LA Weekly: Until now, Michael Jackson's art collection was shrouded in mystery. It was said to be stuck in a legal dispute over possession. Then, people speculated that buyers such as Cirque du Soleil's Guy Laliberté were interested. It's been valued at the staggering (and slightly unbelievable) sum of $900 million.

One crucial fact: Jackson’s art collection isn’t art by other people — it’s mainly drawings and paintings that he created himself. So what does that art look like?

Yesterday, LA Weekly was the first to visit the (until now) top-secret Santa Monica Airport hangar that Jackson used as his studio and art storehouse…

Read More Here

Fourteen-year-old Prince, 13-year-old Paris, and 9-year-old Prince Michael II (“Blanket”) Jackson were accompanied by their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, and aunt, LaToya Jackson, as the family donated 10 signed pieces. The children also signed some of them below their father’s name.

The sketches, which depict Mickey Mouse, furniture and other objects, will be displayed throughout the hospital.

La Toya Jackson said she thought the art will bring joy to children at the hospital. “You look at this, it makes you happy,” she said. The pieces of art are “whimsical, they’re magical and there’s just joy and peace.”

michaelerz:

 
ONCE UPON A TIME…….
I don’t tell this story too often, in fact growing up I kinda learned to just keep it to myself.
Whenever people would find out I knew him, a gang of silly, dumb questions would follow, and I would always end up having to defend someone I loved so much. When I was 5, my cousin Brian and I where OBSESSED with Micheal Jackson. We had dolls, sleeping bags, lunch boxes, and OF COURSE the gloves. I was pretty convinced I was goin to be him when I grew up, and nobody could tell me otherwise! Brian was older then me, and found out at school MJ actually lived in the Valley, we lived in. Anyone from LA pretty much knew the house. So we wrote him letters and enclosed a bunch of pics, you remember the ones from school you’d write on the bk, yeah well, lucky Micheal got about 25 of me!! Basically we told him we LOVED him & I told him I was a singer and dancer!!! We also asked him to come to our house & visit!! Our loca tia Carol (RIP) took us to his house and we rang the gaurd gate. His gaurd came out to us & took our letters. WE WERE SOOOOOOO HAPPY, we KNEW he would get em!! I honestly can say we were just happy enough to see his gate & meet his gaurd NEVER did we really expect what happened next.
About 4 days later, at 10:30 pm, my mom got the call from Carol, Michael Jackson was HERE, in our APT building, on her couch. I was 5 & anybody who knows a 5 year old also knows that it’s damn near impossible to wake em up!! The pic you see of us is him holding me, cause I wouldn’t wake up, he insisted my parents take da pic so I would truly know he came!! A few days later I was going into the hospital for sugery & he called me. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was talking to Micheal Jackson & that he actually had my number!! Over the next few years he would invite Brian & I to his house, to watch him shot his videos & to his shows.It’s weird, when I was lil, I didn’t really grasp FAME,  especially his FAME. All I knew was he was my friend & I think thats why he liked me. My friendship with him changed my life. It was a HUGE influence, it made me believe having a singer career was in arms reach. My neighborhood didn’t support BIG DREAMS but his freindship gave me confidence & assurance that ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is possible, if you work hard & aren’t scared to try. His generousity & kindness inspires me daily. Here was the biggest super star in the world taking time out to come to a broken down apt building in Van Nuys CA to see his fans. He was ALWAYS about his fans & his community, and I really always knew that if I got my chance I would strive to be just like that!! 
Even as a tiny lil girl I could see his saddness & his lonely. It was a part of him, I think his childhood, fame & money alienated him from most of the world. Thats why he loved US cause we didnt care about the BS!! We just had fun!! He was so goofy & silly, we would jump on his trampoline and raid his candy shop. 
Micheal was like Edward Scissorhands & Willy Wonka to me, SOOOOO AMAZING in the HEART but so misunderstood by most! I love him always for touching my life & showing me a different world then the one I grew up in.
I hope those babies of his really  grow up understanding that they did have the best daddy in the world. His heart & sprirt are what made him the GREATEST and so RARE. 
One day I’ll post more pics, and tell ya specific stories!! All the good things ya heard about him were ALL TRUE!! I promise!! 
R.I.P M.J. YOU WILL BE MISSED AND ALWAYS LOVED!
Lala Romero 
This is so sweet!

michaelerz:

ONCE UPON A TIME…….

I don’t tell this story too often, in fact growing up I kinda learned to just keep it to myself.

