Musicians Union Sues Sony Over Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’

MJ WAS A CUTIE PIE:

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The American Federation of Musicians is suing Sony Music Entertainment for allegedly violating its contract in the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It.”

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, alleges that the artists were misled to record work for “This Is It” with the understanding that they were working on a phonographic record instead of a film score.

Sony had no immediate response to a request for comment.

“The Sound Recording Labor Agreement, which Sony has signed, covers only recording sessions for records—and prohibits recording film scores,” the union said.

AFM International President Ray Hair said Sony allegedly refused to sign a letter allowing them to use the AFM Motion Picture Agreement for this recording session. As a result, the union asserted, musicians have been unable to collect residuals on the film.

The film, directed by Kenny Ortega, grossed over $260 million worldwide.

“A fan may wonder what difference it makes if musicians record music under one contract versus another, but it makes a huge difference to musicians trying to earn a living,” Hair said. “Musicians have joined together to create industry standards and it is simply unacceptable for greedy corporations to knowingly violate those standards by denying residuals.”

The suit also charges Sony with refusing to make new payments on Pitbull’s 2012 version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and sampling of Jackson songs like “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror” in “This Is It.”

“We did not want to go to court, but Sony repeatedly refused to do the right thing and pay the musicians fairly,” Hair said.

The AFM is seeking breach of contract damages, including the payment of wages and benefits that should have been given to musicians.

This is AFM’s third suit filed in recent months. The union sued Paramount Pictures last month for allegedly breaching its master contract by recording the score to Renee Zellweger’s upcoming film “Same Kind of Different as Me” in Slovakia.

The union also filed suit against Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount on April 27. AFM claims that the studios violated its master contract for recording film scores outside the U.S. and Canada for “Interstellar” (Warner Bros. and Paramount), “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (Warner Bros.) and MGM’s reboots of “Robocop” and “Carrie.”

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Originally posted on Variety:

The American Federation of Musicians is suing Sony Music Entertainment for allegedly violating its contract in the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It.”

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, alleges that the artists were misled to record work for “This Is It” with the understanding that they were working on a phonographic record instead of a film score.

Sony had no immediate response to a request for comment.

“The Sound Recording Labor Agreement, which Sony has signed, covers only recording sessions for records—and prohibits recording film scores,” the union said.

AFM International President Ray Hair said Sony allegedly refused to sign a letter allowing them to use the AFM Motion Picture Agreement for this recording session. As a result, the union asserted, musicians have been unable to collect residuals on the film.

The film, directed by Kenny Ortega, grossed over $260 million worldwide.

“A fan may wonder…

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STEVIE ON AMY, MICHAEL JACKSON AND TWO ALBUM PROJECTS

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Stevie Wonder has been talking in a press interview about Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson and the two album projects he’s currently working on.

The Motown legend played at Summerfest in Milwaukee on June 27 and gave an interview to the city’s Journal Sentinel. In it, he addressed the fact that the last time he was in Milwaukee was a few days after Jackson’s death in 2009, and widened the conversation to include other great musicians we lost too soon.

“The pain outside of the fact that [he and Michael] were friends was how much he gave to the world,” said Stevie. “And even though we weren’t friends, it was the same with Amy Winehouse. At the end of the day, we know that life is not forever, in this form, on this earth. But we know that love is forever. And we are inspired and encouraged and we live forever when we love.

“When we hear Michael sing or Amy or John Lennon or Marvin Gaye and on and on and on, we think of a moment that happens, a joy a particular song brought us, and that makes us think of love. So I think we should just shine a light of positivity, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to speak to those voices that are never heard, and to speak to musicians and poets and writers. In our own way, we as communicators are having the honor of creating something everlasting.”

Wonder also spoke about his long-in-the-works gospel-themed album, and another less-reported project. “I’m working on a gospel project that I promised my mother I would do,” he says. “Before she passed away [in 2006], we were working on some music. It’s called ‘Gospel Inspired by Lula.’ I’m hoping to release it soon, maybe between now and Mother’s Day next year [in May].

