Unveiling And Ceremony Of Michael Jackson’s HIStory Statue This Thursday At Mandalay Bay

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The Estate of Michael Jackson, Cirque du Soleil’s MICHAEL JACKSON ONE and Mandalay Bay invite the public to join cast members of the popular and critically acclaimed show for the unveiling of Michael Jackson’s HIStory statue at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Mandalay Bay’s main lobby.

The ceremony will include the unveiling of the statue, a performance by cast members of ONE and photographs with the artists post-performance. Also expected to attend: Jerry Nadal, senior vice president, Resident Shows Division at Cirque, and Darren Davis, Mandalay Bay vice president of Entertainment.

The performance will be to “Scream,” the first single from the “HIStory” album created for this event by cast members. In 1994, Jackson commissioned U.S. sculptor Diana Walczak to create the statue, which became the inspiration for the cover of his fifth solo album “HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1.” The album became the biggest-selling multiple-disc album worldwide. The 10-foot-tall statue was featured at stops on Jackson’s “HIStory Tour.”

On loan from the Estate of Michael Jackson, the statue is the third piece of memorabilia to be lent by the Estate for display at Mandalay Bay. The other two pieces, Jackson’s red-and-gold military-style jacket from the 1984 American Music Awards and a pair of black loafers and crystal-encrusted white socks, are on display adjacent to the MICHAEL JACKSON ONE boutique.

An additional historic Jackson item from the Estate will be revealed Aug. 27 to kick off a three-day birthday celebration planned for The King of Pop inside the ONE theater. This will be the fourth-annual celebration organized by the Estate and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE for Jackson’s birthday.

Read more at Review Journal

Michael Jackson’s Family Sues Radar Online for $100 Million Over Sexual Abuse Reports

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Nephews of deceased singer claim libel by online publication

Relatives of deceased pop-music legend Michael Jackson have filed a $100 million libel lawsuit against Radar Online, over Radar’s suggestion that the singer might have sexually abused his nephews.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday by Jackson’s nephews Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, accuses Radar Online of wrongfully reporting that Jackson “sexually abused young boys [and] implied that this included his ‘nephews,’ but added that his ‘family’ (which, of course, includes plaintiffs) resisted any inquiry into that criminal conduct.”

“Radar reported that Michael Jackson ‘bought them’ a ‘brand new car’ to ‘shut them up,’” the lawsuit reads, adding that Radar also reported that a relative, which readers would have understood to be one of the nephews, was “‘spirited off to an island’ to buy his silence, after which he refused to tell police anything ‘bad’ about Michael Jackson.”

“Radar’s statements were entirely false and defamatory,” the complaint reads. “In fact, although plaintiffs are Michael Jackson’s ‘nephews,’ ‘relatives’ and ‘members of the family,’ none of them was ever sexually abused by Michael Jackson or ever had any sort of sexual contact with him.”

The lawsuit also takes issue with Radar’s report that the late King of Pop “even used sexy photos of his own nephews, who were in the band 3T, in their underwear to excite young boys.”

A spokesperson for Radar Online has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“In publishing Radar’s libelous stories, Radar was aware that its defamatory assertions, which the public will understand to include and refer to plaintiffs, were, in fact, not true of plaintiffs or any of them,” the suit continues. “Radar’s conduct alleged hereinabove was fraudulent, oppressive and malicious, calling, in addition, for an award of exemplary damages in an amount sufficient to punish Radar and its owners and to deter them from publishing such vicious, false and defamatory ‘reports.’”

The suit seeks a judgment for “$100 million and such other and further sum as shall be found.”

 

Source: The Wrap | All Things Michael

UAE Michael Jackson Impersonator Shares His Story About His Journey And Meeting The KOP

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Meet “Mudassar Jackson,” the UAE impersonator who has spent the past two decades skidding across stages in tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. From stadium showcases to impromptu bar and club appearances – such as this 30-minute set at Tribeca Kitchen and Bar, JBR, Dubai, last Saturday.