Whenever people would find out I knew him, a gang of silly, dumb questions would follow, and I would always end up having to defend someone I loved so much. 
When I was 5, my cousin Brian and I where OBSESSED with Micheal Jackson. We had dolls, sleeping bags, lunch boxes, and OF COURSE the gloves. I was pretty convinced I was goin to be him when I grew up, and nobody could tell me otherwise! Brian was older then me, and found out at school MJ actually lived in the Valley, we lived in. Anyone from LA pretty much knew the house. So we wrote him letters and enclosed a bunch of pics, you remember the ones from school you’d write on the bk, yeah well, lucky Micheal got about 25 of me!! Basically we told him we LOVED him & I told him I was a singer and dancer!!! We also asked him to come to our house & visit!! Our loca tia Carol (RIP) took us to his house and we rang the gaurd gate. His gaurd came out to us & took our letters. WE WERE SOOOOOOO HAPPY, we KNEW he would get em!! I honestly can say we were just happy enough to see his gate & meet his gaurd NEVER did we really expect what happened next.

About 4 days later, at 10:30 pm, my mom got the call from Carol, Michael Jackson was HERE, in our APT building, on her couch. I was 5 & anybody who knows a 5 year old also knows that it’s damn near impossible to wake em up!! The pic you see of us is him holding me, cause I wouldn’t wake up, he insisted my parents take da pic so I would truly know he came!! A few days later I was going into the hospital for sugery & he called me. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was talking to Micheal Jackson & that he actually had my number!! Over the next few years he would invite Brian & I to his house, to watch him shot his videos & to his shows.
It’s weird, when I was lil, I didn’t really grasp FAME,  especially his FAME. All I knew was he was my friend & I think thats why he liked me. My friendship with him changed my life. It was a HUGE influence, it made me believe having a singer career was in arms reach. My neighborhood didn’t support BIG DREAMS but his freindship gave me confidence & assurance that ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is possible, if you work hard & aren’t scared to try. His generousity & kindness inspires me daily. Here was the biggest super star in the world taking time out to come to a broken down apt building in Van Nuys CA to see his fans. He was ALWAYS about his fans & his community, and I really always knew that if I got my chance I would strive to be just like that!! 

Even as a tiny lil girl I could see his saddness & his lonely. It was a part of him, I think his childhood, fame & money alienated him from most of the world. Thats why he loved US cause we didnt care about the BS!! We just had fun!! He was so goofy & silly, we would jump on his trampoline and raid his candy shop. 

Micheal was like Edward Scissorhands & Willy Wonka to me, SOOOOO AMAZING in the HEART but so misunderstood by most! I love him always for touching my life & showing me a different world then the one I grew up in.

I hope those babies of his really  grow up understanding that they did have the best daddy in the world. His heart & sprirt are what made him the GREATEST and so RARE. 

One day I’ll post more pics, and tell ya specific stories!! All the good things ya heard about him were ALL TRUE!! I promise!! 

R.I.P M.J. YOU WILL BE MISSED AND ALWAYS LOVED!

Lala Romero

This is so sweet!

Joseph Vogel is an American writer and a teacher at the University of Rochester. He writes about music and pop culture for the Huffington Post and PopMatters. He is the author of three books, including the upcoming ‘Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson.’

'Man in the Music' is due out on bookshelves this November 1, and Joe was gracious enough to spend some time talking to MJFC's Joie Collins about his book and what compelled him to write it.

JC:  How long have you been writing professionally?

JOE:  I’ve been writing professionally for about five or six years now.
 
JC:
  I’ve seen you described as a music critic and as a pop culture critic. How would you describe yourself?

JOE:  I would describe myself as an interpreter of art in all of its forms. I do music reviews and features for The Huffington Post and now PopMatters. Academically, I’m trained primarily in literary criticism, but there is so much interdisciplinary work these days that I’ve taught and written about music, film, history, psychology, philosophy, politics, etc. as well.

JC:  With all the books written about Michael, what made you want to write this one?

JOE:  It hadn’t been written. I was always so fascinated by Michael, but there was so little of substance available to read, particularly about his creative process and the meanings of his work.

JC:  What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

JOE:  I feel like Michael really hasn’t been given the respect he deserves among critics and journalists. When you read through assessments of his work there is so much condescension and bias. I want to begin a major critical re-appraisal of his work, particularly his post-1980s work, which is incredible, and deserves far more attention. In addition, I want the average book-buyer to be able to walk into their local bookstores and have an alternative to the the tell-alls and tabloid sensationalism.

JC:  I agree, it seems as if everyone gets sort of stuck on THRILLER and BAD but, some of the best work Michael ever did came in later years with DANGEROUS, HIStory, and INVINCIBLE. Even the five original songs on BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR are amazing. In your opinion, which of these later albums is the most deserving of a closer look?

