Evans Ross: Memorial Day Weekend Song Playlist

Sources: B98.5 | All Things Michael

michael and evan

A few months ago, Evan Ross released a lyric video for his new song, “How to Live Alone.”

The song was inspired by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay actor’s wife, Ashlee Simpson. In short, Ross, 26, sings about how he’d rather live alone than be without his true love. (The two married in August and Simpson, 30, is now pregnant with their first child.)

Ross, whose mom is music legend Diana Ross, has now released a new version of the song that features T.I. Available on iTunes, “How to Live Alone” will be the first single from Ross’ upcoming debut album.

“This song means so much to me, as a songwriter and also for what it stands for,” he tells me. “I feel so lucky to have found someone that I do want to spend my life with and having T.I. come on board to make it that much more, I can’t be prouder.”

With new music on his mind, we thought it was the perfect time for Ross to offer up his perfect Memorial Day Weekend playlist.

Here, we give you Ross’ top eight songs to get your summer started…

1. “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson: “This is one of my favorite songs of Michael’s. I loved the music video and it has stuck with me since I was a little boy.”

2. “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson: “I was lucky to grow up around Michael. I remember seeing him perform this song. It paints a picture in your head and leaves you with a visual of the magic world of love.”

3. “I’m So Tired of Being Alone” by Al Green: “His performance of the song is one of my favorite things to watch. I put it on almost every night when I am relaxing and just can’t hear it enough.”

4. “It’s My House” by Diana Ross: “This reminds me of my childhood. I was too young to understand the lyrics and I did not understand what they meant but this is one of her songs that brings me back to being a little boy.”

5. “Zion” by Lauryn Hill: “I am inspired by this song as a soon-to-be dad. The love she has for her son, I can’t wait to feel when we welcome our daughter.”

6. “Outta My Head” by Ashlee Simpson: “I love this song. It’s by my wife, my best friend and I think she is so talented.”

7. “Dream On” by Steven Tyler: “Steven is my favorite rock vocalist. You can hear the passion in his voice in this song and I can play it on repeat over and over again. He is also a great friend to me.”

8. “Good Life” by T.I.: “This song is from the ATL soundtrack (and my first film), where I first met T.I., who over the years has become a mentor and a friend. It reminds me of how far I have come.”


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The Trials of Michael Jackson: The Media Exposed – A Place In Your Heart Radio – June 13

Sources:  A Place In Your Heart Radio – Rev. Catherine Gross | Gregory Son| All Things Michael


The Trials of Michael Jackson is an extraordinary documentary/movie. Dana Gedrick and Barry Shaw, who produced the movie, came like others to film the trial. However, as they began to see the unspeakable reality, they stopped filming the trial. They began to film the media and the fans. “No one could have been prepared for what was to come. They had not anticipated all the compassion that would come from Michael’s fans, more importantly, they had no idea of how vicious the media was. Money grabbing media had already prepared headline reading guilty, and the verdict hadn’t even come in! Journalists, who for money did all they could possibly do remove fans from the trial, even assaulting them. The trial was a money maker for journalists, but this movie was their nightmare!

“The Trials of Michael Jackson offers a seldom seen before and fascinating look into the workings of how the media reported on the Michael Jackson trial in 2005. I highly recommend it. It reveals eye-opening insights into how the media operates behind the scenes in order to present their version of the “truth”. From reporters rehearsing a guilty speech before the verdict was even announced, to their reactions when the camera was turned on them for a change, to their attempts at manipulating the fans and how those in support of Michael were viewed.

Broadcast date: Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 4pm pacific, 6pm central, 7:00 pm eastern

Special guests: Dana Gedrick and Gregory Son

Get the DVD here

Show link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart/2015/06/13/the-trials-of-michael-jackson-the-media-exposed

“Invincible: A Glorious Tribute To Michael Jackson – Meet The Cast

Sources: Prairie Capital Convention Center |SJR – By Ann Pierceall | All Things Michael

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Jeffrey Perez

From the early moments with his brothers in the Jackson 5 to his stratospheric rise as a solo artist to become one of the greatest entertainers of all time, this live show is a tribute to Michael’s most beloved songs.

Two talented performers portray Michael at different stages of his dynamic career in this multi-media spectacular featuring his greatest hits including “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” and much much more!

Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson,” will perform on Friday, May 29 at 7:30 pm at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois.

Jeffrey Perez, who lived in Springfield until the sixth grade, is one of them.

“I don’t ever remember Michael Jackson not being part of my life. He’s my peace. He’s my heaven,” said the 28-year-old performer, who now lives in Phoenix.

Show producer, Darrin Ross, said the tribute isn’t a matter of covering Jackson’s songs, it’s a theatrical production.

