FROM USHER TO “SCREAM”: JIMMY JAM TALKS ABOUT THE GREATEST “STUFF” HE’S EVER MADE

Producer Jimmy Jam has worked with some of the greatest stars of music: Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Prince, Luther Vandross, Usher, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Shaggy, Gwen Stefani, TLC and more.

Noisey sat down with him to talk about some of the greatest music he’s ever made….

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JANET JACKSON AND MICHAEL JACKSON – “SCREAM” (1995)

Jimmy: Michael had told us he wanted to do a song with Janet, so she came to the studio and we came up with five or six ideas to take to him, one of which would become “Scream”.

Michael comes into the studio that day very quietly, wearing a bunch of bangles, jewelry and hard shoes – all the things you’re not supposed to have in a studio. He’s all timid, very quiet, and says [Jimmy affects a perfect Michael voice], “Go ahead, play it from the top.”  Straight away he turned into some sort of Tasmanian devil; dancing all around the studio, clapping, snapping, stomping his feet. Normally you’d say something like, “Hey, you gotta stay on the mic.”  But we were just were like, “We’re just gonna watch this while you do your thing.” Janet – who was supposed to be recording her vocal the same day – saw this, turned to me and said, “Erm, I think I’ll do my vocal down in Minneapolis.”

I’d never seen anything like it before. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Over the years I’ve had some wonderful and moving studio experiences, but there was an earthquake in New York that day, and it was Michael. The force of Michael. He had just got married to Lisa-Marie Presley at that point. We asked her what brought them together, besides the fact they had showbiz in common, famous families and everything. She said he was the kindest person she’d ever met. That really struck me because that’s exactly what I thought about him too.

 

Read the full interview here.

Sources: Noisey | All Things Michael

MINECRAFT BILLONAIRE AUCTIONING MJ PHOTO AND MORE FOR CHARITY

Sources: Everything But The House | All Things Michael

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Note: This auction is posted for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement by All Things Michael. Please read all terms and conditions carefully before you decide to bid.

From a stunning Beverly Hills home comes a truly exceptional sale. After winning a bidding war against Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Minecraft creator Markus Persson moved into an exquisite $70 million property overlooking the city of Los Angeles, complete with an infinity pool, candy room, home theater, car lift, and interiors by Joseph Ferrugio. Persson has donated many of the items in this sale from the property for auction, including a complete set of like-new furnishings from the Bentley Home Collection (as in Bentley Motors) and a 40-piece chandelier. Shepard Fairey prints, a signed Michael Jackson photo and an Hermès scarf are also up for auction.

Net sale proceeds are being contributed to Design by Donation, an organization supporting at-risk youth through design and aesthetic collaboration. Design by Donation accepts furniture and material goods from hotels, home renovations, and then either repurposes the materials or auctions them to raise funds. Previous collaborations include the restoration of theYWCAGLA Job Corp Building, as well as helping Saving Innocence create the Hope House in Downtown Los Angeles, which serves as a haven for victims of sex trafficking.

“This year we have a mission to assist City Year LA,” says Ferrugio. “Our goal is to make a significant impact in helping at-risk students stay on track to graduate on time. Our leadership is comprised of business professionals, community leaders and devoted alumni of design and architecture schools of Los Angeles.”

ITEM DETAILS

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A collectible trio of framed photos of pop star Michael Jackson (1958-2009) with the central photo autographed. The first photo shows Jackson with his face covered in lace from the cover of the alternate edition of his 1987 album Bad. The second autographed photo shows Jackson during a performance of his song “Billie Jean”. The third photo shows Jackson at the Neverland Ranch. The photos are presented in a black wood frame with black matting and glass covering. Wire attached to reverse for hanging.

Everything But The House does not authenticate celebrity memorabilia. Items that are consigned with Certificates or Letters of Authenticity (COA) are listed as such with the item’s description. Autographs without COAs are compared to authenticated examples from online sources prior to sale upload. View Terms & Conditions

Sale Location

EBTH Los Angeles Showroom
7020 Hayvenhurst Ave Unit A
Van Nuys, CA 91406

 

Dream Dancing To Michael Jackson Songs In Thriller Live

Michael Jackson’s Nottingham fans are in for a treat this week in the music celebration show, Thriller Live. One of them feels even closer to their hero as Savanna Darnell is a dancer on stage. A former performing arts student in the city, she speaks to Dan Robinson about making a dream come nearly true.