JOE:  They are all very good — Michael didn’t make mediocre records. But for me, DANGEROUS and HIStory are two of the strongest albums of the decade. I would love for more listeners to experience what they have to offer. I read an article in which music critic, Robert Hilburn, was talking to Michael in 1995 about how his work had declined according to many critics and executives. It must have been so frustrating for Michael, because here he was, really at his creative apex, doing some of his most impressive, challenging work, but critics didn’t get it. Or they couldn’t look past his “eccentricities.” Or they expected a repeat of THRILLER, commercially and stylistically. It hurt Michael deeply — but he believed the music, ultimately, would hold up, and it will. Songs like “Who Is It,” “Stranger in Moscow,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” and “Give In To Me,” are among the best in his entire catalog.

JC:  It’s not often we see a positive study on Michael’s artistry so, as you can imagine, the fans are very excited about this book. What made you want to explore Michael’s creative process?

JOE:  It’s exciting to really immerse yourself in great art and explore what is happening and what is being conveyed. It’s exciting to go behind the scenes and see how a great artist operates. That’s what made ‘This Is It’ so fascinating. I guess sometimes seeing behind the curtain can ruin the magic, but with Michael, it didn’t feel that way. The more I learned about how he worked the more impressed I became.

JC:  Do you feel this is a book for the fans or will the general public enjoy it as well?

JOE:  I hope it will serve as a gift to fans and an eye-opener to the broader public. It makes me very happy to see how excited fans are for the book — they deserve to see Michael represented in this way. But I would like to see people that don’t know much about him, or know him only as a phenomenon or a tabloid fixture, to see what made him such a brilliant artist.

(submitted by borednschooled)

King of Pop Was Also King of Compassion

The accomplishments of Michael Jackson in the field of music, dance and entertainment have been documented worldwide. He was an innovator who changed the face of modern dance, captivated and influenced generations of music lovers and produced ground-breaking videos that were ahead of their time. What is lesser known, however, is how much he gave of himself, his time and his finances in order to help the suffering and those in need.

Quietly and without the need or desire for recognition, Jackson visited orphanages and schools across the globe, paid the cost of funerals for those who could ill afford the expense, and supported so many charities and good causes that he was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most charities donated to by a pop star.

Indeed, the entire proceeds of his 1992/1993 Dangerous Tour went to charity, as well as his cut from the 1984 Victory Tour. Whilst the tabloid media busied themselves in tearing him down, Jackson was using his time to give to the needy, sick or deprived, visiting as many orphanages and hospitals as he did concerts.

From a very early age, Jackson was moved to tears by the suffering of others, and especially the plight of children. As a child watching images of starving African children, he told his mother he was going to ‘do something about that one day’. And, he kept to his word.

On the second anniversary of his death, we look at just a few instances which give us a glimpse into the singer’s heart for the suffering:

In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the song ‘We Are The World’ together with Lionel Richie in order to combat poverty in the Third World. The record sold over ten million copies worldwide and raised a staggering $63 million plus for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.

On February 6th, 1988, the inspirational and spiritually uplifting single, ‘Man in The Mirror’ entered the pop charts. Jackson donated all of his royalties from the single to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a camp for children who have cancer.

In December 1988, Jackson paid a visit to 12 year old David Rothenburg, who was hospitalised after being doused with kerosene and seriously burned by his father five years previously. Despite an estimated fifty operations, Rothenburg remained disfigured. The star paid for all necessary further operations and the pair remained lifelong friends.

On 7 February, 1989, Jackson visited the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. Three weeks earlier, a gunman had open fired 100 bullets in the school playground, killing five children and wounding 39 others before turning the gun on himself. Jackson spent time comforting the children and helping them to think positively again.

On May 6th 1992, Jackson paid the funeral costs for young Ramon Sanchez. Sanchez was killed by a stray bullet during the Rodney King violent riots in California and the boy’s parents could not afford to bury him.

On November 25th, 1992, Jackson granted the wish of young David Sonnet, who he met through the Make A Wish Foundation, an organisation that grants wishes to terminally ill children. Sonnet had suffered a brain aneurysm at the age of 8, leaving him unable to talk or walk. Jackson invited the boy and his mother to his Neverland home and later, his mother credited the singer’s music for helping her son to recover from a coma.

In December 1993, Jackson and his newly formed ‘Heal the World Foundation’supported the UK’s ‘Operation Christmas Child’ in airlifting over 100,000 gifts, toys, sweets, pictures and school items to needy children in Sarajevo.