Perez, handles the live vocals. Pete Carter will pay tribute to Jackson’s dance moves, something he’s done since he was a child. As an adult, he met with and earned the stamp of approval from Jackson for his efforts.

Darrin Ross, gives high marks to both men.

“It’s amazing to be around these individuals who’ve given their lives to this work,” he said, adding it’s important to pay tribute to Jackson who broke so many barriers. He said Jackson was an innovator on so many different levels, and that’s something he believes “Invincible” demonstrates.

“If you come with an open mind, you’ll be blown away,” Ross said.

Perez said audiences don’t know what to expect when they attend a performance of “Invincible’,” but few leave unaffected.

“I’ve had people cry. I’ve had people scream. Everyone is still grieving,” he said. “We’re all one in those moments.”

The show, Ross said, allows people to “feel and experience the spirit of Michael Jackson.”

“For good or bad, he shook up the world,” he said. “The final message is Michael will always be with us, because he inspired us all.’

Mr. Lavelle M. Smith Jr., longtime Michael Jackson dancer and choreographer, has joined the team as the creative consultant for this years show starting with the June 13th performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. 

*VIP ticket holders with premium seats get a post show meet and greet with the cast. Check for details on the Invincible FB page and on advertisements for each event.*

For more ticket for upcoming shows, see below:





Aston Merrygold Says His New Music Is Inspired By Michael Jackson, Prince And James Brown

Sources: Contact News | All Things Michael


Aston Merrygold has revealed Prince, James Brown and Michael Jackson have been big inspirations for the songs on his upcoming solo album and his new haircut.

Aston Merrygold’s new music and his haircut are inspired by Prince and Michael Jackson.

The former JLS star is getting ready to release his debut solo album and the two pop legends have been a big influence on the tracks as well as his spiky new style.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz at The 60th Anniversary Ivor Novello Awards, he said: ”My hair’s inspired by some of the greatest of all time, James Brown, Prince, MJ, I’m trying to take it back to the roots a little bit. And that’s hugely reflected in my music, they are my biggest inspirations, that’s the music I grew up listening to, the music I listen to now, the first thing I put on in my car. For me not to do something in that vein I think would be wrong.”

Aston also opened up on what it’s been like to record music on his own without his three ex-bandmates – Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams and J.B. Gill.

The 27-year-old pop star has found it ”liberating” to solely be in control in the studio but insists he and the boys – who split in 2013 – are always in touch with one another.

He said: ”The experience has been liberating so far. It’s exciting because you don’t know what’s round the corner.”

Discussing whether he feels lonely without the JLS guys with him in the studio, he added: ”Not so much because I’ve got a fantastic team. Publicly me and the boys aren’t together as a band, but we’re still in touch, we’re always messaging each other and we’re behind each other 100 percent.”


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Radio.com Minimation: Slash Performs with Michael Jackson But Doesn’t Dance

Source: Radio.com – By Brian Ives| All Things Michael


On Minimation, we comb through the Radio.com interview archives and animate interviews with legendary artists. In this interview from 2014, Slash talks about going on tour with Michael Jackson. He clashed with MJ’s guitarist over one issue, and it wasn’t about who gets to solo first. 

In last week’s Radio.com Minimation, Slash told us the story of how he ended up playing guitar on Michael Jackson’s 1991 album, Dangerous. The two artists hit it off pretty well. MJ was used to playing with great six-stringers (he’d worked with Eddie Van Halen and Steve Stevens on previous albums).

And so, Slash did a few shows with the King of Pop as his special guest. Of course, MJ already had a guitar player – namely Jennifer Batten, a face-melting soloist in her own right. But no matter how good you are at your instrument, when you’re in Michael Jackson’s band, there are rules you must follow. Such as, taking part in on-stage choreography. So, it’s understandable that she figured, he she had to learn to dance, Slash would as well.

Slash, who at the time was a member of Guns N Roses, the baddest band in the land, was pretty firm on his stance: He was not going to dance. As he told Radio.com, Batten was “losing her mind about it.”


At that point, Michael got involved, taking her down to “the sports bathrooms” (i.e. the locker rooms) and moderated. Spoiler: Slash didn’t learn choreography.

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Michael Jackson, Brothers Johnson Bass Guitarist Louis Johnson Dies At 60

Sources: Rolling Stone – Daniel Kreps | All Things Michael


Louis Johnson, founding member of funk band the Brothers Johnson and an in-demand bassist who appeared on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” died on Thursday, May 21st. He was 60. Johnson’s nephew Troy confirmed his death to Rolling Stone, though a cause of death has yet to be revealed.

“I’ve never been given parts to play in my whole life. I’m the most rare bass player in the whole world,” Johnson told Rolling Stone contributing writer Steve Knopper in 2013 for the upcoming book MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson. “No one ever gave me music paper to read; no one ever gave me anything to read. They tell me, ‘Here’s a track, play what you want.'”

