Saturday, February 18, 2012

Michael Jackson’s Estate places Whitney Houston Full-Page Memoria

Michael Jackson’s estate will run a beautiful full-page ad paying tribute to Whitney Houston on Saturday, the day of her funeral.

The tribute will run in TheLos Angeles Times and Whitney’s hometown paper, the Newark Star Ledger, on Saturday

The tribute reads “Whitney,”  “In loving memory of her majestic voice, her radiant beauty and the magic she created on stage.”


Whitney Houston’s funeral will be an intimate affair, held Saturday in the small New Jersey church she attended and sang in as a child, her fans will be able to share in the memorial by watching along online and on television.

How you can watch service?
  • CNN will air the funeral live starting at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 PT.

Read more:

Friday, February 17, 2012

View Estate Lawsuite File against Thome Thome and Summary of Case


Estate lawsuit file here :


- Tohme gets hired around January 2008.

 - Tohme doesn't have any experience in being a manager.

 - Tohme took control over all of Michael's personal and professional affairs. They also claim Tohme hired and fired and supervised other people that worked for Michael and therefore no one could have objected his actions.

- May 2008 Tohme and Michael signs a finder's agreement for Tohme introducing Michael to Colony Capital.

 - Estate alleges that Tohme didn't tell Michael that he had a pre-existing relationship with Colony Capital.

 - According to the finder's fee agreement : Michael was to give Tohme 10% of the loan amount $2.4M), 10% from the future sale of Neverland and 10% from any future transactions with Colony Capital.

 - Estate claims Michael didn't have an independent lawyer and signed the finder's fee agreement without fully understanding and getting independent explanation of it.

 - Estate says Michael signed the agreement because he trusted Tohme and believed the finder's fee amount was normal and customary. Estate argues that these amounts are too high.

- Estate says Tohme had conflicting roles - working as a finder and working as the manager of Michael.

 - Estate states that the Neverland deal done with Colony Capital was highly unfavorable for Michael. It limited his use and control of Neverland and had unfavorable financial terms.

 - Estate says as Tohme had ties and interest in regards to Colony Capital, he didn't look for better and more favorable financing options for Neverland. (Estate says that they believe other better options were available)

 - Estate says Michael signed the Neverland / Colony Capital agreement without having counsel independent from Tohme and not subject to Tohme's control and authority.

- July 2008 Tohme gets Michael to sign "Services agreement"

 - Again MJ Estate says Michael signed because he trusted Tohme, didn't have an independent counsel and thought it was customary.

 - According to this agreement Tohme was to be paid $35,000 + expenses per month even though Michael earned nothing.

- The agreement also said Tohme was to receive 15% of all gross compensations received by Michael for his services in the entertainment industry including live performances, merchandising, electronic arts, recorded and live telecasts, motion pictures, animation projects.

- August 2008 Tohme gets Michael to sign two Power of Attorney (POA) which gave extraordinary powers to Tohme.

 - Also Tohme gets Michael to sign an Indemnity Agreement which was again too broad.

- Again the same claims of Michael didn't have an independent counsel, trusted Tohme, signed them without fully understanding them.

 - Estate says Tohme cause harm with his POA when in November 2008 he gifted Michael's art to Brett Livingstone-strong. Estate says the POA's don't give Tohme the power to gift anything and sign over Michael's copyrights.

-Tohme negotiated TII concert deal with AEG.

 - Tohme was supposed to get $100,000 a month as a producer fee from TII concerts. AEG would have pay this amount but then would get it back from Michael.

 - Again the same claims about Michael signing this agreement.

- Estate alleges that Tohme took possession and control of millions of dollars, tangible personal property and other property of Michael.

 - Estate says Tohme merged his own funds with Michael's and used Michael's money for his expenses, travel, entertainment and purchase other property for himself.

 - Estate says Tohme has refused to provide accounting for the money he handled.

 - Estate says they believe Tohme is in possession of property belonging to the Estate (and alleges Tohme disposed some of them) and asks for twice the value of such items.

- Estate says Tohme was fired March 2009 and Michael revoked his POA's in April 2009.

 - Tohme didn't return Michael's property.

- After Michael's death Tohme requested significant funds from MJ Estate.

 - Tohme refused to return the property in his possession to MJ Estate.

 - Estate says Tohme also didn't return books and records.

1. Accounting : Estate is asking for account of all actions and transactions done by Tohme and return of any money and property of Michael.