In February 1995, the star made a private request to attend the funeral of Craig Fleming, a two year old boy whose mother threw him over the side of a Los Angeles bridge along with his four year old brother before jumping to her death. The mother and four year old survived. Jackson contributed towards the surviving youngster’s medical expenses and founded a special trust fund for his ongoing care.

On November 1, 1996, Jackson donated most of the proceeds from his HIStory concert in Bombay, India, to the poor. When travelling from the airport, he stopped the car several times to dance with, pick up and hug poor urchins from the streets. On the day of his show in India, he invited around 50 children from local orphanages to his hotel room where they were treated to games, cakes and burgers. Later this same month, the star visited an orphanage and a school for blind children in Thailand. At the orphanage, he distributed toys and gifts to the children before leaving a donation of $100,000. An orphanage spokeswoman at the time said, “They don’t know him as a pop star. To them he is just a very nice man who came here to offer hope.”

New stories of Jackson’s compassion for those less fortunate are surfacing regularly, and his humanitarian legacy continues through the stipulation in his will that the Jackson Family Trust donate 20% of its earnings to a number of undisclosed charities.

Only now that he is gone are we truly realizing what a legacy Jackson left. Yes, his performances left people mesmerized, and his music captivated music lovers worldwide. But perhaps his most lasting legacy will be his humanitarian work which has left an indelible mark on the countless hearts of those whose lives he touched.

(Source) (via)

alchrista:

Review: The Observer, 17 July 1988 by John Peel
A principal boy in total control
For John Peel,Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ show at Wembley was a triumph he’d never forget.
The last time I saw Michael Jackson at Wembley, he was a diminutive fifth of the Jackson 5, cute and precocious. On Thursday he returned as superhero, larger and appearing stranger than life, with a show I do not expect to see equalled in my lifetime.
The evening paper had a story of spivs selling tickets for the Jackson show at £150 a time. The dispirited scousers I spoke to outside told an altogether different tale. Ruin, I gathered, stared them in the face. Repressing the urge to press coppers into their hands, I continued the yomp in from beyond the extended wheel-clamp/tow-away zone, having left the racer in an area which only a year or so ago was probably all sylvan glades and babbling brooks alive with carp.
Once installed in Section 80 with the £5 tour programme and a packet of plain crisps, I settled back in anticipation of a feast of fun. All about me citizens were peering at the empty stage through cardboard opera glasses bearing the “Bad” logo, while others attached “Bad” balloons to their clothing. Below us the huddled masses cheered each time the Michael Jackson Pepsi advertisement appeared on the screens at the side of the stage.
At six o’clock, we cheered as technicians took their places. Five minutes later we enjoyed the first of few Mexican waves. An hour later Radio 1’s Gary Davies appeared to ask whether we were ready to boogie before urging a big Wembley welcome for Kim Wilde.
I felt a bit sorry for Kim. Very much the bread roll with which we toy absent-mindedly while awaiting the meal, she had yet, as the tabloids had emphasised with their usual quiet persistence, to meet Michael Jackson. But there she was, waving a red scarf and bending over a lot so that the cameras could catch the cleavage. ‘It’s great to be here,’ she said. After a song or two a discussion developed in our row about the catering staff, who were dealing out the lager and cold dogs in what seemed to be Motherwell colours. We reached no important conclusions.
In the interval we amused ourselves by leaping up from time to time to gawp at celebrities arriving in the glass-fronted banqueting suite. We liked Frank Bruno the best. But suddenly there was thunderous music from the stage, a battery of lights blazed out over the audience and there, scarcely believably, was Michael Jackson.
‘How ya doin,’ he asked after a couple of hits. Well, I was as fine as anyone with sore feet standing in a cold, damp football stadium could be.
But Michael Jackson clearly needs a few minutes to get into gear and as the costume changes came and went and the stage and lighting effects grew more audacious, he took control with a performance of matchless virtuosity. Making much of stagecraft learned, surely, from James Brown - especially a device whereby a song apparently finished, with the star seemingly in emotional crisis, frozen save for lips moving as though in prayer, would be reprised - Jackson led his dancers, singers and musicians, all fearsomely well-drilled and rakishly handsome, through less a sequence of songs, more a series of scenes, the whole resembling some futuristic, technological pantomime, with Michael Jackson himself a distillation of all principal boys, singing some of the world’s best known songs and dancing with such authority, timing and energy that the odd action replay would not have come amiss.
My only wish is that my children could have been there to see this stupendous performance. It is something they would never have forgotten.
• John Peel, who died in October 2004, was the Observer’s rock critic in the late 80s.

alchrista:

Review: The Observer, 17 July 1988 by John Peel

A principal boy in total control

For John Peel,Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ show at Wembley was a triumph he’d never forget.