“It’s different in that it’s not any particular religion, but about a relationship with God. So I might do a song in Arabic, as well as some traditional stuff. It’s going to be fun because she wanted me to do this, so I will have fulfilled my promise, but also my promise to God that I would do a project celebrating God’s goodness.

“And the other studio thing that I’m working on is ‘Through the Eyes of Wonder,’ where myself and David Foster are working on this thing where we use some of the musicians from the symphony orchestra in London.”

 

Sources: U Discover Music | All Things Michael

The ‘Michael Jackson’ Of Cotton Candy [Watch]

Sources: The Inquisitr | All Things Michael

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David Shtorm is a man who makes cotton candy like you’ve possibly never seen. It’s not so much the candy making that keeps your attention. It’s his creativity.

David Shtorm could simply be the “Michael Jackson” of the cotton candy game. While keeping the attention of kids and adults, he also keeps an amazing groove and dance number. He’s called “Candy King.”

While you may think Shtorm could be from the United States, he actually hails from Sochi, Russia, according to his Facebook profile. At the moment, David has 4,258 friends and 1,267 followers. Obviously, he’s accepted so many friend requests that the rest have filtered over into that “following” reserve.

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Though cotton candy is a great treat, who knew it could be such an attention-grabber? And he has a manager named Alexander. It appears that they create orders worldwide.

David Shtorm seems to be an internet sensation and celebrity. If you were to visit his Facebook profile, you would see several people down his timeline sending cotton candy requests. They just want it to be made by the guy. Speaking of celebrities, he’s met a few of them, including but not limited to Jason Derulo.

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So, how do you feel about David Shtorm? Is he the “Candy King“? Does he live up to his title?

 

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Six Years After Michael Jackson’s Death, Gary’s Jackson Street On Upswing

Sources: Chicago Tribune – By Christin Lance| All Things Michael

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Thursday marks six years since the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, whose infectious music and polarizing fame reverberated across the globe.

But before he became famous as the pint-sized frontman of the Jackson 5, he was the third youngest of nine Jackson children raised in a small, two-bedroom, white frame house at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary.

“I just wonder how did they fit all of those kids in there,” said Fredericksburg, Va., resident Caterah Mayfield, who was visiting Tuesday with her mom, sister and cousin.

Mayfield’s mom, Courtney Parker, said Jackson’s death — of cardiac arrest at age 50 — is still shocking.

“I can’t believe he’s gone,” Parker said. “It was just like Whitney (Houston); they’re gone too soon.”

The house has become a draw for Jackson’s fans, who flock to it to leave flowers and teddy bears around the anniversary of his death or to write a message on the One Way sign at the corner. In 2009, thousands of fans paying tribute trampled the grass, but since installing a granite monument to Jackson in the front yard, it has been fenced off, and beautiful flowers are in bloom every summer.

The family is helping to revitalize the neighborhood by purchasing and renovating the house next door to 2300 Jackson and another home across the street, said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. The house next door is now a small museum/gift shop that the family is expected to open soon.

They’ve supported the Jackson Street of Dreams project that has rehabilitated two homes and rebuilt another house in the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Jackson Street. The project is being led by the Fuller Center for Housing in Gary, with assistance from the city, the Indiana Department of Correction, NIPSCO, Centier Bank and others. The Fuller Center has a goal of rebuilding eight additional homes in the neighborhood in 2016, but they are currently working to secure the necessary funds.

“We are exploring the next steps to see who may be willing to fund rehabbing some other homes,” Freeman-Wilson said.

Robin Copeland, who lives in the neighborhood, said it’s fun to chat with visitors and take pictures for them. She’s hopeful that the Street of Dreams project will help the neighborhood thrive.

“It’ll be a good thing for Gary and it will help the neighborhood look way better,” Copeland said.

But beyond the house and an annual Michael Jackson festival in August, there aren’t many signs marking Jackson’s impact around the city.