The Los Angeles-based Brothers Johnson, a group featuring Louis and his brother George, got their start backing up Quincy Jones before releasing their acclaimed, Jones-produced debut LP Look Out for #1 in 1976. Over the next five years, the Brothers Johnson racked up three Number One hits on the R&B charts: 1976’s “I’ll Be Good to You,” their 1977 cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” and 1980’s smash “Stomp!” (Their rendition of “Strawberry Letter 23″ was later featured prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.) The Brothers Johnson’s 1980 album Light Up the Night, featuring “This Had to Be” co-written by Michael Jackson and featuring the King of Pop on background vocals, ascended to the top of the R&B album charts.

“Louis ‘Thunder Thumbs’ Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument,” Jones tells Rolling Stone. “As a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums Body Heat and Mellow Madness, to their platinum albums Look Out for #1Right On Time, Blam and Light Up the Night, which I produced, to Michael’s solo debut Off the Wall, I considered Louis a core member of my production team. He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day.”

After the brothers parted ways in the early Eighties to pursue solo careers, Louis became known for his bass-playing prowess, emerging as a prolific, in-demand session musician. Johnson served as the primary bassist on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and later lent his skills to Jackson’s Thriller (“Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “P.Y.T.”), Paul McCartney’s Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack and the all-star “We Are the World” collaboration.

“When I went to the session with ‘Billie Jean,’ I took like 10 basses and I lined ’em up. I’d say, ‘Michael, pick one,'” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “He’d pick one with the zebra wood on it. It had 12 different kinds of wood, different layers. It was dark brown and tan and light-colored, and it looked like a tiger or a zebra. Michael picked it because it sounded good. I hot-rodded it. I beefed it up and put extra magnets underneath the pickups. I did all the things I knew how to do to get the best sound. That’s how come the bass sounded like that.”

Johnson is also credited with creating the bass line from Michael McDonald’s hit version of Leiber & Stoller’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” a melody that was later sampled by Warren G and Nate Dogg for “Regulate.” Over his long career, Johnson also worked with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert and George Benson.

“I had access to all musicians and artists, from Barbra Streisand to Paul McCartney to Michael Jackson,” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “It was like an open door. The Lord blessed me with that — I prayed to God and my prayer he answered. He said, ‘OK, you got the whole world now.’ Every time I’d get in the car to go somewhere, I’d hear me playing the bass… I was all over the place. I released the funk on everybody.”

As news of Johnson’s death spread, hip-hop artists, funk legends and bassists inspired by “Thunder Thumbs” showed love on social media. “Thank you for blessing me and the world with your original #funk. RIP,” Lenny Kravitz tweeted, while Bootsy Collins added, “Another Brick in our music foundation has left the building. Mr. ‘Louis Johnson.'” Slave’s Steve Arringtonwrote, “Just heard the great bass player and song writer Louis Johnson has passed away. Awe man….Going to miss U Thunder Thumbs.” My Morning Jacket bassist Tom Blankenship and the Roots’ Questlove wrote similar tributes to Johnson.

Additional reporting by Steve Knopper

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The 25 Best Model Music Video Moments

Sources: Style.com | All Things Michael


Style takes a look back at the 25 best moments in model music-video history.

Iman  in “Remember the Time” by Michael Jackson

Iman’s uncanny resemblance to Thutmose’s Nefertiti bust makes her the perfect person to portray the ancient queen in Jackson’s epic video for “Remember the Time.” The scenario is more surreal than historical, but Iman is a vision throughout the now-classic clip.

Naomi Campbell in “In the Closet” by Michael Jackson

As a former ballet student, Campbell has always utilized her dance skills within her work, but for “In the Closet” she goes toe to toe with the King of Pop, moving as only she can.

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The Wombats’ On Michael Jackson And More

Sources: NME | All Things Michael


The first song I remember hearing:
Michael Jackson – something from ‘Bad’

“I used to wear denim jackets. I had this weird brown hat that was more John Wayne than Michael Jackson but I thought I was MJ even though I had really bad dance moves with knobbly knees. I remember listening to ‘Bad’ a lot.

The first song I fell in love with:
‘Creep’ – Radiohead

“I was going through a really terrible happy hardcore phase when I was about 11 to 13. Then I remember hearing ‘Creep’ on New Year’s Eve up in the den my friend and I made in his parents’ house and thinking, ‘What was that?’ Then I became a Radiohead pervert for years.”

The first album I bought:
‘Bad’ – Michael Jackson

“He was playing in Liverpool and you could hear the bass rumbling from miles away. It was definitely around that time that I got it.”

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