2. Recovery of Property: Estate is asking for all the property and cash Tohme has. Estate also claims that when Michael died he had a claim to property that the title or possession is held by Tohme.

3. Wrongful taking: Estate wants twice the value of the property that Tohme took, concealed and disposed of.

4. Breach of fiduciary duty: Tohme took advantage of Michael's trust (for the things listed above) and only considered his self interest. Estate doesn't know the exact amount of damages but they're asking for currently undetermined damages from Tohme.

5. Rescission: Due to the breach of duty Estate is asking for rescission - in other words the cancellation - of the 3 agreements (finder's fee, service and indemnity) between Michael and Tohme.

6. Rescission: Estate is asking for the rescission / cancellation of the 3 agreements between Michael and Tohme due several facts such as Michael didn't have independent counsel and/or didn't fully understand it and trusted Tohme. Estate says Michael could not known that these agreements weren't customary and highly unfavorable for him. So Estate wants to rescind / cancel all these agreements.

7. Rescission due to undue influence: Estate also claims that Tohme misused Michael's confidence in him to obtain advantage over Michael and took advantage of Michael's financial distress.

8. Relief: Estate wants the court to rule that Tohme is not entitled to any commission for the time after he was fired and certainly not after Michael's death, void the agreements and rule that Tohme is not entitled any further compensation and order the return of Michael's property and money that's in Tohme's possession. Estate is also asking for damages (not yet determined) and legal costs. .

Source : IVY at MJJC  discuss it here with other fans

Michael Jackson Estate Sues Thome Thome Jackson's former manager

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate sued the singer’s former manager on Friday, claiming he lined his own pockets by persuading the pop superstar to sign unconscionable contracts in the final year of his life.

The lawsuit against Tohme R. Tohme came after more than a year of wrangling between Jackson’s estate and the former adviser who has claimed he is owed 15 percent of the more than $310 million collected by the estate since the singer’s death.

The lawsuit seeks the return of Jackson’s property and financial records along with damages and a ruling that Tohme is not entitled to any money from the estate.

The contracts involved a refinancing of Jackson’s debt related to Neverland Ranch and a producer’s fee that Tohme negotiated for himself for Jackson’s series of planned comeback concerts in London.

“This lawsuit is necessary to finally put a stop to abuse of fiduciary obligations owed to Jackson and seeks to unwind the self-serving and unconscionable agreements (Tohme) encouraged Jackson to enter into” and to compensate the estate for failing to return Jackson’s property, the complaint states.

Tohme’s attorney Paul Malingagio did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Friday.

Tohme served as Jackson’s manager from January 2008 until March 2009.

Estate attorney Howard Weitzman wrote in a statement that he expects Jackson’s former manager to file his own lawsuit to try to gain money from the estate.

“We believe the facts will show that Mr. Tohme’s claims are meritless and that Mr. Tohme engaged in wrongdoing with respect to Michael Jackson starting early in their relationship,” Weitzman wrote.

The lawsuit states that Tohme forced Jackson to pay him a finder’s fee for introducing the singer to a group that saved Neverland Ranch from foreclosure. That deal earned Tohme more than $2.4 million and was just one of several deals he was involved in that the estate claims improperly benefited the adviser.

Tohme also negotiated a producer’s fee of $100,000 a month for the “This Is It” shows planned in London, although Jackson died before the concert series began.

The legal action also alleges that Tohme improperly signed away the rights to artwork created by Jackson.

Tohme told The Associated Press in July 2009 that he had turned over more than $5 million to Jackson’s estate that the singer had stockpiled to purchase a “dream home” in Las Vegas.

In September 2010, Tohme sought more than $2.3 million from the estate and claimed he was owed 15 percent of revenue from the film “This Is It,” which used footage from Jackson’s final rehearsals.

Tohme was credited as Jackson’s personal adviser in the film.


You can discuss this with other fans at MJJC

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson's Music

Thought I would share this very insightful  article by Joe Vogel.  Reminding everyone how hard Michael had to work to leave his indelible mark on this planet with his artistic vision. He did it regardless of the  critics trying to ignore and belittle his contribution or main stream media trying to slander his good name.  He still doesn't get the respect he deserves.  I'm so glad Mr Vogel continues to write these articles on top of having the most respected in depth book ever written about Michael's music and talent.  Enjoy ~ Qbee

Joseph Vogel - Joseph Vogel is the author of  Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. He is a doctoral candidate and instructor in the Department of English at the University of Rochester.