The last time I saw Michael Jackson at Wembley, he was a diminutive fifth of the Jackson 5, cute and precocious. On Thursday he returned as superhero, larger and appearing stranger than life, with a show I do not expect to see equalled in my lifetime.

The evening paper had a story of spivs selling tickets for the Jackson show at £150 a time. The dispirited scousers I spoke to outside told an altogether different tale. Ruin, I gathered, stared them in the face. Repressing the urge to press coppers into their hands, I continued the yomp in from beyond the extended wheel-clamp/tow-away zone, having left the racer in an area which only a year or so ago was probably all sylvan glades and babbling brooks alive with carp.

Once installed in Section 80 with the £5 tour programme and a packet of plain crisps, I settled back in anticipation of a feast of fun. All about me citizens were peering at the empty stage through cardboard opera glasses bearing the “Bad” logo, while others attached “Bad” balloons to their clothing. Below us the huddled masses cheered each time the Michael Jackson Pepsi advertisement appeared on the screens at the side of the stage.

At six o’clock, we cheered as technicians took their places. Five minutes later we enjoyed the first of few Mexican waves. An hour later Radio 1’s Gary Davies appeared to ask whether we were ready to boogie before urging a big Wembley welcome for Kim Wilde.

I felt a bit sorry for Kim. Very much the bread roll with which we toy absent-mindedly while awaiting the meal, she had yet, as the tabloids had emphasised with their usual quiet persistence, to meet Michael Jackson. But there she was, waving a red scarf and bending over a lot so that the cameras could catch the cleavage. ‘It’s great to be here,’ she said. After a song or two a discussion developed in our row about the catering staff, who were dealing out the lager and cold dogs in what seemed to be Motherwell colours. We reached no important conclusions.

In the interval we amused ourselves by leaping up from time to time to gawp at celebrities arriving in the glass-fronted banqueting suite. We liked Frank Bruno the best. But suddenly there was thunderous music from the stage, a battery of lights blazed out over the audience and there, scarcely believably, was Michael Jackson.

‘How ya doin,’ he asked after a couple of hits. Well, I was as fine as anyone with sore feet standing in a cold, damp football stadium could be.

But Michael Jackson clearly needs a few minutes to get into gear and as the costume changes came and went and the stage and lighting effects grew more audacious, he took control with a performance of matchless virtuosity. Making much of stagecraft learned, surely, from James Brown - especially a device whereby a song apparently finished, with the star seemingly in emotional crisis, frozen save for lips moving as though in prayer, would be reprised - Jackson led his dancers, singers and musicians, all fearsomely well-drilled and rakishly handsome, through less a sequence of songs, more a series of scenes, the whole resembling some futuristic, technological pantomime, with Michael Jackson himself a distillation of all principal boys, singing some of the world’s best known songs and dancing with such authority, timing and energy that the odd action replay would not have come amiss.

My only wish is that my children could have been there to see this stupendous performance. It is something they would never have forgotten.

John Peel, who died in October 2004, was the Observer’s rock critic in the late 80s.

tagged → #Article #Bad tour #review

Of all the mystery surrounding Michael Jackson, his genius has been unquestionable since the onset of his professional career at the age of five.

It also seems clear that most of the adults entrusted with the care of this rare child exploited him for their own fame and fortune. All the love and adoration showered upon Michael Jackson from every corner of the earth thoughout his entire life never seemed to fill those unfathomed voids carved out during his unique childhood.

I remember watching the Bashir Living with Michael Jackson “documentary” several years ago and wondering why, with all the armchair psychologist opinions about Michael Jackson’s childhood, no one seemed to be evaluating his childhood experiences as those of a profoundly gifted child.

During the interview, Jackson spoke about his father’s reluctance to listen to him sing, insisting that Jermaine was the lead singer of the group, and that he only entertained young Michael at the insistence of his wife. Once he saw his son’s talent, Michael was the lead singer.

It would certainly be nearly impossible for his older brothers, only children themselves, to feel no envy for their phenomenal little brother taking center stage as they rocketed to superstardom. In the interview, Jackson also spoke about his cousins, and even his father making fun of him during his teenage years, pointing out his greasy face and his large nose.

Perhaps his father was trying to keep his young ego in check, never imagining that the ego of someone so brilliant and talented could be so desperately fragile.

Although Michael’s giftedness was more profound than most, his story is an excellent example of the hardships all of these children face. First and foremost is the fact that these children are indeed fragile.