As this flexible figure twirls, points and pouts – a minute study of MJ’s mannerisms – the otherwise ambivalent audience can’t hide their visceral reaction to this animated anomaly. They turn, wail and whoop – rapt with a mix of admiration, adoration and disbelief. And, perhaps, a healthy slab of irony.

It is a performance you could only give with wholehearted commitment to the cause, and Mudassar Hussain Muhammad has it by the bucketload.

“I just do it for the love of Michael,” says the 35-year-old Pakistani, sitting backstage before the show, part of local performance platform GoPlayTheWorld.

I’ve long held an odd fascination with tribute acts. What is it, after all, that inspires a person to commit so many hours, weeks and years, so much study and sweat, into the craft of assuming another’s identity? And what effect does it all have on the person under the wig?

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Mudassar appears to be under few illusions. Alongside his moonwalk moonlighting, he holds down a day-job in air traffic control at Al Maktoum International Airport, only emerging in the King of Pop’s shoes after dark. His friends and colleagues however, are not as enthusiastic about Mudassar’s obsession.

“Not everyone is supportive, especially people from Pakistan,” he says gravely.

“I face big challenges because of where I’m from – Pakistani people just don’t understand Michael.

“But I challenge life – I look life in the eye and say ‘try me’.”

But at Mudassar’s side is a sympathetic supporter – wife Caroline Todler, a 27-year-old Norwegian, whose allegiance to Jackson has been pledged with a sizeable back tattoo. The couple married last month, after meeting via sharing Jackson-related images on social media.

“I wouldn’t say that Michael was the reason we met,” she laughs, “but I do think I came to the UAE for a reason.”

Todler, who works as a dressage rider at Abu Dhabi’s W’rsan Stables, still finds her husband’s lengthy rehearsal and make-up routines a novelty. “I love it, I’m always asking, ‘Can I help you?’,” she says. “I’m actually a little bit annoying.”

Make-up typically takes an hour, and at Saturday’s show, Mudassar arrived with a suitcase and several suit bags, changing his customized outfit for every song.

He dons a glittery black jacket for the set climax Billie Jean, strolling outlandishly into the crowd while a live saxophonist improvises a gutsy solo.

These stadium theatrics are quaintly overblown in this intimate setting. “It’s hard to moonwalk on carpet,” he says. But to Mudassar, every crowd is worth winning over, from a few dozen curious diners to the 15,000 punters he performed to at a Sharjah Cricket Stadium family show in 2004.

As a corporate entertainer, a booking for “Mudassar Jackson” costs from Dh2,000 for a one-song solo dance, without vocals, up to Dh300,000 for a 60-minute set, complete with a fleet of six dancers, four vocalists and a six-piece band.

Such a sum must have been unimaginable to the nine-year-old who first fell in love with Jackson in the late 1980s, shortly after his family moved from Lahore to Sharjah, where he still lives today.

By his teens, Mudassar had mastered the moonwalk, performing as Jackson for the first time at a school concert at the emirate’s Pakistan Islamia Higher Secondary School. In 1999, he was set on his path after being featured on MTV India, hailed as “the World’s Best Michael Jackson Tribute Artist”.

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Now, 17 years later, his passion remains undiminished and he is regularly spotted performing unbilled at Jazz@PizzaExpress’s weekly open mic night in JLT on Sundays.

“It was always Michael,” he says seriously. “Since I started, I just have not deviated from what I was doing – I believe in it and my faith carries me through.”

If Mudassar’s faith needed a signal or sign, it came in 2003 when he came face-to-face with his idol while working in the control tower of Dubai International Airport. When word came in that Jackson was flying to the UAE, Mudassar rushed home, put on his best MJ outfit and mined the courage to make an introduction.

“I almost fainted, I still get goosebumps thinking about it,” he says. “I started blushing and said, ‘I would die for you – I love you and your music so much’. And he thanked me, he was the humblest person. It was the most grateful and blessed day of my life.”

The encounter took place in the days before camera and smartphones were omnipresent, but Mudassar has his memory.

“I don’t need to show pictures to people,” he says. “I have the memory here in my heart, and I will die with that.”