His influence today proves him to be one of the greatest creators of all time, but Jackson's art—like that of many black artists—still doesn't get the full respect it deserves.

 More than two and a half years after his untimely death, Michael Jackson continues to entertain. Cirque du Soleil's crowd-pleasing Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour is currently crisscrossing North America, while a recent Jackson-themed episode of Glee earned the show a 16 percent jump in ratings and its highest music sales of the season. Even Madonna's halftime Super Bowl spectacle harkened back to a trend first initiated by Jackson.

 But there is another crucial part of Jackson's legacy that deserves attention: his pioneering role as an African-American artist working in an industry still plagued by segregation, stereotypical representations, or little representation at all.

Jackson never made any qualms about his aspirations. He wanted to be the best. When his highly successful Off the Wall album (in 1981, the best-selling album ever by a black artist) was slighted at the Grammy Awards, it only fueled Jackson's resolve to create something better. His next album, Thriller, became the best-selling album by any artist of any race in the history of the music industry. It also won a record-setting seven Grammy awards, broke down color barriers on radio and TV, and redefined the possibilities of popular music on a global scale.

Yet among critics (predominantly white), skepticism and suspicion only grew. "He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables," predicted James Baldwin in 1985, "for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael."

Baldwin proved prophetic. In addition to a flood of ridicule regarding his intelligence, race, sexuality, appearance, and behavior, even his success and ambition were used by critics as evidence that he lacked artistic seriousness. Reviews frequently described his work as "calculating," "slick," and "shallow." Establishment rock critics such as Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus notoriously dismissed Jackson as the first major popular music phenomenon whose impact was more commercial than cultural. Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen, they claimed, challenged and re-shaped society. Jackson simply sold records and entertained.

The point of his ambition wasn't money and fame; it was respect.
 It shouldn't be much of a strain to hear the racial undertones in such an assertion. Historically, this dismissal of black artists (and black styles) as somehow lacking substance, depth and import is as old as America. It was the lie that constituted minstrelsy. It was a common criticism of spirituals (in relation to traditional hymns), of jazz in the '20s and '30s, of R&B in the '50s and '60s, of funk and disco in the '70s, and of hip-hop in the '80s and '90s (and still today). The cultural gatekeepers not only failed to initially recognize the legitimacy of these new musical styles and forms, they also tended to overlook or reduce the achievements of the African-American men and women who pioneered them. The King of Jazz, for white critics, wasn't Louis Armstrong, it was Paul Whiteman; the King of Swing wasn't Duke Ellington, it was Benny Goodman; the King of Rock wasn't Chuck Berry or Little Richard, it was Elvis Presley.

Given this history of white coronation, it is worth considering why the media took such issue with referring to Michael Jackson as the King of Pop. Certainly his achievements merited such a title. Yet up until his death in 2009, many journalists insisted on referring to him as the "self-proclaimed King of Pop." Indeed, in 2003, Rolling Stone went so far as to ridiculously re-assign the title to Justin Timberlake. (To keep with the historical pattern, just last year the magazine devised a formula that coronated Eminem—over Run DMC, Public Enemy, Tupac, Jay-Z, or Kanye West—as the King of Hip Hop).

Jackson was well-aware of this history and consistently pushed against it. In 1979, Rolling Stone passed on a cover story about the singer, saying that it didn't feel Jackson merited front cover status. "I've been told over and over again that black people on the covers of magazines don't sell copies," an exasperated Jackson told confidantes. "Just wait. Some day those magazines will come begging for an interview."

Jackson, of course, was right (Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner actually sent a self-deprecatory letter acknowledging the oversight in 1984). And during the 1980s, at least, Jackson's image seemed ubiquitous. Yet over the long haul, Jackson's initial concern seems legitimate. As shown in the breakdown below, his appearances on the front cover of Rolling Stone, the United States' most visible music publication, are far fewer than those of white artists:

John Lennon: 30
 Mick Jagger: 29
 Paul McCartney: 26
 Bob Dylan: 22
 Bono: 22
 Bruce Springsteen: 22
 Madonna: 20
 Britney Spears: 13
 Michael Jackson: 8 (two came after he died; one featured Paul McCartney as well)

Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna?