They contemplate everything on a deeper level than their peers, often more deeply than can express in words. An image of a starving child on the other side of the world may haunt the dreams of a gifted seven-year-old for weeks. Gifted children tend to be hypersensitive, both physically and emotionally.

They hear more, smell more, taste more and feel more. These heightened senses can be overwhelming and filtering out the physical and emotional noise can be exhausting. Michael spoke of fainting when his father entered the room. When Mozart was very young, loud sounds would cause him to vomit.

Another thing Michael mentioned in the interview was that someone had referred to him as a “forty-two-year-old midget” when he was little. This is another prominent issue with gifted children; their development is asynchronous. They may seem many years older or younger than their chronological age depending on the situation they are in at any given moment.

Most importantly, gifted children are often ostracized by their peers and even the adults around them. They are made to feel weird or odd. Often the people around them feel jealous of their talents, or simply can’t understand why a gifted child acts the way she does, whatever her peculiarities may be. If their giftedness has escaped the notice of their parents and teachers, they may even be labeled slow.

The Gifted And Talented Education program at the San Diego Unified School District was founded with the intention of addressing the unique difficulties that gifted children present.

Still, many of the GATE certified teachers in the district fail to recognize that gifted children aren’t just smart, but challenged in many ways. Michael Jackson is an extreme example of extreme giftedness, but every adult who is parenting or teaching a gifted child can heed the lesson of how important it is to recognize a gifted child’s failings as well as his talents.

(via borednschooled)

Yoshiko Morita’s Memories Of Michael

The first time my husband Akio saw Michael was at Yokohama Stadium in 1987. We traveled from our house in Tokyo to Yokohama and were going on to our villa in Hakone for the weekend. We were simply enthralled by his music and incredible dancing.

Unlike today, there were no cell phones and the road conditions were bad, so it was very late when we arrived at the villa. On arrival we received a call from the house in Tokyo saying that Michael’s manager had been calling again and again because Michael was anxious to meet with Mr. Morita, so Akio hurriedly called his hotel.

Michael thanked Akio for coming to the show and apologized as he felt his performance was not 100%. His voice has not been at its best and he invited us to come again when he promised an even better performance. 
For artists there is no peak—they constantly strive to do better—to a point that might even be called self-indulgent.

Subsequently, Michael was in Japan at the time of my birthday and he came to a party being held at my home, where this picture was taken.
As a vegetarian he avoided meat and fish and as you see we prepared a large plate of Twenty Century (Asian) pears, which were in season. I don’t remember anyone else eating them except him, and that day remains a topic of conversation in our house to this day.

He found some of Akio’s toys, such as a mechanical piano, music box, miniature street organ and a record from the Edison Museum, and spent the evening playing with them like a child.

 

While in Japan he visited Sony’s head office, the CBS Sony Studio that was in Shinnanomachi, Sony Media World, the Ginza Sony Building and so on, asking many questions and getting hold of the latest Sony products.

As promised we were invited to see him perform again at Tokyo Dome in 1992. The studio always arranged for an official photo to be taken backstage and we have many lovely photos that were later signed by the artist.

The History Tour came to Tokyo Dome in December 1996. Akio had already fallen ill by that time and I don’t remember the details, but I went to the Capitol Tokyu where Michael was staying and rode to the Dome in the same car. Many fans surrounded the car and others followed in taxis. When we stopped at red lights people would pass him paper or handkerchiefs. He would sign them quickly and my job was to hand them back. He gave autographs to so many people between the hotel and the Tokyo Dome, but he never once made a face. He happily signed them, and as I sat next to him helping, I thought what a truly kind person he was.

He genuinely looked forward to meeting Akio. In 1995 he released History and at that time had a special shield made to present to Akio, as well as a signed album.

 

On the shield it said:
“THIS ALBUM OF MY MUSIC WARMLY DEDICATED TO AKIO MORITA… FOR OUR EVERLASTING FRENDSHIP. WE ARE LIVING IN THE SAME DREAM FOREVER… WITH ALL MY LOVE”

After Akio fell ill in October 1993, the first message of support we received from abroad was from Michael Jackson.
It was a healing tape that he had made himself on which he had recorded his own voices saying “Mr. Morita…Mr. Morita” many times, as well as phrases such as “You will get better…you will speak again”, and a gentle song that he had chosen.

He also included a handwritten letter that said, “Play 3 times a day right before awaking before sleeping and mid day. Michael Jackson.”

 

I played it every morning for 10 minutes before Akio got up and every night when I put him to bed for the six years until he passed away.