 

Read more at The National

AP Reporter Linda Deutsch Speaks About Today’s Media And The Treatment Of Michael Jackson On Trial

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AP court reporter Linda Deutsch on Michael Jackson from a recent interview with Without Notes’s host Michael Levine:

“Michael Jackson had the world looking at him. The whole thing was a debacle. He should have never been tried. An overzealous prosecutor who saw himself as some sort of Javert chasing Jean Valjean. He had tried to get Michael before and he had failed and after Michael was acquitted in this case I went to the press conference and I asked him: ‘Are you through chasing Michael Jackson?’ and he said: “No comment” and that night Michael left his beloved Neverland and never came back… I think the trial killed him. You could see him shrinking during the trial physically.

When it was over, he called me. I had met him, I saw him every day and he finally called me after it was all over to thank me for being fair to him because NOBODY ELSE was. They ALL were out to get him one way or another. And I said to him: Michael, how was the trial for you? And he said: it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life and that was true. Michael was a very sensitive and gentle soul and he was not up to this. He became ill over and over again… Michael came in with a lot of strikes against him not because of what he did but because of his whole persona.

I think Mesereau believed, and I believed, that he was set up. That this woman that brought her child and claimed that he had molested him for money, well for more than money, she wanted to live in Neverland for the rest of her life.

Michael had been so kind to this woman and her son who had overcome cancer that he gave them a little cottage that was normally occupied by Elizabeth Taylor, his friend. There were swans floating in the lake outside, there were flowers everywhere, there was music playing, it was idyllic. This is a woman who had been living in the ghetto in Los Angeles. She thought she’s gonna stay there for ever. And so, when it became evident that she wasn’t, that Michael was going to give them eviction papers she went to the DA and claimed that he had molested her child.

As I said, Michael should never have been tried but because he was Michael there was no way they were going to let it go. The thing is with the people who are acquitted they are never acquitted in the public mind, so that is the tragedy because supposedly if you go through a trial and you are proven not guilty you are supposed to go on with your life.

But the public had made a different decision, they had tried to second-guess the jury and it was impossible for him to ever live down being tried.

That to me is heartbreaking. The trials I covered, at least 60 maybe, maybe more. They are show trials. They’re not symbolic of anything else because these trials are giving the public a chance to see their system at work and to see something that’s emblematic of what’s going on in society but they are not emblematic of what’s going every day in court houses around the countries.

In the journalistic world I sometimes feel like a visitor from another planet. Things are not now like they were when I started, they’re just not. I wouldn’t say they are better, I think that there is a cult of personality now around journalism that’s not healthy. When I started no one knew who I was, all they knew was my byline. Eventually I became known because I was the face of the OJ trial but there was never this feeling of: I have to cover this because it’s going to make my career. I’ve never even thought of that. But in the electronic media which is now so prevalent and TV media stars are made from trials. That Nancy Grace type of person… It gives you a very different motivation to be there. I was there to tell the truth.”

Sources: Michael Jackson Chinese Fan Club | Laura Messina | All Things Michael

BREAKING NEWS: MOTOWN Will Conclude Broadway Run Early on July 31

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THIS JUST IN: The Broadway return engagement of Motown the Musical, the last stop on the First National Tour, will play its final performance at The Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street) on Sunday, July 31, 2016.

The Motown the Musical producers said, “We promised that the hit show would return to New York following the profitable engagement that finished on Broadway in January 2015. Now, after the launch of a record-breaking London company and a hugely successful, sold-out First National Tour, we are delighted that this amazing company of actors and musicians has been able to bring the production full circle back to Broadway where the production began, for the final stop of the tour.”

Motown The Musical features the music of the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy, stars Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy, Allison Semmes as Diana Ross,Jesse Nager as Smokey Robinson, Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye, and J.J. Batteast and Leon Outlaw, Jr. as Young Berry Gordy/Stevie Wonder/Michael Jackson.

Motown The Musical concluded its original world premiere Broadway engagement in January 2015 following 775 performances at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre.