Even before Jackson’s death, there was talk about the city having a museum or performing arts center to memorialize arguably its most famous son. Jackson mentioned the performing arts center idea when he last visited Gary in 2003, but talks stalled when he was charged with child molestation soon afterward in California.

Jackson’s father, Joe, was in talks with developers about a possible museum and hotel near Grant Street and the Borman Expressway. But those plans never went much of anywhere either.

Freeman-Wilson said the city hasn’t been actively involved about bringing a Michael Jackson museum to Gary because “that’s not a project the city can undertake.” But a private entity did speak to her a few years ago about a Jackson-related project, she said.

“But whenever we would ask, ‘What’s the involvement of the Jackson family?’ nobody seemed to know the answer,” Freeman-Wilson said. “By that time I had developed a rapport with Mrs. (Katherine) Jackson, and I found that the family hadn’t been consulted, so I knew not to take these people seriously.”

 

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These Photos of Michael Jackson From the 70s Have Never Been Published Before

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Originally posted on TIME:

“There are a lot of pictures I never published because they’re for me, [they’re] something personal, something I’m attached to,” Alix Dejean tells TIME.

The Haitian-born photographer, who has been a fixture in New York City’s music scene for more decades than he wants you to know, began photographing the Jackson family in the mid-1970s, at a time when the Jacksonmania was in full swing and when Michael Jackson was starting his solo career. Dejean, who was already well-known for photographing the likes of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, swiftly developed a relationship with the Jackson family after being introduced to Michael by Mamadou Johnny Sekka, director of Jackson 5 in Africa, at the film’s premiere.

At that time, record labels hired Dejean to shoot the rockstars, but he cherished the moments in between, when he looked for the raw emotions – Michael quietly anticipating a show in his dressing…

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Thriller: Celebrate Michael Jackson With His Top 15 Amazing Videos And Live Performances

Sources: Express.co.uk – By Stefan Kyriazis

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MICHAEL JACKSON lives on in some of the greatest pop videos of all time: We celebrate the anniversary of his death with our Top 15 magical MJ moments.

Six years ago on June 25, 2009, The King of Pop passed away.

Michael Jackson’s death due to acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication after suffering cardiac arrest was a shocking end to a glorious talent.

That talent, though, lives on in his remarkable music and seminal music videos.

We celebrate Jackson’s unparalleled life and work with our countdown of some of his finest moments on film. As well as his iconic pop videos, we’ve also found some breathtaking live performances and a fan-made tribute to his top ten classic dance moves.

First up is an incredible 15-minute live performance where the superstar, at the height of his fame, performs a medley of his greatest hits.

1. 1995 MTV Awards

Michael Jackson performs the songs The Way You Make Me Feel, Scream, Black Or White, Billie Jean, Dangerous and You Are Not Alone.

There is a memorable guitar solo from Slash, plus Michael’s sister Janet Jackson and wife Lisa Marie Presley Jackson are seen watching in the audience.

2. Billie Jean

The 1992 video is credited with launching the MTV music channel phenomenon and is still considered one of the best videos of all time.

Even if we thought for years that he was actually singing “The killer’s not my son” instead of “the kid.”

3. Can You Feel It

The first of out two eco-friendly tracks is the 1981 classic by The Jackson Five.

The video is an ambitious display of cutting-edge special effects from the time and the song, written by Michael, foreshadows the heartfelt plea of the next track…

4. Earth Song

This 1995 smash hit was an environment-focused plea to save our planet. The epic video was shot on four continents and won numerous awards.

Earth Song remains Jackson’s top-selling single of all time.

3. Can You Feel It

The first of out two eco-friendly tracks is the 1981 classic by The Jackson Five.

The video is an ambitious display of cutting-edge special effects from the time and the song, written by Michael, foreshadows the heartfelt plea of the next track…

4. Earth Song

This 1995 smash hit was an environment-focused plea to save our planet. The epic video was shot on four continents and won numerous awards.

