some who read this may think I’m crazy and weird for loving him so much, but I know I am not the only one, I am one of hundreds, of thousands – who am I kidding – I’m just one of more than millions, and millions of fans who have taken his death straight to the heart. I more want to write this as what Michael Jackson put in my life as a child and now as an adult – and I want to remember him today, June 26th, 2009 – the day after he was pronounced dead, and explain how he touched, and influenced my own life.
My first memories of Michael Jackson that I can recall were when “Thriller” came out. My dad recorded it for me awhile back so I could watch it during the day, because I was too scared to watch it at night. I remember my dad recording tapes on our VHS for me of Michael Jackson so that I could watch them when he was on shows that were on too late for me to watch on the TV on school nights. My mom would work the night shifts, so my dad would have my sister and I at home to take care of. He would always blast something on our home stereo for us to dance too – but our most famous and known one, was Michael Jackson’s, “Man In The Mirror.” We would stand on top of the coffee table in our pajamas, get our hair brushes pretending they were our microphones, and sing and dance like we were him. That song came on, “I’m gonna make a change..” and we belted it out, all the way until the end. Clenching my fist and getting down on my knees, like I was him in concert, in front of all of his fans. The feeling of knowing the whole song and how much fun we just had was always a good one. We loved all his songs. I remember when Free Willy came out, how popular his song “Will You Be There” was, or even when “Black or White” came out – that song just made you feel so good because of the vibe it had to it, and still does when you listen to it today. The way he moved, the way he put his heart and soul into each song and let every beat take over him in his dancing, it to this day, is beyond words.
I’ll never forget the SuperBowl show he did, I hated football season and having to watch it with my family for 5 hours on Super Bowl Sunday, but when Michael Jackson was on for half time that year, my eyes were glued and the anticipation was indescribable. Chills still come to my spine watching it on the Internet, seeing the crowd turn into something beyond my expectations – drawings of children as he sang, “Heal the World.” Michael Jackson made music you could listen to and dance to like no one was watching, he made music that you could listen to when you went to sleep, he made music you could dedicate to your loved one, he made music that could bring joy and tears into your heart. Music you could play at your wedding, music that just sounded good because you had a few drinks in you, music that was played all over the world – and loved even by those who didn’t speak a lick of English. He made music, he sang, and he danced, like no other – and like no one ever will.
Michael Jackson is more than a legend to me, more than an icon, he was someone that made me believe. Michael Jackson made and showed all of his fans, that dreams come true and we are all here and in this together, in good times and in bad – we are all one. I remember when the aired the movie about the Jackson 5 on the TV, I can also recall his many performances on all the award shows, I remember it all. It was always something new with Michael, even when he started to be blasted by the media. I never believed any of it though, and to this day, I still don’t – and never will. I am one of those fans who will defend him to the end, and yes – really get offended when someone bashes him for the accusations against him.
Yet since Michael Jackson’s passing, he is getting all the well deserved credit he had lost for a couple of years. It is funny how he is not being shunned for anything – all I see on the TV right now are old videos of him performing, and all the good he did for this world – and how he influenced so many. I’ve heard his death being compared to Elvis’ already – bigger than that they have reported, one person they interviewed had even compared him to Mozart, it blows my mind. Everyone is really concerned on how he really passed away – but even when we know, it will not change a thing, or even bring him back.
I first found out about Michael being rushed to the hospital when I was just watching an episode of Oprah, I than logged on to TMZ.com within that hour – and there it was, the headline I had next read was that he was dead. I’ve heard this rumor plenty of times, and never once was it true, and I for sure in my head believed this one wasn’t either. I like many other people, believed that I would not even live to see this day. I’ve always told everyone and really felt in my heart, that if the day ever came for him to pass, the world would stop, and I believe it did. One by one, each channel I flipped to – had the same news. It just kept piling up, every channel had something to say about him, something to report, something to look back on and something to keep me and I’m sure millions of others – glued to their TV. I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes, I’m 24, and I have always joked that I would go into debt if Michael Jackson ever came into town, because I would spend my life savings to see him live, since I never did. I remember watching videos of his live performances when I was younger, and seeing security guards at his sell-out concerts carrying die hard fans across the crowds because they had fainted, or were pretty much about too. I also had always said that I would be one of those girls – I can still watch him on the TV in amazement and disbelief on the kind of performer he is. He made me love dancing, he made me love singing, he made me always want the spotlight like him. Michael Jackson started it all for me and millions of others I truly believe. I always wanted to be like him, move like him – and put passion into everything I do because of him. I am more hurt that I will never have a chance to see him perform live in my life, or even get a quick glimpse of my all time favorite entertainer of all time.
It makes me feel better to know that God put him on Earth to put him into our hearts, homes and lives, and it was his time to go back to the man who put him here. His spirit will always be with us, his songs will never die, his legend will never either. I hear it’s better on the other side, and now he is there. May he forever rest in peace, and know – that you he was loved and will be cherished from your adoring fans forever, especially me.
I guess this whole Michael Jackson tragedy had finally hit me today when I put his CD on in my car, the first drive I had taken since the day after his death. Of course, I put on my favorite song, “Man In The Mirror.” The memories from when I was little started racing through my head – he not only created great music and good times – but for me, in my life, lots and lots of memories that I don’t even need a picture to look at to remember. Now that’s something to write home about. There was that lump in my throat again, and tonight as I was on the Internet just browsing videos – it finally, finally hit me when I watched the Michael Jackson Commercial of him playing the piano as an adult singing “I’ll Be There,” as it reflected on his childhood days. He than began to sing in harmony with his self with his voice as a child in the background. I broke down – and my tears made me finally realize, that all this is reality. Michael Jackson put magic in my life, and like magic – he disappeared in the blink of an eye. There will never, ever be another Michael Jackson – he was truly one of a kind, and his name, life and music will live on forever.
“Speechless,” that’s how he made me feel.