The first National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Chicago in April 2014, and played a standing room only sixteen-week run before going on to break box office records and receive rave reviews in major cities across the country for the last three years and over 900 performances.

The London production of Motown the Musical opened in February to critical acclaim and has extended into 2017 at The Shaftsbury Theatre. In only three short years since its first performance, Motown the Musical has already, around the world, grossed over $300 million at the box office and sold 2.5 million tickets.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, The Supremes, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and many more.

Motown The Musical is produced by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy.

Tickets for Motown the Musical can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 877-250-2929.

 

Read more at Broadway World

Kelly Rowland’s New Girl Group Covers Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal The World’

Kelly Rowland’s new R&B girl group, June’s Diary, finally has a name all their own to match their unique sound and they’ve also been keeping the music coming full speed for their growing fanbase.

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For their latest musical contribution, the talented quintent decided to try their hand at a cover of Michael Jackson’s inspirational 1991 hit “Heal The World.” They shared the finished product to their new group Instagram page over the weekend and as you might imagine, they totally nailed it. Hear their rendition in the video clip below.

The ladies are currently making their way around the country to do a few shows and meet with fans while they continue working on their upcoming album.

Source: Essence | All Things Michael

Food Art: Creative Mom Turns Healthy Food Into Famous Characters

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A good number of adults don’t even enjoy eating exotic foods like octopus and fungi, but for 3-year-old Jacob Mohmedi, that’s just another delicious, art-filled meal.

For the past year, his mom, Laleh Mohmedi, of Melbourne, Australia, has been creating these imaginative, healthy meals for her son, shaping the different foods into iconic characters her son enjoys.

“I have always been a strong advocate in healthy organic eating for children,” she told ABC News of her inspiration. “Last May, I decided to turn Jacob’s spelt pancakes into a lion. He absolutely loved it and it progressed from there. Jacob tells me which character he would like for me to make, be it from a book, a movie or something that has caught his eye that day.”

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The colorful creations have amassed more than 46,000 followers on Instagram with fans salivating over the healthy meals displayed like Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Ursula, Elsa and the Mad Hatter, just to name a few.

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And yes, Mohmedi said Jacob actually enjoys and eats all of dishes, even the enormous octopus.

“Yes he sure does!” the proud mom explained. “The only creations that Jacob does not eat are the ones that are made just for art/tribute — for example, Red Queen, Carl and Ellie, Prince, Michael Jackson and the one of Mickey, Pluto and Goofy — there was a whole lot of potato in that one!

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“Jacob has always been exposed to a variety of different foods,” she added. “I honestly thought he would turn his nose up at the octopus but he actually helped me prepare it without any issues. I, on the other hand, was gagging — [the] tentacles were enormous!”

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Surprisingly, the mom doesn’t have a background in art or design, but said she did always enjoy drawing and painting when she was younger.

Source: ABC

 

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Producer RedOne On Working With Michael Jackson

Sources: People | All Things Michael

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RedOne might not be the most recognizable name in music – but he’s responsible for some of the biggest Top 40 hits of the century.

Growing up in Morocco, RedOne was the youngest of his parents’ nine children in a very musical family.

PEOPLE caught up with the musician about his transition to the spotlight, his favorite collaborations and more.

He’s worked with Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey and more – but his favorite collaboration was…Michael Jackson.

RedOne was in the recording studio with the King of Pop several times before his 2009 death and says the experience was like no other.

“The most special one – besides U2, because it’s on a personal level – is Michael Jackson. That was out of this world,” says the producer. “I could not believe it. It was so beautiful to work with him.”

While no songs from their sessions were ever finished, RedOne has said he would consider releasing some of the music for charity. And regardless of what came out of the sessions, the producer says he’ll always remember the late icon for his human side.

“He was an incredible human being. He wanted to go to Morocco and meet my mom. He was like, ‘I wanna meet the mom who raised this kid.’ It’s crazy. Stuff like that. He was very special,” says RedOne.

“Every time I was working with him … You forget that you’re working with him, and then when he starts singing in the microphone, you just get chills, like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Michael Jackson!’ The person that we grew up listening to. That was very, very special.”

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