Earth Song remains Jackson’s top-selling single of all time.

5. Black or White

Jackson didn’t only generate controversy in his personal life.

The video for Black or White was broadcast in 27 countries to an audience of 500 million viewers, the most ever at one time for a music video.

Featuring a cameo from McCaulay Culkin, the video should have been remarkable for the innovative face-morphing technology it used.

Instead, it hit headlines for featuring sexually suggestive scenes and racial graffiti.

6: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

This funked-up pop classic from 1979 marks his first solo video.

Compared to the bombast and scale of his later effortd it is remarkably simple but his charm, charisma and effortless dancing already mark him out as a huge star.

The video also showcases his trademark black trousers and loafers with white socks.

A segment where he dances with himself marks him out as the modern-day successor to Gene Kelly.

7. She’s Out Of My Life

A change of pace in another classic from 1979.

Long before Sinead O”Connor braved a tearful close-up in Nothing Compares To You, Jackson bared his soul in an intimate video shot in a single take.

“What you’re seeing on there is one complete take, it was shot multi-camera,” recalls director Bruce Gowers.

“Very emotional he was in that. I was worried that he was actually going to break down and cry – which would have probably been a bit wonderful if we got some tears rolling down the face. That almost happened but not quite.”

8. Blame It On The Boogie

Strictly speaking this 1978 hit is by The Jacksons – Michael with brothers Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Jackie.

Confusingly written by UK singer Mick Jackson, it was a Top 10 hit in the UK but failed to crack the Top 50 in the US.

9. Say Say Say

What happens when you bring together two of the biggest names of all time?

Well, you get a pleasantly catchy pop song and a brilliantly bonkers video with the pair posing as con artist Vaudeville performers.

Exactly what Linda McCartney was up to is anyone’s guess.

10. Billie Jean Live

This is just one of many incredible live performances of his signature song with all the classic moves, from the leg wiggle to the Moon Walk.

Recorded in 1983 for the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever gala concert, it is a supreme example of a master at work.

11. Leave Me Alone

This 1989 hit has an irresistibly jaunty hook and playfully colourful video which disguises the very serious tone of the song.

The video took nine months to animate and three days to shoot the live sections and is a powerful anti-media rant.

The director, Jim Blashfield was impressed by Jackson’s willingness to also skewer his own plastic surgery obsession.

“The fact that he would think it would be OK to represent his plastic surgey, with the nose and the scalpel, it was just pretty great.

“I heard through the grapevine Michael’s mother didn’t like that particular image that much,” Blashfield said.

12. Jackson’s Top Ten Dance Moves.

This fan-made tribute counts down all the classic MJ moves.

13. Beat It

Jackson took the turf war between the Jets and Sharks in West Side Story to a modern audience in 1983 with his dance-fuelled showdown.

The track won the Grammy for Record of the Year and helped propel the Thriller album to becoming the best-selling album of all time.

With certified sales of over 42 million, it is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

14. Bad

The video for this 1987 hit was directed by Martion Scorcese, who knows a thing or two about tough guys.,

It also features an early uncredited appearance by future film star Wesley Snipes.

15. Thriller

For fans of a certain age, nothing will ever compare to the excitement this short film caused.

It had its live premiere on national TV in the UK and a generation of teens begged to be allowed to stay up late and watch it, while religious and conservative groups raged at the shocking imagery.

Try not to get chills when Vincent Price starts to intone that iconic intro: “Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand…”

Mind you, when Michael also tells his blushing girlfriend, ” I’m not like other guys,” it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow.

Luckily it’s all soon forgotten in the monster mayhem of the magnificent John Landis video.