Of course, this disregard wasn't limited to magazine covers. It extended into all realms of print media. In a 2002 speech in Harlem, Jackson not only protested his own slights, but also articulated how he fit into a lineage of African-American artists struggling for respect:

All the forms of popular music from jazz to hip-hop, to bebop, to soul [come from black innovation]. You talk about different dances from the catwalk, to the jitterbug, to the charleston, to break dancing -- all these are forms of black dancing...What would [life] be without a song, without a dance, and joy and laughter, and music. These things are very important but if you go to the bookstore down the corner, you will not see one black person on the cover. You'll see Elvis Presley, you'll see the Rolling Stones...But we're the real pioneers who started these [forms]."

While there was certainly some rhetorical flourish to his "not one black person on the cover" claim, his broader point of severely disproportionate representation in print was unquestionably accurate. Books on Elvis Presley alone outnumber titles on Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson combined.

When I began my book, Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson, in 2005, there wasn't one serious book focused on Jackson's creative output. Indeed, at my local Barnes & Noble, I could find only two books about him, period. Both dealt with the scandals and controversies of his personal life.

It seemed the only way Michael Jackson could get covered was if he was presented as a freak, a curiosity, a spectacle. Even reviews of his albums, post-Thriller, focused on the sensational and were overwhelmingly condescending, when not outright hostile.

 Of course, this poor coverage wasn't only about race. Biases were often more subtle, veiled and coded. They were wrapped together with his overall otherness and conflated with the "Wacko Jacko" media construct. In addition, as Baldwin astutely noted, there were not entirely unrelated apprehensions about his wealth and fame, anxieties about his eccentricities and sexuality, confusion about his changing appearance, contempt for his childlike behavior, and fears about his power.

But the bottom line is this: Somehow, in the midst of the circus that surrounded him, Jackson managed to leave behind one of the most impressive catalogs in the history of music. Rarely has an artist been so adept at communicating the vitality and vulnerability of the human condition: the exhilaration, yearning, despair, and transcendence. Indeed, in Jackson's case he literally embodied the music. It charged through him like an electric current. He mediated it through every means at his disposal—his voice, his body, his dances, films, words, technology and performances. His work was multi-media in a way never before experienced.

This is why the tendency of many critics to judge his work against circumscribed, often white, Euro-American musical standards is such a mistake. Jackson never fit neatly into categories and defied many of the expectations of rock/alternative enthusiasts. He was rooted deeply in the African-American tradition, which is crucial to understanding his work. But the hallmark of his art is fusion, the ability to stitch together disparate styles, genres and mediums to create something entirely new.

If critics simply hold Jackson's lyrics on a sheet of paper next to those of Bob Dylan, then, they will likely find Jackson on the short end. It's not that Jackson's lyrics aren't substantive (on the HIStory album alone, he tackles racism, materialism, fame, corruption, media distortion, ecological destruction, abuse, and alienation). But his greatness is in his ability to augment his words vocally, visually, physically, and sonically, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Listen, for example, to his non-verbal vocalizations—the cries, exclamations, grunts, gasps, and improvisatory vernacular—in which Jackson communicates beyond the strictures of language. Listen to his beat boxing and scatting; how he stretches or accents words; his James Brown-like staccato facility; the way his voice moves from gravelly to smooth to sublime; the passionate calls and responses; the way he soars just as naturally with gospel choirs and electric guitars.

Listen to his virtuosic rhythms and rich harmonies; the nuanced syncopation and signature bass lines; the layers of detail and archive of unusual sounds. Go beyond the usual classics, and play songs like "Stranger in Moscow," "I Can't Help It ," "Liberian Girl ," "Who Is It," and "In the Back." Note the range of subject matter, the spectrum of moods and textures, the astounding variety (and synthesis) of styles. On the Dangerous album alone, Jackson moves from New Jack Swing to classical, hip hop to gospel, R&B to industrial, funk to rock. It was music without borders or barriers, and it resonated across the globe.

However, it wasn't until Jackson's death in 2009 that he finally began to engender more respect and appreciation from the intelligentsia. It is one of humanity's strange habits to only truly appreciate genius once it's gone. Still, in spite of the renewed interest, the easy dismissals and disparity in serious print coverage remains.

As a competitor on par with the legendary Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson wouldn't be satisfied. His goal was to prove that a black artist could do everything a white artist could (and more). He wanted to move beyond every boundary, earn every recognition, break every record, and achieve artistic immortality ("That is why to escape death," he said, "I bind my soul to my work"). The point of his ambition wasn't money and fame; it was respect.

As he boldly proclaimed in his 1991 hit, "Black or White," "I had to tell them I ain't second to none."