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Growing up, Savanna Darnell dreamt about performing with Michael Jackson on stage.

While that fantasy may have ended with the legendary musician’s untimely death in 2009, she is now enjoying the next best thing.

The 20-year-old former Nottingham student is one of the dancers in Thriller Live, the spectacular concert celebrating one of the world’s greatest ever entertainers that is showing in the city this week.

“He’s just such a great inspiration so being able to dance to his music is the best feeling ever,” says Savanna, who graduated from the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama (MADD), in Carlton Hill, after a three-year musical theatre course last July.

“My dream was to dance with Michael Jackson because I loved him so much and this is the closest I can get – it’s absolutely amazing.

“It’s brilliant being back in Nottingham for the show – all my college friends have been tweeting me saying they’re so proud.

“It’s so nice for them to come and watch, and great being back to see people I haven’t seen in ages.”

As a youngster, Savanna spent four years with the award-winning, Mansfield-based Cantamus Girls Choir – whose alumni includes Britain’s Got Talent 2014 runner-up Lucy Kay and Victoria Gray, a singer with former opera group Amore.

She was initially interested in singing and had performed in tours with her dad’s band, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, before landing an audition for Thriller Live.

Savanna had to learn and perform two routines in front of director Gary Lloyd at Pineapple Dance Studios, in London, before she got the part.

Recalling the moment she found out, Savanna says: “I was at college and we were rehearsing for a show when my agent called.

“I wasn’t supposed to be on the phone at the time but I answered it and all the girls followed me into the back room.

“When she told me I just collapsed on the floor and started crying. I got carried out into the theatre, the teachers found out and everyone was screaming and clapping – it was an unbelievable feeling.

“We go through a lot at college and it’s really hard and draining but it’s such a great experience – I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for MADD.”

Savanna, now based in Sheffield, spent almost a month in London for rehearsals, which lasted from 10am to 6pm each day.

The dancing group, which includes five men and five women, had to learn about two routines each day at full pace.

They started touring across the UK and Europe in October, and will perform in more than 100 venues by the time the current run wraps up in July.

In the show, Savanna is involved in every act – about 15 in total – and says Smooth Criminal is her favourite song to perform.

She adds: “I really enjoyed learning that one because we do all the moves in the video.

“It’s the same for Thriller, which is our final piece and we all wear the zombie outfits.

“I just think the show is so fun. People have told me when they’ve come to watch it that they’re so happy afterwards to have listened to Michael Jackson’s music again.”

Thriller Live is showing at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham until Saturday, January 16. Tickets £16 to £31. trch.co.uk.

 

Showtime Releases Clip Of Michael Jackson Documentary

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Showtime has decided to tease us with clips from the upcoming documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall.

Relive those magical days of Michael’s adult ascent into music history stardom!

The documentary which will air on February 5 on Showtime. The film will be released to the public and will include the reissue of the Off the Wall album on February 26. 

The film is produced by Director Spike Lee and the estate of Michael Jackson.

Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Yours today! Pre-orders are available on Michael Jackson.com and Amazon.

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Sources: All Things Michael | Showtime

Meet 8-Year-Old Mini Michael Jackson Dancer Willie Osborn

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Because of his legendary style and pop music, Michael Jackson has been one of the most popular public figures to impersonate. His legend lives on, thanks to his numerous adult and children impersonators.

In this clip from a recent episode of Ellen, an 8-year-old self-taught dance impersonator, Willie Osborn, chats with host Ellen DeGeneres before impressively mimicking Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” dance moves.

Osborn has channeled Michael Jackson during an elementary school talent show. He has also performed at Michael Jackson’s annual’s birthday celebration in Gary, Indiana.

Watch his full performance below.

 

Read more here

WHO’S BAD MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE: “MORE THAN IMITATION — IT’S A CELEBRATION”

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“We’re both lyric tenors, but Michael’s voice is a little higher,” Joseph Bell coos over the phone. Even his speaking voice reminds us of the late King of Pop’s. “It’s funny. Before, I tried to change my voice, but then I got this job.” The job Bell speaks of is as one of two vocalists of Who’s Bad, an act that bills itself as the “Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band.”