 

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In The Studio With MJ: “Tapas-Style” Seminar

Sources: In The Studio With MJ | All Things Michael

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“In The Studio With MJ” will arrive in Madrid the first weekend of July. We have rented the beautiful Studio 3, and guests will come from all over Spain to join our seminars on Saturday, July 4th and Sunday, July 5th to last all day. Perhaps these intensive seminars are not for everyone. You might feel like a touchdown, an appetizer of the seminars. Perhaps you have heard talk of seminars on the Internet, but you’re not sure what you’ll find. Or maybe you come to the seminars all day and want to enjoy the Friday of the stories, music and memories of Michael. Maybe, just maybe, the “Tapas-Style” is the type of seminar you want.

In “Tapas-Style” you’ll hear things that may be in full or seminar. There will be times with leading content, but also some unique special snacks for those who come for “Tapas” with me. It will be a Friday evening you are not going to forget!

Four studio albums. Countless recording sessions. Music mixes. Danceable versions maxi-singles. Three world tours. A ranch called “Neverland.” This was the life and career of Brad Sundberg for nearly 18 years, working with the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. This is your chance to hear the music, the stories behind the songs, as it was being a part of team Michael. “Tapas-Style” goes through all these projects and memories.

Brad had the opportunity to work closely with Michael Jackson in the studio and at Neverland Valley Ranch. He was Michael’s technical director and one of the engineers in four studio albums, “Bad,” “Dangerous,” “HIStory” and “Blood On The Dancefloor.” Brad Michael even christened with the nickname “Really, Really Brad.” Each of these giant projects (including production, preparations for tours and countless remixes) came to last more than 16 months. You’re going to see and hear what it was like being in the studio with Michael and the team of engineers and producers who created these songs through a careful timeline of music, video and information about how it was done. “Captain EO,” “Man In The Mirror” or “Smile,” Brad was there, and you can see the process of creation.

In addition, Michael asked for help in the early stages of design and construction of Neverland Valley Ranch, his incredible home. The ranch was full of attractions, music and surprises waiting to be discovered. He instructed Brad to bring music to every corner. Michael even gave him specific playlists for certain areas of the ranch, to create the right atmosphere.

There will be time for questions, because Brad enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences.

If you’re a fan of the music of Michael or are curious about how they recorded those albums and the incredible amount of tapes, songs and time spent, you do not want to miss “In The Studio With MJ – Tapas-Style” in Madrid on July 3.

FAQ seminars with Brad

Q – Will there be Spanish translation?
A – Yes. The workshops on Friday will have simultaneous translation into Spanish.
Q – What differences can be found between the seminar “Tapas – Style” and complete seminars?
R – I decided to offer the “Tapas-Style” for the Spanish audience can enjoy a complete summary of the seminars, but spending less time. It will take less than four hours compared to nine events on Saturday and Sunday.
P – I understand that I can not take my phone or camera in the studio, but will there be a safe place to leave during the seminar?
A – Yes. At the entrance to collect all phones, cameras, computers, etc., and store it in a safe place. There will be time to make calls, send messages, etc. during breaks.

For more information, please, visit the web: http://inthestudiowithmj.com/

 

Celebrities Impersonating Michael Jackson

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Between his memorable chart-toppers and equally memorable voice, Michael Jackson is a popular subject for impersonations.

Here are three delightful impersonations by celebrity fans. Sometimes we all just need a good laugh.

Adam Levine

The Maroon 5 frontman showed off his impersonation skills on an episode of The Tonight Show in a game of Wheel of Musical Impressions with Jimmy Fallon—including his impression of Jackson singing a non-Jackson song: the Sesame Street theme song.

Justin Timberlake

It’s not too surprising to see Timberlake do a Jackson impression—he’s featured on 2014’s “Love Never Felt So Good” and gets Jackson comparisons all the time, after all. But it’s still a trip to see him and his best buddy Fallon get the giggles while riffing off each other parodying the singer. “We have literally wasted America’s time,” Timberlake says after a couple minutes. Not quite, JT. Not quite.

Bruno Mars

Mars wore a sparkly glove and all when he performed an especially gibberish-heavy—and somehow still faithful—version of “Smooth Criminal” on a 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Here’s the full SNL skit:

Sources: Entertainment Weekly | All Things Michael