In 1998 Michael performed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pushing Akio in a wheelchair, we went to see the show at Aloha Stadium, and the next day Michael visited us at our villa. I can’t say how delighted Akio was and to this day I can not forget his kindness at that time.

It is 10 years since Akio passed away. Michael treated Akio as a respected teacher and friend. Many times he asked questions such as “How can I better engage young people?”, “What can I do to be more respected?” and “Who should I trust?”

Michael couldn’t trust anyone and he found comfort in children and animals. Now he can rest in the comfort and peace of heaven, unbothered by others.

Many times he called me to say “I need your help”. This was 10 years ago and I regret that at the time, when Akio’s condition was at its worst, I wasn’t able to respond. I am so sorry to Michael for that. But now I believe he is resting peacefully in a happy place.

7 July 2009 Yoshiko Morita

OFFICIAL MICHAEL JACKSON SINGLE ‘HOLD MY HAND’ TO BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 15th

New York, NY - The first official single from the forthcoming Michael Jackson album MICHAEL will be released globally on Monday, November 15th at 12:01am EST. The song entitled “Hold My Hand” will be unveiled on www.michaeljackson.com and for sale digitally thereafter. 

“Hold My Hand”, a duet with Akon, is a song they recorded in 2007. A handwritten note from Michael belonging to his Estate indicated his desire that “Hold My Hand” be the first single on his next project. However, in its unfinished state, the song leaked out in 2008. Akon recently completed the new and final production of “Hold My Hand.” 

Akon comments, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”

On December 14th, Epic Records in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release the much-anticipated new album MICHAEL. The album contains ten tracks, produced by an esteemed group of producers along with Michael Jackson. While primarily focused on songs that Michael worked on recently, there are also earlier compelling tracks.

MICHAEL is the first release in nine years of new material by one of music’s most beloved icons whose artistry continues to touch new generations of fans. The album marks another release under the new agreement between the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music announced in March that continues the label’s 35-year relationship with Michael and his music. During that time, Michael sold hundreds of millions of records, had 13 #1 singles and released the pop culture phenomenon “Thriller,” which remains music’s all-time bestselling album with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide.

and MICHAEL Album Track Listing Unveiled

MICHAEL ALBUM TRACKLISTING:

1. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)
2. Hollywood Tonight 
3. Keep Your Head Up 
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
5. Monster (Featuring 50 Cent)
6. Best Of Joy
7. Breaking News
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon

www.michaeljackson.com

Official Message From The Estate Of Michael Jackson To The Fans

Dear Fans

As the Michael album was being put together, it was decided to bring Teddy Riley on board to work on several songs, including “Breaking News,” a song Michael recorded with Eddie Cascio and James Porte in late 2007 while living at the Cascio family home with his children. Riley produced and submitted “Breaking News” to Sony for inclusion on the album. At that time, no one ever mentioned that the vocals we heard on the Cascio songs, which were basically in demo format, might not be Michael. It was known, however, that the background vocals were a combination of Michael and James Porte.

After the tracks were submitted to Sony, three of these Cascio songs were selected to be on the album, and “Breaking News” was one of the three. The day after the submission and selection of the album tracks, for the very first time, the authenticity of Michael’s vocals on the Cascio tracks was questioned.

Because of these questions, I was immediately asked by co-Executors John Branca and John McClain to conduct an investigation regarding the authenticity of the lead vocals on the Cascio tracks.

Six of Michael’s former producers and engineers who had worked with Michael over the past 30 years - Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, Michael Prince, Dr. Freeze and Teddy Riley - were all invited to a listening session to hear the raw vocals of the Cascio tracks in question. All of these persons listened to the a cappella versions of the vocals on the Cascio tracks being considered for inclusion on the album, so they could give an opinion as to whether or not the lead vocals were sung by Michael. They all confirmed that the vocal was definitely Michael.

Michael’s musical director and piano player on many of his records over a 20-year period, Greg Phillinganes, played on a Cascio track being produced for the album, and said the voice was definitely Michael’s. Dorian Holley, who was Michael’s vocal director for his solo tours for 20 plus years (including the O2 Concert Tour) and is seen in the This Is It film, listened to the Cascio tracks and told me the lead vocal was Michael Jackson.

These are all engineers, producers and musicians who worked on tours and/or in the studio with Michael when he was recording Bad, Thriller, Off The Wall, Dangerous, Invincible, HIStory and Blood On The Dance Floor, and they all reconfirmed their belief that the lead vocals were Michael’s voice on the Cascio tracks.