Bell describes the show as a worthy experience for fans of the inimitable Jackson. “You see the excitement of the choreography,” he insists. “I think it’s extraordinary because it’s live singing, and we perform songs that are very difficult, like ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘Earth Song.’ It’s more than imitation — it’s a celebration.” The group features two vocalists to avoid lags from costume changes, and, Bell adds, “[Jackson’s] songs require the sensitivity you can’t get from just one person.”

Bell joined Who’s Bad in 2007 after several years of being a fan. “I heard him most of my life, from the Jackson 5 on, but I remember first hearing ‘Billie Jean’ in the back seat of a car. I heard that opening bass line, and was like, ‘What is that?’?” Bell feels that beyond the similar vocal range, there’s some cosmic force that keeps bringing him closer to the legend. “I went to high school with Michael Jackson’s choreographer, Travis Payne. He choreographed me in high school before he worked with Michael.” And another instance: “Recently, someone told me my hair didn’t look good, and later that day I ran into Michael’s hairdresser.”

Bell remembers one show in particular during which he felt especially connected to the music of Jackson, on June 26, 2009. “It was the night after Michael died. We were booked to do a show in Washington, D.C., and people from all around the world came. It wasn’t just about the music that night; it was about keeping people happy.”

Whether his lifelong orbit around Jackson’s star has been mere coincidence or propelled by otherworldly forces, Bell prefers not to play with the fates and made sure to pay homage on a solo album he’s currently working on, due out in 2016. “People said it wouldn’t be good for my career to do that, but it bothered me to do an original album without some tribute to Michael.”

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band
7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 9, at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $38.54 to $53.54 plus fees. Call 954-522-5334, or visit ticketmaster.com.

Sources: Broward Palm Beach | All Things Michael

In Rememberance Of Natalie Cole

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I was so sadden to hear this morning that one of my favorite female singers, Natalie Cole, has died. It’s not the way that I wanted to start off this new year. I grew up listening to Natalie as child and loved to mimic her singing.  I also loved her dad and was over the moon when Natalie did a remake of his classic hit, Unforgettable, together.

Natalie had many struggles in her life, but she over came them all. It breaks my heart to know that another great legend has gone and all we have left is memories. Rest in peace Natalie. I love you more. You are truly unforgettable.

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“I knew Michael, and I loved him dearly. It’s a tough thing to lose someone you love, my sister, and then lose someone like Michael. A lot of people loved him as an entertainer, and we lost a great part of our history.” ~ Natalie Cole

MICHAEL JACKSON’S JOURNEY FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL – SEE SHOWTIMES AND LOCATIONS

Sources: Sundance Institute | All Things Michael

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One morning, a television set broke down in a living room in Gary, Indiana, leaving a large family of children with nothing to do—so they started singing. Soon the family was singing at talent shows and winning trophies. Their first four recorded songs would top the charts, and launch the career of one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known.

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Director Spike Lee assembles a wealth of archival footage, interviews with contemporary talents and family members, and Michael’s own words and image to create this insightful chronicle of the star’s early rise to fame. An in-depth look at a chapter of his career that is rarely examined, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall allows audiences to travel with Michael as he gets his start at Motown, strikes a new path with CBS records, and forges a relationship with legendary producer Quincy Jones. An illuminated portrait emerges of how an earnest, passionate, hard-working boy would become the “King of Pop.”

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YEAR 2015

SECTION Doc Premieres

COUNTRY U.S.A.

RUN TIME 110 min

WATCH AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

TIME & DATE LOCATION TICKETS
  • 2:30 PM
    SUN 1/24
  • THE MARC
  • 5:45 PM
    MON 1/25
  • LIBRARY CENTER THEATRE
  • 6:00 PM
    WED 1/27
  • SUNDANCE MOUNTAIN RESORT SCREENING ROOM
  • 2:30 PM
    FRI 1/29
  • THE MARC
  • 9:15 PM
    SAT 1/30
  • THE GRAND THEATRE

SEE SUNDANCE FILM LOCATION MAP AND TRANSIT INFO