The Estate then retained one of the best-known forensic musicologists in the nation to listen to the vocals without any instrumental accompaniment (“a cappella”), and to compare them with a cappella vocals from previous Michael songs. This expert performed waveform analysis, an objective scientific test used to determine audio authenticity, on the Cascio tracks, as well as previously released tracks with Michael’s voice, and reported that ALL of the lead vocals analyzed (which included Cascio tracks) were the voice of Michael Jackson.

Sony Music conducted their own investigation by hiring yet a second well-respected forensic musicologist who also compared the a cappella lead vocals from Cascio tracks against previously released vocals of Michael’s, and found that Michael’s voice was the on all sets of the raw vocals. The Cascio tracks were also played for two very prominent persons in the music industry who played crucial roles in Michael’s career. Both of these individuals believed that the lead vocals were Michael’s.

Just to be absolutely certain, I also contacted Jason Malachi, a young singer who some persons had wrongfully alleged was a “soundalike” singer that was hired to sing on the Cascio tracks, and I confirmed that he had no involvement with this project whatsoever.

Sony decided that, given the overwhelming objective evidence resulting from the exhaustive investigations outlined above, they wanted to release a record that included three of the Cascio-Porte tracks - because they believed, without reservation, that the lead vocal on all of those tracks were sung by Michael Jackson.

Although there still seem to be concerns being expressed in some quarters about the authenticity of the lead vocals, notwithstanding the opinion of those who worked with Michael, and two independent forensic analysts, ultimately, Michael’s fans will be the judges of these songs, as they always are. We take all fan comments very seriously, and as I’d stated above, there is nothing more important to the Estate than Michael’s music, his legacy and his fans.

Michael’s fans are extraordinary in their quest for accuracy and their passions to raise their voices in a search for truth! We join with them in our care and concern for Michael. We are continuing to follow up with those who have worked in the studio or on tours with Michael, and if any new information comes to light, we will keep you and the fans advised.


Thanks,

Howard


Howard Weitzman, Esq.
Attorney for the Estate Of Michael Jackson
Santa Monica, CA

via MJJC

Michael Jackson’s ‘Michael’ Cover Decoded

 Michael Jackson’s Bad cover


 A scene from the music video for “Beat It”

 A scene from the music video for “Billie Jean”

 Michael Jackson’s Dangerous cover
(notice also Eddie Murphy’s head there. And the Speed Demon rabbit that MTV overlooked)

 A scene from Michael Jackson’s 3-D film “Captain EO”


 A scene from the film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” 


 A scene from the music video for “Leave Me Alone”



  Another “Leave Me Alone” reference


 A scene from the music video for “The Way You Make Me Feel” 


 An MTV Promo from the ’80s


 A scene from Michael Jackson’s film “Moonwalker”


 Michael Jackson’s legendary performance of “Billie Jean” at the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever”


 Off The Wall cover



 A scene from the music video for “Smooth Criminal”



 Michael Jackson’s 25th anniversary special edition reissue of Thriller cover


 A scene from “Thriller”


 A photo taken during the recording of “We Are The World”



Source 1/Source 2

tagged → #article #Michael Jackson

Let’s go back to June 2009. A distressful month for music lovers everywhere, when the unexpected death of music legend and King of Pop, Michael Jackson sent shockwaves through the world and triggered a global outpouring of grief. However no-where felt the devastation of his passing more than the Internet and in particular social networks.

Uniting the world in grief and mourning, the best place for fans and the public alike to express their sadness and share their experiences was online. Jackson went on to become the biggest topic of the year, the most searched for term and the biggest story on Twitter in history.

His death simultaneously killed Twitter, whilst almost bringing down Google, a website known for its reliability. The news spread so quickly online, that it caused websites to slow down and crash from user overload. Both TMZ and the Los Angeles Times suffered outages. Google initially believed that the input from millions of people searching for “Michael Jackson” meant that the search engine was under attack. Along with Twitter crashing, so did Wikipedia, which had nearly a million visitors to Jackson’s biography within one hour; the most visitors in a one-hour period to any article in Wikipedia’s history. Also AOL’s Instant Messenger AIM, collapsed for 40 minutes. AOL called it a “seminal moment in Internet history”, adding, “We’ve never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth.”

Around 15% of Twitter posts – or 5,000 tweets per minute – reportedly mentioned Jackson after the news broke, compared to the 5% recalled as having mentioned the Iranian elections or the flu pandemic that had made headlines earlier in 2009. Overall, web traffic ranged from 11% to at least 20% higher than normal, an unprecedented Internet behaviour, showing that even no longer with us, he was still breaking records and has single handily become the biggest impact on internet traffic.

So it’s not just a music legacy the man has left behind, but a worldwide online event, that is unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

(via borednschooled)